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Matthew 28:6a Deep Dive // This Is Central

"God loves us so much that he paid the infinite price to reconcile us with himself by giving up his Son on our behalf." — Natalie Abbott

This month, we are memorizing beautiful words about a promise fulfilled—words on the lips of angels. Words spoken to women who were desperate and mourning the loss not only of their friend, but of the man whom they had believed was the Messiah. The truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith, but it can sometimes be hard to wrap our minds around its implications—not just for the past, but also for our present and future. Join Natalie Abbott, co-founder of Dwell Differently, as she unpacks this incredible truth and explores 4 things that we can learn from the resurrection.

APRIL DWELL VERSE

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. — Matthew 28:6a

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Hey, welcome back to the Dwell Differently podcast. I'm your host, Natalie Abbott, and this is the day. Today is the day of your salvation. Today is the day where we are just diving in to the deepest, best, most central truth, in the most explicit way that I know how. We are talking about the thing that if it's true, changes everything. (READ MORE)

We are talking about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and what that means for us. And the one question that I want you to really grapple with today is, "Am I believing this? Am I living like Jesus indeed died for my sins and rose from the grave to give me new life? Am I living like he sits at the right hand of the Father right now, interceding on my behalf like he is really, really real and that he gave his Holy Spirit so that I could live in new life and walk in obedience to him and have a beautiful, purposeful, intentional life?

Do you believe it? Does your life look like you believe it? Is this the stuff that you talk about because it is so important and so impactful? Do you worship God like this is true? So that's where we're headed today. I'm so glad that you're here. If this is a message you've never heard before, you are so welcome.

If this is a message that you're hearing from a place of sadness or wandering a place of distance from God, you are welcome. If you're hearing this right now from a place of pure joy and a yes and amen, you are welcome. Wherever you are, wherever you've been, you are welcome here. [00:02:00] Jesus always has open arms for everyone.

He says, ask and you will be given. Seek, and the door will be open to you, you will find. So I hope that that's exactly what we experienced today together as we talk about our verse for Easter. Can you tell that I'm pumped? Okay, it's Matthew 28:6a, and these are the most beautiful words. Let them just wash over you.

"He is not here. He has risen. Just as he said." These are words on the lips of angels to women who are mourning, who are weeping, who have come to anoint the dead body of their dear friend, a friend that they were shocked to watch be betrayed and wrongly accused and wrongly convicted, beaten, crucified, and now buried.

They are at the tomb of Jesus and they are devastated. And in the midst of their mourning, of their grief, of their suffering, there is a breaking out of light there is a tomb that is empty. There are angels in glorious array saying to them, “Jesus is not here; he has risen, just as he said,” this is the beauty of the resurrection, and I just want you to think about how, if you are those women, how that would sound to you.

How beautiful and miraculous and wondrous it would be to come expecting [00:04:00] such a, a horror. To come to a place where your friend has been laid and there wasn't even a space for grieving. There wasn't even a funeral, there was no space for them. And here they come finally, after waiting to the grave at the earliest possible moment at the break of day to anoint that dead body and to mourn and weep, and yet instead of being greeted with a dead body, they are greeted with an empty tomb and the words on the lips of angels that Jesus is risen. It's the most beautiful, wonderful thing, and I wanted to tell you all about why this is a believable thing.

I'll just say that history says that Jesus is a real human that lived and walked on the planet, and that the Bible tells us, which is our main source for understanding who he is, that Jesus claimed to be God. That Jesus believed himself to be God, that Jesus actually said in his earthly life, that I'm going to, to give up my life for you.

That greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life For his friends. He knew very much what he was doing and what his mission on earth was. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus knew he was God and that Jesus also knew that he was going to give his life as a ransom for anyone who would believe in him.

He also knew that even though he laid down his life, when he talks about being the Good Shepherd, he says, I will take it up again. He does it willingly. And so what I wanna talk about really quick is why did Jesus do this? Why did Jesus give up his life? Why did he take it back up again? And why is it so important for us?

First off, it's love. Love is what motivates Jesus. Love and obedience for his father [00:06:00] and love for us. It's God's love on display. Romans 5:8 said, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were thumbing our noses, while we were wandering off, while we wanted nothing to do with him.

There was nothing we did to earn this kind of love to deserve this kind of love in. In fact, we deserve quite the opposite. The wages of our sin is actually death, and yet Jesus said, I will take that death on. I will die. The death that you deserved in order to demonstrate my love for you, in order to make you my own.

If you read in 1 John 3, this is what John says about Jesus. He says, “This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” Then he says again, “This is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him.” Then he repeats himself again.

This is love. Did you hear that? This is love. This is love. This is love. What does he say? Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is a repetition of John. This is love. This is love. This is love. And what's the answer? Jesus. Jesus, God's perfect son who gave his life instead of ours. This is love Jesus who deserved only worship and reverence, but instead endured every shame, every humiliation, every violence in our place. This is love Jesus God, in the flesh of infinite worth who paid an infinite price to [00:08:00] make us daughters and sons. This is love. Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to take our place to die, the death that we deserved.

This is love Jesus. It's the most beautiful thing. I hope that that's sinking in, that God loves you, period. He loves you even in your sin. He sent Jesus to die because of your sin. So as much as sometimes I think we mistakenly believe that we've got to get ourselves, you know, together, we've got to get our act in order to be able to come to God.

God knows and God loves us despite ourselves. In fact, God loves us so much that he paid the infinite price to reconcile us with himself by giving up his son on our behalf. So, if you feel unlovable, if you feel too steeped in sin, there is nothing you could ever do to lose God's love. And in the same way, if you feel like somehow your life is righteous and good, there's nothing you could ever do to earn God's love.

Jesus has already lived the perfect life, and frankly, you're fooling yourself if you think that somehow your righteousness is gonna be good. Only Jesus is good enough. Only Jesus has made that way. He has made us right with God. Romans 4:25 says “He was delivered over to death for our sins. And was raised to life for our justification.”

So he died for our sins, and him being raised to life is what justifies us. That is what raises us to life. And because of all of this, we can live through faith right now. Hebrews 4:16 says, “In him, [00:10:00] and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence so that way we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

So going back to our verse, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” This is the beautiful news of Easter. Do you believe it? Do you live like you are believing this? Is this not the thing that compels you, that is the foundation for your life? If you say that you believe it, it should. It should be everything to you.

It should be the words that roll off of your tongue. It should be the thing that you clinging to when there are dark days. It should be the thing that you call other people into the joy and the life and the wonder of being in a relationship with the living God of the universe. He has done everything for you.

He has done everything. There is nothing you can do but say, I could do nothing, and even the good that I have done is filthy rags in comparison with what Christ has. So do you believe? And if you do, lay down your burdens. Lay down your sin and your shame and all of the things which entangle you, all of the things that you're looking to for joy.

All of the social media, all of the tv, all of the food and the entertainment, whatever it is. [00:12:00] Just let those things, which so easily entangle us, fall away and embrace Jesus who has given you everything, who has loved you so much that he gave his life for you. So I'm going to pray for us right now and just invite Jesus into the space of our hearts where we have brokenness and sadness, where we need healing, where we need to confess. And just ask him, Lord, would you be the Lord of my life? And whether you've prayed this prayer before, or this is the first, you know, this is the first time. It doesn't matter. We all need this kind of reminder.

We all need this spiritual renewal. We need the resurrection life that Jesus promises. He says, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will not die, but will live and have eternal life. This is the promise of Easter. This is the promise of our verse. He is not here. He is risen. Just as he said.

Let's pray. Oh, father God, you have loved us in just profound and crazy ways, such radical, sacrificial, wondrous ways. Would you help us to give up these small things? These things that entangle us, these things that hold us back and keep us down these sins that we are holding onto that we think will give us joy, but actually bring us shame.

Lord, would you help us to just confess to you all of the things, so, Lord, please, would you wash us with the blood of Jesus? Make us white as snow. [00:14:00] We just confessed to you all the ways that we have not loved you. We have not followed you. We have not believed you. And would you help us in our unbelief? Would you empower us by your Holy Spirit to follow you and to embrace you and to love you?

And Lord, I just pray for anyone here who just feels unlovable, that your blood could wash them, that your blood could make them clean and, and Lord, would you just help them know that there is no sin too big, there is no distance too far, that no one is too far gone for the love of Christ. So would you wrap your arms around us and help us to believe in your resurrection life for ourselves?

Help us to live like this is. And we ask this all in Jesus' name. Amen.

All right, friends, thank you so much for joining me and as always, reach out. Let us know if you have any questions. If this is something that is new to you and you want to know more, if this is a place where you're at, where you just need more prayer.

It is our joy and privilege to pray over you, our listeners and friends. So thank you so much for joining us, and again, please reach out to us. We would love to interact with you.

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Natalie Abbott

Natalie Abbott is the Co-founder and Chief Content Officer for Dwell Differently. She lives in Missouri with her husband and 5 kids.

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