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Memories of the Master

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Text:  John 20:19

            Have you ever been paralyzed with fear?...fear that grips you so  tight that you can do nothing?  The men who turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ were at one time.  Read Text.

            Though they had walked with Him for three years, they now sat afraid.  Their most courageous act was to get up and lock the door.  Some looked out the window, some looked at the wall, some looked at the floor, but all looked inside themselves.  It was the hour of self-examination.

            We don’t know where that upper room was where they hid themselves, but we know they took with them memories.  Memories of a man who called Himself the Son of God…and they couldn’t get Him out of their minds.  Everywhere they went they saw Jesus in their minds, so they gathered in an upper room in silence.  If they saw a leper, they thought of His compassion on lepers.  If they heard a storm, they would remember the day He silenced one.  If they saw a child, they would think of the day He held one.  And if they saw a lamb being carried to the temple, they would remember His face streaked with blood and His eyes flooded with love.

            They couldn’t forget Him!  And so, as a result, they came back to the upper room where their bellies were last filled with symbolic wine and bread.

            What did it take to turn around these frightened ambassadors behind locked doors?  What would it take to ignite the fire again?  What got the apostles out of their paralyzing fear is exactly what we need to get us out of our fear!

            While they were all crouched on the floor, the room flooded with a familiar light and presence.  They turned and saw Him.  They hear Him speak, “Peace be with you.”

            Every mouth dropped open.  They looked at Him and then the door.  It was still locked.     It was a moment the apostles would never forget, a story they would never cease to tell!  The stone of the tomb was not enough to keep Him in.  The walls of the room were not enough to keep Him out.

            One simple phrase.  The very thing they didn’t have was what He offered:  peace.  And the weeks that followed turned the world upside down with their unstoppable faith!

            We are gathered in this place to recount a memory.  Are you huddled here in fear?  Are you paralyzed by your life troubles?

            Then what I suggest you do is close your eyes and go back to the upper room.  Envision yourself as one of them huddled on the floor and let Jesus appear before you.  Wait there until He comes.  Let your problems and sins collide with the Savior…He will win!  You are there in the upper room to remember that He who was dead is alive, and we who are guilty have been forgiven!     A man is never the same after his fears are challenged with the presence of Christ’s unbending grace!

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