By Pastor Tony Ojamiren.
Before the sun of the world rose on Easter Sunday, Jesus who is the Sun of righteousness who rose with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2).
Easter is the celebration of hope that is restored, a celebration of the second chance and it brings healing to the brokenness of humanity.
Easter is about Christ’s Forgiveness, faithfulness, healing and hope restored (Peter was restored)
In Easter, Jesus shows His forgiveness and His faithfulness. We live in a world today that is full of hatred, unforgiveness, violence, racism, persecution and intolerance.
Living in this Covid environment has truly exposed the heart of humanity: fear has become the norm, frailty, vulnerabilities, fragmented relationship, intolerance, segregated community and no respect for each other’s convictions.
Easter is about forgiveness, it is about tolerance and it is about live and let's live.
Jesus appeared in order to show His forgiveness:
Luke 22:31-32 '... I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail, and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
Though Peter failed in his confidence in his flesh, just as we are bound to fail, he was a dejected and discouraged man after he denied his Master and Lord. When Jesus rose up on Sunday morning, the angel of the Lord said in Mark 16:7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
The specific mention of Peter was to show him that Jesus is the God of the second chance.
In John 21:15-17 “Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? (The three times He asked Peter indicates to us the three times that Peter denied Jesus). Then feed my lambs, My sheep and My lamb, Jesus told him.”
Easter brings forgiveness, healing and hope.
No matter how much you have messed up, Easter is the celebration of the second chance.
In John 20:1-18, we read that, out of all appearances of Jesus, John the Apostle only selected two: The reason is that John wants to prove that Jesus is God. He appeared to: 1). Mary Magdalene and 2). The Ten disciples. Jesus also appeared in Luke 24:13 to two of his disciples on their way to Emmaus.
The sceptics might question why Jesus did not appear to the leaders of the Jews, the chief priest and those who instigated Pilate to crucify Jesus.
I believe Jesus did not appear to them, because they believed what Jesus said that He will rise again. It was this fact that motivated them to asked Pilate to dispatch soldiers to guard the tomb- Matt. 27:62-65.
Jesus appeared to His disciples to show them prove of His resurrection because they really do not believe – Mark 16:14. (Remember our dear friend Thomas – John 20:24-29).
He appeared to Mary to show His faithfulness: He appeared to Mary not only to show that He is bodily alive but to show His faithfulness. Mary was not a woman with some kind of flashy life. She was a scarlet woman (flagrantly immoral or unchaste woman) – just like you and I before we accepted Jesus as our Saviour.
She was the one that Christ cast out 7 demons. She was not an apostle. She has no prime place in the ministry of the Church. He appeared to her to show her His personal faithfulness and love. He showed it to that one disciple that no matter how insignificant you think you might be, Jesus will always show his faithfulness to you.
This is a very powerful lesson for us. You might say, why would Jesus appear to a scarlet woman like Mary?
You might think His first appearance would have been to Peter, John, James or the apostles and would have gone from there and it would be unnecessary to appear first to Mary. But not so because Jesus first of all is a loving God who create time for those who create time for Him. While the rest of His disciples were docking for cover, Mary went to look for her Master even though her intention was to anoint His Body.
So Jesus picked out the one who loved Him more dearly and more deeply than others.
Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little."
He appeared to her to show her His personal loving faithfulness.
This is the kind of God we serve. He is not the kind who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord and the Lord showed His faithfulness He owed to His own. Just like Mary sought her risen lord and found Him, He will make Himself known to you if you seek Him with all of your heart – Jer. 29:13. Just like Jesus forgave and restored Peter, He will restore you today if you will repent and turn to Him with all of your heart.
Easter is not a religious celebration, it for us to reflect and be grateful to God for the complete work Jesus did for us on the cross and for His resurrection.
Ps 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. THUS the need for God’s penalty on Jesus, shedding His Blood and dying on the cross.
Receive Him TODAY and place a demand on Christ’s complete work and you will be saved and restored and your Easter will be worthwhile. Amen.
Your Friend, Tony