The Power of the Resurrection


Notes for talk on Sunday 27 04 2014

The Power of the Resurrection

The power of the resurrection to change lives and embolden people.

 

John 20 19-29

Acts 2 22-38

Readings at end…

 

 

What does the resurrection mean to you?

Is the cross more important?

What did the resurrection mean to those who first experienced it?

 

Acts 2you nailed him to a cross and killed him.24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.

 

King David said

‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
26 No wonder my heart is glad,
and my tongue shouts his praises!
My body rests in hope.
27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead[e]
or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the way of life,
and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’[f]

 

 

 

John 20

19 That Sunday evening[b] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!

 

Mathew 28   16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him-but some of them doubted!

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

These passages tell us that there was more to Easter than the cross, there was new life, resurrection that changed lives, Jesus resurrection fills them with joy and it empowers them.

 

 

The cross is important but is not the final place for Christians.

We have to leave our sins, problems etc at its feet

 

Many never get past the cross, that is where the disciples were, they had seen Jesus death and knew that it meant the end of there sin. However, what was to happen now?

We have to be resurrected, reborn; we cannot stay at the foot of the cross but must move beyond it.

 

WE cannot stay with the things we have given to Christ but like Him be reborn anew.

 

 

There is more to our faith than Christ on the cross it is Christ resurrected, having defeated death.

 

 

One of the striking things about the resurrection appearances of Jesus as reported in the Gospel readings for Easter week, is that they take place in the ordinary everyday lives of the disciples. Whether it is in walking alongside the two distraught followers as they trudged along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, or appearing on the lakeside to the disciples who had returned to Galilee having deserted Jesus, the extraordinary happens in the midst of the ordinary.

As the reality of the resurrection dawned for those first witnesses it gave them a different perspective and changed the direction of their lives for ever. That has been true for the followers of Jesus ever since.Ian Maher

 

As it should for each of us.

 

Seeing Jesus changed the disciples, well most of them, it gave them new purpose, joy and power.

They were told what to do now, to teach, obey, baptize, and make disciples.

 

Jesus also wants that of us, to have the power of His resurrection driving us forward to bring good news to others, to obey His commands, to make new disciples, and then teach and baptize them so that they can also do the same.

 

It’s a circle, the message gets passed from one to another.

Disciple, baptize, teach, Disciple,….

 

 

I read this on another of the blogs I follow.

From After ‘The Resurrection: He Cooks Breakfast For You’

By Bryan Daniels”

“His time is limited to a few more days on earth, yet curiously, he’s in no hurry.

He first appears near his gravesite to comfort a lowly lonely woman.

He appears on a roadside to educate two perplexed pilgrims on the way to Emmaus.

He appears in a private meeting room to encourage a handful of his distressed disciples.

He stops by for breakfast. He eats fish and chips and and drinks coffee with his boys. He chills next to a campfire on a beachhead. He holds conversations, he meets face to face, he tarries with friends. For 40 days he carries on this way………………….

…………. And in that 40 days of seemingly random encounters: I wonder if Jesus is giving us a hint at what resurrected power looks like in a normal human life. We assume the power given us should be Avenger-esque. Supernatural gifts with a special capacity for healing, demon slaying, water walking, and maybe even laser beams. We’ve put the Holy Spirit’s resurrection power on a mythical unreachable pedestal when it’s reduced to rare manifestations.

But the greatest, most anointed, Superhero who ever died and lived again shows up to restore broken relationships (John 21:15-17), disciple the hopelessly ignorant (Luke 24:13-35), give hope to the deeply grieved (John 20:11-18).

Real resurrected power pours itself into broken vessels with acts of self sacrificial service. It’s not in a hurry. It’s not clamoring for greater numbers or a bigger platform. Resurrection power looks like a normal human being loving on, living with, and being present with other normal human beings.

And so,

I’m glad He still comes to and raises up normal folks in Resurrection power.

I’m glad Resurrected normal folks can still share His power with supernatural simplicity.

 

 

The power of the resurrection is there to change lives and embolden people, it is something we all can have and that power should give us courage to self-sacrificial love, to be there to restore relationships, be there for those suffering loss and loving our neighbor.

It does not make us a super hero; it does not make us prefect or short of problems; but it does give us the power of Gods love.

 

 

 

We know there is more to life than what this world has to offer, there is a new birth a new life with Jesus. We do not need to fear death or this life; because we know there is more.

 

 

 

Vince Cable – ‘a love of dance, he says, is what makes him human’

 

 

David Cameron said – ‘I am a member of the Church of England, and, I suspect, a rather classic one: not that regular in attendance, and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith. But that doesn’t mean the Church of England doesn’t matter to me or people like me: it really does. I like its openness, I deeply respect its national role, and I appreciate its liturgy, and the architecture and cultural heritage of its churches. My parents spent countless hours helping to support and maintain the village church that I grew up next to, and my Oxfordshire constituency has churches – including some medieval masterpieces – that take your breath away with their beauty, simplicity, and serenity. They are a vital part of Britain’s living history. I have felt at first hand the healing power of the Church’s pastoral care, and my children benefit from the work of a superb team in an excellent Church of England school.’

 

However is that what the resurrection is about?

 

I do not believe it is, it is not about just the love and care we show to others, it is about us having a new bold life in Christ.

 

We should be able to share that power with others to help them through this life, the bit DC recognises, and help them to see the risen Lord Jesus, the whole point of our faith.

 

 

Often people think that we Christians are hung up on the cross and sin, but Easter is about more than that it is about resurrection and new life,

 

 

1 Corinthians   15   12 But tell me this-since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.15 And we apostles would all be lying about God-for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised.17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost!19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

 

 

So what do we as Christians believe comes after death?

 

 

We believe that we will be raised up to live forever with Christ, and it is that belief that gives us hope and power, the power of the Holy Spirit, which came from the risen Jesus.

 

 

It is in that Power the power of the resurrection that we go out and live day-by-day loving those around us and showing Jesus to the wider world.

 

 

Vince and David are both missing the point if they do not see that life is about relationship with God and that only comes through the resurrection of Jesus and also of each of us.

 

 

Zacchaeus, spent his life accumulating wealth, not really seeing the wrong in what he was doing, then Jesus’ relational generosity came barging into his life and everything changed

 

 

Like him we need to trust in the power of Christ rather then the earthy structures and consumerism around us. We need to trust and reflect the covenant God has with us through His resurrection, trusting in NOT IN WHAT WE HAVE BUT IN WHO GOD IS, unchangeable and faithful.    That is the central core of our resurrection covenant, REFLECTING WHO GOD IS IN THIS IMPERFECT WORLD.  God promises and extends that covenant with us. 

 

So because of the resurrection we can have new life now, as well as a life after death with Him, and because of that we have joy, power, boldness and hope.

 

We also have power the power the Resurrected Jesus gave His followers, the power of the Spirit, the power to change lives, the power that comes from a reborn Jesus, for us to receive when we are reborn.

 

As another blog said

Take a breath and dive all in, radically, and see for yourself the incredible joy that our Father has in store for you!

Receive the power of the resurrection Christ.

 

Stick your head in the bucket of living water from the well. Lie in the river of the Spirit, allow the Risen Lord to change you.

 

 

I wonder if any of you would like prayer to receive the resurrection power of the Spirit, the power that will change your life like it did the disciples and many other since, if you do not already have it, if you want more of it, or a renewal of it.

 

 

If so come up to Claire and I now, we will pray for you to receive from God that power to change your life and embolden you to live a resurrection live with Jesus.

 

 

 

John 20 19-29     19 That Sunday evening[b] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[c] was not with the others when Jesus came.25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

 

 

 

Acts 2 22-38     22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene[d] by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.25 King David said this about him:

‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
26 No wonder my heart is glad,
and my tongue shouts his praises!
My body rests in hope.
27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead[e]
or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the way of life,
and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’[f]

29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us.30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne.31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.

32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
35 until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.”‘[g]

36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

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One response to “The Power of the Resurrection

  1. Again a real blessing from God, people came for prayer and others said how this talk had touched them. God is so wonderful to bless me with His word.

    Like

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