Impact of the Resurrection
What impact did Easter have on your week?
How did it change your perspectives of life and activities?
What changes did Jesus’ death for your sin and His resurrection make in the environment where you were?
Let’s look at how these events changed the disciples who followed Jesus on Earth and before Pentecost.
God’s miraculous sign in the resurrection
- God had said to see Him in the miraculous; see Exodus 34.10.
- Jesus had shown God to men through His miracles; see John 15.24 and Acts 2.22.
- The love of God was demonstrated in Jesus’ words to us disciples in Matthew 10.7-8 and about us in John 12.18; see also Acts 26.16-18.
- Both Peter and Paul used Jesus’ resurrection to evidence His standing with God; see Acts 2.32-36 and Acts 17.30-31. He is Lord! He is Messiah! He will be Judge!
The disciples became more confident after Jesus’ resurrection.
- They realized that every other word from God was true, for He had resurrected Jesus; see Luke 24.44-53. Jesus ‘opened their understanding’ of the Scriptures; verse 45. He encouraged them to await expectantly the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower them (and us) for service; verse 49 and John 14.26.
- They realized that their lives had been forever changed and so must their lifestyles.
- See John 20.30-21.25. There is no uncertainty when God leads; walk with confidence! Jesus’ dialogue with Peter reminded him of His original call; see Mark 1.16-18. Jesus’ words to Peter about His task for John remind us to keep our eyes focused upon Him, to fulfill His purpose individually; see John 21.22.
- Change means we cannot go back. Illustrations in life include joining the military, getting married, and having children. In 2 Corinthians 5.17, Paul proclaims that we are ‘new creations’ when we accept Jesus as Savior. In 1 Corinthians 13.11, he infers that we must ‘put away childish things’ and make Jesus Lord.
- Such iterations of life are working out God’s plan for our lives; see Jeremiah 29.11.
- They realized that they would have Jesus’ power wherever they went.
- What gives you confidence? Money in the bank; knowledge of facts and truth; superior position; close walk with Jesus.
- In Mark 16.20, John reminds us of this reality and ‘authority’ of Jesus with us until the end of the age. Jesus, actually, does the ‘work’ of the ‘word’ (Jesus) that He commissioned in verses 17-18. Jesus said this would be His work, in Luke 4.17-21 (see Isaiah 61.1-3).
- Remember that these ‘good works’ (Ephesians 2.10) were done by Jesus (Acts 10.38) and the Apostles (Matthew 10.7-8; Luke 10.17) and given for us to do (John 17.18). How do John 5.19-20 and Acts 2.22 add to your understanding of this?
- Jesus’ power would do the work through them to confirm His name by ‘accompanying signs’. Paul’s confidence in this is expressed in Philippians 2.11 and 1 Corinthians 2.4-5. This should be our declaration and lifestyle, too. See Acts 3.6, 16, and Acts 4.12; 2 Kings 5.3 also.
- They realized that they would be changing people from the inside out.
- People follow leaders; for example, Oprah and Buffett and Choptra. These present popular ideas that answer questions to guide thinking. Consider these cautions, however: Matthew 15.11, Jeremiah 8.9 and Jeremiah 13.10, Hosea 4.6, and Romans 6.16. Jesus contrasted truth from lie in Matthew 7.13-14 and John 14.6.
- Our job is ‘search and rescue’. Jesus called Paul to retrieve the deceived from satan’s kingdom (Acts 26.16-18 and Ephesians 4.17-24 and Colossians 2.8-9). These instructions are for us, too.
- Note what Jesus said in Matthew 28.19-20. Making disciples, essentially, is ‘making’ people into the image of Christ, as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 3.18. A disciple follows a discipline established by the teacher or master, like is described in Matthew 10.7-8. Notice that the challenge is to make disciples of ‘all the nations’, as Jesus repeated in Acts 1.8. Finally, God would achieve His goal of Exodus 19.6. Paul restated this in 2 Corinthians 5.20-21.
- The Holy Spirit crosses our paths with those He is seeking (Isaiah 55.5). He did this dramatically with Peter and John in Acts 3.1-26. Faith in the name ‘Jesus’ had healed the paralytic. The sight of him now walking drew the curious with questions. Peter answered as Jesus had instructed in Matthew 10.7-8. See Acts 4.12 also.
- Signs and wonders convince people of the superiority of Jesus over the demons they have followed. See Acts 2.43 and 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.
- Again, in Matthew 28.19, Jesus said to baptize the disciples ‘into’ the ‘name’ of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. One ‘name’ – Jesus (John 17.6, 11-12) – God’s name! ‘Into’ is best described by Jesus in John 17.20-23; Jesus ‘in’ God and us ‘in’ Jesus; us in God and God in us! (Light through us into the dark world.)
- Baptize is an interesting word, with a deeper meaning than the traditions of most Christian denominations. ‘Baptizing’ is baptizo, not bapto (Greek); that is, soaking thoroughly, not just washing the outside. To illustrate, you wash a cucumber to get the dirt off; it becomes a pickle only by being left in vinegar until permeated. Acts 19.1-7 explains this by illustration.
- People would be ‘soaked’ ‘into’ the ‘name’ by being taught to ‘observe to do’ everything Jesus had taught the disciples to do and teach. Read all of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ words and deeds to understand what we are to teach by word and deed. By such, the ‘sheep’ Jesus assigns to us are fed, do not fear, are not dismayed, and will not lack (Jeremiah 23.4). Like us, they grow from being sheep to becoming shepherds of new sheep. All of this by imitating Jesus; 2 Corinthians 3.16.
- The inward change is seen in outward manifestations; see Acts 3.16 and Acts 4.12 and Acts 10.38. Each generation of new Christians, thus, confirms the connection of Exodus 34.10 to John 15.24 to John 17.18. And, God continues to be magnified! See Colossians 3.16-17 and Ephesians 3.20-21.
Questions for contemplation and discussion:
- Do I understand what the disciples of Jesus did?
- What do people want most? See Psalm 103.1-6 and Luke 4.17-21.
- How can my faith be strengthened by the resurrection? See Ephesians 1.19-21 and Ephesians 3.20-21.
- How can I keep from charging off in my strength or following someone else? See Isaiah 26.3, 12 and Isaiah 64.4.
- What ‘signs’ accompany my words? See Colossians 3.16-17, 23-24 and Jeremiah 32.27. How can I change this? What does Ezekiel 22.30 have to do with this?
- How can I let Jesus live through me? See John 5.19-20 and Colossians 2.6-10