The resurrection message is one of love, mercy, grace

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 11, 2015

By the Rev. Ed Ganus

Last Sunday was Easter Sunday, and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Easter comes with the spring season, as new life comes to trees and flowers and the beauty of God’s creation begins to blossom out everywhere.

The resurrection of Jesus has great significance for everyone as the word of God is fulfilled.

The message given to us by the resurrection of Jesus is a message of love, grace, mercy, peace and power

The message of love is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The love of God was demonstrated by Jesus in his life; to the blind, as he gave them sight; to the lame, as he gave them strength to walk; to the deaf, as he gave them the ability to hear; and to these and all other sinners who would believe, as he gave them forgiveness.

Jesus taught his disciples that the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

He said we should love one another as he loves us.

Jesus demonstrated love in his death, as while he was being crucified, he looked upon even those who were crucifying him with love and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus showed his love after the resurrection as he appeared to the women who came to the tomb to take care of his body and found the tomb empty, and later to the disciples in the upper room and to over five hundred at one time. Greater love has never been demonstrated.

The message of grace is found in Jesus giving forgiveness to Simon Peter, in John 18:10, when he took a sword and cut off a High Priest’s servant’s ear, in the garden where Judas Iscarot betrayed Jesus.

Then Jesus healed the servants ear in Luke 22:51. Grace was received by the woman who was brought to Jesus after she was caught in the act of adultery and he said that the person without sin should cast the first stone.

After the resurrection Jesus through his Holy Spirit forgave Saul, who was persecuting the believers in Jesus; and Saul’s life was so changed that even his name was changed to Paul. Grace is receiving that which you do not deserve.

The message of mercy is found in Luke 23:40-43, when Jesus on the cross, grants mercy to a thief on the cross beside him. The thief said that he was dying justly, for he was receiving his due reward. He received no earthly mercy, but heavenly and Godly mercy and grace was granted him when Jesus said to him, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” I define mercy as not receiving that which you deserve in judgment. He was guilty and deserved punishment in hell fire, but he received love, grace and mercy from Jesus.

The message of peace is found in Jesus message to the disciples after the resurrection as they were closed up in a room very fearful of the Jews; and in John 20:19-29, Jesus told them three times in verses 19,2land 26, “Peace be unto you.”

He also blessed them to receive the Holy Spirit to give them constant peace. It brings peace to our hearts to know that the risen saviour walks with us as he promised in John 15:4, when he said, “Abide in me and I in you.” Know Jesus-know peace; no Jesus-no peace.

Power was demonstrated in the feet that the tomb was empty.

God had kept his promise as found in John 2:19, when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The same power, the power of God that raised Jesus from the grave will raise every born again person in the great resurrection, when Jesus returns as we are told in I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

My prayer is that if anyone who reads this is not born again that you will receive him now and follow him in life, in his church and then in the great Resurrection.