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April 13, 2024 – Lent: He is Risen. Now What?

Lent: He is Risen. Now What?

By: James Castruccio

Restore – Transitive verb

  1. To bring back into existence or use; reestablish. “restore law and order.”
  2. To bring back to an original or normal condition. “restore a building; restored the patient to health.”
  3. To place in a former position or location. “restored the book to the shelf.”
  4. To put (someone) back in a former position or role. “restore the emperor to the throne.”
  5. To make restitution of; give back. “restore the stolen funds.”
  6. To bring back to its former state; to bring back from a state of ruin, decay, disease, or the like; to repair; to renew; to recover.

We will come back to this at the end of this devotional.

What was it all for?

We have spent time over the past two months learning about, discussing, and observing Lent. When we started this journey, we were looking toward calvary and the significance of what Jesus did and accomplished as He took on Himself our punishment for sin, paid our debt, and secured our place in eternity.

We took a more intentional approach to Easter this season and some of us even chose to fast from something and give that time to the Lord. We don’t want this time of fasting and reflection to be just something we do “with the end in mind”. I can give up anything for 8 weeks. We should desire a change to happen within us. Did this time change me, or was it simply a good exercise? We turned from ourselves to be more intentional towards Christ and our walk with Him.

Lent is typically 46 days, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday; this year we got an extra day due to this being a leap year.

Matthew 26:31‐35
31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Luke 22:54‐62
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

While we can’t know with certainty how Jesus looked at Peter, I think we can make a reasonable deduction based on who Jesus is, how Peter responded, and how Jesus pursued him after his resurrection. I like how Charles Spurgeon put it, “I think it was a heartpiercing look and a hearthealing look all in one,— a look which revealed to Peter the blackness of his sin, and also the tenderness of his Master’s heart towards him.

Charles Spurgeon also wrote, “And yet I love thee, Peter, I love thee still! Thou hast denied me, but I look upon thee still as mine. I cannot give thee up. I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and, notwithstanding all thine illconduct towards me, I am looking for thee, and expecting to receive thee. I have not turned my back on thee.

It is interesting that Peter cursed those who asked him if he was with Jesus, but when Jesus confronted him he simply wept. No words. Tears. Not just tears, but anguish and lament.

When have I denied Christ?

While not as public as Peter’s denial, I can find myself denying Christ every day and multiple times throughout the day at that.

 I need to spend time in God’s Word but don’t have the time (because I spent my entire evening roaming through Facebook Marketplace).

 I feel moved to pray with someone but there are people around (but I don’t mind talking about politics or sports instead).

 I know I should honor my wife, but she made me so mad (that I don’t feel like loving her as Christ loved the Church and gave His life up for her).

While these denials are not as direct and public as Peter’s, they are no different than me saying, “I don’t know Him” because if I did acknowledge that I do know Him, I would spend that time in God’s Word. I would pray with that person. I would honor my wife.

Jesus is tried, convicted, and sentenced to be crucified.

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!

S.M. Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000) was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching across the United States and around the world. His Easter Meditation, “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Comin’!” is part of one of one of the most powerful sermons I have ever heard preached by a man.

It’s Friday,
Jesus is praying,
Peter’s a sleeping,
Judas is betraying
But Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
Pilate’s struggling,
The council is conspiring,
The crowd is vilifying,
They don’t even know,
That Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
The disciples are running,
Like sheep without a shepherd,
Mary’s crying,
Peter is denying,
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s a comin’!

It’s Friday,
The Romans beat my Jesus,
They robe him in scarlet,
They crown him with thorns,
But they don’t know,
That Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
See Jesus walking to Calvary,
His blood dripping,
His body stumbling,
And his spirit’s burdened,
But you see, it’s only Friday,
Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
The world’s winning,
People are sinning,
And evil’s grinning.

It’s Friday,
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands To the cross,
They nail my Savior’s feet, To the cross,
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals.

It’s Friday,
But let me tell you something,
Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday
The disciples are questioning,
What has happened to their King,
And the Pharisees are celebrating,
That their scheming,
Has been achieved,
But they don’t know,
It’s only Friday,
Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
He’s hanging on the cross,
Feeling forsaken by his Father,
Left alone and dying,
Can nobody save him?
It’s Friday,
But Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday,
The earth trembles,
The sky grows dark,
My King yields his spirit.

It’s Friday,
Hope is lost,
Death has won,
Sin has conquered,
and Satan’s just a laughin’.

It’s Friday,
Jesus is buried,
A soldier stands guard,
And a rock is rolled into place.

But it’s Friday,
It is only Friday,
Sunday is a comin’!

He is Risen. Now what?

While the debt for sin was paid at Calvary and Jesus defeated death and the grave, that is not the end of the story.

John 21:19

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

This is the second time Peter got out of a boat (while on the water) to meet Jesus.

Matthew 14:25‐31
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Now, let’s go back to breakfast with Jesus and the Disciples.

John 21:10‐19
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Am I willing to get out of the boat?

Jesus spent 40 days on earth after His resurrection. 40 days. Let’s look to Acts chapter 2 when Peter addresses the crowd after the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost.

Acts 2:1447

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19  I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20  The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 

25 David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 28  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 

34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Peter doubted and denied during his time with Jesus. Jesus never gave up on Peter. Jesus restored Peter. 40 days later, Peter could not be silenced.

I doubt and deny Jesus throughout my walk with him. Jesus will never give up on me.

John 10:27‐30
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

What did I surrender to the Lord during this past Lenten season? Am I going to take it back now that Lent is over? How am I going to invest these next 11 months until Lent begins next year on March 5, 2025? Am I willing to get out of the boat again but, this time keep my eyes on Jesus?

Heavenly Father, thank you for Sunday and the empty tomb. Thank you for sending your one and only Son to be the perfect sacrifice for my sins. To pay the price I could not pay, for the gift I do not deserve. Thank you for changing my heart over these past 8 weeks. Please make the changes you made in me be for my lifetime, and not just a season. Please help me to not deny you by my attitude or my lifestyle. I want to honor you with my life and everything I have, because it is all nothing without my relationship with you. Please forgive me for putting anything above you. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. Please purge in my what needs to be surrendered to You and please restore to me what You want to use in me for Your kingdom and Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Brotherhood Mission Statement:
“Discipling men of all ages in their pursuit of loving God
with all their hearts, all their lives.”

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