THE MAIN THING!
Since that one special night when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I have heard and given many Easter messages. But, when I was going out the church door heading back into my daily life, was I taking the “main thing” about Easter with me? When you ask folks what they consider is the “main thing”, the majority would rightfully say that Jesus died for their sins. Others might say that He rose from the dead. And still others would say that He ascended into Heaven. All the above answers are correct but not the answer I have in mind. Maybe I need to restate my question, “What is the main thing about Easter that you should apply to your life.” The answer is found in Acts 1:1-11
1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit.
Did you notice how Jesus invested Himself into His chosen apostles so that they would be prepared to carry out their part of God’s mission? And that mission was to spread the “Good News” that Jesus, God’s Son, died on a cross for the sins of every person whoever lived or would ever live on this earth. The best news is that Jesus said He would give further instructions through the Holy Spirit. That means that right now the Holy Spirit has special mission instructions for every believer who will open his or her spirit to receive them.
3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
Jesus showed up in the midst of the apostles to prove He defeated Satan’s most feared threat, DEATH. Before the apostles could become effective witnesses of Christ’s death and resurrection, they had to believe it for themselves. It is impossible for you to be an effective carrier of God’s Good News until you know, to the very core of your being, that Jesus is alive and living within you. All the blessings God pours into your life prove His Son is living within you.
4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Do you see the warning and the promise in these verses? As a new believer you have a natural desire and enthusiasm to share the love Jesus demonstrated in your life. But, you are to wait for the Holy Spirit to equip and release you to spread the “Good News”. Only then will your mission work be effective in the lives of your family and others that the Holy Spirit will draw into your life.
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.
Too often you, like the apostles, are more interested in God’s future events rather than focusing on the directions He has for you today. It is a powerful demonstration of your trust in your Heavenly Father when you leave the future in His hands and walk hand-in-hand with Him today.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus challenged His disciples—and you—to tell others about the love of God. THIS IS THE MAIN THING YOU ARE TO TAKE WITH YOU LONG AFTER EASTER SUNDAY HAS PASSED. And you will have the power of the Holy Spirit within you to accomplish this mission.
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Jesus is asking you the same question these white-robed men asked the apostles, “Why are you standing and not going?” Are you straining to see where Jesus is working in your life? To see the Lord’s work in your life, you must go into the mission field that surrounds you. Only then will you be fulfilling the Lord’s work until He returns.
The Main Thing about celebrating Easter is
bringing the Good News to the lost that their sins are forgiven.
And, that Jesus has prepared a place for them in Heaven.
– A message from Pastor Larry Schreiner