Saturday, April 07, 2012

Matthew 28:2 – 4 Resurrection Freedom: Live!


Matthew 28:2 – 4
Resurrection Freedom: Live!

The results of the resurrection of Jesus ripple to our lives today… not just in joy for the occasion of the day but also in celebration that because Jesus is alive, we can be forgiven and live!

How is this possible?

I.          FACT

            A.         Because of what happened at the tomb:
                        1.         Matthew 28:2 – 4: The stone is rolled away. (The soldiers witness.)
                        2.         Mark 16:4 – 6: The tomb is empty
                        3.         John 20:3 – 9: The grave clothing is folded (Carpenter’s witness of a                                              finished job.)
            B.         Because of the eye witness accounts:
                        1.         John 20:10 – 16: Mary Magdalene
                        2.         John 20:19 – 20: The Disciples
                        3.         John 20:24 – 28: Thomas (doubter or realist?)
                        4.         Luke 24:30 -- 32: The road to Emmaus (“burning hearts”)
                        5.         Luke 24:33 – 34: Peter
                        6.         1 Corinthians 15:3 – 7: The 500, James, and Paul

II.         POWER [Romans 1:1 – 6]

            A.         Right here, right now!
                        1.         [v 2] This event was promised beforehand (prophets through the Holy                                            Spirit… NOT a made up story.)
                        2.         [v 3] Human nature = descended from David.
                        3.         [v 4] Divine nature = resurrection.
                        4.         [v 5]  BECAUSE of all this we (you) can receive grace! (God’s “want to,”)
                        5.         [v 6] BECAUSE of all this we (you) are called (must respond) to BELONG to                                    Jesus Christ.
[Philippians 3:10]
            B.         We are all one choice away from Heaven or Hell…

III.        MYSTERY [Colossians 1:27]

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

            A.         Colossians 3:1 – 4 (Meaning)
                        1.         [v 1] “Set your hearts on things above.”
                        2.         [v 2] “Set your minds on things above.”
                        3.         [v 3] You died… “your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
                        4.         [v 4] “Christ… is your life.”
            B.         Indwelling presence of Jesus (through the Holy Spirit) BECAUSE of the                                                 resurrection (He’s alive!)

IV.        SKILL 

            A.         Galatians 2:20
                        1.         “I have been crucified with Christ.”
Romans 6:11 “… count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
                        2.         “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (live by faith)
            B.         Galatians 5:19 – 25
                        1.         Fruit is the excess energy of a mature life.
                        2.         Transformation = moral behavior + fruit of the Holy Spirit.
                        3.         Passion and desire of the sinful nature war against the Spirit. (See                                                             Romans 8:7)
                        4.         Live by the Holy Spirit… “keep in step” is a military image of effective                                            training and attentiveness.

V.         CONCLUSION:

            A.         False concept of freedom – “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want,                                             however I want… if NOT then I am NOT free.”
                        1.         Reality: there are consequences to that idea…
                        2.         Consequences:
                                    a.         Connected to God means life lived by design, in the design of                                                         what we were meant to be and do.
                                    b.         Disconnected to God means certain destruction (eternal).
            B.         What are you celebrating today?
                        1.         A family day?
                        2.         A holiday?
                        3.         The life changing results of the resurrection of Jesus!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Jesus, the chicken (Luke 13:31 -- 35)


Luke 13:31 – 35

GAP: We sometimes see God’s wrath and punishment as something He relishes or executes with glee and excitement.  (Fact: Jesus wept at this point… strong emotion)

TENSION:
            1.         Pharisees come to Jesus… warn Jesus (threat? Or pretend to be friend?)
            2.         Jesus calls Herod a “fox.”
Fox: not an alpha predator but very dangerous.
            a.         Our expression: “Fox in the hen house.”
            b.         Foxes will kill for the excitement of killing (unlike most alpha predators that kill                            for necessity).
TENSION:
            1.         Jesus delivers then delivers THREE prophecies:
                        a.         [v 32] “on the third day I will reach my goal.”
                        b.         [v 33] “no prophet can die outside Jerusalem.”
                        c.         [v 35] “you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes                                                 in the name of the Lord.”
            2.         What is Jesus saying?
                        a.         [v 32] Driving out demons and healing people… three days… goal….
                                    1.)        This is a prophecy of the three days Jesus would be in the grave.
                                    2.)        Two key ideas of what He would be doing those days:
                                                a.)        “Driving out demons” (destroy the works of the devil)
                                                b.)        “Healing people” (Isaiah: “by his stripes we are healed)

REALITY:
            1.         God must break the power of the “Law of sin and death.”
                        a.         On the cross Jesus provided the perfect, full, and sufficient atonement                                          (covering, payment) for our sin.
                        b.         At the resurrection Jesus shattered the power of “sin and death.”
 "Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?" [56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 15:55 – 56]
            2.         We often mistake salvation as JUST a legal matter.
                        a.         Forgiveness in the court of heaven… legal standing before God.
                        b.         HOWEVER, there is the practical matter of right now… how we live…
                        c.         Healing is a reversal of the damage of sin,
                                    a restoration of the image of God in us,
                                    a revival of the soul toward our Maker and Savior!

EXPLORATION:  How was Jesus going to accomplish this?
            1.         The image of the mother hen…
                        a.         Our expression, “they want to get out from under their mother’s wings.”
                        b.         Problem: chicks like to wander:
                                    1.)        There is a big world they want to explore… BUT they don’t know                                                     what cats, or hawks, or foxes will do to them.  They are easy prey.
                                    2.)        They want to fight on their own… BUT this is unwise.
                                    3.)        They feel smothered under protective wings…
                        c.         Reality: We, like the chicks, are defenseless and dependent.
            2.         How does a mother hen protect here chicks?
                        a.         The hen “clucks” to call here chicks… she does NOT run to protect them.
                        b.         Their defense comes from them running to her… she uses here beak and                                       her life to protect them.
            3.         This is what Jesus WANTED to do for Jerusalem (and by implication, us)
                        a.         Sad statement “you were not willing.”
                        b.         Instead they killed the prophets and will kill the Christ.
 ***** Huge contrast between God’s willingness and our unwillingness. *****

RESOLUTION:
            1.         An ancient Psalm and prophecy: Psalm 91:4
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
            2.         An ancient promise and prophecy: Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the LORD  will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;     they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
            3.         Here it is:
                        a.         In Psalms there is a promise of protection… a place of refuge.
                        b.         In Isaiah there is a promise of strength… a place of accomplishment.
(Ill.) A mother/father eagle will push her baby of the nest… the little eagle will have to fly or die (so it thinks).  At the last moment, the mother/father eagle will swoop and catch the young eagle… take them high and drop them again.  This happens over and over until the young eagle learns to fly.
***** The idea is in Psalm 91 that the word translated “cover” is “Shekinah.”  [As in the “Shekinah” glory of God. *****

MEANING: What Jesus intended to do what place Himself between His people, “all fluffed up and hunkered down,” and the danger.
            1.         There was the “tooth and fang” of the fox verses the power of an unyielding and                          uncompromising love.
An American expression: “And God bet the farm” (everything) on the mother hen.
            2.         Jesus loves us with a love stronger than death...

***** Today we celebrate when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the shout of “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” as remembering but also looking forward to when Jesus returns. *****

***** Today we celebrate God unyielding and uncompromising love for us demonstrated Good Friday on the cross. *****

***** Today we are faced with the question: Are we willing?  Are you willing to take shelter in the Most High and live in the shadow of the Almighty? *****