Easter Sunday - - -the day we celebrate The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the week prior to Easter each year, by way of the scriptures, I visit the sites of “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” I enter The Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed. I stroll down the Via Dolorosa path trying to visualize the sights and sounds of that horrendous day. Moving past the city gates of Jerusalem, I make my way to Golgotha, where He died on the cross. Ending my visit at the tomb, I leave rejoicing that He is not there.
During my visit this year, not only was my heart filled with gratitude for what Jesus did for me, but it was also stirred with an awareness of what common ordinary people were doing for Jesus. I invite you to pay a visit to these people with me, and let’s examine our own lives to see what one person can do for Jesus.
1. Mark 14:1-9 - - One Woman Did What She Could - A certain woman heard that Jesus would soon die and wanted to prepare his body for burial. While He was eating at the home of Simeon, the Leper, she came into the house with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The people rebuked her harshly for not selling the perfume and giving the money to the poor. But Jesus said: “Let her alone. She has done what she could. She has done a beautiful thing for me. The poor you will always have with you and you can help them any time; but I won’t be here much longer.”When we do what we can do with the abilities we have, or give of those things we treasure the most, we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.
2. Mark 15:17-21 - - One Man Carried The Cross - Jesus was sentenced to die and began his journey to the site of the crucifixion. The Romans recognized that Jesus had grown weak and ready to faint under the load of the cross and feared he would die before he got to the site. So, they drafted Simon of Cyrene, a visitor to the city, to carry the cross for Jesus. When we help carry the burden of someone who has grown tired and weary, we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.
3. Mark 15:42 - - One Man Risked Persecution - After the crucifixion had taken place, Joseph of Arimathea, went in boldly to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus for burial. He did this knowing he could incur displeasure, reproach, and persecution of the Jews. He was not ashamed of being associated with Jesus nor afraid to appear in his behalf. When we are willing to risk the persecution of others to be obedient to His call on our lives, we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.
4. Mark 16: 9-13--One Woman Told the Story of His Resurrection - Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, a woman whom he had cast out seven devils, came to the tomb. Not finding him there, they fled trembling and bewildered. Soon, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. Running to his weeping disciples, Mary shouted, “HE’S ALIVE!” Bible commentaries say it is possible that Jesus made His first appearance to this woman to show us as an example of his abounding grace. When we catch a glimpse of grace, God’s unmerited favor, we will do a beautiful thing for Jesus by sharing the gospel with everyone we meet.
(5) Luke 23:39 - - One Man Accepted Jesus as his Savior - As Jesus hung between two criminals on the cross, the conversation went like this: First thief: “So, you are the Messiah, are you?” “Prove it by saving yourself and us, too!” Second thief: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus said: “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” When we accept Jesus as our Savior, not only are we doing it for our eternal life, but we are doing it for him so that His suffering will not be in vain.
Conclude: When we think of the Easter story, may our hearts cherish what Jesus did for us. But, when we think of ordinary people like you and me, may we be reminded of what one person can do for Jesus. Could it be that what we do for Jesus will also be written down as a memorial to us like these people? Oh, I long to hear Him say: “Well, done, my good and faithful servant.”