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150405AM RealJesus Son of God.docx

Meet the Real Jesus: He Is the Son of God

Unleashing the Greatest Power of All

John 20:1-8

When Jesus stepped from the Tomb on Resurrection morning, God unleashed the greatest power of all.

Today we come to that final event of the greatest week in the history of the Universe.

The Real Jesus is Revealed

Last Sunday we met the Lamb of God, who was chosen as the sacrifice God the Father chose for the sin of the world, before there was a world, galaxies, humans, or even a single star.

Then on Good Friday we saw the wrath of God poured out as the just penalty for sinners upon the sinless Lamb of God. After six hours, the wrath of God was satisfied. Christ cried that it was finished, bowed His head and died. Then He was buried.

Today we gather to remember the triumphant ending of that greatest week. Jesus Christ opened the gates of Heaven to all those who would run for safety beneath the shadow of His Cross, under His shed blood, clinging only to His substitutionary sacrifice for their sins.

On Palm Sunday, we saw Jesus. He arrived as the Lamb of God.

On Good Friday, we saw Jesus. He faced the Wrath of God

On Easter Sunday, we see Jesus. He rose as the Son of God.

The Lamb of God, faced the Wrath of God, as the Son of God

Please stand & hear Resurrection morning by God in Jn. 20:1-8

The excitement of those early disciples when they knew that Jesus was risen is really enjoyable to read about and watch. They were radiantly excited, and told everyone. We read that, we sing that, we talk about that; but perhaps we don’t really feel what exactly it was that made them so excited. We want to, but that Easter/Resurrection Sunday glow fades very fast in most churches. Why?

Maybe because we didn’t catch what they knew was returning. You see, the disciples knew something first hand of what it meant to see Jesus in action. 

They Witnessed the Ministry of Jesus

For 3 years Jesus awesomely served in the power of God.

Wherever He went Christ’s very Presence made sure that death fled, disease faded, and despair melted.

Broken bodies that came in contact with Jesus were mended, sightless eyes restored, empty ears filled with sound, missing fingers returned. But beyond just physical woes Jesus temporarily mended: He also was permanently meeting longer and deeper needs.

The Gospels record just 37 specific miracles that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry. These include sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, life to the dead, health to the sick – and many other tremendous miracles supernaturally performed by Christ.  

Which one was the greatest? If you analyze all 37 miracles, each of them were wonderful; but ALL 37 miracles were only temporary.  

The paralyzed, lame, mute, and blind that Jesus gave back eyes, fingers, toes, and skin eventually lost them all again when they got sick and died some years later.

Peter’s mother-in-law was miraculously set free from a fever but years later died of other causes, which may also have involved a fever.

The food miraculously created by Jesus was consumed by the five and four thousands, and used up – and hunger returned the next day.

The eyes restored to blind Bartimaeus were used, worn out, and dimmed by the time he died.

Those dancing feet after Christ’s touch that the lame possessed, soon turned to a shuffle and then stopped working altogether as they lay in bed awaiting death many years later.

Lepers who found fresh new skin and limbs saw them again return to wrinkles, weakness, and finally immobility as circulation, respiration, and digestion all slowly were assaulted by the weight of many years.

Everywhere He went, wherever He was, whenever He was there the Presence of Jesus meant – death, disease, and despair were no more.  So yes, Jesus performed many miracles; but all of them but one were temporary.  But we might wonder:

Which Was the Greatest of All Christ’s Miracles?

The answer is the one that never faded, never aged, never ended. It was the miracle un-faded by time, un-touched by health, un-affected by circumstances.  

That miracle, the greatest miracle is the one that Jesus Christ is still doing in our midst today. It is the miracle that I have personally experienced. It is the miracle that most of us in this room have also experienced. It is the greatest of all Christ’s miracles – the miracle of complete forgiveness.  

So, the greatest miracle Jesus could do was to forgive sinners, and rescue them from despair and hopelessness. Now think about what Christ’s resurrection means.

Jesus Had Only Ministered in One Place at a Time

From the Manger to the Cross Jesus had been for 33 years in only one place at one time.

He had humbled Himself, He had emptied Himself, and He had limited Himself. He was localized, operating in one place at a time.

Even in this condition of being localized, Jesus accomplished more than any human ever has or will. He grew up perfectly, mastered God’s Word perfectly, and related to His family, friends, and neighbors perfectly for 30 years.

Everywhere Jesus went ruined lives were repaired, hopeless lives were renewed, stained lives were cleansed, enslaved lives were liberated, cruel lives were filled with love, greedy lives were transformed to share, and hungering lives satisfied.

As far as we know Jesus only ventured outside the borders of tiny Israel but once, and then it was quite a brief stop in the north to help a troubled woman. Crowds came to Him, multitudes flocked to Him, and none were disappointed – He helped them all. But sometimes the crowds were so great that people were pressed out and had to resort to digging through rooftops, climbing trees, and reaching down through the feet of the crowds just to grab the tassel of His robe. All this because He was just One person who was limited to being in one place at a time.

Yet everything Jesus accomplished in one place at a time couldn’t be all written down. It was amazing to see that which was captured for us in the Gospels. So much done s powerfully by One person, in one place at a time.

By now after having said it so many times, you have probably caught the drift of where we are going. As we step into the Garden that surrounded the borrowed Tomb on Resurrection morning – something has wondrously changed.

Jesus Was No Longer Localized

Often we fail to understand the magnitude of what really happened. Here is what had changed — after the Resurrection Jesus was no longer limited to one location.

Jesus could be at anytime with everyone in anyplace. Think of all of Christ’s power we see in the Gospels available everywhere and all the time! That was God unleashing Jesus Christ to be everywhere available![1]

Everything Has Changed

After Resurrection morning, Jesus is no longer trapped by time and space to be in one place at a time. He seems to be everywhere at once.

For the next forty days after the empty tomb we find that Jesus crisscrosses the tiny land of Israel from north to south. We find Him on mountaintops, back roads, inside locked rooms, on the shore, and everywhere else that He is looked for or needed.

He meets the grieving women at the Tomb, comforts the sorrowing Mary, calms the frightened disciples inside the locked room without opening the door, shows up at dawn on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, confronts and restores a soaking wet Peter, assures a doubtful trembling Thomas, visits with everyone of the 500 others who had believed on Him.

All that in an occupied country crawling with spies, soldiers, and religious leaders filled with hatred.  And for forty days after the Empty Tomb, He is never seen even once by any unloving eyes, He is never touched even once by unloving hands. Christ’s Presence was available unstoppably – everywhere.

Now think again with me about Resurrection morning. The Empty Tomb meant something had changed—Christ’s availability. For 3½ years anyone who could find Him could have any need met, any fear removed, and oppression lifted, any chain broken, any defilement cleansed away…if you could find Him.

Jesus solved all problems by His presence. Jesus came to people where they were and one by one transformed them. But Jesus was only in one place at one time.

After the Cross and Empty Tomb, Jesus was available anywhere, anytime, by anyone. Think about that:

Jesus Available Anywhere

So: any sin could be forgiven, any doubts could be overcome, any sadness could be comforted, any disappointment could be stopped, any fearfulness could be arrested, any loneliness could be ended, and any defilement could be cleansed.

Christ’s Resurrection meant that anyone could experience His Presence, anywhere, and at anytime! That’s why the Gospel by John was written: to remind us of what Jesus did.

In fact John lists 21 chapters of Jesus meeting people right where they were. Jesus is now doing these same things anywhere to anyone who will respond in faith to Him.

In Jn. 3:2, He is waiting up Jesus explains salvation to Nicodemus when he slips to Christ’s side in the dark. If you want to know if Jesus is real, He is close enough to hear you asking for His help.

In Jn. 4:18-19, sitting on the well Jesus reveals His true identity to a seeking woman overflowing with sins. Jesus is not afraid to associate with us, no matter how deeply we have drifted into sin.

In Jn. 5:6, approaching the paralytic laying on the ground Jesus heals him when he was hopeless and helpless. Jesus can come right where you are and help anyone paralyzed by fear, hopelessness, and despair.

In Jn. 6:17-19, coming across the waves to a storm tossed boat Jesus quiets the fearful disciples. Jesus watches us in our fears and torments, comes toward us, and will enter our sinking lives to rescue us if we will just cry out to Him.

In Jn. 8:3, looking into the stained heart of the adulteress woman Jesus forgave her completely. Jesus stands next to every morally failed, deeply defiled, sin soiled life, and with eyes of love and compassions extends a hand of cleansing forgiveness and says I do not condemn you, let Me take your sins right now.

In Jn. 10:9, He is opening the door to a safe and secure home for lost sheep. Jesus offers to any of us sheep that ask for Him, the personal security of being our guardian, keeper, protector, and guide from now on and forever.

In Jn. 18:8, He is watching over His disciples in their darkest hour. Jesus knows our deepest struggles and failures; and watches us always ready to offer His grace that helps in times of need.

In Jn. 19:25-27, He is caring for His mother even as He died. Jesus knows we are weak, helpless, and alone and always arranges just what we need to make it through those times.

In Jn. 20:25, finding Thomas in all his doubt Jesus brings him back to faith. Jesus hears our doubts, knows our needed assurance, and comes right to where we are, to restore each of us doubters.

Jesus is Available Today

With each of these scenes think about Jesus now doing those same wonders in lives around the world, night and day for nearly 2000 years now! The greatest power unleashed in Jesus now is that He is available anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

That is what the disciples watched and witnessed Jesus doing everywhere they went. Now do you understand their excitement when He rose?

Jesus was now available in the same way He had been in one place, but now everywhere and anyplace. His disciples went everywhere telling people that would listen that Jesus is passing by right now. He is offering to touch you today.

Will you see Jesus anew and afresh with me, and experience all that He wants to do in your life and mine today, and in the days ahead—if we will invite Him to be at work in us?

Jesus Died for Sinners

Over 58 million humans will die and enter eternity in 2015.

Some will perish through starvation or murder, others through disease and accident.

Some painlessly and others painfully, but all 58 plus million will DIE. That’s just daily life and death on planet earth! What’s the real tragedy?  Not death, because all will die, some quietly, some slowly, and some violently as perhaps many do in terrorist attacks. But being un-forgiven, that’s the ultimate tragedy.

Death in your sins is the ultimate horror to fear, not ISIS or Al Qaeda. Dying un-forgiven is the worst thing that can ever happen.

To rescue us from our hopeless lost-in-sin state, God took on humanity by becoming the man Jesus Christ. His life is recorded in the Bible. Jesus has revealed to us, in a life identifiably human and unmistakably divine, that the true nature of God is love.

This is how the Bible states it:

“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (that means dying with their sins) but have eternal life” (that means experiencing forever God’s forgiveness).

Jesus Opens the Door

There is an unforgettable illustration from the burial in Vienna of Empress Zita, the last Hapsburg Empress. Thousands fell in line behind the catafalque, drawn by six black horses. The procession came to a stop at the Capuchin Church, and there, a long-observed tradition was enacted. As a member of the funeral party knocked on the closed door of the church, a voice from within asked, “Who goes there?”

The titles were read aloud: “Queen of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia. Queen of Jerusalem, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Krakow.”

“I do not know her,” came the response from within the church.

A second knock, and the question of “Who goes there?” brought forth the response, “Zita, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.”

Again the reply,” I do not know her.”

When the inevitable question was put the third time, the answer was simply, “Zita, a poor sinner.”

“Come in,” came the welcoming voice, as the doors were slowly opened.[2]

Jesus Offers Forgiveness

We are born self-centered instead of God-centered, and the Bible identifies this as rebellion and calls it sin.

Furthermore, the Bible declares that ‘the wages of sin is death.

God offers a solution in the gift of His Son, whose death on the cross, paid the penalty for man’s sin and rebellion. Now comes your part. 

Are you willing to agree with God when He says you have rebelled? 

Trust God that He will forgive you and give you eternal life because Jesus took the penalty for your sins. 

Accept God’s invitation, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”.

God also says “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved.

God continues by saying, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 

As you hear me, simply speak to God and tell Him you want to change the direction of your sinful life and that you want to receive Jesus.

Are You Forgiven?

He’ll take your[3] sins and put them behind his back never to remember them against you forever! 

Wherever you are, you can look up into the Father’s face and say,

“God be merciful to me a sinner.”  I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself.

At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross, and rose from the dead. I believe that He did all that ever will be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence.

As best as I can, I now transfer: my trust to Him.

I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures.

Thank You for hearing this prayer.

 In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Jesus says, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out”.

He will hear your prayer, He will save your soul if you will only let Him.

This prayer can be the link that will connect you to God.

[1] 030420AM, 090412AM, 120408AM

[2] Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage, The Real Face of Atheism (Michigan, Baker Books,1990), 167.

[3]  Charles E. Fuller, The Tabernacle In The Wilderness.  Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Fleming H. Revell Company, No Date, p. 27-38.