Summary: A sermon for after Easter. We stand at the feet of the risen Christ... what does it mean to us?
Acts 9:1-20 NKJ
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." 11 So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 "And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight." 13 Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 "And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. 20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
“At the Feet of the Risen Christ”
Happy Two weeks after Easter! I had fun this Easter… how about you all? It almost seems strange to think back to Easter now doesn’t it. It’s behind us… I for one… have even been gone on vacation and back already… Easter feels like it was eons ago. Which just reminds me… that we should be very careful not to just leave it in the dust and never think of it again until next year. We have an opportunity here, to stand at the feet of the risen Christ and ask… what does it all mean.
That is what it was like after the first Easter after all. Christians… some just like you and like me… who had just witnessed something amazing... something revolutionary. They stood at the feet of a man who had just died, and who was alive again… and imagine all the questions. How? Why? What does this mean? How is this going to change my life? And… what now? It’s a question we all have to ask ourselves… what does the risen Christ mean to us. It’s a powerful question if we take time to truly ponder it… just look at Paul for example.
God could not have picked a better Jesus hater than Paul.
How many of you know what a “goad” is? I had to look it up. Today, we call them prods and use electricity. But before the advent of the battery, a goad was a long sharp pointed stick used to move cattle. That Jesus would use this analogy, tells us that Saul was resisting God’s prodding, causing God to goad him even harder.
There is a story about Fiorello LaGuardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of WWII, was called by adoring New Yorkers 'the Little Flower' because he was only five foot four and always wore a carnation in his lapel. He was a colorful character who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games, and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, he would go on the radio and read the Sunday funnies to the kids.