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A Walk To The Resurrection

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The Last Supper

For almost 2 millenium, all of creation has existed in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
We gather on Resurrection weekend to celebrate and remember the work of Christ on the cross, and to marvel at the perfect plan that God brought into fulfillment when Jesus rose from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the single most important event in the history of the world.
Even those who would deny the resurrection would be compelled to admit that the events that unfolded in Judea 2000 years ago forever altered the course of history.
What makes the death and resurrection of Jesus so eye poppingly powerful is the overwhelming amount of prophecy dating back thousands of years before the life of Christ. And Jesus verifiably fulfilled every single one of the hundreds of prophecies concerning the Messiah.
This event shattered everything the sharpest religious minds had previously thought about the Messiah, yet it simultaneously rang a perfect resounding peal of truth, affirming that God indeed was a God of grace, who loved His creation, and was willing to sacrifice His own son for the sin of the world.
On the night Jesus was arrested, he was sharing the Passover meal with his disciples.
Luke 22:14–20 ESV
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Luke 22:14-
We as evangelical believers partake in two sacraments, or ordinances that were ordained by Christ. Baptism, and communion. Both of these acts are done in obedience to direct commandment by Jesus.
Here is an interesting thought:
Jesus began his ministry with baptism.
Jesus ended his ministry with communion.
Baptism happens once, communion is enjoyed frequently until it is enjoyed in fulfillment at the wedding feast of the lamb.
As we receive the bread and wine with our hands and mouth, we receive the body and blood of Christ spiritually by faith.
“The Lord’s Supper is the continuing sign of belonging to God’s people. Questions about how it should be received — sitting in the pew, standing or kneeling at the front of the church — are not important. Most important is the meaning of the Lord’s Supper — as a remembrance () and a proclamation (v. 26), and the Gospel integrity of those who take it. Paul wrote a letter of stern correction to the Christians in Corinth because they were allowing those who were in unrepentant sin to take the Lord’s Supper. Paul told them that this should not be.
Taking the Lord’s Supper would never save such an unrepentant sinner. It is true that the Lord’s Supper is only for sinners. But within that group, it is only for repentant sinners. Like baptism, the Lord’s Supper, properly administered, portrays God’s faithfulness to us. But our participation in it also speaks publicly of us personally being known to be partakers of God’s grace in Christ.” - Mark Dever
Tonight we take communion in sober remembrance of the broken body and spilled blood of the word made flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.
Take communion
Luke 22:21–23 LEB
21 “But behold, the hand of the one who is betraying me is with me on the table! 22 For the Son of Man is going according to what has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to debate with one another who then of them it could be who was going to do this.
Luke 22:21-

The Garden

Matthew 26:36–46 LEB
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be distressed and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 And going forward a little he fell down on his face, praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “So, were you not able to stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you will not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!” 42 Again for the second time he went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will must be done.” 43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for they could not keep their eyes open. 44 And leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same thing again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us go! Behold, the one who is betraying me is approaching!”
Matthew 26:36
The events that transpired between this last supper and Jesus death on the cross can be found detailed in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
This evening we will briefly consider what was taking place on the cross, and then we will joyfully bask in the light of the resurrected Christ.
Jesus was run through a mockery of a trial. Complete with false witnesses and betrayal.
He was tortured, made to carry his cross, and then he was lifted up, nailed to the tree that he had spoke into existence.

The Cross

Luke 23:44–49 LEB
44 And by this time it was about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour 45 because the light of the sun failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn apart down the middle. 46 And Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit!” And after he said this, he expired. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began to praise God, saying, “Certainly this man was righteous!” 48 And all the crowds that had come together for this spectacle, when they saw the things that had happened, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances, and the women who had followed him from Galilee who saw these things, stood at a distance.
Luke 23:44
“It was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished.” How deep the fathers love for us

The Resurrection

John 20
John 20:11–18 LEB
11 But Mary stood outside at the tomb, weeping. Then, while she was weeping, she bent over to look into the tomb, 12 and she saw two angels in white, seated one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have put him!” 14 When she had said these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought that it was the gardener, and said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned around and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene came and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and he had said these things to her.
Jesus Christ was no longer dead. The immediate implications and shock of this are lost on us in our day. Put your selves in the shoes of Mary.
Three days prior she had watched her Lord cry out in agony to God the Father as he gave up his spirit.
She had heard how the soldiers had pierced her side and blood and water flowed from the wound.
The tomb where his body lay had been sealed from all air and outside influence, and then at the moment when she thought that his body must have been stolen to be desecrated, she hears a man’s voice, she doesn’t process who this is her grief is so strong.
And then he says one word, Mary.
How splendidly her heart must have soared in this moment.
To hear her name spoken by the man, now understood to be God, who had set her free from the spiritual death and slavery that she had walked in.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead had immediate and earth shattering consequences for everyone who heard the news.
For those who hated him, they now knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who he claimed He was, and any worldview that didn’t conform to Christ being God was now toast. I imagine that there was much soul searching amongst those who had opposed Him.
For those who had been touched by Jesus hands and words, everything was falling into place.
Every person who Jesus rose from the dead, died later on.
Every person he healed was overcome by their dying flesh later on.
Every person to which he said “Your sins are forgiven” continued to struggle with their fleshly tendency to sin.
But when Jesus conquered death and rose on the third day as prophesied, everything changed.
Dying bodies didn’t matter anymore.
Struggles with sin were no longer fatal.
Jesus had perfectly satisfied God’s justice on the cross and all of reality was melted away and restored with joy and peace at the revelation of the glorified Messiah.
Mary had had her sins forgiven by Jesus and he changed her life in a big way BEFORE the resurrection.
Imagine the unstoppable witness she bore after seeing the resurrected Christ

John’s Vision

Fast forward roughly 60 years.
The gospel has begun to spread all over the known world.
Most of the apostles have been martyred.
Heretics are springing up like daisies.
Jerusalem has been sacked by the Romans.
The church has already had many ups and downs and growing pains.
Paul, the great titan of the faith has been martyred.
One apostle remains.
Jesus’ dear friend.
Not long after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Saul was visited by the glorified Christ on the road. And it changed his life.
Imagine how John must have felt. I doubt he felt any sort of bitterness towards Paul, but I bet he was overwhelmed with longing to see his friend Jesus again in the flesh, and to enjoy his company, and to hear his voice.
John clung to the hope of seeing Jesus again for his whole life. He was a very young man when he had walked with Jesus during his ministry.
John went on to be a global leader and elder in Christ’s church, and he carefully shepherded the church for decades.
We pick up in Patmos, an island where John has been exiled for his witness concerning the resurrection.
Revelation 1:9–18 NLT
9 I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. 10 It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. 11 It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” 12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
Revelation 1:9
When we read this passage we are not just viewing the revelation of God to a man.
We are viewing the reunion of the sweetest friendship in the history of the world.
When John turned around he was face to face with God.
And he did not consider himself worthy to even look at his face.
And Jesus didn’t just speak to him, he reached out and touched him.
What a beautiful picture of love and friendship.
THIS is God’s design for kingdom living. This is what Adam and Eve had in the garden yet lost.
We view death as being the end of the road. The worst thing. The last thing.
But in reality death is the first thing. We are born dead.
And because of the victory Christ achieved over the grave, death becomes LIFE for the believer!
Born into the worst condition
recite “I have been crucified...”
Communion would be meaningless if Christ had not risen from the dead. No benefit comes from a dead body. But because Jesus is alive, all of reality has meaning.
This results in…
Praise. Glory. Honor.
Revelation 4:8–11 LEB
8 And the four living creatures, each one of them, had six wings apiece, full of eyes around and inside, and they do not have rest day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God All-Powerful, the one who was and the one who is and the one who is coming!” 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and put down their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 4:
“There is a space between us, it's a right divide Distance between the depths of Your worthiness and mine Mine is derivative, all my worth comes from Thine I am merely a man, all Thy works divine I abide only as a branch attached to the vine That grows the beautiful fruit that gets crushed into wine I am the least deserving made worthy to touch His feet The servant that did nothing to earn a seat at the wedding feast I'm a created being, You created everything You make footstools of fools and galaxies Your rings You are Christ the Consummate, my hope and every confidence Worthy to receive praise from every mouth and every continent Infinitely worthy of loyalty and my allegiance Worthy enough to die to self, to offer my obedience Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Son of Man Worthy is the One who takes the scrolls from His holy hand Where angels and elders and living creatures all fall And worship the highest King, the most worthy of all Wisdom, Power, and Praise Glory, Honor, and Strength Worthy! To the Lamb who was slain Be Wisdom, Power, and Praise Forever! And to the King on the throne Be Glory, Honor, and Strength You are worthy!”
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