Jesus Lives Therefore . . .
Full Service Video
Jesus Appears to His Disciples (Listen)
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,1 43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for2 the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus Lives Therefore . . .
We have peace
Jesus resurrection means we have peace. It’s the first thing Jesus says, not just here but all the time. When God appears in the old testament, when the angels appear to men. They always come with the same message. “Peace to you,” or “Do not be afraid.”
You could argue it just the Jewish greeting, “Shalom” accept Jesus really means it. It’s never something Jesus just says but something he comes to bring
It’s almost the same as the Star Trek greeting, “we come in peace. ” Yet it doesn’t take long for the gun fight. Humans never bring peace. We bring sin and evil and hatred because that is what we are. Jesus didn’t come “in peace” He came to “bring peace.”
Jesus brings peace to sinful men, through his death and resurrection.
This was something the apostles really needed as they went out into the world. They never had earthly peace, wandering, poor, hated, persecuted. But they could think back to this first Easter Sunday. They could remember Jesus risen and standing there. They could find peace in every situation.
We have joy
The disciples at first think it is a ghost. This isn’t because they are primitive humans who don’t know any better, but because given the choice it is far easier to believe He is a ghost than to believe He has risen from the dead.
In other circumstances they may have assumed it was a sheet or something rather than believe there was actually a ghost in front of them. In this circumstance it is easier to believe it is a ghost. That is something we are at least familiar with, to the extent that we know what one is and talk about it. But a man arisen from the dead, who suddenly appears out of thin air????
Jesus goes to great length to reassure them to let them know it is He and He is risen. But the disciples still don’t believe this time because of joy. It is too good to believe.
It is much easier to believe bad news than to believe good news. Even in little things, you go to the doctor and he says, you under weight, and your cholesterol is perfect, and blood pressure is great, you go find another doctor right cause obviously that one is lying to you.
We live in a world that has conditioned us to expect always bad. You get a letter in the mail saying you won the lottery you throw it away, it’s obviously a scam.
But this is the one time when the good news the joyous news is true. Jesus goes to great pains to prove it. “Here see my hands and feet, touch my hands and feet, give me something to eat. I’m not only here with you but bodily risen from the dead. “
Scripture is fulfilled
This is the point of all of scripture. We saw that in our Lenten series this year. Every story in the OT its sole purpose was to point or lead to Christ.
The very first gospel words in the garden, “He shall crush your head,” foretold not only Christ’s death but his resurrection. The Passover lamb, the sacrifice of Isaac, Jonah, the psalms, Isaiah etc. All of scripture was there screaming at the people of the OT the messiah is going to come and die and rise again on the third day. But most of them didn’t hear it.
Instead they read the account of Isaac and they thought to themselves what are the twelve points I can learn from this to make my life better. And that is all the Jews saw, was a list of rules.
And so many people today, to them the bible is a “how to” . . . inspirational . . . 10 points kind of thing . . . Okay Jesus forgives our sins that’s great but now what are the ten points I can draw from this story? Lets see . . the women were the first to the grave so we should always put women first . . . and let’s see Jesus ate boiled fish so we should not eat fried food . . . and honey so get rid of that sugar and eat natural honey.
It’s not about you and what you should do. It’s about Jesus and what He did for you. It’s only when they saw Jesus in every word of the Old Testament that the scripture was opened to the disciples and they finally understood it.
It’s like one of those math word problems in grade school, it’s confusing and chaos. Then your teacher tells you the answer and you think oh yeah.
Jesus is the answer, and as long as we remember that with every Sunday school story and every commandment, that Jesus is the answer not ten points to a better you, scripture will be open to us.
No time to waste
And now that we know that we sit around twiddling our thumbs till Christ comes again, right? No. Of course not, there is no time to waste now we get busy. For Christ sake we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to all the nations.
Can you imagine the world wind of feelings and activities surrounding this time for the disciples, Jesus dies, Jesus is arisen, Jesus ascends, the Holy Spirit is given, just one thing after another. It might be easy to think, wait a minute let’s just take a minute and gather ourselves, we could use a break.
I know after lent and Easter, I could really use a break. But Jesus says no, this is urgent, you need to get the joyous word out. Forgiveness and sins and the resurrection of the dead, spread it to the nations.
Even the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Father promised to send the Messiah and that took 4,000 years, Jesus promised to come again and that so far has taken 2,000 years. God doesn’t really have a good record for getting things done quickly the way we think of quickly. How long will the disciples have to wait? 10 days! This is urgent, the Spirit is given the disciples are sent out as his witnesses. Jesus is telling us there is not time to waste
But that task can be daunting. So jesus sends the Holy spirit the Helper, to be with us every step of the way. The Spirit is with them and us. He is the helper we could never do this on our own.
Jesus’ resurrection means
We have peace
We have forgiveness
We have urgent business to be about
We have the helper with us every step of the way
THE PEACE OF THE LORD THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS