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Oh, No! He's Back Part II

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Insanity - Orion Project

Ever heard of it?  During all of my years working in the Aerospace field.  I had not heard about it until Jacob was watching a video from the History channel one evening. There is a reason that you might not have heard of it! Insane, but creative. Describe the project... They actually built a working model, not with nuclear explosives but with C4.

E.                There were Problems

1.                 Nuclear fallout/cloud

2.                 Heat on the bottom

3.                 Quick acceleration

F.                But to me that was not the least of their problems.

1.                 For me, I wanted to know where they were going to find a crew…

2.                 Sitting on several nuclear bombs that would be set off, on purpose.

3.                 Would you volunteer to get aboard Orion? 

4.                 Would you want to make that Journey? 

5.                 The problem is not the concept, talking about it in the drafting room.  To me, the problems is actually getting there, getting on-board and strapping yourself in.

G.               That is the part that seems insane to me.  I am sure there are those that would have volunteered in an instant.

1.                 To get aboard, to take part in a journey that seems so uncertain, to start a journey into the unknown, unsure if you will make it!

2.                 What would make you get onboard? 

II.                Last year, my message for Resurrection Sunday was "On no! He's back!"

A.               The question that I asked was, were the disciples on that first resurrection Sunday excited that Jesus was back? 

1.                 Would they have wanted the same Jesus back.

2.                 The one who challenged them to break down the prejudices. 

3.                 The one who destroyed social boundaries and taught them to do the same.

4.                 The one who said, "Go, sell all you have and give it to the poor"

B.                Or, the same Jesus back whom

1.                 They had denied

2.                 They had misunderstood

3.                 The one whom they had abandoned when he most needed them…

C.               Maybe, on that Sunday morning they went from, "He's dead, our leader is dead, what will become of us" to "He's back, what will become of us?"

1.                 What would Jesus say to them?

2.                 Would he be angry?

3.                 Would he shake his head and give them that "I am disappointed in you" look.  (You know the look)

a.                  I think they were probably more afraid of having him back…

b.                 I would be.

III.             This year, I would like to pick-up where I left off last year

A.               A kind of sequel. 

B.                He's Back, Part 2 

1.                 It is not too long to wait for sequel these days.  How long have we been waiting for Spiderman 3, Pirates 3 or Rocky 7!  (or 8, I lost track)

C.               John and describe the breakfast meal…

1.                 Out fishing, when Jesus appears to them for the 3rd time since his resurrection…

IV.            John 21:15-17

A.                When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”  He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep…

V.               A familiar passage

A.               Many suggest that the point of this passage is the two kinds of love that are used. 

1.                 Agape and Phileo..

2.                 Unconditional love and brotherly love  Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love)

B.                The argument goes something like this..

1.                 Jesus says, agape in the first two, Peter responds with Philo

2.                 Then, for his third question, Jesus, uses Peter's choice, Philo..

C.               Some suggest that Jesus is saying, do you love me unconditionally?  OK, well are you at least my friend.

D.               Probably not the case

1.                 First, both words are used by John to talk about God's love for his people

2.                 Second, we really do not see Jesus in the Gospels as a person of compromise.

a.                  "Be prefect as your Heavenly Father is perfect"

b.                 "Leave all that you have an come and follow me"

c.                 "Let the dead bury the dead, you come and follow me"

d.                 Does not sound much like, "Awww, come-on can't we still be friends"

VI.            Others suggest that Jesus is wiping the slate clean with Peter, giving him another chance. 

A.               Peter denied him three times, in front of a lot of people.  It is hard to "take it back?

1.                 Pillow story

a.                  There was once a man who went through the community slandering the rabbi of a small town.

b.                 One day get learns that the rabbi has found out, so he felt bad, very bad and when to the rabbi and he begged for forgiveness.

c.                 "I will do anything…"

d.                 The rabbi instructed him to take a feather pillow from his house, open it and scatter the feathers to the wind. Then, he could return to see the rabbi.

e.                  The man did as he was told and then came to the rabbi asking, “Am I now forgiven?”

f.                   “Almost,” the rabbi answered. “You just have to do one more thing – go and gather up all the feathers.”

g.                 “That’s impossible,” the man complained. “they are everywhere!"

h.                 “Of course,” answered the rabbi. “And though you truly want to correct the wrong you have done, it is as impossible to repair the damage done by your words as it is to gather up those feathers.”

B.                Now, Jesus asks him again, three times, "Do you love me?" 

1.                 To love me, Peter, you have to admit that you know me.

2.                 So, do you love me?

3.                 Then show me, feed my sheep

4.                 Peter cannot pick up the feathers, but he is forgiven.

C.               Very sweet, tender moment.  Would have been great to end the Gospel here!

1.                 But, then Jesus ruins it….

2.                 This is where what seems to make sense, gets insane!

D.               Look at what he tells Peter at the end of this passage

VII.        John 21:18-19

A.                Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”  (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

B.                Why tell Peter this?  Can we not have just one good day?  Enjoy breakfast?

1.                 Happy Easter, Peter!

C.               Why bring this up? 

D.               Follow me where you do not want to go!

1.                 Follow me to your death, Peter…

VIII.      Not much of an Easter Message, eh?

A.               I do not think he is trying to punish Peter

B.                Or make him depressed

C.               Or get back at him…

IX.            I think he is telling Peter far more encouraging…

A.               Peter, I know you can do it.

B.                I am not going to lie to you, Peter.  Life from now on will not be butterflies and roses, lilies…

1.                 Following me will not be easy, but I trust you. 

C.               It might seem like an insane journey.

D.               Why would you want to get onboard?

E.                And, I know you can follow me, because I am with you.

1.                 I am standing right here

2.                 I made it!

X.               That is huge! 

A.               Well, it was easy for Jesus!  He was God!

B.                Well, it was not! 

C.               Something that has bothered me since I was a child.

1.                 Mentioned it in my midday meditation (which were absolutely wonderful)

XI.            Thursday's Midday

A.               Garden of Gethsemane.  A question that has always bothered me.

B.                Why is Jesus so upset.  What is he worried about?

C.               He knows that he will be raised from the dead.

1.                 So what is he worried about?  The pain?  perhaps?

2.                 Why does an angel come and strengthen him?

D. But, I wonder if he is worried about making it all the way.  Following God to the very end.

1.                 To not say, enough!

2.                 He even tells Peter, just before he is arrested, "I can all down 12 legions of angels!" 

3.                 Hiking or working out.  You wonder if you can make it.

a.                  It is not that you do not want to finish.

b.                 But, the question is can you physically make it.

c.                 To not give to the pain, the exhaustion, to having your closest friends abandon you.

4.                 Maybe that is why the angel comes.

E.                So, Jesus comes to Peter and says, you and I both know where this will lead you. 

1.                 The world is a hard place at times.  Too often.

2.                 But I made, and I made it, then you can to, because Peter, I am not going anywhere. 

3.                 I came looking for you.  I will strengthen you. I will be with you.

XII.         Lawyer story

A.               A few Sunday's ago, we explored the story about the women of Jerusalem who follow Jesus to the cross.

B.                And we discussed this curious passage (only thing that he says on the Via Dolorosa) from Jesus, "For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?

1.                 If this happens to the righteous, what will happen when they are gone?

C.               What happens when a tree or a plant no longer has water?  It dries up!

D.               What happens to the world if the righteous, if the disciples of Christ, retreat from the world, and stop being the presence of Christ in the world. 

1.                 The world dries up as well. 

2.                 We need to be water for a weary world, even at the cost of our tears

E.                After the Journey was over that Sunday, one of our members came up to me and said that she was contemplating a career change.  She is a lawyer deal with custody battles and children. 

1.                 She said that it continually breaks her heart, because she takes her cases personally. 

2.                 These are real people, real children with a future, with hope and dreams and a need to be loved, not fought over like furniture and the keys to the car.

3.                 She saw them as God does, his children.

4.                 So, she was planning a change because it was so personal and difficult, emotionally draining.  In fact, she had already decided t begin the process of closing her practice.

5.                 So she came up to me and said that she was rethinking her decision.  Maybe she was the green wood in the legal process, maybe despite her tears and pain, being the presence of Christ mattered more.

a.                  Maybe she was green wood among the dry…

b.                 Her tears mattered! 

c.                 She would stay…

6.                 As I stood there, my first reaction really surprised me.

a.                  My first reaction was not, "Great! That is good news."

b.                 No, my first reaction, even after just having delivered that message was, "No, ho ahead, save yourself the heartache!"

c.                 Surprised me…. 

d.                 It is hard to watch other, or hear the stories of others who are fighting the battle to make a difference in the world.

e.                  It is hard to encourage them to go back out there of another round. 

f.                   We know the words, we know what Jesus told us and has even shown us!

7.                 But, like anything worth doing, anything that makes a different, saying and doing are two different things!

F.                Seems like an insane journey

XIII.      You can make it, because He made it!

A.               You know me Peter!  I made it.  I have never left you.

1.                 Even through you left me, Peter. 

2.                 Even through you denied me, Peter.

3.                 You know me.  I came back to you!  I am not going anywhere.

B.                You know me, Travis, Kirk, Julia, Katy

1.                 I am not going anywhere.

2.                 Yes, the road is long, it may be difficult

a.                  There are good times, wonderful, peaceful times. 

3.                 But, the world it not always an easy place.  I know it and so do you!

4.                 But, the Risen Savior is there.  There to walk with you.

XIV.      And so are they, His other followers. 

A.               He lives-in us!  If we are his presence, then we make him present. 

B.                We participate in the resurrection, not in the future… Today!

C.               Look around…They are there for you too! 

1.                 We are here for each other. 

D.               So, do not give up!

E.                Jesus says, in effect, "I will come for you, to strengthen you!  That is why I came back!"

F.                Not even death will stop me!

XV.         Craddock Story

A.               Some time ago, a college professor arrived at the place where he was supposed to hold services on Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday morning for a local church. 

B.                When he pulled into the parking lot of the church, a funeral was concluding.  People were moving to their automobiles; the hearse was still there.  The minister saw him, recognized him, and motioned for him to come over. 

C.               He didn’t want to intrude; he was just waiting until it was over. 

D.               The minister was standing next to the widow.  He introduced her, and introduced their speaker for the weekend.

E.                The professor felt awkward, understandably.  So, he said to her, “This is no time for you to be meeting strangers.  I’m sorry, and I’m really sorry about your loss.”  Her husband had been killed in a car wreck and left her with four children.  He said, “I know this is a very difficult time for you.” 

F.                She said, “It is.  So I won’t be at the services tonight, but I’ll be there tomorrow night, and I’ll be there Sunday morning.”

G.               I said, “Oh, you don’t need to.”

H.               “Yes, I do.”

I.                   He said, “Well, what I meant was, I know it’s a very hard time.”

J.                  And she said, “I know it’s hard.  It’s already hard, but you see, this is my church, and they’re going to see that my children and I are okay.”

XVI.      That is why were are here. 

A.               Journey is unknown

B.                A Journey that is not easy

C.               But, He came back… For us

D.               That is why we celebrate!

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