What Pastor John is really concerned about is that we be in the Will of God. That we really hear from the Lord and by hearing the Lord those of us in leadership, worship, musicians, or all of us that are speaking and talking, that when people leave a service at Grace Chapel they’ll have had an experience of the presence of the Lord and the Word of God that will change their lives.
Pastor John began his famous Easter message by reading the entire 20th chapter from John. It was very difficult for the disciples to believe after watching His crucifixion that Jesus could’ve been risen from the dead. Their minds could not comprehend this. John says in verse 31:
We can see that John remembers how difficult it had been for them to understand what had happened. Even though Jesus had told them He would rise again and they had been intimately involved with everything that had been going on including being warned by Jesus, they still found it difficult to believe.
All down through history the message of the Gospel has been, not that man looks for God, but God looks for them.”
Pastor John asks why is believing so important? In asking us to believe, God is not asking something of us just because it is not natural or something He wants us to do. He only brings us to believing because it is the only way humans can relate to a supernatural, omnipotent God. Pastor John believes that faith is the only way a natural man can relate to something that is so far beyond him that his/her mind cannot conjure it up, capture it, or even understand it.
Why is believing so important? Because it is impossible with the natural mind to comprehend this kind of love and this kind of an answer because it is so divine that it is beyond us and it must be understood with the heart before the head can comprehend it. This is why believing is not a matter of the head, it’s a matter of the heart. We believe with our hearts.”
Easter is the traditional church feast, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. There is no command in scripture, evidence or any prophetic command to keep this day as a holiday, but it is easy to see how this has occurred. The early Church was filled with Jewish believers who kept the Passover tradition and added to it the death, life and resurrection of Jesus. Soon Easter became something the entire Church would honor and keep.
In years gone by we have directed our attention on Easter Sunday to the death of Jesus, which purchased for us freedom from our sin. Pastor John has talked about many elements of His suffering. He has done this because of the need that we have to understand the fullness of payment that Jesus made for our sin and the full acceptance on the part of the Father of that sacrifice demonstrated by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In this Easter message, Pastor John will be talking about both. Not just what Jesus’ death bought for us but also what He intended through His resurrection.
According to Pastor John, we continually find men’s heart going back again into sinning, these dimensions of sin that would bring His judgment. Men continued in sin and the wrath problem was continually in man’s way and judgment was in God’s way. Then Jesus came and He presented himself as the lamb of sacrifice to pay the penalty for men sinning. This time God’s wrath spent itself fully. But instead of it being spent on men in general it was demonstrated fully upon Jesus alone. God’s reaction and punishment for sin was seen fully in the pain, embarrassment and shame that Jesus suffered.
When Jesus was raised from the dead it was not with just a wave on an angel’s hands, it was with the fullness of the power of the very godhead that came and rescued Him from the corruption and raised Him up to the very highest. The Bible says that’s the kind of power that God has made available for you and I that believe in Jesus.”
For this Easter message Pastor John will be reading from Paul’s Thanksgiving prayer found in Ephesians 1 and from John 19 and 20. Paul is saying that even though the Ephesian Church walked with God, knew Him and had a measure of the strength, power, and grace of the Lord with them, they still had not touched, entered or participated fully in the revelation of the power of God that was made available to them through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
One of the things He asked for them to see was the incomparably great power that is for us who believe.”
According to Pastor John, sometimes most Christians have difficulty comprehending the immensity, grander and awesomeness of what God has done. Where it comes to days like Easter that all over the world there is a statement of the power of resurrection of the ability of God to take the darkness, gloominess of humans and all of the sin that they have gotten into and break through that with this penetrating work of calvary, of the cross, of Jesus’ death and then the finale of God resurrecting His son from the dead and causing there to be hope. But most of us can’t quite enter into that realm because we are just people. We are not even great people in our own minds, we are just people.
The Lord inspires the writers of the scriptures to do some very wonderful things with very plain people. In this Easter message, Pastor John will be looking at one of the writers and study his personal relationship to resurrection.
I believe John writes so that we will see something about Jesus that is often missed in what’s going on in the world. Even though we know He is coming again in majesty, and even though we know He is coming with 10,000’s of His saints, and even though we know that He is going to abolish death and set up an everlasting Kingdom. All of those things that we know that He said He is going to do a lot of that stuff is so far beyond us because of our own need, and our own need to hear Him just speak our name. And I believe that’s what the Lord wants to do with you this Easter and that somehow even though there is a universe to run and there is a Kingdom to establish He’ll stop everything to come to someone who seeks Him with this kind of urgency that Mary had.”
– Pastor John Casteel