THF SUNDAY SERVICE
17TH APRIL, 2022
TOPIC: THE WONDERS OF EASTER
TEXT: John 19:29 – 30
PREACHER: Rev. Ebenezer Olawuyi
Don’t joke with the last words of your parents. If you still have parents, pray and receive grace to be with them towards the last hours of their lives; whether your daddy or your mummy, make sure you do that because they will tell you one thing that will be very important and that will follow you through the years of your life. If you don’t have direct biological parents, find someone you can adopt as your father, either spiritual or someone you can adopt as a father, because God will want to say something to you through that word.If you look through the scriptures – the words of fathers when they are leaving… when Isaac was going, he gave a secret of the breakthrough of Esau to him and he said, “Well, the prophecy has gone concerning you, Esau, through your sword you are going to eat and you will serve your brother, however(a secret),when you become restless, you will break his yoke off your neck.” When Jacob was going also, he called his sons and spoke to them concerning their future, one after the other from Reuben. When Jesus was going, His last word… you know, in the church, we learn about the seven statements of Jesus on the cross. This one happened to be very important, some other Gospels put it as the second to the last one but this one (John) puts it at the last. The last one happened to be, “Now, Father unto you I commit my spirit”, but this is the last, according to the Gospel of John and He said, “It is finished”. The Bible says, “Bowing His head, He gave up the ghost”. This is the greatest Word spoken by the greatest man at the greatest time in the history of the world.
He agreed to three things: He agreed to do it, He agreed to die and He agreed to give His life. What a sacrifice He gave for me, knowing what it will cost!(this is the summary of the Easter Grace Convention). Knowing what it will cost Him, He still went ahead to do it, not like the other Kinsman-Redeemer, when Boaz told him and said, “You are the next kinsman, the most qualified person, you are the first. Come on, redeem the properties and take Ruth.” He said, “I will Redeem”, but when he heard that he will take over the liability – Ruth, he said, “No. I am not going to do it.” Jesus took over all our liabilities. Jesus, on the cross, gave this very important statement, the greatest in the world.
I am sure you have all heard about it, that the Greek word for this word is TETELESTIA, which means, “It is finished.” It is a word used in three areas of life: it is used mainly in the business to show a transaction – there is an exchange, but beyond that, there are other things, other areas that you use it. It is used in the military to show that the battle has been completely won, it is used also in the court, in judgment to mean “the sentence has been fully completed”; someone is supposed to be in the prison for five years and he has been there, he completed it, so the word is used: TETELESTIA, that is, He has completed it. When you buy something and you paid in part but later on, you went to pay it in full – TETELESTIA: fully paid, completely paid. So, it is used in business, in the military, in the court (in judgment). What Jesus said here is that everything that we owe, He has actually completed them. He has paid all the debt, He has paid them and given us full victory and He has completed the sentence – whatever judgment that was supposed to be upon us.
I am speaking specifically on the topic, the Wonders of Easter or the Wonders of Redemption, so that you can have reasons to praise the Lord the more.
The Wonders – What Jesus did to us that day through that Exchange
- He changed us from being Sinners to Saints: We are no longer sinners, we are now saints. For those of us who have believed Him and accepted Him. In the Catholic, you call some people saints: St. Augustus, St. Mathias, St. Andrew, and so on, but do you know that you are a saint. You are! The Bible says He called us to be saints (1 Cor. 1:2). We are no longer what we used to be, we are no longer sinners, we are saints in Christ. You have got to know that you are not just an ordinary person, you are a saint. Jesus has changed your status from being a sinner to a saint.
- You have been forgiven:It means your sins are no longer with you, you have been forgiven. If Christ did not rise, then our sins are still with us (1 Cor. 15:16-17). Don’t keep living under the guilt of the past, once you are in Christ, your sins are forgiven. Don’t live with this guilt of the past sins, you know, some people are still struggling with the sins of ten years ago. The scripture says, “For those who live in Christ Jesus, God has erased their sins to the extent that God cannot even remember any longer.”
Remember the story of that little boy, the son of one of our members some years ago – about 8 or 7 years ago. He had a dream and said he saw Jesus in his dream and Jesus kept on telling him a lot of things. He told his father and his mother what he saw, then his father asked him if he was sure and that to be sure, next time when he sees Jesus in his dream, he should ask Jesus what was the last sin he (the father) committed. True to it, he had a dream again and saw Jesus. This is a true experience by one of our children in the children church. He asked Jesus to tell him the last sin his daddy committed. Jesus looked at him and said he can’t remember; it is not covered, is blotted out.
In the days of old, it was covered, now, it is uncovered. You know the reason why those in the orthodox system wear long clothes, following the Leviticus priesthood – that was what God told them to do, so that when He looked at them, the white will cover the sins inside. But our sins are not covered up, they are blotted out. If it is covered up, you can still remove something to show it, but your sins are forgiven, they are no longer with you. If you believe it, shout a big hallelujah.
- We are no longer slaves to sin (Gal. 4:7).A slave does not know all that his master has, he doesn’t have privilege, but the scripture says, you are no longer a slave, you are son. The Muslims say, “eru Olorun ni won”, they are slaves of God. That’s why you are not worshipping the same God with them. One person says he is a slave of God, another says, he is a son of God. Are you the same? I am not a slave, I am a son. That’s the wonder, He changed slaves to become sons, He changed sinners to become Saints. He changed the unforgiven to be forgiven. It’s a wonder to the world. We are no longer slaves, we are now sons.
- We are no longer enemies but friends of God. The scripture says while we were enemies, He died for us (Rom. 5:10). While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, “…much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). Jesus was speaking in the book of John and He said, “I do not call you servants, I call you friends, for a servant does not know all that his master does.” You are now my friend, you are no longer an enemy. You are not an enemy of God, you are now a friend of God.
Some people say, “Oh, that is pride. How can you call yourself a friend of God?” After all, the Bible says Abraham was a friend of God. They say, “That is pride, spiritual pride. How can you say you are a friend of God?” But that’s what the scripture says, you are a friend. Your boss can be your friend, although he has authority over you, he can befriend you, you can be so close that you share together. So, Jesus is saying, “I have befriended you, you are my friend.” While you were His enemies, he died for you, so how much more now that you have been saved by His life.
Sing: I am a friend of God. I am friend of God. I am a friend of God. He calls me “friend”.
What a privilege that the maker of heaven and earth will call you His friend. What a privilege that the Lord of Lords will make you His friend. Can somebody shout, “Thank you Jesus.” You are not an enemy, you are a friend of God.
- You are no longer someone without mercy, you now have mercy (1 Pet. 2:10). Mercy is pursuing you now. God is following you and that is why the Bible says, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. Mercy pursues you now. In those days, you were without mercy, but now mercy… Psalms 32:10 says, “Mercy surrounds you”. Everywhere you go, mercy is your aide-de-camp, following you all around, but in those days, you were without mercy. 1 Pet. 2:10 – Who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. You are a people of mercy, anywhere you go, mercy will follow you. You will find mercy and by that mercy, you will not be consumed in the name of Jesus. God has covenanted with you (Isa. 55:3). You will find mercy, Amen.
- You are no longer condemned, you are justified. No more condemnation, nothing can condemn you. Who will even lay a charge against God’s elect, Nobody! You are no longer condemned, no condemnation for you. Nobody can condemn you. As long as you are in Christ Jesus, no hell can condemn you, you have passed from condemnation to justification (Rom. 8:1). If God says He is not condemning you, who will condemn you. You have passed from condemnation to justification. Justification means you have been acquitted from all the wrongs that could condemn you. You are now justified! Let somebody say, “Thank you Jesus”.
- You have passed from hopelessness to hopefulness. You are no longer a hopeless person. Naomi was living a life of hopelessness, she didn’t even know where she was going when she was returning to Bethlehem, that was why she told Ruth to stay behind. People without Christ are hopeless – hopeless lives. But, Christ has changed you from hopelessness to hopefulness, you now have hope. Colossians 1:27 –“…Christ in you (me), the hope of glory”. Hallelujah! Hope! It’s going to be better. Who says it is not going to be better? Who says you don’t have a future? Even if the tree is cut down, it will spring up again. It will rise up again, there is hope for you, but someone without Christ has no hope (Eph. 2:12).
- You are no longer foreigners, you are citizens. Foreigners have limitations in any country that you go to, but when you have your green card, you have access to everything. You have access to medical facilities, education for yourself and your children and so many things, but when you are not, you are limited. God is saying you are no longer a foreigner. Remember, Ruth was a foreigner, but Boaz as a kinsman-redeemer, brought her into the family of God. God brought you out, brought you as a foreigner and gave you your green card in His heavenly kingdom. You are now a member of God’s family (Eph. 2:12, 19). All of us, we are citizens of heaven. We are no longer foreigners, we have rights. Citizens, shout hallelujah!
- You are no longer strangers or aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel: There is the European Union, the African Union, etc. In those days, Nigeria was under the British era and enjoyed a lot of things. The scripture says we were aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel, meaning there are blessings we could not claim in those days but now, who are we? Let’s check Colossians 1:12 – “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” We are now partakers, we are no longer aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel. Jesus said to the Sarophoenician woman (Matt. 15:26) that He can’t give that which belongs to the children to the dogs; she was a foreigner, she couldn’t partake but by the faith of the woman, she was converted from being an alien to be a partaker of the blessing just by her faith. Now, by your faith in Christ Jesus, you are no longer an alien. You are no longer an alien, you are now a partaker of the promise. Say, “I am a partaker, I am no longer an alien”.
- In those days, you were without God, you didn’t have God. God, the Almighty was not your father. Even though in those days you kept saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven”, God would say, “Who are you? I don’t know you.” There was no confidence to pray then because God was not your father. And when people pray saying, “Father, in the name of Jesus”, you think then that such was pride, “How can they speak to God in such manner?” So, in those days, you were without God. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am your God.” Don’t be afraid! That’s why the same scripture we read, Eph. 2:12 says in those days, you were without God, you did what you like, you went where you wanted, no God was in charge of your life. No God was controlling you, although you claimed that you knew Him, you didn’t. Now, we are not without God, we have God as our Father. We are with God. In those days, we were without God but now, we are with God. The wonders of redemption changed us from people without God to people with God and you know, God is not just with us, God is for us and God is in us – three levels. Say, “God is for me, God is with me and God is in me”. That is one of the wonders of Easter.
Now, God dwells in our tabernacle, in those days, He was dwelling in tents. This building is a church building, God does not stay in church buildings, God stays in the building of human beings – vessels. You are where God stays. You are now a carrier of God. When we come together like this as a church, God dwells in the midst of us. If God is for you, who can be against you (Rom. 8:31). I am one million times stronger inside of me than you see me outside because the greater One is inside of me (1 John 4:4); so don’t look at me by my side because the Greater One, who made the heavens and the earth is dwelling in me. The reason why a lot of people are afraid is because you don’t know who is inside of them. He is in you, He is for you and He is with you. In Matt. 28:20, He says, “Lo, I am with you even till the end of the age.” In those days, we were without God but now, God is with us. If you know God is with you, shout Hallelujah.
- In those days, we were people without identity, we were nobody, but our nobody has become somebody. You were nobody, no identity: a certain rich man but people did not know his name. The redeemer who was supposed to redeem Ruth but didn’t, did we learn of his name, no! But, that was what we were, we were nobody, no identity, but now, we are known as the people of God. You were not a people, no identity, but now, you have identity, you are now a people of God (1 Pet. 2 :10). Angels recognize us that we are called by His name. We are not nameless people, we are known by His name, we carry His name. You are not nameless, you carry His identity. Nobody can deal with you anyhow. God has identified with you. Deuteronomy 28:10 – “Then, all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.” I am not nameless, I am identified with the God of gods. I am not a nobody. Wonders! He changed us from nobody. We are now ‘somebody’, Hallelujah!
- You are very far, but now, you are near. In those days, you have to look for a mountain to pray, but now, your mountain is now in your room. God is not faraway from you. Someone was praying, saying, “God, where are you?” and God said, “Can’t you see me?” God is near you, He is not faraway from you. In those days, He was faraway from you. Eph. 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Through the cross, you crossed over and came to His side, you are no longer far, you are near. Hallelujah!
- You are no longer a person without peace, you now have peace with God. Formerly, you have no peace with God, but now, you have peace. “The wicked is like the sea, tossed to and fro, there is no peace for the wicked.” Anyone without Christ has no peace, but in Christ you now have peace. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). The wrath of God is not hanging on our heads any longer, God is only looking for ways of blessing us now because we are His people. We have peace with Him! You have peace with God. Formerly, the anger of God was upon us but now, it is His peace. We have peace with God and you know, peace with God determines all other peace. There are 3 levels of peace, there is peace with God, there is peace in yourself and peace with others. Peace with God is vertical, peace with yourself is within and peace with others is horizontal. If you don’t have peace with God, you can never have peace with yourself, if you don’t have peace with yourself, you cannot have peace with others. Death leads you into more danger and anger of God, you need to have peace with God here on earth and the way to have peace with God is being justified by faith, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have peace with God. We were people without peace but now, we are people of peace.
- In those days, we were completely bankrupt. We were really down. We were empty, just like Naomi. We were empty, completely down. It is not just about money, we were bankrupt, we were empty, we had nothing but in Christ now, we are rich. Through His grace, we have everything we need. That is why the Scripture says in Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. We are blessed with everything, we are rich now. You can’t have the grace of God and not be rich, not just about money alone, but we have the riches of His kingdom (Eph. 2:4). You are no longer bankrupt, you are now rich.
- You are no longer defeated, you are now victorious.2 Corinthians 2:14 – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. We are no longer defeated people, we are victorious people. Through the redemption of Christ, He has changed us from being a loser to become winners. You are called to a victorious life. You must see the end of that battle. You must see the end of that affliction, it will not see your end, because you are destined to be victorious. You are more than conquerors! That is one of the things redemption did for us. It changed us from being losers; when He rose up from the dead, He rose with us and we are seated with Him in heavenly places. Say, “I am far above principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world.” I am far above them and from now, you are sitting with Jesus. We heard yesterday that Jesus sat down, He is no longer standing, He is sitting down and you are sitting with Him – Victorious triumph! You tread upon the lion, the adder, the cobra, they can no longer hurt you because you have been destined to a victorious life. You stepped upon the powers of the enemy, why? Because you are a conqueror. Redemption gave us victory. I am not a loser, I am a winner.
Sing: Conquerors are we…