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What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You | The Cost of Calvary

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2024 3:00 am

What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You | The Cost of Calvary

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 15, 2024 3:00 am

Most of us are wired to look for a good deal. We like to exchange something of lesser value for something of greater value. Well, on a spiritual level, Jesus offers us an arrangement that’s too good to refuse. We owed a debt we couldn’t pay, but Jesus stepped in and paid a debt He didn’t owe. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us appreciate the price paid at Calvary. But even more remarkably: after Jesus died for our sins, He rose again.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life, so He could treat you as if you had lived His life. Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness. And Pastor Greg Laurie says Jesus rose again for our justification. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God.

Isn't that great to know? You're accepted by God. You're loved by God. Listen, God's not mad at you.

God is mad about you. Most of us are wired to look for a good deal. We like to exchange something of lesser value for something of greater value. Well, on a spiritual level, Jesus offers us an arrangement that's too good to refuse. We owed a debt we couldn't pay, but Jesus stepped in and paid a debt He didn't owe. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us appreciate the price paid at Calvary. But even more remarkably, after Jesus died for our sins, He rose again. Hey everybody, why don't you grab your Bible and turn to two passages of Scripture, Mark 16 and John chapter 20.

And the title of my message is, What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You. If you've ever lost a loved one, unexpectedly you know how it feels. There's shock. There's disbelief. Sometimes followed with denial.

Even anger. A deep sadness that sets in. You realize that that person that was so much a part of your life is no longer there. You can't have a conversation with them. You can't hear from them again.

Your world as you know it suddenly changes overnight. I bring that up because that's exactly how the disciples felt 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ, their Savior, their Lord, their Master, was murdered in cold blood before their very eyes. They watched it happen.

And they watched the Roman soldier take his spear and thrust it into Jesus. And out came blood and water indicating a complete heart failure. Clearly He was gone. And they never got to say goodbye. He was taken from them.

So in their minds the dream was over. And also in their minds I might add it appeared that Jesus had failed in this mission. This is indicated in a conversation He had after His resurrection with two disciples on the road to Emmaus as recorded in Luke's Gospel. They did not realize they were talking with the risen Lord. And He asked them what had been happening lately. And they said, well haven't you heard about Jesus and all the things that He did.

And then I think it's kind of funny really. Jesus said, no tell me what things. And they're telling Jesus about Jesus.

And here's what they said. We were hoping He would have been the one to deliver Israel. But it's been three days since He was crucified. Hoping. Notice. Past tense. Their hope was gone.

The dream was gone. And everything seemed to be going perfectly up to that moment. When Jesus got on that donkey and rode in Jerusalem and the people laid the palm branches down before Him crying out Hosanna the disciple said, finally everyone knows what we have known. That this is the Messiah. But then suddenly He is not Himself. Or so it would seem in the upper room when He is talking about betrayal. And then one of their own turns out to be the betrayer Judas Iscariot.

And then Simon Peter of course denies Him. And they see Him unraveling as it would seem in the Garden of Gethsemane as He is crying out to the Father and literally sweating blood. All of this was happening. But here's the problem. The writers of the Gospels had never read the Gospels you see.

They were experiencing this in real time. They didn't know how the story actually ended. They didn't understand that the incarnation was for the death of Jesus. The incarnation was for the purpose of the atonement. The birth of Jesus was so there would be the death of Jesus. It was all part of God's master plan. Later Simon Peter preaching to the very men who crucified Jesus said in Acts chapter 2, this Jesus following the deliberate and well thought out plan of God was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands.

Did you catch that? It was the deliberate well thought out plan of God. The crucifixion.

The resurrection. The deliberate well thought out plan of God. And by the way God has a deliberate well thought out plan for you as well. Because I know there are things that happen in your life that make no sense when you lose a loved one or when you get bad news from a doctor or when some tragedy befalls you. You think where is God in all this?

God is right there. And He has a plan and He has a purpose. Maybe with the passing of time you will understand that plan of purpose. And maybe you won't fully understand it until you get to the other side and you realize in heaven why God allowed that to happen. But just be assured of this one thing. God has a deliberate well thought out plan for you.

And ultimately that plan for you is good. Because God can take your ending and turn it into a new beginning. And that is what happened for these disciples. In our last message we talked about what the death of Jesus means for you. Now let's talk about what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to you. Mark chapter 16.

I am reading verses 1 to 8. Saturday evening when the Sabbath ended Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body. Very early on Sunday morning just at sunrise they went to the tomb and on the way they were asking each other who is going to roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb. But as they arrived they looked up and saw the stone which was very large had already been rolled aside. And when they entered the tomb they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side.

And they were shocked. And then the angel said, don't be afraid. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He isn't here. He is risen from the dead. Look this is where they laid His body. Now go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see Him there just as He told you before He died.

The women fled from the tomb trembling and bewildered and said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. So Jesus has been crucified and an amazing series of events are happening in the aftermath of it. First of all there was that global darkness that took place.

You remember from 12 in the afternoon to 3 o'clock. Then the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. In the temple where the Jews would go to worship God there was a veil which was really a very thick curtain. It would almost be like a wall. A material wall of sorts that separated the inner sanctum, the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.

No it is not in a warehouse somewhere if you watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. So they had the Ark of the Covenant. And that veil symbolized that separation between God and man. Now the veil is ripped not from bottom to top as though man is doing it. It is ripped from top to bottom because God is saying this veil is gone and you will have access to Me through My Son Jesus Christ. Also we are told that dead people were resurrected and were walking around the streets of Jerusalem. This is one of the most interesting verses in the Bible to me.

So you are walking in town and you go, hey is that Uncle Harry? Didn't we just bury him a couple of days ago? It was sort of like a preview of things to come. Dead people were coming back to life. I see dead people who are alive again. And so then there was a great earthquake that followed.

So this is an amazing series of events. And so these women that we just read about come to the tomb hopefully to anoint the body of Jesus and they find the tomb empty. And the angel tells them that Christ is risen.

Matthew tells us of this event in Matthew 28 they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy. Have you ever had fear and great joy at the same time? Maybe when you got on a roller coaster. There is fear. Like I am going to die.

And there is great joy. But it is so much fun. I have given up on roller coasters by the way.

I rode them many years and then one day I just realized I don't even like this and I don't know if I ever liked it. As you get older you don't want to take those kinds of risks anymore. For me now taking a risk is ordering something different in the restaurant.

I am going to try that chef's salad instead of the normal hamburger and fries I get every time. Listen you know you are getting older when you go to the same table in the same restaurant at the same time and order the same thing. There is a lot of signs of getting older aren't there?

You know you are getting older when you drop something and when you bend down to get it you wonder if there is anything else you can do while you are down there. You know there is a lot of bands that were very popular in the late 60s and they had great hits that many of us still remember. And it is funny a lot of young people are rediscovering these bands. And you will see kids walking around with t-shirts with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and all these bands. The Rolling Stones. The Beatles and so forth. But a lot of those bands have had to rework some of their hits.

They don't do them quite the way they used to. I met Peter Noon by the way not too long ago who was Herman of Herman's Hermits. And he is a wonderful guy. Had so many amazing stories. But well remember that song by Herman's Hermits. Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely dough tap. Remember that one? Now they have updated it to Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely walker.

Because Mrs. Brown is a lot older today. Abba. Remember Dancing Queen. That is denture queen now.

They have had to update it. The Beatles. That big hit that Ringo would sing I get by with a little help from my friends has now been updated to I get by with a little help from Depends.

Crystal Gale. Remember her song Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Now it's Don't It Make My Brown Hair Blue. Eagles are no longer singing Heartache Tonight. They are singing Heartburn Tonight probably from the eight.

Jerry Lee Lewis. He is no longer singing a whole lot of shaking going on. Now it is rather a whole lot of aching going on. Leo Sayer used to sing You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. Now he sings You Make Me Feel Like Napping. Lynyrd Skynyrd no longer sing about Sweet Home Alabama.

Now it is Rest Home Alabama. Nancy Sinatra no longer sings These Boots Are Made For Walking. Now she sings These Boots Are Giving Me Arthritis. So you see they have all had to update their songs.

I have two more. These are the jokes people. The Who. Remember talking about my generation. Now it's talking about my medication. And finally the Troggs had a big hit Wild Thing.

Now they have named it Bald Thing. And my theme song by the way. But so there are things that we don't like to do as we get older.

We don't like to take risks necessarily. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We really enjoy when Harvest Ministries and Pastor Greg's teachings are impacting lives. Pastor Greg, you are my favorite pastor. You preach from the heart and I learned so much from you. God bless you and your family. I told my daughter and her family about you.

They live right by your church and have started attending. Praise the Lord. Hi Pastor Greg, your book, Fame, along with the Jesus Revolution film has led me back to Jesus. They've also shown God's love for a sinner like me.

Thank you so much. It's a privilege to be able to provide so many resources through Harvest Ministries. Check them out for yourself at harvest.org. And would you consider becoming a Harvest Partner? If so, you can make a donation at harvest.org.

That's harvest.org. Well today, Pastor Greg is helping us peer through the lens of Scripture to the first century when the disciples are filled with mixed emotions, having learned that Jesus is no longer dead but alive. Let's continue today's message. They're experiencing this joy and excitement and they're trying to figure it out. They don't understand what has actually happened to them. And then they see the risen Lord. We have to pull from different gospels to get the whole story. In Matthew 28 we read, they went to tell his disciples and behold Jesus met them saying rejoice. So they came and held them by their feet and worshiped them.

Now it's an interesting phrase there when it says Jesus met them. It speaks of the common greeting that one would receive in the marketplace. Just if you saw someone and said hello. If you're on a walk, you see someone walk by. Hey, how are you? Have a nice day. Just common greeting.

That is the phrase that is used here when it says Jesus met them. I find that fascinating because it's so low key. It's so casual. You know, in different parts of the country we greet each other in different ways. If you're in the south, you'll see something along the lines of hey, hey, how y'all doing? How y'all doing? Right? In Hawaii it will be aloha.

Or how's that bra? In Australia they'll say g'day. In New York City they ignore you. And then they'll say something like what are you looking at me? And followed up by well forget about it.

That's one word by the way. And here is the risen Lord who greets his disciples. He's so casual. He's just like oh hey guys. How's it going? Aloha. How are you?

Really relaxed about the whole thing. And they can't believe their eyes. They are looking at Jesus. And so they grab him by the feet and they worship him. And that's because they recognize he was God.

You know a number of years ago I was driving with two of my grandkids in the car. Allie and Christopher. At that particular time Allie was age five and Christopher was age three. And they're having this conversation. And Allie turns to Christopher and says Christopher Jesus is God and God is Jesus. And I'm thinking that's very good you know for a five year old to understand that. And I was very impressed by that. And then she said he lives in our heart and someday he'll live in our stomach.

You have to talk a little more about what that all means. But Jesus was God. And he was worshiped by his disciples. Coming back to our story we see Mary Magdalene is mentioned in verse one.

What a unique lady she is. Mary Magdalene first to the tomb. So she sees that the stone has been rolled away and immediately tells Peter and John. And if we go over to John's gospel we'll see that they then begin to run to the tomb. So she says Jesus is risen. And they run to the tomb. I love that.

You know boys will be boys right. And it became an actual race. Because John mentions he beat Peter in the race. He says the disciple whom Jesus loved outran the other one. So that's maybe one of the perks of writing the gospel. You get to remind people about who actually won the race. So they see the empty tomb.

And they come back. John believes. He looks in there.

He realizes what is happening. The Christ is alive. And the Bible says Peter walked away perplexed.

And that brings us to our next text. John chapter 20. Let's see what else happened to Mary Magdalene.

John chapter 20 verse 11. But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping. And as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting.

One at the head the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said to her, woman why are you weeping? She said to them, because they have taken away my Lord and I don't know where they have laid Him. Now when she had said this she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, woman why are you weeping?

Whom are you seeking? She thinking he was a gardener said, sir if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away. And Jesus then said, Mary.

Mary responded by saying, Rabboni, which means teacher. And she grabs hold of Christ. And He said, don't cling to me for I have not yet ascended to my Father and to your Father. And I am going to ascend to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.

Wow. The persistence of Mary paid off didn't it. Everyone else was gone. But she stayed and she meets the risen Lord. And what does He say? Don't cling to me. She is holding on to Him.

Now you wonder what is going on here. Because it is not that you could not touch the risen Lord. Because in fact He appears in the upper room to the disciples and Thomas who we call Downing. Thomas was there and Jesus said, go ahead and put your hand in my side and touch the wounds in my hand. So He could be touched.

Maybe it was the way she was holding on to Him. She was grabbing so tightly and He says, Mary, don't cling to me. I think in effect He is saying, Mary everything has changed now. Effectively it is a whole new ball game. It is not going to be the way it was before.

In the past I was there where you could reach out and touch me physically. But it is going to be different Mary. And it is going to be better. Because now I am going to come and live in your heart. And I will always be there.

And we will never be separated again. And what is true of Mary is true for all of us. By the way it was a revolutionary thought to say to a first century Jew that God was their father.

They would not refer to God in such a way. But Jesus is saying He is our Father now too. How did He teach us to pray in what we call the Lord's Prayer. He said after this manner therefore pray our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Your name. And by the way Jesus made many post resurrection appearances. Acts chapter 1 verse 3 says He presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs being seen by them for 40 days. And that phrase seen by them can be translated to be eyeballed by Him.

So in other words they are not believing their eyes. They are looking at Jesus. And He is appearing again and again and again. He appears to Peter.

And we don't know what happened there. We just know He appeared to him. And then He appeared to him again in John chapter 20 and recommissioned him. Then He appeared to Thomas that I mentioned.

On another occasion He appeared to 500 at one time. He appeared to the two disciples walking on the Emmaus road. But remember the title of this message is what does the resurrection of Jesus mean to you. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God.

Let me say that again. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I am accepted by God. Romans 4 25 says He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Somewhere I don't know how this happens but people, even Christians sometimes think that you must earn the favor of God. You must do certain things and then God will love you.

But the opposite is the case. There is nothing you can do to earn the favor of God. And the fact is God loves you no matter what you do. And the resurrection of Christ proves this. We read again there in Romans 4 25. He was raised to life for our justification.

What does that mean? That means when you put your faith in Christ you are justified. To be justified means number one you are forgiven of all of your sins. So if you put your faith in Christ your sins are forgiven by God and they are forgotten by God and He has put the righteousness of Christ into your moral bank account if you will. On the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life so He could treat you as if you had lived His life. That is not original to me but it is a perfect description of justification.

Let me repeat it. On the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life so He could treat you as if you had lived His life. So again the resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God.

Isn't that great to know? You are accepted by God. You are loved by God. Listen God is not mad at you.

God is mad about you. Great encouragement about our standing before God. From Pastor Greg Laurie's message today on A New Beginning called What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You and there's more to come. But before we go any further Pastor Greg I know you had a further word you wanted to share. So as you've been listening today maybe you've thought to yourself man I wish I had this relationship with God that is being talked about.

Well you can. He's only a prayer away. You see becoming a Christian it doesn't take years, it doesn't take months, it doesn't take weeks, it doesn't even take hours. It can happen in a moment.

That's how it happened for me. I just heard the gospel and all of a sudden I realized this is all true and maybe you've realized that as well. Let me ask you would you like Jesus Christ to come into your life? Would you like Him to forgive you of your sin? Would you like this relationship with God we've been talking about today? If so why don't you just pray a simple prayer with me. Say this to God, Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus I turn from my sin and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord as my God and friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer and I ask this in Jesus name. Amen. Hey did you just pray that prayer? If so I want to send you at no charge what we call a new believer's bible. Here's Dave to tell you more and let me just say congratulations. You've made the right decision. Yeah that's right and listen to help you begin to live this new life.

This life where you're at peace with God and can begin to enjoy the peace of God. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believer's Bible. It's the perfect resource for someone who's new to the faith. We'll send it free of charge if you'll just contact us and request it. Call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God.

And then no doubt you've heard the name Levi Lusko. He's a pastor and an author and a good friend of ours and he's just released a new devotional book for kids called Marvel at the Moon. Here's a sample of one of the devotions. This is devotion number five of 90. In the middle of the milky way trust in him at all times pour out your heart to him for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62 8. What's in the middle of the milky way galaxy? Well it's not creamy chocolate and caramel. It's a supermassive black hole formed long long ago by a dying star. It's named Sagittarius A. Scientists think Sagittarius A could be as big as 16 million miles across.

Our own sun is only about 865,000 miles across. The gravity of a black hole is so strong that it pulls in everything around it even light. Once something gets sucked into a black hole there's no escape. Emotions like anger, jealousy, worry and fear can sometimes feel like a black hole sucking all the joy and light from our lives. If we let those emotions explode onto the people around us they can suck away all the joy and light too. If you're feeling angry, jealous, worried or afraid don't explode and don't stuff your feelings inside then pretend you're not feeling the thing. Tell God everything you've been thinking and feeling.

You can even tell him you're upset with him. God is big enough to handle your biggest and toughest emotions. He'll help you escape them and he'll pour his light and joy back into your life. Well, thanks to 10-year-old Titus for reading that for us. That's good counsel, Pastor Levi, and all of the devotions are full of great counsel. This must have been a lot of fun to write this book.

Oh, absolutely. I nerded out so much, just all of it. Even just thinking about things like what the astronauts had to go through before they could land on the moon.

Many people don't know that before Neil Armstrong took that famous step after landing on the moon, he had already successfully landed on the moon 2,000 times in simulation. The practice it took in the simulators, by the time he did it, it was muscle memory. It was honed. It was old hat.

He knew just what to do. I compare that to us having quiet times. What are we doing when we pray and read scripture and go to church every week?

We're training for trials we're not yet in. In a large way, we're as parents to get our kids ready for the difficulties, the trials, the hardships of life. You know, we think about Daniel successfully praying when it meant going to the lion's den. Well, I think that it's far more significant that he prayed when he wasn't going to the lion's den. The Bible says that Daniel prayed as his custom was since early days.

So when his parents had him before he ended up in Babylon, he was training for trials he wasn't yet in. And I think if we teach our kids to do today what others won't do, they'll tomorrow be able to do what others can't do. Well, that's a great insight.

That's a key. We need to teach our kids how to pray, not just teach them a prayer. You know, it's a funny thing you hear parents pray this prayer with their children. Uh, pray this now, honey.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Is that a good prayer to pray with the kid?

If you die before you wake, then you say as you walk out the room, switching off the light, sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite. So far better to teach your children how to pray than just teach them a prayer. And in this new book, Marvel at the Moon by my friend Levi Lusko, you're going to learn about that and a whole lot more. This is a book that will help you get started in devotions with the little ones, something you can read together, beautifully illustrated about outer space and planets and all kinds of exciting things and what the Bible has to say about those things and also about our lives and the greatness of God. I encourage you to order your own copy of Marvel at the Moon by Levi Lusko and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size and whatever you send our way will be used to carry this ministry on to reach more people with the teaching of God's word and the proclamation of the gospel. Order your copy now.

Yeah, and it's easy to do. Just get in touch with your support and we'll thank you with this new book called Marvel at the Moon. Call us anytime 24 7 at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Hey everybody, I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV and Google Play among others and you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon and our newest film, Fame, plus our TV programs, our podcast Harvest at Home and a lot more.

Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Well, Pastor Greg pointed out that the resurrection assures us that we're accepted by God, but that's just one of six ways the resurrection impacts our lives. Pastor Greg has more for us next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-15 05:10:27 / 2024-04-15 05:22:20 / 12

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