Matthew 28 - Let loose in all the world (2008)
Vor dem zweiten Weltkrieg
war ein gewisses Grab in Deutschland
mit schweren Granitscheiben versiegelt
und es war mit einer schweren Kette verbunden
Ein Atheist hatte darauf die Inschrift eingraviert:
„Dieses Grab wird in alle Ewigkeit nicht geöffnet werden.“
Aber irgendwie war ein kleines Eichkorn
zwischen die Spalten gefallen,
und die aussere Schalle war „gestorben“.
Viele Jahre später
stand dort eine riesige Eiche,
die den Grabstein,
der immer noch die überhebliche Anschrift hatte,
total zerbrochen hatte.
Das neue Leben,
das aus dem gestorbenen Eichkorn entsprang,
beweist die Kraft der Auferstehung,
die wir zu Ostern in allen Sprachen der Welt verkünden!
Und so wollen auch wir unsere Stimme erheben,
und mit alle Völker und Nationen bezeugen:
Vorspreher: CHRISTUS IST AUF*ERSTANDEN! - Ferd Funk
Alle: Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!
Vorsprecher: CHRIST IS RISEN! - Hilda Unrau
Alle: He has risen indeed!
Vorsprecher: CRISTO RE-SU-SI-TO! - Kevin Kehler
Alle: Re-su-si-to de ver-dad!
Vorsprecher: KRIS-TOS VOS-KREES. - Ella Federau
Alle: Krees-tos ees-tjeen-ee vos-kress!
Vorsprecher: CRISTO RES-SU-SI-TOU! – Nick Friesen
Alle: Ele mesmo res-su-si-tou!
Vorsprecher: JESUS ES OP-JI-STON-EN! - Heidi Dueck
Alle: He es werklich op-je-sto-nen!
Chor - Kanon - Der Herr ist aurferstanden #260
Johann Goertzen (75), der Vater von Ann Goertzen ist am Samstag 22. Maerz gestorben. Das Begräbnis findet am Mittwoch, den 26. Maerz in der Steinbach EMC statt. Der Herr tröste die Hinterbliebenen.
Email from Ryan Braun in South Africa – Th, Mar. 20, 2008
greetings from south africa! i'm on my final stretch of my 3 month adventure and its been absolutely amazing. for the past three weeks, i've been in and around cape town doing various things. we've done all from teaching in elementary classes (yeah, picture me a teacher) to climbing table mountain to diving in the ocean with some great white sharks! its been completely crazy and so faith building. i've learned to see God in so many different ways out here and i've seen how he works with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ here in south africa. its been so eye opening, challenging, and humbling.
i'd simply love to thank everyone back at home for the continuous prayers and support that i've received. we have been incredibly blessed out here. everyone has gone relatively smooth and we've had no major injuries, bus breakdowns (we have a really old unreliable bus which we've travelled throughout the whole country with), and we've had no problem with the crime that has completely ingulfed south africa. God has definitely kept a watchful eye on all of us. please continue to pray for me and the rest of the group as we start our debrief and prepare to come home. please pray for our leaders and for our safe return. thanks you so much for everything and i look forward to sharing my stories and pictures in depth with everyone. God bless
Matthew 28 – Let loose in all the World
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
The Guards' Report
11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
A Sign at a San Francisco wholesale florist says,
“If you don't believe in the resurrection of the dead,
you ought to be here five minutes before quitting time!”
I think I saw that same sign at Palisser and Chemcrest
when I used to work there.
And, what happened next is so much like the
Easter Egg hunt that I remember from my childhood years.
Everyone scampers off in a different direction…
Let loose to do what they need to do!
A Family was watching the movie
“The Greatest Story ever Told” on Television.
One of the children in the family was deeply moved.
As Jesus journeyed to Calvary,
tears rolled down the girl’s cheeks.
She was absolutely silent
until after Jesus had been taken down from the cross
and put into the tomb.
Then she suddenly grinned and shouted:
“Now comes the Good Part!”
During the preceding weeks
we heard about the suffering and death of Jesus.
Now comes the Good Part!
The tomb is empty!
Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!
The Swiss Theologian Emil Brunner said,
“The death of Jesus is for us nothing
if we have not died with him;
the resurrection of our Lord is for us nothing
if we have not been raised with him.”
Today is Easter!
We proclaim in every language that Christ is risen…
He is alive!
That is the boldest claim in all of history…
that a man who has died
has been raised from the dead.
On the first day of the week,
Matthew tells us
that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
went to look at the tomb.
These women were not expecting
any surprizes that morning.
Their life was a mess…
Now they had come to grieve
and to put spices on the body...
Matthew tells us that just as they got there
the angel of the Lord
rolled away the stone that covered the grave
and a violent earthquake shook the ground.
No Roman guards
and power in the world could keep
the ONE who rules the course of History
from raising Jesus from the dead.
The angel tells the women that there is no reason to fear…
The One they are looking for is not in the grave.
He is risen from the dead
as he said he would.
With the News of his resurrection the women are sent
to tell the disciples
that he has gone ahead of them to Galilee.
He will meet them there
to give them the great Commission
to go into the world
with the message of the power of God
to raise people to new life.
Meanwhile, the guards at the tomb also witness
this dramatic turn of events.
They too are overcome by fear and confusion
to the extent that they are so shaken up
that they become as dead.
We saw the women go quickly
to tell the Good News that He is alive.
But the guards…
Matthew says that some of the guards leave the tomb
to make their own report to the chief priests.
rather than leading to joy and faith,
gives rise to a new plot to silence the witnesses
of the resurrection.
As with Judas who betrayed Jesus,
this conspiracy again involves a bribe
from the High Priest
to buy the silence of the guards.
History tells us that one of the earliest Jewish responses
to the resurrection account
was the claim that his disciples had stolen his body
and then claimed that he rose from the dead.
However, the fact that there were a number of guards
stationed at the grave
makes that hard to believe.
The presence of Roman soldiers makes theft impossible,
because a guard could loose his life
for sleeping on the job.
The false testimony of the bribed soldiers
stands in sharp contrast
to the joyful witness of the women.
In his drama The Trial of Jesus,
John Masefield has the centurion Longinus report to Pilate
after the crucifixion of Jesus.
Longinus had been the officer in charge of the execution,
and after his official report,
Pilate's wife calls the centurion to come
and tell her how the prisoner had died.
Once the account is given, she asks,
"Do you think he is dead?"
"No, Lady, I don't."
"Then where is he?" asks Procula,
to which Longinus replies,
"Let loose in all the world, Lady,
where neither Roman nor Jew can stop his truth."
The Christ we serve is alive and living in us!
Clarence Jordan says,
The crowning evidence that Jesus was alive
was not a vacant grave,
but a spirit-filled fellowship.
Not a rolled-away stone,
but a carried-away church.
The women were to tell the disciples
that Jesus is going ahead
and will meet them on the mountain.
There they will see for themselves and believe
as Jesus declares,
“All authority has been given to me.”
With this authority He sends them out as witnesses.
For the disciples and the church
this was the moment they were let loose in all the world.
Having seen and witnessed and believed for themselves,
they were now risen from the death of their despair.
Let me ask you,
is there evidence in the church today,
that Jesus is alive?
Is this church a spirit-filled fellowship?
And a carried-away church?
It is not enough to celebrate Easter and say “Christ is Risen”.
It is useless to proclaim this
unless at the same time we can say
that we have also risen,
that we have received a renewed spirit.
we must feel shocked
when the death and resurrection of Jesus
are proclaimed with such conviction year after year
and yet very little seems to happen with us.
We often act as if the resurrection of Jesus
has very little power
and makes no impact on our lives.
The question that you and I must answer is,
“How does the story of the resurrection transform our lives?”
Allow me to speak a word of challenge from the heart
to all of us.
We hear about the death of Jesus on the cross,
and we are thankful that he forgives our sins…
and over again…
we go on as if the resurrection hasn’t happened.
We know that we are a sorry mess…
we know that we have hurt our relationship with God
and with our fellowman.
And we feel bad about it.
We feel the weight of our guilt and shame.
And we come to the cross at the end of the day,
with our pious self, and we say,
“Oh, dear Jesus,
I have sinned again today.
I just couldn’t help it.
You know, my coworker was pushing my buttons again,
and I just had to put him in his place.
I know that wasn’t nice, and I’m sorry.
I hope you can forgive me.”
Then we go to bed with a clear conscience…
We have appeased the wrath of God.
The next morning at work
we discover that the same buttons are still there…
and we slip right back into the old tracks
and repeat the same cycle again.
If that is the case with us,
we have not experienced the power of the resurrection.
The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus,
is that he rose from the dead
and proclaimed victory over the power of sin, evil and death.
If we come back to the cross day-in and day-out
and we have to confess
the same old bad habits and failures over and over again
then we have not yet experienced Easter.
If we find ourselves loaded with guilt,
because we can’t seem to break free from
destructive gossiping and hurtful back-biting…
and ceasless criticism of the church…
then we have not been raised with Jesus Christ.
If we are stuck in the past
and we say that our church is never going to grow
unless certain things that are beyond our control happen first, we have not experienced the power of the resurrection!
If we can’t accept our brother and sister
as Christ has accepted him or her,
and we are stuck in the grip of criticism
and spiritual superiority
then we are like the guards, giving false testimony.
If our communication patterns in our homes
with our spouse and children and siblings don’t change
then Christ is still in the grave.
If our lust for sex and power and status
keeps a strangle-hold on us,
then Good Friday is as good as it gets.
If we can’t control our addiction
for food and alcohol
the media, work,
and anything else
that we are addicted to,
then Jesus is not alive in us.
The resurrection story was Good News
not only to the women at the grave yard…
It was Good News to the disciples also…
Think of Peter, who experienced the gift of new life in Christ,
when Jesus reinstated him
and gave him the keys to the kingdom
after he had denied him three times.
The miracle of the Easter story
is not only that Jesus was dead
and is now alive again.
The miracle of the resurrection
is its power to transformed our lives today!
Some of you here today
may be stuck in a Good Friday state of mind…
Maybe something has happened in your life
that has snuffed the divine spark right out of you.
Maybe you are experiencing more “life-draining moments”
than “life-giving moments” in your life.
If that is the case,
come to the garden tomb today…
Experience the rumbling power of new life
that is forever transformed by the living Christ!
Then “the One who lives in you”
will be let loose in all the world!
Then you too will be a credible witness
to the power of the resurrection.
One day on Good Friday the human race,
put the son of God to death on a cross.
You and I were part of that mob!
You and I were part of that mob!
Yet he came back on that glorious Easter morning…
and he threw his arms of love around us
offering acceptance, forgiveness,
and new life to all who respond to him in faith.
Jesus was raised to life…
and He gives us new life.
As we experience the miracle of the resurrection
in our own life
may we also be carried away
and let loose with the message
that Jesus Christ has changed our lives.
The death of Jesus is for us nothing
if we have not fully died with him to our old sinful self;
and the resurrection of Jesus is for us nothing
if we have not been raised with him transformed,
and let loose in all the world.
Friends, it’s 5 minutes before quitting time…
We’ve got work to do!