Summary: Jesus is "all in" for us. He was "all in" giving every last drop of blood for us. Jesus calls to be "all in" for him: holding nothing back. The resurrection gives us the hope that there is more "life" for those who are "all in" for Jesus.
March 23, 2008
(Set up. Have everyone in the congregation receive a small empty plastic cup. Enter sanctuary carrying an empty pitcher with pants pulled down around the ankles. Suggest the wearing of pajama bottoms or sweats over underwear. Proceed to stumble about offering people “Living Water” from an empty pitcher.)
No, I was not doing my Elliot Spitzer imitation. Anybody know who God told to preached for three years completely naked? Isaiah. When the soldiers came for Jesus, a young man was arrested but he fled leaving behind his clothes in the soldiers’ hands. Anybody know that was? Tradition says John Mark. Who was crucified without clothes on a cross? Jesus. The church has put a loin clothe on the crucifix but in actuality Jesus and the criminals would have been stripped naked. The Bible says that lots were cast for his clothes. It was part of the humiliation.
Through out the Bible, nakedness is used to show our shame and our sin. Often it is used to show our lack of commitment to being sold out for God. It is often used to show how people fail to put all their chips in to serve. “All in” is what it is called. In Texas Holdem’ a player can bet everything on the one hand. It is a dramatic move and is total commitment. Either you win big or you are done.
Jesus was “All in” as He went to the cross. He held nothing back. Every last drop of blood was spilt as the soldier pierced his side with the spear rupturing the chest cavity showing that the heart had literally exploded within his chest because it had pumped faster and faster as more blood was loss until… “Into your hands, do I commend my spirit.” And Jesus breathed his last.
In The Fantastic Four and The Silver Surfer, the Silver Surfer has been sent by Galactus to take out Earth but realizes who has been serving is the true enemy. So the Silver Surfer decides to serve what is right.
(Video clip available from http://www.wingclips.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16615&category_id=763)
The Silver Surfer held nothing back. But here is the thing. Unlike the Silver Surfer, Jesus didn’t sacrifice himself and that was the end of the movie. Jesus rose from the dead vindicating himself and showing that he was truly the son of God.
I wonder how often we hold back. I wonder how many keep another stake in our back pocket. We hold something back, just in case. We are never really, truly “All in.”
I wonder how often we stumble through our lives, our days, and our weeks with empty pitchers. We run on fumes. We try to pass on something that maybe we don’t really have. Our pants our down around our ankles and we just stumble along. Maybe it is because of the same bad choices that we keep making. Maybe it is one of the multitude of addictions that we have: work, caffeine, nicotine, food, spending, technology, drugs, alcohol, sex, people-pleasing.
Sometimes we seriously try to do what we think is right only to find ourselves in situations that feel like a dark, cold grave. We wonder, “How did I get here?”
But thank the Lord for the resurrection! If I just stopped with the brokenness, that is what it would be like with the cross but without the resurrection. No hope. No hope for more. No hope that things would change.
The song that we sang earlier, “In Christ Alone,” is a hymn that tells the story of Jesus. Imagine if the song would end with the words, “There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:”
But it doesn’t end there. That is not the end because it goes on and this is my favorite part of the whole song.
“Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!”
Jesus offers us Living Water. Jesus calls us live for Him. Jesus calls us to go “All in” by turning our will and our life over to Him. “Let me handle the details. Trust in me, the risen one!” Going “All in” is to say to Jesus, “Here I am. Here is my life. It is no longer mine but yours. Pour your life into me. Jesus, may you live your life through me.”
I’ve done things a little differently this morning. Most sermons start with a scripture and then talk about it. This morning I want to end with the scripture. It is from Colossians 3:1-4.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.