The Dawn of A New Day
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Colossians 2:14-15, Matthew 27:57-66, 28:1-7
Sunday 5th April 2015
We began an Easter series during the Good Friday service based on our theme this season; ‘The Ultimate Triumph’ and today I will be sharing a message titled ‘A Dawn of A New Day’.
Let’s begin with the words in Colossians 2:14-15: ‘He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross’ (NLT).
After Jesus released his Spirit to God and bowed his head in death, many of those who witnessed that event concluded that it was over. His disciples also gave up all hopes – out of fear, they huddled away into a room and locked all doors. Joseph, the Arimathean approached the authorities to request for the body of Jesus and it was released to him for burial. It was obvious that they had decided to begin life without Jesus, or so they thought. Although the authorities believed Jesus had died, they decided to secure his body by stationing soldiers at the tomb on Saturday. The Chief Priest and Pharisees spoke to Pilate as recorded in Matthew 27:63-64, saying: “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first” (NLT).
The story however changed on Sunday morning – an earthquake and an angel from heaven ensured that the stone set to seal the tomb was rolled away in time for the arrival of the two women who visited the tomb. And just like God did on that first Resurrection Sunday, heaven is set to roll away every negative conclusions in your life – sickness, poverty, oppression, nightmares or failures are all rolled away in Jesus name! Not only was the stone rolled away, the angel informed the women that Jesus had already risen and was no longer in the tomb. Here is Matthew 28: 7; ‘And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you” (NLT). I declare that every promise over your life comes to pass today, in Jesus name.
Let’s focus on the first few verses of Matthew 28. Verse 1 reads: ‘Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb’. The dawn of a new day aptly demonstrates what the resurrection story is all about. This seems to suggest to us that in Christ, darkness is not meant to last forever and a new dawn is just about to break forth in our lives. There is hope and it is definitely not over yet. The resurrection validates the death and burial of Christ but ultimately confirms that death has lost its power. All that Christ foretold is indeed true – more so, the resurrection is the core of the Christian story. It is the essence of our hope and the validation of our faith. In other words, it is the most important message ever told.
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 30:5 ‘Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning’. Your past is not all there is, another season called a New Day is here, and hence you are not allowed to remain enslaved to the past – this is the underlining truth of ‘the Ultimate Triumph’. This is how Acts 2:23-24 put it: ‘Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it’. The resurrection must be seen in the light of what it represents for us today, and not as an event that occurred over 2,000 years ago – it communicates hope and restoration. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, and as such He is committed to ushering us into a life of triumph. Hence you must never see resurrection as an event or date on your calendar, but you must behold this triumph, personified in Christ and embrace it as a lifestyle.
We must be mindful that the enemy still holds that grip on the world in ensuring that the resurrection story is not believed – it began right from that first Easter weekend and almost deceived the apostles as well, considering that the report brought to them by the two women was dismissed as false. It took Jesus appearing to them, and showing them his hands and sides to convince the apostles that it was indeed true and real.
Not only were the apostles unyieldingly dismissive of what the two women told them, but they were also incapacitated by locking the door, and shutting the world out, out of fear that the authorities may soon arrest them too. Conversely, many people have been locked in and sidelined as a result of adversities and troubles of life. Jesus nonetheless put an end to this impasse – He simply showed up. May Jesus show up in your situations also (Amen).
Let’s take a close look at the first four statements that Jesus made after he arose on Resurrection Morning:
Firstly, Jesus said ‘Peace Be with You’ as recorded in John 20:19. We are familiar with the Hebrew word for peace – Shalom. This refers to your protection, prosperity, wholeness, deliverance and victory. I declare that just like Jesus said to his disciples that God’s peace be with you in Jesus name. The word Shalom also means ‘rest’ – I declare that your days of agitation and worry are over and you now enter into a season of rest in every area of your life. Hebrews 4:9 reads: ‘There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God (NIV). The third definition for the word ‘shalom’ is reconciliation. We were once aliens and strangers to God, but Jesus reconciled us back to the Father through his finished work on the cross. Ephesians 2:12-13 reads: ‘Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ (NIV). You do not need an intermediary like a priest anymore, like in the olden times, before you can approach God. The moment the veil in the temple was torn right from the top to the bottom, it marked the beginning of a new dispensation of unhindered, limitless, direct access to God.
Secondly, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘As the Father has sent Me, I also send you’ as recorded in John 20:21. Here was Jesus assignment for his disciples, giving them purpose and meaningful direction for their lives. Here was their mandate to change the world, just like Jesus did. Conversely, we have been given this same assignment to change the world. We have been called to continue from where Jesus and his disciples stopped. I declare that you will finish your assignment on earth, just like Jesus did!
Thirdly, ‘He (Jesus) breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit’ as recorded in John 20:22. He empowered them for their assignment. ‘I declare that you will be a man and woman of power and influence in Jesus name!’
And lastly, he told his disciples: ‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23). From that point onwards, the disciples became Jesus’ representative on earth. Not only did the disciples experience the resurrection, but they walked in the consciousness of Jesus’ (Resurrection personified) power. I declare that from today onwards, you will also begin to walk in this power in Jesus name! Apostle Paul made mention of this in his epistle to the Philippians 3:10: ‘that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death’ (NKJV). May you manifest Jesus in every area of your life from today onwards!
So I encourage you to walk in the reality of these four statements of Jesus every single day of your life!
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