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John 14:9-10 NLT – Jesus replied, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.”

God is revealed through Jesus.

If we want to know God, then we need to get to know Jesus. And luckily there are four entire books of the Bible dedicated to the life of Jesus. We call them the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Through this series, we are working through the book of John and observing the way of Jesus. What we’re finding out is that the way of Jesus is different.

Last week we wrapped up in John chapter 5. Next week we will continue that journey in chapter 6. But today, since it’s Easter, I want to skip to the end of the book.

When preparing for this message, I was asking myself:

If today was the day Jesus rose from the dead, what would He tell us?

I went through and studied the resurrection story in all four gospels. While I was studying, I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal what Jesus wanted to get across to us right after the resurrection and He gave me three things.

The first one is something you’ve probably heard before during Easter. We talk about it every year. We talk about it throughout the year. Here it is:

To follow Jesus, I must receive forgiveness.

This is the whole reason Jesus put Himself through the suffering and the torment. He looked at you, the rebellious and sinful you, and decided, “I have to do something about that.”

He knew you would never make it to Heaven if it were up to you. So the Son of God, Jesus Christ, gave Himself as a sacrifice for your sins. You were supposed to die and go to hell, but He died in your place.

John 3:16 NKJV – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Here’s how Jesus said it after the resurrection:

Luke 24:47 NLT – …There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.

You can see that Jesus gives us a condition to receive forgiveness. You must repent. It sounds like a scary word, but all it means is to turn, to change direction. In other words:

To receive forgiveness, I must turn away from sin and believe in Jesus.

There’s a partial gospel message out there that tells us that there’s forgiveness of sins regardless of how you choose to live. But, Jesus made it clear for us. Forgiveness is for those who repent; those who make the choice to turn away from sin and follow Jesus.

Many like to make the argument that all you have to do is believe in Jesus. John 3:16 baby. And that’s true. To receive eternal life, you must believe in Jesus. But here’s the deal:

When you believe in Jesus, you follow Jesus.

There’s nothing else in the world where we would accept that you believe in something if you don’t follow it. For example, we don’t know why you believe in the Dallas Cowboys. But it’s obvious you really do, because you follow every game.

Don’t fall for the lie that you can believe in Jesus without following Jesus. Or that you can receive forgiveness without repentance. Y’all, that’s called the partial gospel. But it only works if you accept the whole gospel.

There’s forgiveness of sins for all who repent. That includes you. And it’s a choice that you get to make.

So, that’s the first thing that Jesus delivered after the resurrection. He wants to make sure that everyone receives the forgiveness He provided for you.

The next one is something that some people will agree with and others will struggle with. Nevertheless, you find it in all four gospels:

To follow Jesus, I must receive the Holy Spirit.

I understand this is a tense subject for many people. It’s kind of weird to talk about so we try to skirt around it. But it’s actually not weird at all. And the best way to get over the weirdness of it is to understand the why.

Why does Jesus want us to receive the Holy Spirit? Well, He gives us the answer in Luke 24:

Luke 24:49 NLT – “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Power from heaven. That’s what we get when we receive the Holy Spirit.

See, this really isn’t weird at all. Think of it this way. When you connect to the power plant, your house receives power. What does this power enable it to do? Pretty much everything with ease.

You no longer have to build a fire to cook your food. You just turn on the stove. You no longer have to wash each garment on a washboard. You put in a load of clothes and turn on the washing machine.

When you receive the Holy Spirit, you are filled with power to do what God has called you to do. No longer do you have to strive and hustle. Instead, you’re led by the Holy Spirit into things that are the most effective.

No longer do you have to wonder how to pray for someone because you can pray in the spirit and even though you don’t know what you are saying, the Holy Spirit is praying through you the perfect prayer for that situation.

There’s only so much you can do by yourself. Actually, I’ve found that what I do by myself is quite disappointing. But when I operate in the power of the Holy Spirit, the results blow my mind.

Jesus wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And it is so important that this is one of the three things that He told us after the resurrection before He ascended into heaven.

Here’s the third thing:

To follow Jesus, I must obey Jesus.

It’s almost as if He knew we’d try to find a way out of obedience. Okay, let’s be real. He knew exactly what we’d try to do.

He knew we’d use grace as a license to sin. He knew we’d use love as an excuse to ignore sinful behavior. He even knew we would take His very words out of context.

John 13:34 NLT – So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Here’s how we like to read this:

“So now I am giving you a new commandment so you can ignore all the other commandments: love each other.” -Not Jesus

But, that’s not what He said. Let’s look at the scripture again:

John 13:34 NLT – So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Sure, all the other commandments can be summed up into this one commandment. But if we didn’t have the other commandments, we would have no idea how to love each other.

That’s really what is going on now in our nation. Some people think that in order to love the LGBTQ community, you have to pass laws that support their sin.

But to truly love those who are in sin, you must introduce them to the power of Jesus Christ. Trust me, they would much rather you lead them to freedom than advocate for the government to keep them in bondage.

If we really want to help the LGBTQ community, we must first learn to treat them with love and respect, just as Jesus does. We must also lean into the power of the Holy Spirit to gently lead them towards freedom in Christ.

I could do an entire message on that, and maybe I will someday. But what I wanted to illustrate for you is our inability to love others without further instruction from Jesus.

That’s why, you’ll find about 50 things that Jesus commanded us to do in the New Testament. Love your enemies, be generous, repent from sin, don’t run from suffering, treat others as you’d want to be treated… just to name a few.

And here’s what Jesus said about those 50 things after the resurrection:

Matthew 28:20 NLT – Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Aren’t you glad He said that we only have to obey some of the commands? Nope! He said to obey ALL the commands. That means I can do it. You can do it. We all can do it.

  1. To follow Jesus, I must receive forgiveness.
  2. To follow Jesus, I must receive the Holy Spirit.
  3. To follow Jesus, I must obey Jesus.

Those are the three things that Jesus wanted to get across to us on this day, Resurrection Day. Or as we like to call it, Easter.

Kade Young

About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.