Christmas • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 36:17
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The hubbub of the season
hurt my ankle this week
got a lot done as I’m a little ahead of shopping
if you’ve got some stuff done, in fact you are done, than I ask you to pray, pray for those who don’t.Tray for those who are missing it, missing this whole Christmas season. Pray for those who are roaming through this time aimlessly
This week we continued our tours of the Christmas Lights. It is awesome sharing Jesus with everyone. Yet sometimes people get passed our gatekeepers, and end up on the tour the wrong way, I actually saw a few people who started aimlessly wandering the path.
If you followed the path, you’d go like we have gone for the past several weeks, from the angel Gabriel talking with Mary, to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth, than the Wise Men, the Shepherds, Woman at the Well, Jesus walking on water, and then the cross.
But if you walked it backwards, or if today is your first time with us, it is totally cool because we are genuinely did save the best for last. The last part of the tour is our light depiction of the resurrected Jesus
When you arrived at this spot on the tour I would tell you that while we have no idea what day Jesus was actually born on, we just picked December 25th, we do know what Jesus rose from the dead! We celebrate that at Easter .” We even find it so important that we celebrate the day every single week by gathering on the same day of the week that He rose again!
1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 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.”
Right here this is it! God did it! Jesus is no longer in the grave. He was dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. He did not receive CPR and come back. He was dead for over 36 hours and because the way people said the day begins and ends back then, see we make up a time called mid-night, but to them they said sunset was the end of the day, so Jesus was dead and rose on the third day.
Jesus was not resuscitated he was resurrected. Jesus is alive! He is alive. He is not in a grave. He never and will never die again!
This is the full power of God on display. It is the completion of domination by the loving God.
3 Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a hope that is alive. It is alive because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. 4 He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. It is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you.
God did it. He died on the cross paying the punishment for sin but then He rose again. That rising gives to all those who believe in him a new birth! Something that can never be taken away, destroyed or lost.
This is the power of the resurrection, God does the work of making all things new. This is our hope. It is why we can never say well that’s just the way the person is. You know that person who is so messed up, so caught up in addiction, so greedy, so mean. That is just the person that they currently are, they have not died to themselves and accepted that Jesus, who died for their sins, is alive and gives them new life!!
No one is down and out. No one is too small, too dumb or too useless, No one is more powerful than the Lord Jesus who rose from the dead!
In the early days when people learned that our body uses electricity to control our muscle movements, one ghastly experiment was to use electricity on recently punished by death criminals. They would shock certain muscles and sure enough they could get the body to move, even the face to make expressions but there was no life in the body.
Today we can resuscitate the body, but we cannot make the body new. For all those who follow Jesus we know live with a hope of the resurrection as Jesus, currently is we will be.
5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”
I am telling you the power of the resurrection is fulfilled in Jesus and will be fulfilled for all those who follow Him.
13 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. 14 Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. 15 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. 16 The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. 17 Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. 18 Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
My friends the Resurrection of Jesus is true, It is power and it is our future hope.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations (5035 The Grieving Caterpillars)
5035 The Grieving CaterpillarsArthur Brisbane once pictured a crowd of grieving caterpillars carrying the corpse of a cocoon to its final resting place. The poor, distressed caterpillars, clad in black raiment, were weeping, and all the while the beautiful butterfly fluttered happily above all the junk down below, forever freed from its earthly shell. Needless to say, it is foolish to remember only the cocoon and concentrate our attention on the remains, while forgetting the bright butterfly.
This is true, we can accept with full faith, in our Lord Jesus resurrection. Yet it isn’t just for after we die or at his return the resurrection makes a difference right now.
This is the promise of our future and it begins today, not with a renewing of our body but a renewing of our minds.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our thinking produces our actions and as Christ makes our mind new, even on this side of our own resurrection we begin to change and transform. The writer of these verses knew how powerful this change was and He too figured out that this is the real pursuit in life.
Philippians 3:7–11 (NLT)
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
When you truly know the Joy, the Hope, the Peace, and the love that comes in Jesus, the resurrected one! What a day!
We have seen it in my mother’s recent cancer diagnosis my friends, what a joy to see not just because she is doing better but even in the midst of this problem. We must understand that “you could die” is not the greatest scariest thing. You could lose everything is not the greatest scariest thing. Since the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we have Joy that God is with us, Hope that He works out all things to the good of those who Love Him, Peace in our Hearts that God raises the dead, and Love from a Jesus who would die for us, give us life, and give us a life eternal.
This is the hope that a woman with cancer can rely on, a hope that a man in prison can still say my life has meaning in Jesus, a hope that a grandmother can know her voice is still heard by her Lord and Savior as she prays, a truth that someone in recovery can say while recovery is too hard, in the resurrected Jesus all things are possible!!
You know what is impossible? Trying to do Jesus and pursue the things that everyone else cares about.
Too many of us are trying to have Jesus and add on to it the way everyone else lives. We pursue a life of no problems, taking whatever makes life easier, popping pills instead of responsibility, taking shortcuts instead of patience, using rage to get what we want rather than love, We are going after easy riches. We go after everyone agreeing with us. We go after ease and comfort, that is not going to work.
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
The people who translated the Bible really didn’t want to use the real English equivalent of the word to say. He didn’t write garbage. He wrote SKEE-bal-loan. Now skee-bal-loan is a greek word only used once in the Bible but it is used in other ancient greek writings. It is not a nice word, but it fits right here. It is the most forceful way that someone could say poop. I’m only going to say it once, but this is how the Bible verse should read in today’s language:
Philippians 3:8 (CSB)
8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ
That’s the word the Bible uses. It’s shocking because it fits. Going after something worthless when you could be going after the best is stupid!
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want anything to do with poop. When I have to change a diaper at work, and some of my students need that, I double bag that diaper, I wipe that up quick, I get rid of even the gloves I used. I even spray the air with febreeze! I don’t want to remember it.
I don’t keep it around. I don’t want it as a secret gift. I don’t want it anywhere near me. I don’t take pictures of it. I don’t even want the smell of it do you?
Seriously, some of us get so excited when we aren’t doing the horrible things that we used to do. Yet we now pursue new addictions that everybody else is cool with. Or we let our lives be just like everyone else around us, except Church on Sunday. We think and talk, and go after the same goals as everyone else. I tell you it is wonderful when horrible addictions stop. I like not having to be around diarrhea too, that’s what addictions are like. But I am not more excited to be around solid poop, I don’t want any poop!! When we are trying to go after what everyone else is going after we are missing out on the Riches of Knowing Christ Jesus.
When we keep living our lives for anything other than knowing the surpassing value of Jesus Christ we are living our lives for crap!
Pursue your relationship with Jesus not crap!
When Lori and I started dating we had lunch and dinner together every time we could. We talked on the phone, which was a lot more effort then. I wanted to know her!
My friends pursue the Lord Jesus as a new love. Pursue! If your relationship with God has grown stale I tell you it’s not Jesus.
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Now this is also different than most of us would say in our modern way of talking.
We might say, “I no longer count on getting right with God by following all rules, by having all the churchy people say I’m perfect. I don’t live for people at church thinking I am good. I live trusting God in all of my life, that God will make me a right person.
Some will say that just by me saying the “bad word” earlier means I should never be able to preach again. I broke the rules of proper speech. But I tell you I know by faith that God wants to love you where you are at and you need to hear the Bible for what it is saying. I tell you that we don’t have to go after everyone being happy with us. This too is poop. We need to go after God being happy with us. We need to go after God likes on social media. We need to go after the God who loves us, enjoys us, smiles at us, died for us and even returned to life to be reunited with us!
Accept this by faith in the Jesus our Resurrected God!
Llving by faith is a trust without seeing. Remember the chair? Tell someone about how sitting in a chair tells us about faith.
You trust your chair. You didn’t test it. You’ve put your full weight into it. You know that it will do a good job as a chair and yet you can’t possibly know.
Do you know that God likes you? God is delighted with you. God wants to bless you and fill your life with Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace. Do you have faith in Him and his resurrection? Than trust him. Trust him to love your enemies and bless those who mess with you. Trust him with your finances and live generously starting by giving back to Him. Trust him with your sexuality and pursue loving others not using others for your own physical or emotional needs. Trust him with your word, speak as one who can be trusted, who doesn’t have to make extra promises so you are believed. Trust him with your time. Spend time learning about Him and praying to Him. Seek Him and His ways .Trust that He will make Himself known to you. Trust him. He rose from the dead. He is all powerful.
He is worthy of all. Everything else, well we need to flush it.
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!