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He Is Risen Indeed

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Christ is risen indeed

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Intro the Luke Easter Story

They did not expect the tomb to be empty (1-2)

They did not expect the tomb to be empty (1-2)

They were going to visit a dead man…a man they loved…but a dead man nonetheless. They were prepared for a funeral…They were not expecting a miracle.
The Stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty.
How many of us come to church on Easter not expecting to see the miracle of the empty tomb?
Paul and
The earliest Church was built on this miracle.
Timothy Keller says, “Christianity is not reformation through conforming to some kind of Ideal. It’s transformation through relating to a living Lord.”

They had forgotten what Jesus had said (3-8)

Six times in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus gives us a heads up that the resurrection will take place. Many times, Jesus tells his followers that he must die as a sacrifice.
How many of us here this morning say we believe in this resurrection thing, but as soon as we walk out these doors we live like we don’t. How many of us forget the reason for the resurrection and the meaning behind it.
First, we need to realize not that Jesus died, but that he HAD to die.
Sacrifice for our sin
Second, we need to understand that this death was not the end for Jesus and it is not the end for us.
So many of us walk through life like we are already defeated:
Defeated in our marriages
Defeated with our children
Defeated at work
Defeated with our finances
Defeated in our addictions
Defeated in our self worth
Defeated, defeated, defeated
The promise of the empty tomb is a promise of life, victory, and transformation. The women were never the same, the disciples were forever changed, the world was transformed.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. -C. Wesley

We have a choice (9-12)

The women remember
The Eleven doubt
Peter Wonders
Of course this is not the end of the story. Emmaus, sightings, Pentecost, etc.
For us we are left with a choice
Are we like the women at first not expecting anything out of today?
Are we like the women after their angelic meeting remembering?
Are we like the 11 doubting?
Are we like Peter wondering?
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. -CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Happy Easter St. Luke. Our Lord and King and is risen indeed!
In the Name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit!
This week we continue our scriptural focus with John 15:1-17. We will continue to work our way through this text over the next eight weeks. I am going to offer a comment about fasting in connection with the bolded verse each week.
1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the Farmer. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abide in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me.
5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not abide in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and abide in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know their master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Here's yet another reason why I have chosen to focus myself on this particular passage of Scripture for the past almost twenty years. Jesus makes it all so clear. In today's word, he tells us why he has told us what he has told us. Why?
so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My joy in you. Your joy complete. This word complete might be better rendered as full or fulfilled. Think of the word joy-full or joyful. It's easy to pass this over and think we understand it because it is thrown about so freely in our common parlance.
I am increasingly convinced that most of what I have thought was joy was actually happiness. Happiness, to be sure, is good thing, but it is in another category than joy. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is a supernatural phenomenon--human yet coming from beyond the natural realm.
The things that make us happy are different from the things that tend to fill us with joy. Joy tends to present itself in the midst of the things that do not make us happy. I'm thinking the prerequisite condition for joy is hardship, difficulty, suffering, and hardship. And did I mention hardship?
James tells us to "consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds." (see James 1). Nehemiah, in a time of great challenge for the people of God, offered them this, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10.
What if it takes seasons devoid of the temporal state of well-being we call happiness to truly know Joy. If so, a lot of us are well positioned to learn. These times that can try our souls have a way of emptying us out so something from beyond us can flood in. That is "My Joy" according to Jesus. Come Holy Spirit!
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
At the half way point I want to check in with something of a mild admonition. I want to make sure you are spending these fasting days filling yourself with the Word of God. That's why I repeat the entire text every week. I cannot overstress the value of simply reading the entire text aloud each week during your meal time so that your physical ears can hear it. The Word of God works. It just does. I have found that through much of my own walk with the Lord I felt like I needed to be focusing more on my own words and prayers and cultivating some kind of felt spiritual experience. I am convinced now that the most important thing I can do day in and day out is to read, listen and hear the Word of God addressing me. Every day-- especially on fasting days. O.K., admonition over. And spend some time over lunch meditating on this idea of the full joy of Jesus.
Our Walking Around Breath Prayers for the day:
Your joy in me. My joy complete. Joy of Jesus come!
Closing the Fast:
-Note any insights, impressions, or implications from this time of fasting in your notebook.
-Close with Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, I offer you this fast for your glory and my good. All I am and all I have I offer to you for your purposes in the world and my progress in your grace, Amen.
*To the extent health will not permit fasting from food, choose some kind of alternative.
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