BRP Insight Post for Week of May 7th, 2019
Today we read about The Resurrection of Jesus and The Great Commission. When Jesus died, he was placed in a tomb with a huge stone blocking the entrance. The Chief Priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus saying he would rise again after three days, so they also asked Pilate to post guards at the tomb. They were worried Jesus’ disciples might steal the body and spread a rumor that he rose from the dead, and they weren’t willing to risk this. How sweet their victory dance would be when they made it to day four with a dead body still in the tomb!
What happens next sounds like a scene from an Avengers movie. Spoiler alert! Don’t worry. If you haven’t seen Avengers End Game yet, you can keep reading. I wouldn’t ruin it for you nor am I too fond of being beaten up! I will, however, take my chances by revealing what happens next in Matthew 28.
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”(2-4)
Move over Thor! This was just ONE angel. Can you imagine a whole army of angels? The power of God is inconceivable. It was time for Jesus to wrap up this part of his mission. The angel went on to say, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”(6a) Jesus is the real deal. He did exactly what he said he would do and nothing could stop him. Only God has power over life and death!
Now, at the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus shares the next phase of the mission. It is called The Great Commission and there are two key players: the followers of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Jesus met with the eleven disciples at the Mount of Olives and he said,
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (19-20)
Jesus was speaking to each of the eleven disciples as well as all followers of Christ from that day forward. To be a follower of Christ was to be a disciple maker and a person known for their obedience to a new way of living. Jesus lays all this out and then he announces he is leaving. What! He just rose from the dead, gave them an impossible mission, and now he was leaving?? He promised to return at an unknown time in the future and told his followers to get busy. In the meantime, Jesus was stepping out of the center ring, and the Holy Spirit was stepping in. We are currently living in this chapter of history. So, if you are a follower of Christ, you have a mission and a purpose! YOU MATTER! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And in the process you might even find a life you never imagined possible. “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” (Mark 8:35 LB) We are so inspired when we see Avengers risk everything and put themselves out there for the sake of others. Followers of Christ REALLY get the opportunity to be a part of a cosmic mission!
Director of Small Group & Lay Counseling Ministries