But what did He say...
“The Greatest Story ever told” was the name given to the 1964 film about the life of Jesus. In fact it’s a story that’s been around for over 2000 years.
Now, most good stories have a final twist in the tale, a surprising ending, a cliff-hanger before an unseen resolution. Yet in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ resurrection, we see that Jesus had been dropping spoilers all the way through.
In Matthew we read of Jesus warning his disciples about what was going to happen long before his arrival in Jerusalem.
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Referring to himself as the Son of Man, an Old Testament name for God’s promised rescuer, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem with his disciples again telling them what is about to happen.
“‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!’” (Chapter 20 verses 18-19)
With all these spoilers Jesus’ followers shouldn’t have been surprised the events that we now remember at Easter. His arrest and false trial was expected by Jesus. His judgement and execution by the Roman authorities was known. Nothing that happened to Jesus came as a surprise to him or to His Father in heaven.
But his crucifixion was not the end. He also knew that His Father would raise him from the dead on the 3rd day.
So the women who went to the tomb that first Easter Sunday shouldn’t have been surprised to find it empty and shouldn’t have been afraid…but they were…just like we would have been had we been there. It takes the message of an angel to remind them of the things Jesus had kept telling them.
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”(Chapter 28 verses 5-6).
His death was no accident
His resurrection was no surprise
It was all part of God’s rescue plan to enable us to come to him, be forgiven by him and become part of his family…his kingdom.
Come and join us for our Easter Sunday service to find out why we still celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today. The service is at 10.30am, will last for about an hour and will be followed by refreshments including hot cross buns.
Life Explored will be a course running at Cheam Baptist Church from May. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.
Wishing you a very Happy Easter,
Pastor of Cheam Baptist Church