Faithlife Sermons

April 12, 2020 - Jesus Is Alive

Notes
Transcript
I want to welcome everyone to this Easter morning service...
Clearly this isn’t your typical Easter Sunday...
Where we might see people wearing their Sunday best...
And where colorful bonnets would fill the room...
INSTEAD - the room is empty and you’re watching from home...
NONETHELESS - the truth we will walk through today....
HAS NOT changed…nor WILL IT EVER change...
And so we find COMFORT in that.
Our text today will be in John chapter 15, (18-25)...
John 15:18–25 ESV
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
Ok, so you might be thinking....
“What kind of Easter PASSAGE is this?”
“Never heard this before on Easter”
Well - maybe so - but let’s look at the context here...
When were these words spoken by Jesus…?
These words were literally spoken by Jesus - MOMENTS before His arrest...
So these words - SPOKEN by Christ - help shed light on - the BASIS of what we celebrate today… EASTER...
What is EASTER all about?
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead
Well - what does a “RESURRECTION” imply?
It implies that Jesus had died!
Well let’s ask that question - why did Jesus die?
In other words - WHY does Easter exist?
John 15:18 ESV
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
Who is Jesus speaking to?
Remember - As a church, we’re walking through this Gospel of John...
And at this point in the book - Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure…for His crucifixion
The Disciples don’t FULLY understand what’s going on!
They believe that Jesus is going to be setting up His kingdom...
That He’s going to FREE the Israelites from bondage to Rome...
But then He starts talking about DYING!
Think about it - Here you have this man (Jesus)...
CLAIMING to be God - performing miracles seemingly only God COULD DO...
And yet - He’s telling His followers now that He’s about to be KILLED!
The Disciples are confused - trying to figure this out...
So Jesus is trying to help them understand...
And in HELPING them understand - He’s wanting to prepare them for the reality that the WORLD HATES HIM...
and THEREFORE - will HATE them too!!
BUT This is why!
THIS is why we have EASTER!
The World HATES Jesus Christ!
The world does NOT want to submit to Jesus Christ!
Now you might think - WELL - that was just - the WORLD’S PROBLEM back then!!
“They just didn’t know a good thing when they had it...”
NO - we see ALL throughout scripture that THIS HATRED toward Jesus - was deeper than:
culture
time period
ethnicity
It was DEEPER than ALL of it...
EVERYONE KNOWS John 3:16 right?...
For God so loved...
But do we know the next 4 verses?
John 3:17–20 ESV
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
So Jesus says - I came INTO the world…not to CONDEMN the world....WHICH He COULD HAVE DONE BY THE WAY...
BUT in order that the world MIGHT BE SAVED - through HIM!!
So Jesus COMES to earth - to RESCUE people...
No - not from a flood
Not from a tornado
Not from a hurricane
Not from COVID-19 - - BUT from something EXCEEDINGLY worse!!
from - ETERNAL separation from God / Eternal torment
And instead of people RUNNING to Jesus - EMBRACING Jesus - as their SAVIOR...
The BIBLE says - they HATE Him!!
WHY?
Because people LOVE DARKNESS rather than the light...
Read v20
“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed”
Do you hear why the WORLD - HATES Jesus!!?
PRIDE!
Why are we here today - celebrating the RESURRECTION of Jesus…?
1 of the reasons - Because of the PRIDE/EVIL of MANKIND!
I say (ONE) of the reasons - because there are actually 2 reasons that we can celebrate the RESURRECTION of Jesus!
On the one hand - the EVILNESS of mankind put Jesus on the cross! Man is accountable for that!
On the other hand - God put Jesus on the cross...
The first reason - is DUE to God Himself!
God’s plan - from the beginning - was that Jesus would die on the cross for SINS...
(they = Peter and John)
Acts 4:23–28 ESV
23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
So while ALL these men were making decisions about wanting to KILL Jesus...
Doing what they WANTED to do...
OVER ALL of it… God Himself - planned and predestined the crucifixion to take place...
God put Jesus on the cross!
Isaiah 53:10 ESV
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
And so - it’s clear - God put Jesus on the cross!
As a part of His plan of redemption!
That’s the one side...
NOW - the other side...
The pride of man put Jesus on the cross!
We just heard in Acts 4 that God had predestined Jesus to the cross...
That this was HIS plan from the beginning...
That was in Acts 4:23-28...
But if we go up to earlier verses and we look to what’s going on....here’s what we know...
Peter and John had been going up to the temple...
And they come across a man who was LAME FROM BIRTH...
So the man sees them - and he asks them for some alms… (some help - materially)
And so Peter says this...
Acts 3:6–10 ESV
6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
OK - got the story now...
The people see this MIRACLE and they all GATHER around in amazement!
Acts 3:12–15 ESV
12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
Who killed Jesus?
The people did!
The people were accountable before God -
And so HERE WE ARE - celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ...
But we should KNOW why He died!
Our SIN - put Jesus on the cross!
Your SIN - put Jesus on the cross!
THE PRIDE of MAN put Jesus on the cross!
And I want to REALLY DIVE into PRIDE today...
Jesus - in our passage today - is saying - The WORLD HATES ME!!
He’s saying - The PRIDE of MAN wars against Me!!
Let’s look today at HOW the Pride of Man wars against Jesus Christ!
Why? So that maybe we can examine ourselves - BECAUSE - He ROSE from the DEAD!!
If there was ever a day to examine myself in light of Jesus Christ, today is the day!
He ROSE from the DEAD!
If you HAVE YET to examine yourself - IN LIGHT of HIM??
Today is the day!!
If you haven’t - then your pride is keeping you from doing so!!
Let’s look at the PRIDE of MAN...
SLIDE: The Pride of Man: Flourishes in the Prestige of Man

The Pride of Man

Where the PRESTIGE of MAN exists - the Pride of Man can flourish...
And we see this in Scripture...
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful KING in Babylon…and the Bible tells us of a time when PRESTIGE weld up in his heart...
Daniel 4:28–30 ESV
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”
Wow - we can HEAR the pride in this man’s PRESTIGE...
Now this isn’t the only case of this that we see in the Bible...
King Uzziah presumed himself worthy of priestly duties, and was cursed with leprosy. (2 Chronicles 26:16)
King Hezekiah’s pride prompted disobedience (2 Chronicles 32:25)
and Herod was struck dead and eaten by worms because he assumed the status of a god rather than praising the One True God.
PRIDE can FLOURISH in Prestige!!
What happened to Nebuchadnezzar?
Daniel 4:31–33 ESV
31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.
Proverbs 6 tells us - God hates pride, and that He is far from the proud!
The Pride of Man can flourish in the Prestige of Man...
How did Jesus handle the Prestige of Man?
John 19:8–11 ESV
8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Jesus here standing before Pilate - Let’s Pilate know who is REALLY in charge here...
Jesus takes the Prestige of MAN- and places it under HIS RULE!!...
…in submission to HIM
And we see WHY the PRIDE of man - put Jesus on the cross!!
What else?
SLIDE: The Pride of Man: Flourishes in the Possessions of Man

The Pride of Man

Where POSSESSIONS exist - the Pride of Man can flourish
In the Bible (Luke 18) we read of a man who had much wealth…
And He comes to Jesus and asks Jesus what he must DO, to inherit eternal life...
And Jesus TEACHES Him a lesson - Jesus says - “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal...”
And the rich guy says - “OH, I’ve kept all of those from my youth”
So Jesus hears this - and says
Luke 18:22 ESV
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
It’s interesting that Jesus says - “You LACK 1 THING”....but then gives the man 3 things to do...
Is Jesus CRAZY?
Does Jesus NOT KNOW HOW TO COUNT?
Of course not…Jesus KNOWS exactly what He’s saying...
LISTEN -
the rich ruler didn't know who Jesus was...He KNEW the commandments but didn't know Jesus...
Well- JESUS KNEW the rich ruler...
Jesus KNEW what he worshipped...ONE thing you lack - WHAT 1 thing?
He lacked LOVE FOR Christ...
And so Christ goes right to the guys heart...RIGHT TO HIS IDOL...and says - SELL IT ALL...GIVE IT ALL AWAY...
What happens?
Luke 18:23 ESV
23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
The gospel of Mark tells us - The rich ruler walked away sad....WHY?
Because he was extremely rich...AND because he was A LOVER of MONEY...
He preferred MONEY over and above Christ...
The money ITSELF isn't evil....There's something DEEPER...that's wrong here...
He preferred MONEY over Christ...and walked away...
Where there are POSSESSIONS - the PRIDE of Man can FLOURISH...
And the PRIDE of Man - Put Jesus on the Cross!
But we’re not done....1 more
SLIDE: The Pride of Man: Flourishes in the Piety of Man

The Pride of Man

Now - what does PIETY mean?
PIETY - is defined as
SLIDE:
Devotion and reverence to religious practices
Now - this doesn’t always connote a BAD THING…But - we MUST KNOW -
Where there is PIETY - PRIDE can FLOURISH...
Where there is DEVOTION to RELIGIOUS practices - PRIDE can FLOURISH
Let’s get into the Bible to see this!
Jesus came to earth - and one of the groups of people that OFTEN went head to head with Jesus was -
The Pharisees
The Pharisees - were people in the Bible who were part of a Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law.
They were looked at as - VERY Religious!
They were very strict with the Law...
But we need to know - Jesus was constantly going at it with these RELIGIOUS people…!
The Pharisees were EXTERNAL LAW KEEPERS>
They were SATISFIED in their OUTWARD appearance…all the while neglecting the MATTERS of the HEART...
Listen to this indictment by Jesus toward them!! (explain as you go)
(Phylactery - leather box worn by Jewish men as a reminder to - KEEP THE LAW)
Matthew 23:2–6 ESV
2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues
Do you see?
Those who BELIEVE that their WORKS will earn them FAVOR with God - THOSE people get THIS response from Jesus!!
He continues:
Matthew 23:27–28 ESV
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Do you see how JESUS RESPONDS to - PRIDE in PIETY!!
Pride in Religious Activities...
When we believe that our WORKS will HELP US get to God - will EARN us a place with Him - we are DISPLAYING PRIDE in our WORKS...
And Jesus ATTACKS that idea!
He ATTACKS that PRIDE!
As we’ve seen Jesus ATTACKS the PRIDE of MAN!!
NO WONDER why the pride of man - put Jesus on the cross!!
The Pride of Man:
Flourishes in the Prestige of Man
Flourishes in the Possessions of Man
Flourishes in the Piety of Man
This is what SIN does…SIN loves PRIDE
Listen - the PRIDE of MAN put Jesus on the CROSS…it KILLED Jesus
BUT IN THAT MOMENT - (following the Crucifixion) it THOUGHT it had won!
But then what happened?
He ROSE from the DEAD!
Listen - If you have YET to DEAL with Jesus Christ… WHEN??
If THIS day doesn’t get you FACE-TO-FACE with Jesus Christ....
WHEN??
Because LISTEN - your pride, which is keeping you from SUBMITTING to Jesus - IT LOST!!
It TRIED 2000 years ago - BUT IT LOST!!
Jesus IS ALIVE!
Who REMEMBERS - Back to the Future!?
REJECTING Jesus - [TODAY] - is like jumping in the Delorian…flipping on the FLUX Capacitor...
Traveling back to 1861
Looking out at the CIVIL WAR...
Seeing the North - and the - South...
And deciding - YEAH, I’ll go with the South!
The war IS OVER...
THIS WAR is already OVER...
Jesus is ALIVE! The PRIDE of MAN - lost
So what’s it going to be?
Hebrews 3:15 ESV
15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Jesus is ALIVE...
Will you HUMBLE yourself - and lay down before Him - ALL of your pride!
Will you lay down before Him ALL of your efforts to EARN a place with Him?
You cannot get to God by trying to EARN it.
It’s only by FAITH ALONE in Jesus ALONE - that we come to spend eternity with Him!
And FAITH entails -
REPENTANCE: You must know that you are a sinner in need of a SAVIOR!
Jesus said - I came to SAVE SINNERS!
Do you recognize that you are a sinner…that you’ve offended God...
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And this is a problem BECAUSE:
Romans 6:23 ESV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So with ALL of us being SINNERS…we ALL deserve death!
But what.....the FREE gift of God is found where?
IN JESUS!!
See - God’s mercy is ONLY found in Jesus Christ!
To reject Jesus is to REJECT the mercy of God...
Jesus is ALIVE - come to Him now in Faith!
Trust in HIM and HIM alone for your salvation!!
He’s ALIVE - come to Him that you may ALSO - LIVE!
Let’s Pray!
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