Easter 2024

3 simple words can change everything. How many kids have grown up thinking they are worthless and someone takes them in and says “I love you.” Weddings we say “I am yours” … Did you know that God changed everything with 3 simple words? I want to pick up this Easter story with how it all began...

• Last Supper (Jesus gave us an idea of what was happening - communion elements broken bread was his broken body and the wine was His blood shed for our forgiveness)

Matthew 26:26–28 (NLT)

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

• Praying in Gethsemane (Sweat blood asking God to make this cup pass from Him)

Matthew 26:36–46 (NLT)

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

• He was then betrayed by Judas

• He stood many trial throughout the night

• He stood a mock trial where Barabas was released

• He was flogged (cat-o-nine-tails: no more than three feet in length; leather handle with strands of leather protruding from it - each strand of leather has a sharp piece of bone or something sharp attached to the end of it.)

• He was beaten and mocked (they shoved a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head - spit on Him - beat Him in the head with rods)

• He was forced to carry his own cross (after enduring all of this He had to carry this heavy cross on his ripped open body - it was too much so they had to get Simon from Cyrene to help carry it)

• He was crucified (nailed in His wrists and his feet)

John 19:28-30 (NIV)

Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."


These three little words changed everything

   • It didn’t look like God had the victory, but God called His shot

       • Your life might look like the cross, but your future looks like the resurrection - You maybe down now but you are not out. You might look beaten up but God's got a bright future for you.

What was He saying?

When He said "it is finished" He was saying that His mission to seek and save was complete. That the penalty for sin was paid, and the door was open for everyone to come to the Father. He was saying:

You are loved • You are forgiven • Your past is erased • Shame is silenced • Life has meaning • You have purpose • You have value • Freedom is yours • Healing is yours • Heaven is yours • No more shackles • Addiction is broken • You are new • Death to life • Lost now found • You are called • God in you ON A MISSION

We see that…

Jesus Shows us the Discipline of focus

Focus on the joy

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


It doesn’t mean you won’t feel weak

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

His power will lift you

Ephesians 1:19–20 (NLT)

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.