The Charge Against Jesus Prior to the Storm
And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there.And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
We have rejected God because we have wanted to be the ruler of our own lives. This was the charge against Christ - that he came to be a ruler.
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
- Gloria Steinem
Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.
When you reject Jesus and his ways, you will always have a murderer like Barabbas (death as a result of sin in your relationships, etc.) released to you/in your life instead.
God’s Charge to Us in the Midst of the Storm
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
“God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”
- Elisabeth Elliot
You will undoubtedly go through a change when you pass through the storm.
Who you become is determined by who or what you go to in the midst of it.
- Will it be alcohol or drugs OR will you be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- Will it be pornography or illicit relationships OR will it be the lover of your soul?
- Will it be fleeting pleasures and mind-numbing entertainment OR the presence of the one who brings the fullness of joy?
- Will it be throwing yourself into work, career, an obsessive hobby OR finding yourself at the feet of him who can heal the broken-hearted?
- Will it be anger and blame OR the counsel of the one who daily bears your burdens, and in doing so can heal your wounds?
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your savior, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”
- Elisabeth Elliot
What reality shaking event has taken place in your life to bring you to this place of change?
What will it need to be for you to submit?
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
The storms (earthquake-like moments) are the life-shaking events of our lives that bring us to the point of death - death to the old way of doing things, our self-sufficiencies, our pride our illicit pleasures that ultimately ruin God-ordained relationships. It is on the other side of the storms that just as Christ was raised from the dead, you too can be raised through his resurrection power into the newness of life!
What needs to die today so that you can truly live? Will you allow Jesus to forgive your indiscretions and resurrect your marriage, your relationships, your career trajectory, your very life?
“We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.”
- Elisabeth Elliot
Come to the cross today, repent of sin and put your trust in the resurrected Jesus that you might be born again, or if you have been, be brought back into the land that was originally promised to you in Christ (Deuteronomy 30).
CHRIST’S Charge to the Disciples AFTER THE STORM
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Second City Church - After The Storm - Rollan Fisher 2018