Read John 20
The day before Christ rose from the dead on Saturday must have been pretty rough for His followers. Death had won. Even though Christ had directly spoken about His resurrection, people just didn’t understand that concept. They could not fathom it happening, even though Christ had proven He already had power over the grave by raising Lazarus from death to life.
If one of the disciples wrote a letter to Christ right now, what would it say? On the eve before His crucifixion they had all deserted Him in the garden. Judas had betrayed. Peter had denied Christ three times in a row to save his own life. And to top it all off, as Christ was being led away by the soldiers, Matthew 26: 56 reminds us that the remaining disciples fled. Would guilt be flooding their souls now? What would they say to Christ? Or here’s another question … what would Christ say to them?
Let’s ponder that. If Jesus’ spirit was to talk to the disciples now, what would He say? I imagine it might go something like this …
My beloved disciples … Do not worry! I know you feel awful for what happened the other night, but you are forgiven. Seventy times seven, you are forgiven. Keep faith in what I have told you already. Tomorrow the world will be changed forever. Tomorrow God’s biggest miracle will come to life.
You cannot comprehend what just happened on the cross yesterday. You are but children, infants at that, in terms of your spiritual walks, and you have your whole lives to live and grow in God. Let’s boil this down to the simplest of terms so you can see.
I died for all of you. Every single human on this earth, I died for them all. That Roman soldier who speared me? Pilate? The Jews who called me out to be crucified? Yes, I died for them all. We all sin. We all fall short of where God needs us to be. That is where my sacrifice comes in.
Every time you sin, you deserve God’s punishment, and that punishment does come down like a clap of thunder followed by a bolt of lightning from the sky. The moment you deserve it, I take the blow. I step in immediately and take the punishment you deserve. Why? Because of my undying love for you.
So long as you give your life to God, confess your wrongs, and seek repentance in My name, you are forgiven. Not a bad deal if I do say so myself. If you love God, if you truly love the Lord, you will give yourself to Him. You will seek to please God through your own actions.
But it is not by these deeds that you earn a place next to Me in heaven. Acts of kindness alone cannot bring you to my Father’s home. Yes, He has plenty of rooms for you all, but you will only be there if you die to yourself and live for God alone.
Fear not! I will be with you! Through the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, I will be inside you all. I will guide you. I will be your conscience favoring what the Lord thinks is best. And I will guide you for all your earthly lives until it is time to see Me again in heaven.
Gentlemen, just wait for tomorrow. We will see each other again. The grave may be powerful, but God is stronger. Satan may be gloating now, but tomorrow he will see who has already won the battle of good versus evil. You will be the force behind God’s power. Through your bold witnessing to others, our God will live forever in the hearts of those who believe.