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John #50 Resurrection Revelation

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That you may Believe and have Life #50

John 20

Well we are almost finished looking at John.  Let’s press on to finish.

As I have focused on the words of Jesus as we have walked through John, today we look at Jesus’ encounters with his followers following the Resurrection

How do you respond when you lose someone close to you?

How do you respond when the troubles of life seem to pile up?

Could I offer to you today that The Resurrection of Jesus Christ has a revelation for you. 

I see three people types / groups in this account of the Resurrection and I want you to tell me what YOU hear from Jesus in response to these people

Jesus had died on Friday, but it’s Sunday folks.

What day is it in your life?  Your situation?  Is it the Sunday before when everything is rosy?

Is it Thursday and there are some challenges but things are still basically ok?

Is it Thursday night and things are coming down on you but you are uncertain about where things are headed?

Is it Friday and your hopes and dreams seemed to have died?

Saturday and you are full of darkness and despair?

Well … Jesus was arrested on Friday in the wee hours of the morning. 

He was tried, beaten, carried his own cross, crucified, died, and was buried before Friday ended at Sundown and Saturday began

Sunday came and the WORLD CHANGED …

Well Read with me all of chapter 20.  I want to see the WHOLE picture this week and we will look at verse 9 alone next week before finishing our series the following Sunday. 

READ John 20

Now people, I think the hardest thing for US, or at least for ME, in the gospels is to understand how the followers of Jesus reacted when Jesus was buried.

Two individuals and a group, Mary, The Disciples, and Thomas

The first thing that we see, that stands out for me, is that when the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is Revealed, to each …

1. It is a Surprise

A surprise?  You are kidding.

Jesus TOLD you he was going to do it. 

He told them he was going to be crucified, and be raised on the third day.

“if you tear down this Temple, I will rebuild it in 3 days”

“Just as Jonah was in the whale 3 days, so the Son of man in the earth”

Mary goes to the Tomb with two other women early in the morning and we don’t learn much about this, but if you read Luke 24 they found the stone rolled away, no body inside and two angels in lightning bright clothing remind them …

Luke 24:5-7 (NIV)
5
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

Ok, so they forgot … but when they got back to the disciples and said
“they have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him”

What?

Why are we surprised when Sunday comes?

Why are we surprised when Jesus does what he says he will do?

There is VICTORY in Jesus

There is POWER in the Resurrection

Jesus IS Alive

Just as he Said

Someone say “Hallelujah”

Then Peter and John run to the Tomb and see that it IS True, that Jesus is NOT there.

I love the fact that when Jesus left the Tomb he left some interesting things behind. 

Strips of Linen, that had wrapped him, were left behind lying there  … Now, I’m not a CSI but put this together for me.  If you are stealing a body, you probably don’t take time to UNWRAP the dead body … come on, who wants to carry a decomposing body without the covering?

So, there were Jesus’ wrappings laying there … Probably right on top of the stone where he had laid, because I’m sure he just got right up and they fell away.  He walked through a locked door, I doubt that he was held back by burial cloth if he didn’t want it.

However, one other thing, IF you ARE going to steal a body, you probably don’t take the wrapping off … AND you don’t take time to stage it.  Remember he was guarded by Soldiers … but when Jesus got up, he left his body wrappings, and then he neatly took off his head wrapping and laid it down by itself.

Now, they see this, yet later in the day, Mary is BACK at the Tomb and she is CRYING … she still doesn’t expect to see Jesus alive again.

 But Jesus Speaks to her, tenderly, with a word of respect, “Woman” – remember we learned this was NOT disrespectful but respectful. 

And She cries out in relief, Joy, and surprise “TEACHER / Rabboni”

She was excited when she saw him

That evening, the disciples are hiding behind locked doors and Jesus stands before them, “Peace be with you”  … and the Disciples were overjoyed “when they saw the Lord”

Why were they not holding a Party?

Why were the doors locked

Why were they not there with the windows and doors thrown open

Why weren’t the disciples doing what the shepherds had down when they left the manger, and telling everyone what they had seen and heard.

Now Thomas had missed the appearance of Jesus, maybe he had run to the grocery store … and he says “I won’t believe it until I see and touch”

Oh lest we judge them too harshly, have you ever prayed for something and then been shocked when it happened?

Have you ever prayed for someone to receive Christ and then questioned it’s authenticity when it happened?

I preached a message in the book of Acts, two years ago entitled “why are we surprised when God is God?”

We have not because we ask not and we ask not because we don’t believe he can, will, or we deserve it

I can’t preach that message today but I challenged us to be people who move away from surprise to expectation.

How can we make that move?

Ø      Remember – what he has said, what he has done

Ø      Repent – for failing to ask or believe

Ø      Reckon – expect or anticipate

Ø      Receive – what God is doing

James said in chapter 4 we have not because we ask not or we ask for the wrong reasons. 

If JESUS Christ can be resurrected from the dead, what other thing is too hard for him?

Jeremiah 32:27 says “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?

The Resurrection Revealed here brought Surprise, and hear me, I am not saying we should have a sense of entitlement or arrogance.  I am not saying we should lose our sense of wonder. 

Because hey, when we come to realize that Jesus died for ME, we are probably the MOST surprised person.  I know me … and something I see here in this Revelation of the Resurrection … is the resurrection news …

2. It is for Everyone

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ didn’t bring hope to only one Nation, or only one class, or only a certain type of Person.

“If you will confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that Jesus rose from the dead, you will be saved”

The Resurrection is for any type of person.

In this group we have single women, widows, professionals, blue collar workers, business owners, teenagers and older folks and everywhere in between.

Isn’t that beautiful?  Can you see yourself in there?

Can you see yourself in these people that Jesus comes to following his Resurrection?

Do you need Jesus to Reveal himself to you?

Will you accept the Revelation of Jesus Christ that has been given to you?

Besides their other differences see the people types here …

  A. Mourning Mary

    1. I know that some of you, some of our people are mourning

    2. Mary had been in mourning since Friday afternoon.  It was common for mourners to tear their outer garments, to throw dust on their heads, to wear drab sack cloth, they refrained from washing or using perfumes, they fasted

    3. There is something for you in the resurrection

    4. in her mourning, the Angels said “why are you crying?”   Jesus asked “Why are you crying?”

But not just a mourning Mary

But also …

  B. Fearing Disciples

    1. they were hiding in the upper room with the doors locked

    2. anyone honest enough to admit today that there is something in your life right now that has you afraid?

    3. are you afraid that something will catch up with you?

    4. are you afraid that you won’t make it

    5. have you gotten a report at the Doctor that has you afraid? 

    6. Fear happens people.  If it happened to disciples who had walked and talked with Jesus, witnessed his miracles, heard him preach and teach, if they could be fearful, we can be too. 

    7. in the middle of your fear, Jesus says “Peace be with you” … Isn’t that what Jesus said in the boat in the storm “be not afraid, it is I”  “Peace, be still”

    5. “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

    6. stop your fretting, shaking, hiding, wondering, and watch, KNOW that I am God

    7. Moses told the people in Exodus 14:13 “do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” V14 “the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”

Are we speaking to anyone today?  Mourning, fearful, what about ….

  C. Doubting Thomas

    1. this guy has really taking a beating over the years … but how different are many of us?

    2. God does something amazing in someone else’s life and what is the first thing we say?  Well I won’t believe it unless it happens to me

    3. we really can be such a doubting people, we can be so negative and expect nothing but the worst sometimes can’t we.

Psalm 77:7-9 (NIV)
7
“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”Selah

Oh we need to take the

“woe is me” out of our lifestyle. 

Some of us are just like “Eeyore” half the time … “Oh bother … guess it’s going to be a glummy day”

But Jesus is risen, I haven’t seen it.

We are something aren’t we?

Mourning, Fearing, Doubting, failing, stumbling, when we should be cheering, advancing,  believing, standing, walking tall. 

But that’s alright, you have no doubt seen yourself somewhere in this crew, and the Resurrection was for them and the Resurrection is for you and folks ...

3. It is Good News

YES! Good News for every one of them and every one of you for everyone who will embrace it, run to the tomb, run to the Lord, fall at his feet, bow before him in submission … it IS GOOD NEWS!

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest of News

  A. Mourning Mary? Hope

    1. What you are Looking for? That’s what the angels asked Mary, that’s what Jesus asked Mary

    2. Mary’s world had fallen apart, she didn’t know what to do next.  She was looking for HOPE

    3. Eph 2:12 – says that in our natural state, we were “foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”

The word hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence;

This world has broken down the powerful meaning of this word.  With broken promises, failed expectations, building up to let down, we think of hope as a pipe dream, empty promises, foolish expectations. 

    4. most of the things we hope for are nothing more than disappointments … but the HOPE that Mary was looking for was something to Hope in.  She thought that her hopes had been dashed on Friday … But the GOOD NEWS is that she had a REAL HOPE in JESUS

    5. She wanted Someone to Look To.  And just as Jesus Rose from the Grave, just as he said he would, he is coming again JUST as he said he would.  We have HOPE in Jesus Christ and that is GOOD NEWS

    6. In Jesus Christ Hebrews 7:19 says “a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God”

  B. Fearing Disciples? Life and Strength

    1. Someone to Encourage with Life

    2. Someone to Strengthen with Power

    3. Their world had come Crashing down, they where his closest friends and followers

    4. if they would take Jesus, then perhaps they were next.  The disciples were frightened, they were uncertain; they were powerless to stop their adversaries.  The state and the religious establishment had declared WAR on Jesus and they were soon to declare war on his disciples but the Resurrection brings life and strength to a weak and lifeless … the word Jesus used is “eirene”  (i-ray-nay)exemption from the rage and havoc of war, security, safety, prosperity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.

That my friends is good news!  It didn’t say exemption from war, but exemption from the rage and havoc of war.  We are Safe and Secure, in Christ so that the war that may rage all around us doesn’t touch our soul.

It is good news! For the Mourning for the Frightened and what about

  C. Doubting Thomas? Truth

It is good news for him too …

    1. Someone to Believe In

    2. Something to be Certain Of

    3. the truth is we all long for something that is true.  We all long for something that is more than what someone told us, but something we’ve experienced for ourselves

    4. Jesus isn’t afraid of your challenge. Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe

    5. Augustine said he had to believe to understand

    6. Jesus said “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed” …

    7. you want to know Happiness?  Believe. 

    8. What IS Faith? Faith is being SURE of what we hoped for and certain of what we do not see?

    9. faith is NOT wishful thinking, faith is a surety and certainty based a person, on an event … We can believe because of Jesus Christ.  Every prophesy came true.  We can believe every promise of Jesus.  We can believe because he got up from the grave.  Heaven is not wishful thinking, a new heaven, a new earth, a new body, eternal life, I can believe because JESUS IS ALIVE  

Oh I need to hurry to finish but a great Revelation of the Resurrection is that Just as sure as Jesus is Alive, is that his Resurrection, …

4. It is Life Changing

Mourning, Fearing, Doubting … What happened to Mary, the Disciples, Thomas?

Look one last time …

From Mourning Mary to …

  A. Mary’s Mission – “Go and Tell”

    1. What a change in Mary, he is calling her to set aside her useless mourning and go on mission

    2. don’t hold on to me, don’t keep me to yourself, go and Tell

    3. Transformation that’s what Jesus Does he will provide beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning, praise instead of despair (Isa. 61:3)

    4. he turns our mourning into dancing

    5. 1 Thes. 4:13 – we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope

Yes we grieve when we lose someone but not without HOPE … we don’t mourn like they mourn …

    6. Rev 21:4 he will wipe ever tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away

    7. 1 Cor 15:54-55 – he has taken the sting out of death, Victory is in JESUS not in death

    8. How will you mourn the next loss?  How about Proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope for all who recognize it?

From mourning mary to missionary Mary … what about YOU … will you hold on or Go and Tell?

From Fearing Disciples … to

  B. Bold Disciples – Empowered by the Holy Spirit

    1. I am Sending you – “As my Father has sent me, I am sending you” – Jesus Christ is sending us, fear aside, uncertainty banished, into the world with the same mission he had.  He came to reconcile the world to God and he has given US the ministry of reconciliation.  We are Ambassadors for Christ as Christ was the Ambassador for God.  Oh, I can’t, I’m not strong enough, I’ve failed, I am not brave enough … REALLY --- Look who Jesus is talking to, one who denied him many who had deserted him, those who were hiding in fear … So Send I YOU!

    2. He empowered them, He imparted to them power from the Holy Spirit.  It was for strength and for encouragement, it was also a foretaste of what they would receive for good at Pentecost. 

    3. Releasing Life Changing Truth – He sent them out to proclaim the truth.  It is God who forgives not man, but when you proclaim the truth, those who receive Christ are those who are forgiven and we can in truth proclaim those forgiven, and those who hear the good news and reject it we can equally proclaim them unforgiven.  Because forgiveness is ONLY in the cross of Jesus Christ so go and proclaim freedom ….

From fearful to empowered

And from doubting to …

  C. Convinced Thomas – My Lord and My God

    1. he has to make a move – from historical figure

    2. he must be more than a teacher

    3. he must be even more than a messiah or earthly Savior

    4. he must become MY Lord and MY God

    5. don’t be deceived his Position is NOT dependant on whether you believe in him or not.  But YOUR position IS dependant on whether you OWN him as Lord and God

    6. If he is Lord and God then I am Creation, Subject, and Follower

    7. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ brings Transformation because who can forgive sins but God who determines right and wrong

And who can transform but the one who formed us in the first place

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation, the old has passed and the new has come

Oh listen, we are all mourning, fearful, doubting, how do we get out of that mode?

How do we transform from doubters.  Have you ever been caught in a pity party feeling like you’ve wasted your time serving, living?  Well step in the shoes of these followers.

Step in the shoes of David.

How do we step out into the shoes of faith

Psalm 73:13-17 (NIV)
13
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

Do you see the Answer? IT IS in the Presence of Jesus

Stand before a Risen Lord, and Friday won’t seem like much …

Oh I could work you up and tell you that you can make it because it may seem like Friday, but Sunday is coming … but Folks

Sunday has already come.

So stop acting like it’s Friday, Sunday has Come!

You may be facing death in your life, but Sunday has already come look up!

You may be facing bankruptcy but folks, Sunday has already come

You may be bound by sin and in need of forgiveness and a fresh start, Sunday has already come

You may have failed where you thought you should succeed, but Sunday has already come

You may have lost your job and don’t know what to do,

Sunday has already come

Do I mean that the Resurrection means that you can have all the money you want, or the perfect Job?

No, but The Resurrection puts everything else in perspective

The Resurrection means that you can have power over sin and death

The Resurrection means that this life is a passage not a destination

The Resurrection means this body I have will be renewed

The Resurrection means I have a story to tell to the nations

The Resurrection means I have a Hope that doesn’t disappoint

The Resurrection means that just like there wasn’t a long time between Friday and Sunday, there won’t be a long time between Sunday and when we enter into the Rest that he has for me.

It’s just “in a little while”

And Because he Lives … we truly can face anything, anyone, today, or tomorrow …

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