The disciples were discouraged and disappointed even after Jesus’ resurrection. They returned to fishing. Then the risen Lord appeared before them. He Commissioned them to follow him saying, “follow me…” – He is the Lord of the Easter! This Easter His commission for the church is that we follow Him. How do we follow the Lord of Easter?
1. By reserving our Supreme love for Christ
Read John 21:15 -17
A. Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me more than these?” (More than… others who also loved Jesus). Peter once declared that he would never deny the Lord, (Mark 14:27-31). After denying the Lord, Peter is not so quick to declare superior commitment. Those who love Christ genuinely don’t boast or compare with others.
B. Jesus asked again, “Peter, do you love me more than you love these men?” (Jesus is asking Peter whether he wants to be the leader among others or Jesus’ servant?). Disciples were used to bickering over positions constantly. Jesus taught that His disciples must “hate” (by comparison) father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters (Luke 14:26). Commitment to Christ is more important than man’s approval.
C. Jesus asked again, “Peter, do you love me more than… you love these things?” By “These things” Jesus referred to the security of earthly possessions. You don’t have to have money to love it, don’t you? You must be willing to leave “comfort zones” of life, and love Christ supremely in every area.
2. By voluntarily carrying our Crosses
John 21:18 -19
A. Jesus’ prophesy concerning the martyrdom of Peter. All the disciples except John the beloved were martyred in one way or the other.
B. Cross is the most shameful form of execution. It’s an unpleasant and unclean task. Therefore, choosing the crucified life is volitional, (2 Timothy 3:12)
C. We must be willing to carry out the cross without complaining, and not be surprised as if something strange is happening to us, (1 Peter 4:12-13)
3. By displaying Unconditional Obedience
A. God’s will is always in agreement with the Word and the Holy Spirit. Ex: Calling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis chapter 22. God’s plan did not allow for human sacrifice, however. Abraham believed even if Isaac dies, God will raise him from the dead because Isaac was the promised son, (Hebrews 11:17-19). Abraham proved that he loved God more than the blessing.
B. We exercise unconditional obedience through a positive attitude towards God’s will. Jonah obeyed but did not agree with God’s decision to spare Nineveh in Jonah chapter 4. In Acts chapter 10 Peter had to adjust his thinking concerning ministry to Gentiles. In Philippians chapter 3 Paul found his greatest delight in following Christ at any cost.
C. James 1:17 shows God’s way is the best while Psalm 18:30 shows it’s perfect and flawless, Then in Isaiah 55:8-9 and Romans 11:33 we read God’s ways beyond human comprehension. Finally, in Proverbs 3:5-6 his ways are trustworthy.
This Easter lets us remember that what matters is not the Easter itself but the person behind it. God is calling us to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. Would you like to invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life and savior of your soul if you haven’t done it yet?
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