Sermons

Summary: Through Holy Week, there are several mentions of cloth in the storyline. These can help us remembering the story and relate it to ourselves.

Easter Day - CLOTH

John 20:1-19

I was reflecting a few weeks back on what we could think about over Easter.

Was there a link in the Easter storyline that we could look at to help us reflect and focus on the events.

I found one! You’ll be pleased to know it’s not chocolate or bunnies.

To focus our thoughts today and during the week, I want us to think about cloth.

If you think about this for 10 seconds I’m sure you will start to see cloth involved in the Easter story.

Of course - It’s resurrection day! Jesus had cloth wrapped around Him in the grave.

Yes! But I want to “Weave” cloth into the very “fabric” of the story that will help us remember the “material” we find in the bible.

So let’s go back to last Sunday, that Keith spoke about: Palm Sunday. On the first day of Holy Week,

Jesus is being cheered – hailed as King! The people had been waiting hundreds of years.

Donkey – no camel, horse, chariot?

No – a donkey. Why? Zechariah 9:9 The prophecy is dated around 520BC

The coming of Zion’s King!!

The crowd started to swell as rumour rippled through the city. “This is it!” They waved palm branches.

But the crowd did something else:

1. Lay down coats (Mt. 21:8)

7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

Cloak – many were like a shawl wrapped over their outer garment. . . .

So Jesus rode a donkey over a cloth carpet…

He entered Jerusalem – not Roman garrison, but to the Temple!

And got mad with the system – making money out of worship. Using the sacrificial system for commercial gain. Jesus turned over the tables in disgust. “You’re wrong!”

That upset the people, because this was not how they thought the new king from God would behave

but

That angered many – those who made profit for one.

The temple and religious leaders for two

They just didn’t get it.

They had such fixed and preconceived ideas about God that they could not see God

That can happen with us.

If I say “God” – you might get a “visual” of Him – but that’s not God – because he is invisible

If I say “Heavenly Father” you might start thinking about your own father or a male human figure.

That’s not God, is it?

We all have fixed and preconceived ideas of God, and I get that. We are limited in our understanding of and immortal, invisible, eternal God. But what happens when God does something outside of our idea of who God is?

• We start doubting?

• We question whether it’s really God?

• We think God is not fair or not loving or not – well not what we thought.

The leaders were like that and, by the time we get to the trial – already a setup, we have the High Priest, of all people Tearing cloth!!

2. Tear – angry leaders (Mt. 26:65; Mk. 14:63)

Have you tore your clothes in disbelief of God’s word?

“NO! – I can’t accept that”

The bible is God’s Word to be taken at face value.

Jesus is God’s Son – to be taken at face value.

Peter ran away – he couldn’t accept what was happening.

He couldn’t accept this was of God. “No, it can’t be right”

Later, after resurrection, Jesus meets with Peter, and gets him to see reality.

“Peter, do you love me . . . feed/teach/disciple others”

No tearing clothes in disbelief.

Just accept God’s way and do as He asks.

3. Divided clothes (John 19: 23)

The Saviour of the world is dying, and the soldiers are still fixed on the cloth – the material.

How much as Christians do we focus on the Saviour, and how much do we focus on the fabric?

• Am I dressed right?

• Does the worship start on time?

• Are the songs to my liking?

• Is the chair comfy?

• The message the right length . . . .

OR Am I giving my full attention to my Lord and Saviour who died for me and wants me to love him with everything I am, and love others as I love myself?

Are we looking at the Savour or are we choosing what cloth we want from Him?

4. Curtain – top to bottom (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38)

The moment Jesus died, we read that

Matthew 27:51 (NIV)

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

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