3 Reasons Why the Great Commission Is Central to Easter

Jesus sitting and speaking with his disciples

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The disciples encountered discouragement and fear after Jesus’ crucifixion, but His resurrection changed everything. Their sorrow was turned to joy, and they suddenly understood Jesus in a way they never did before. 

Before His ascension, Jesus gives them a critical task. He tells them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). 

When we think about the Great Commission, we don’t tend to think about its relationship to the resurrection. However, Jesus’ call to go into all the world is given after He is risen, and it is directly tied to the resurrection.  

Here are three reasons we should connect the Great Commission and the resurrection in our hearts. 

1. The Great Commission is given in light of the resurrection

On the night Jesus was crucified, He shared a Passover meal with His disciples. Knowing that He was about to be tried and executed, He washed their feet as an example of the kind of others-oriented service He expected from His followers. In the days following Jesus’ death, that lesson on service would be at the forefront of their minds. Jesus’ death and His call to serve would be linked in an authentic way. As Jesus served us in death, we are to serve one another in life. 

In a similar fashion, the Great Commission goes hand in hand with the resurrection story. Christ demonstrated His victory over death, and that victory is tied to the message He called His disciples to share with the world. Jesus’ followers would forever remember the instructions to go into the world coming from the One who had demonstrated His authority and power by rising from the dead. 

2. The Great Commission is the promise of resurrection life

The message of the cross is central to the gospel. Jesus died for our sins so we wouldn’t have to. But that’s not the good news in its entirety. Jesus conquered death, and in trusting in Him, we can as well. Death doesn’t have the final word, and the God who created the universe and holds all things together can dwell in us through the Holy Spirit. 

The cross is a message of forgiveness, and the resurrection is the promise of life. It’s a promise of a life to come and an indwelling life that makes us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. 

3. The Great Commission is empowered by the risen Jesus 

The last words of Matthew’s gospel are the last words of the Great Commission. Jesus promises His disciples and us that “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). This promise should help us be joyful and enthusiastic about every area of our lives. No matter how bad things get, Jesus has promised that He is with us. 

However, it’s critical to remember that Jesus made this promise as part of His commission. He’s telling the disciples that they’re going out into the world to share the good news, and even when times get tough, He will be there among them. He’s beside them, energizing and encouraging them in the work that He’s called them to do. And while the promise of His presence applies to all our lives, it’s important and significant that we recognize the context of this promise. As we go into the world with His message, the risen Jesus promises to be with us. 

The Great Commission is for all of us

Is Jesus’ Great Commission an enduring command? Was it only issued to His first-century followers? Or did He only intend it for paid ministry professionals? We examine this question in the article “Is the Great Commission for Me, My Pastor, or the Disciples?
If you’re interested in investing in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, you can pray for and with Jesus Film Project® and financially support the work with your giving. Together, we can tell the world about Jesus.