Summary: An Easter sermon, what a year 2020 has been, a new appointment for us in Fiji. For the world a time of trial as it responds to COVID 19. We are in lockdown, but in Christ, there is so much to celebrate and be grateful for. Because of him we are no longer lost! He's alive.
Easter what a wonderful time to recall the love of God shown to us through Jesus Christ.
It has been great over the past week to see posts on Facebook of how people are using the resources they have available in their homes and Corps centres to get many things achieved at this time.
I today, this Easter Sunday would like to bring a short message on Jesus and his Supremacy. These words of Paul from his letter to the Colossians. Colossians 1:15-23.
Read the passage.
Here’s a bit of background on the passage; Paul was writing to the Church at Colosse with a message that opposed some of the cultural stuff that happened in Colosse that added other practices to what was required for full Salvation. There was false teaching in the Church at the time Paul wrote this letter, such as rules around circumcision and only eating once certain rites were practised. These and other false doctrines about the worship of certain “spiritual rulers and authorities” were leading people away from the full salvation that Paul knew and had received in his own life, the Salvation that he had encountered in Jesus.
So Paul taught the people who Jesus is. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over-all creation.” Here is a powerful picture of who Jesus is he is the image of God, as Salvationists we believe that that there are three persons in the Godhead, undivided in essence and coequal in power and glory, Jesus is God, the image of God, firstborn from the dead, Lord over all creation and Paul adds that “by him, all things were created, whether in heaven or on earth, seen or unseen…All powers and authorities were created by him and for him.” Paul is saying, Jesus is the creator, he is with the Father and the Holy Spirit the One True God. We sometimes live in the danger of in our minds restricting him into an image of our liking, a newborn child, a lamb, a friendly teacher, a broken lifeless man upon the cross. We can, however, this day, this Easter Sunday remember him resurrected alive, the all-powerful, the defeater of sin and death, our leader, the One True God!
There is a depiction that I really like of Jesus. A depiction of Jesus in his resurrected power. From the book of Revelation, where John the disciple of Jesus describes Jesus as he appears in his risen state…
"....someone like a son of man’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his crest, His head and hair were like white wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held the seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. And his face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! I hold the keys to death and Hades.” (Rev 1: 13-18)
Powerful, Jesus is depicted here as so powerful that John, awe stuck, falls at his feet as a dead man out of fear. John who knew him and had walked beside him now sees Jesus, fully present, fully powerful.
He is the Risen Saviour, the author of life itself! Worship him resurrected, alive and all-powerful the defeater of sin and death, our Lord, the One True God!
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
We are able to approach God directly once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are no longer objects of God’s wrath, there is no need for an intermediary, saved by grace through faith we are at peace with God, and able to respond to his will for our lives. We know this day, Jesus resurrected, alive and all-powerful in whom God’s fullness dwells, the defeater of sin and death, our leader the One True God!
So this Good News is the Gospel that we have heard. Well, that’s what Paul is saying to the Church at Colosse. There are of course some who have not heard this message ever and are awaiting this teaching, there are some who willingly avoid hearing the message and others who greatly desire to know this message and share this message but are restricted in their ability to do so. There are people who still feel that they are enemies of God because of their past actions when Paul is saying that God has made us acceptable in God’s sight, not only that but holy in his sight, without scars of our pasts, innocent because Jesus died for us, as long as we continue firm in our faith, remaining in the hope that we have heard in the Gospels of Jesus and the saving grace he has brought us on the cross.