Churches across the world are making their final preparations for Holy Week and the upcoming Easter weekend services. Hopefully, by this point most of the planning and coordination is near completion. As new and familiar faces attend our services we must connect the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ with the life change He can bring.
Matthew 28:1-6 records the morning of the first resurrection.
“1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”
Most of us know the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. As church leaders, we must preach and teach the resurrection as a factual truth. Christ rising from the dead validates Him as the Son of God and marks the completion of God’s plan for humanity’s redemption (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus Christ through His sinless life, death, and resurrection paid the penalty for our sins once and for all (See 1 Peter 3:18) so, we can experience His salvation. Romans 10:9-10 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved”. Often, this is where we end the story, but the story of Easter does not end there.
If we go back and read Matthew 28:1 we are told of two women who went to see the tomb. One of them was Mary Magdalene whose entire life changed for the better because of the grace and forgiveness Christ offered her. Imagine her testimony to all of those who knew her. Think of the disciples and how each of them encountered the Risen Lord and were forever changed Acts 17:6 they are described as “men who turned the world upside down“. The majority of your audiences this week will be familiar with the Easter story, and need to hear of how the events of Christ’s death and resurrection lead to life change. To illustrate this point, you may want to gather a few people who can share their story of transformation at an event this weekend. Better yet, encourage your congregation to reflect life change by inviting the people within their spheres of influence to go with them to one of the Easter events, and to continue to invest in those relationships even after Easter. Intentionally, build times into your service for visitors to easily connect and request information from your church, and be just as intentional in your Easter follow-up as you are with your Easter preparations.
We pray this weekend you clearly communicate the factual events of Easter, invite others to respond to the truth of the Gospel, and demonstrate the life change only the risen Christ can bring. This Sunday seize the opportunity to tell of the life changing power of Easter. He has risen! He has risen indeed!