Easter Story Message of Jesus
This message has been adapted from Life Church and Fresh Life Church.
Reference: (Fresh Life Church | The Show Must Go On | Pastor Levi Lusko | Easter People, pt. 1)
In God’s Providence, I had, we had, been planning to spend the weeks between now and Easter really getting our hearts ready for all that God wants to do in our lives. As we remember and look back on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and to spend weeks in a series that is essentially a collection of talks built on people involved in the
Easter story, people involved in the Easter story. There were people involved in the Easter story. And we’re going to be looking at a bunch of the different stories. I invite you to make sure you don’t miss a week, as each
installment will build and show us different angles and perspective. And it’s going to be amazing. Easter people will bring us through Easter. Who knows? Maybe we’ll go weeks past it. It’s fantastic. But we’re going to start in Mark’s gospel, chapter 16. There’s something really, really special that God has shown me. I was actually on an airplane with my wife when this came to me. And this is unlike me. The flight landed. I
didn’t even notice. I had my laptop out. I don’t know if the flight attendant didn’t notice.
But I was still working. And this is how I work. This is how I write my sermons. Now you guys know. I don’t have my fingers involved at all. Just all wrist. But the flight lands. People are getting off. And Cindi is like, um. like I’m normally like totally switched on a flight. But this time, I’m just like, just in it. Just, like headphones on. Just like oh my gosh. This is so powerful. And she’s like, we need to get off this airplane. And so I just grab all my things, and my phone. And like I’m dragging my laptop cord down the aisle. And she’s like, you’re a mess. It was– I was like, God showed me something so special. I can’t wait to show church. I really, I’m really excited. I hope, I hope you are 5% as excited as I am. At least you’re here, baby. All right. So the title is The Show Must Go On. The Show Must Go On. That’s a phrase that originated in the circus. And oftentimes, people would get hurt. Of course, circus is dangerous, y’all, right? I mean, you’ve got trapeze. And you’ve got people walking across a volcano singing worship songs. I mean, you’ve
got– anybody much that? That was awesome. And when someone would get hurt, there was a spirit amongst the performers that we’re not going to allow a setback keep us from doing what we showed up to do. We’re going to keep going. If I have to be the ringmaster tonight, and I was blessed be the lion tamer, if I have to do that, like no matter what happens, we’re going to give the people who came out what they’re here for. The show must go on. And that sort of spirit of never say quit, never, never say die– we have to adapt, we adapt. We need to adapt. Adapt or die, right? But we’re going to figure out a way to do what we came here to do. And that spread to the hotel business and restaurant business. And really, I think any business with a drive and a mission has that sort of up in their tank a little bit. Show must go on. We’ll figure this out. Let’s not easily walk away. Let’s not get discouraged. Let’s not, let’s not get jaded. Let’s stay sweet. Let’s stay, let’s stay spunky. Let’s stay hungry. Let’s foolish. Like, the show– come on. The show must go on. Could you tell two or three people around you– without touching them– the show must go on? The show must go
And I want to show you that it is that spirit that’s at the heart of what happened on the day Jesus rose, specifically as we look at Easter person number one– Mary Magdalene.
Verse 1, chapter 16, Mark’s gospel, it says, now when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and the Italian Salome– brought spices, because it’s a spicy salami– that they might come and anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
And they said among themselves, who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side. And they were alarmed. But he
said to them, do not be alarmed. You see Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. And the church said? I just talked about Jesus rising from the dead. I said, and the church said? He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you, This is the greatest show. With apologies to the circus, there has never been a greater show than this one. This is the resurrection from the dead. This is the linchpin of our salvation. This is the cornerstone of our faith. This is the hope that we will go to the grave with. This is what will bring us through the valley of the shadow of death. This is
our victory. The greatest show. I don’t know how you react to like me calling the resurrection of Jesus a show. You’re like, I don’t know. A show is fake. A show– No, no, no. If you look in the dictionary under the word show, you’ll see a display, or you’ll see one of my favorite words– a spectacle. a spectacle. Paul literally said that when Christ rose, there was a spectacle that took place– not only on earth, but in heaven, and in the corridors of eternity. And it, for sure, reverberated through the quarters of hell, too.
In fact, Paul put it this way. Speaking about the spectacle of the resurrection, he said that on the day that Christ died and rose, he took away the weapons of the powers of the authorities. He made a public show of them. Talk about an end zone dance? The devil thought that he had defeated Jesus when he nailed him to the cross. Turned
out, he pounded those three nails into his own coffin. I’m telling you, when Christ rose from the dead, he stripped demon powers. He stripped the devil of authority and honor. And he drag them naked and bound. It was a victory parade.
This is the greatest show, that Christ rose from the dead– a display of power, a spectacle of the enemy, who thought he could take us into the grave, who thought he could drag us into hell with him. But Christ grabbed us from the jaws of death. He grabbed just from our sin. He nursed us back to health. He gave us his life. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is our hope. Without it, we are in vain. Without it we believe in vain. Without it we gather in vain. Without it we trust God in vain.
It’s Christ’s victory over death that can give us hope no matter what we face in this life. And guess what? For this great show, Mary had a front row seat. Mary Magdalene, she had a front row seat. A front row seat in our house is code for– Cindi and I were making out. It all started when we were smooching. And Lauren walked around thecorner, and caught us, caught us kissing. And it’s OK. We’re married. And she’s like ugh. And we’re like uh. And she goes, front row seat. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like it. She did not like it. And so now anytime my kids sense PDA, they just go front row seat? And they’re just like, doing it over avert our eyes? And it’s Cindi’s fault. She’s so fine, I’ll tell you what right now. From row seat. Mary had a front row seat to the greatest show, which is, she was, She, was the first in line to see it. She got to be a part of it. Mark goes on. We’re not going to read his account any further. But he does go on to
actually detail her bumping into Jesus. He just, in a few versus, kind of gives the essence of it. But she got to have a front row seat. And what I want to do is talk about why. I want to talk about how. Because if we’re not careful, it could seem that itwas just a lucky coincidence for her. Man, lucky Mary. Magdalene and her friend Salome, they got to see Jesus rise from the dead. Man, it almost seems like they were just in the right place at the right time. And there’s sort of this fluke thing. Could have been any of the other disciples, but she just got to be the one.
And I want to show you that is not the case, that it was, in fact, the result of a faithful life that led to this climactic victory. And it’s important we talk about that. Why? Because one of the greatest mistakes that a leader can make
is to only analyze their failures, and to sort of assume that the victories will just continue, right? I, for sure, know as a leader, that I do, I do forensic analysis of a failure. Almost like that sink the ships spirit, you know, in a Titanic disaster? Sink the ship. and exhaust everything to understand the failure. Now it is known, in a Titanic disaster. Revist the sight until the true failure is known. Now it isimportant to try and assess why you failed in an endeavor, what you did wrong in a business, how you mentally broke and why your team failed to do what they were there to do. We need to look into our failures. But one of the greatest things you can do as a leader is also do an autopsy on a success. And the mistake that you can make is to coast because something went right, and it really dig in when something went wrong. But sometimes that can be fruitless. But the better question is, how did we do what we did
right, so that we can do more of what we did right? You don’t get to automatically repeat a victory unless you
understand what it was that you did right.
So what one example of this is, your kid brings home the report cards. And you see Ds and a C and a B. And where do you go as a parent? To the Ds. What’s wrong here? Why is this not working? Why, well, tell me about the Ds. And we just want to understand, why are you not doing good in these areas? Why do you have these Cs? We focus and harp on the Ds. You’re missing the point. There’s a B. So they’re capable of success. So what about that B? Talk about the B. Dissect the B. Figure out what’s happening in the B, and how do we spread what’s happening in the B to the D, instead of trying to bring the D up to the B? You see, you’ve got to do the autopsy on the successes, and not just
the failures. So Mary here, I think you’ll agree with me, is having a success story. It’s a great moment. She’s getting to see the empty tomb. She’s getting a– she’s having an angel encounter. This is an angel encounter. Angel– someone say angel encounter
That’s a big deal, an angel encounter. Epic moment. But how did she get there? Oh, for that, we got to go back to Luke chapter 8. You see, it’s her origin story. Every great hero– and Mary Magdalene has been called one of the examples of pure devotion in the entire Bible, by the way. So that’s an epic moment. She’s flexing her superhero
But the origin story– well, her roots were humble. In Luke chapter 8, we’re told, now it came to pass– and this is, by the way, very early on in Jesus’ ministry– afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. How did that work? Well, the 12 were with him. When we think of Jesus’ support squad, our minds, many of us, automatically go to his 12 disciples. Because the teamwork makes the dream work. And if Jesus is preaching the
gospel to every city and getting this message in this news out to every place, we know he can’t do that alone. The great hallmark of a courageous leader is their ability to empower, see greatness in other people, watch their vision be multiplied through lots of different talented individuals. And we think, well, Jesus is doing an amazing thing.
Well, he had to have a team. Absolutely, he had a team. And the 12 were just the beginning. So how did it work that he went everywhere, doing all that he was able to do? How is it that the 12 were able to go everywhere and do all they were called to do? For that, we have to keep reading, where it says, and certain women– that’s how Jesus did what he did. Y’all, certain women– where are my God honoring women at? How was Jesus able to do what he called to do? Certain women. What was their story? Who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Well what about the disciples? Were still hoping they would get healed of their evil spirits and infirmities. But these women had been healed and been touched. And they were serving Jesus in a powerful way.
What did it look like? Well, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons— now I don’t care how you count. That’s a lot of demons, right? The way I reckon, anything over three is a bunch, you know? Seven demons. This girl was an unholy Holiday Inn. You know what I’m saying? And it says, verse 3, she wasn’t alone. Mary also had Joanna the wife of Chuza– I don’t know who that is. Oh, it’s
Herod’s steward. Ah. And Susanna– do not forget Susanna. But they weren’t alone either. Because it says of these women, and there were many others who provided for him from their substance. We tend to focus on, when we think of what Jesus did, the actual boots on the ground– his hand on them, raising the widow of [ Nathan’s ] son, doing this work in this place, doing this in that place. But Luke, who’s been called
the Gospel of womanhood, because he so often brings to our attention the amazing cast of rocking biblical women who served God in powerful ways, he tells us yeah, Jesus did all this. And his disciples helped him out. But don’t you dare forget about Susanna and Mary and all these rocking women, the mother of Salome, the mother of James, the mother of– these women were the ones who said, hey, listen, we’ll serve so that you can go. We’ll be here doing what’s needed, so you can do the ministry that you’re called to do, Jesus. So for Mary, it wasn’t just this fluke thing that caused her to be able to see Jesus rise from the dead and get to be a part of this most important, greatest story ever told. For her, it was a way of life, beginning when she started out at rock bottom, and Jesus touched her. So now, with that in mind, that she was regularly doing what she did, and that’s how she got to be a part of that day, we come to John chapter 20, where we’re going to circle back on Mary and read the same story we read a minute ago. But we’re going to see it from a different point of view.
Bookmark this page to read the account of Mary and Jesus from Luke’s part of view in your next post.
Bible Scripture Reading Mark 16. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.] When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
Mark 16:1-20 NIV