Faithlife Sermons

Lightning and A Napkin

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes
Transcript
In the last few weeks we have been talking about how God brings both Jews and Gentiles together under same God.
In the last few weeks we have been talking about how God brings both Jews and Gentiles together under same God.
Paul wrote to the Galatians encouraging them that they don’t have to be Jewish to accept Jesus.
Paul also shows us especially in Romans that the Jews benefit is that they better understand the context of who Jesus is, but they are not more saved then a Gentile.
No other religion at this time could bind the Jews and Gentiles they were completely different people!
Jesus was unique in that as a Jew he would speak to Gentiles, however Jews and Gentiles did not get along.
The resurrection is the first miracle that brings the Jews and Gentiles together.
In other words the resurrection is the first event that the Jews and Gentiles both shared together. in harmony.
I am going to show with you how!
In the story of the resurrection God takes 2 non-biblical but cultural elements
1 From Gentile culture & 1 from Jewish culture. to bring them both into an understanding of the resurrection.
Lets Pray

1. The Lightning (Gentiles)

During the time of Jesus the best people group to describe the life of a gentile would be the Greeks.
The common world at this time (other than Jews) had been using Greek language, philosophy, religion, and more.
So the common person in Jesus time would have been very familiar with Greek culture
In Greek Mythology there is a god named Asklepios - who is the god of medicine.
In Greek Mythology there is a god named Aesculapius - who is the god of medicine.
Insert picture of his statue
He is where we get the symbol of snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
insert picture of him with snake
ultimately from the bronze serpent that healed found in ()
Asklepios is killed by Zeus with lightening and is later resurrected by Zeus.
So lightning would remind them of when Asklepios was resurrected.
So lightning would remind them of when Asklepios was resurrected.
In fact the Gentile cultures in this day put immense importance on their various storm gods (Dalton)
Since they bring rain and are often seen as kingly and protector gods.
all those cultures put immense importance on their various storm gods since they bring rain and are often seen as kingly and protector gods.
This means with every earthquake, rain, solar or lunar eclipses, lightning, they would make them think some godly action is taking place.
Knowing this lets read
Matthew 27:45–53 NKJV
45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Stop there
Luke 23:44–47 NKJV
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
Here we see the sun is darkened and the centurion says “certainly this was a righteous Man”
But Matthew
Matthew 27:45–54 NKJV
45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
So there is darkness over all the land
As puts it “The sun was darkened”
Also the temple veil is torn in two, The Earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
Rocks
then right after that there is this crazy resurrection taking place with the graves opening appearing to many people in the city.
The storm, earthquake and darkness going on must have been such a powerful message to all pagans present
So it says in verse 54 that the centurion and those with him - who were likely all Gentiles, in fact very possible that they were Greek.
that when they saw all this they were in fear.
this no doubt would have caused any Gentile to be reminded of when Zeus killed the Asklepios and was later resurrected.
This would have caused the Gentiles to realize that Jesus was more than just a man!
That is why we read this of the Gentile centurion and his soldiers in verse 54
Lets now look at
Matthew 27:54 NKJV
54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
I love how we see hear that God is immediately reaching out to the Gentiles!
Showing them with their understanding, since they had no Bible
Who Jesus is.
Its like God couldn’t wait any longer He was so excited to begin a relationship with all the rest of the world.
but whats amazing to me is that without using the Bible, or evangelists, God has already caused the gentiles to be thinking of a resurrection once Jesus died.
Now if that is cool, check this out, there is more!
These
Today is resurrection Sunday, now lets see what happened 2,000 years ago:
Turn some pages over to
Read clearly
Matthew 28:1–3 NKJV
1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
Again an Earth Quake and now an angel with the appearance of lightning!
What would this have reminded the Gentiles about?
When Zeus killed Asklepios and then he resurrected.
Now in the Gentiles eyes this angel may have been Zeus and lightning and the person in the tomb is about to be resurrected!
So we read in verse 4 ()
Matthew 28:4 NKJV
4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
later on we read in
That the soldiers go into the city and tell the chief priests all that happened and so the chief priests gather the elders to consult together.
Clearly these leaders know exactly what has happened.
They were already shaken from what happened at Jesus death so it all makes sense.
In verse 12 it says that the leaders bride the soldiers to lie saying that Jesus’ disciples stole the body while they slept.
Many pastors, and believers think that they are lying about the resurrection to save their butts from getting killed,
because of some law that said if you sleep on the job and the prisoner escapes they will be killed.
However these soldiers are being paid to say they just slept on the job and the disciples stole.
and if they are accused that the chief priests will persuade him to not take action.
Why because they want to hide the fact that Jesus was resurrected.
They recognized the signs that God gave to them
So we read in verse 14 and 15 that the soldiers agree and took the money, spreading word that the disciples tole the body while they slept.
God did not hesitate to reach to the Gentiles. He didn't wait for Peter or Paul.
This 1. It shows me the love God has for us.
He will meet us where we are at, instead of us trying to earn His love.
Maybe all this is new to you and you don’t know where to start…
start with trusting that Jesus is the only way to God and that there is nothing you can do to earn God’s love.
Know that what Jesus did by His death and resurrection is enough,
and all we have to do is trust that what Jesus did was enough.
Maybe you are a prodigal child and wasted weeks, months, years in rebellion against God.
then meet God where your at today!
Don’t wait till you been free from addition or sin before you seek God.
As God says in
2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT
2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
2. shows me how important it is to reach out to people about God.
He does not want us
if God took reaching out to people important so should I.
Well God not only reached out to the Gentiles during the resurrection but He also reached out to the Jews.
Lets take a look at that:
By the way if enjoyed what I shared about the Gentiles… I am torn between liking that one and this one.

2. The Napkin (The Jews)

So what is the deal with the napkin?
In Jewish culture the napkin did not just clean your face but was used as a signal for the servant/slave
When the master was done with his meal he would crumple up the napkin…
and it was a sign to the slave that the master is done…
but if the master folded up his napkin and left is was a sign to the slave that the master will be coming back
Scholars at that time believe that there was also another tradition with a napkin during the time of the Passover:
During the First Part of Sedar Dinner:
The middle piece of matzah is taken out and broken in half. then Half of the matzah is placed back in the matzah cover.
Half of the matzah is placed back in the matzah tash.
This Matzah is a picture of Jesus. In fact during the Sedar dinner for passover in
Matthew 26:26 NKJV
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
So then in the tradition
The other half is wrapped in a napkin and hidden somewhere in the room by the leader of the seder.
The other half is wrapped in a napkin and hidden somewhere in the room by the leader of the seder.The hidden matzah is called the afikomen, a Greek word meaning ““will come again.”Prophetically this if fulfilled by the resurrection.
The hidden matzah is called the afikomen, a Greek word meaning ““will come again.”
in Hebrew is called tzafun means “hidden”
The Hebrew word tzafun means “hidden”
So what jesus is picturing is that He will be hidden but come again.
Prophetically this if fulfilled by the resurrection.
Now when you look at it shows us what happened when Peter entered into the empty tomb of Jesus just after hearing that Jesus is missing…
John 20:6 NKJV
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
John 20
Read clearly
John 20:6–7 NKJV
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
“6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.”
So the Master that had left is back!
The Afikomen that was hidden has been found!
Clearly the disciples recognized the signs because we read in verse 8-9
John 20:8–9 NKJV
8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
So they didnt even understand the scriptures that Jesus must rise but they recognized the signs of Jesus linens and knew He is coming back!
A resurrection is happening ! Then later in verse 19 Jesus appears to them!
Guys! Jesus is alive! He is resurrected!
Notice now what is the first thing Jesus says to them and the first thing He does:
John 20:19–22 NKJV
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
He first says peace!
John 20:19-
The response to the resurrection should be peace
The next action is from God in verse 22 when Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit.
I love this so much! Before the resurrection there was no peace, and no receiving the Spirit (however people would be filled) but no one had received the Spirit.
Showing me that the resurrection has given us peace with God in our position.
and that the resurrection has made us one with God with the receiving the Holy Spirit.
As
Ephesians 1:13 NKJV
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
The Holy Spirit has sealed us making us belong to God.
and because we belong to God we can be led by the Spirit daily.
So I will end here with a couple questions:
Do you believe not only that Jesus resurrected by that it is enough to be made right with God?
1. Have you received peace by believing that the resurrection is enough to be made right with God?
2. If so then God has sealed you with His Holy Spirit and has given you the Spirit, so are you being led by the Spirit?
Pray:
Hey if you guys want to hear a bonus tradition that has to do with the resurrection of Jesus and communion.
Let me know by commenting “tell us” and ill go live on IG to share it with you!
God bless you guys have a blessed resurrection Sunday!

BONUS:

when we take communion:
we take the bread (body) and the wine (blood)
In & 17:14 teach us not to drink the blood of a sin offering
because says your sin is death.
and says life is in the blood
so if you drink the blood of your own sin offering it was symbolic of you taking your sin back,
so it wasn't allowed
Now we know that Jesus is our sin offering ()
That means we shouldn't drink His blood because it means we are taking the blood that takes our sins back into us.
But this is why we need the resurrection:
When we drink the blood of our Sin offering (Jesus) in communion we also die with our Sin offering.
But if our sin offering is Resurrected then so will we.
Now you should totally understand...
“5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised ( to life as he was.”
Romans 6:5 NLT
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.
The verses about Resurrection:
; ; ;
Related Media
Related Sermons