Summary: This passages encourages us to make fear a non factor in our lives: I. Jesus Comes To Us II. Jesus Brings Assurance To Us III. Jesus Commissions Us IV. Jesus Enables Us
Resurrection Encounters: Part I Fear Factor: April 15, 2007. John 20: 19-23 CBC
When it comes to television, the only thing that is must see tv to me is some type of ballgame be it basketball, baseball, etc. Yet as I read the paper and listen on the radio they will run down the top shows on television for the week. And usually without a doubt the show that is always on the top of the charts is a show called Fear Factor. Have you seen it? People confronting fearful stunts and activities trying to win money. Whether it is getting in a box with large spiders or trying to get flags off a car suspended hundreds of feet off the air, it challenges people to confront their fears.
Well, all of us have some sort of fear. Some people have:
Brontophobia which is the fear of thunderstorms
Claustrophobia is the fear of being trapped in a small confined space.
This morning there are some who are dealing with another strong type of fear. It is called Homilophobia and it is the fear of sermons.
Being in public with Chris phobia: Chrysta has this fear because she is fearful that I am going to do something dumb in public which usually happens whether it’s falling down steps or acting weird.
Well today, understanding that we all have fears, I want to share with you how we can make fear be a non factor in our lives. I want to begin a series entitled Resurrection Encounters in which over the next several weeks we will discover the life changing encounters that Jesus had with individuals. And it is my hope that through these life changing encounters we will have a life changing encounter with Christ.
For because of that empty tomb, Jesus is alive and we have nothing to fear because he has promised to be with us now and always. And so today I want to encourage all of us to not let fear be a factor in our lives by trusting and accepting what Jesus wants to give us. And there are 5 things Jesus wants to give us to help get fear out and courage in
I. Jesus Comes To Us (verse 19)
Now we pick up our story from last week and remember I said that in this period between the Resurrection and Ascension, over 500 people had a life changing encounter with jesus. John 20:19-23 describes one of those encounters. The setting is that the disciples the group of badly frightened men have gathered together on the day that Jesus has been found to not be in the tomb. And they are huddled together behind locked doors fearful of what is going to happen to them now that Jesus is missing from the tomb. It is night on the day that Jesus arose and the disciples that little group of threatened and badly frightened men are huddled together behind locked doors. Now we know that two disciples were missing. First is Judas who has killed himself and the other is Thomas who verse 24 says was not with them on this occasion.
Why were they fearful? Well remember last week, they officials put guards, a 2 ton tomb and a seal afraid that the disciples would steal the body to make it look like he had risen. And so now that Jesus is missing, who do you think the officials are coming after? That’s right these disciples and so they have barricaded themselves into this room in great fear.
So here is how Jesus gives peace. He comes to us. You see all of a sudden with no warning at all, Jesus is standing in the midst of these disciples and saying Peace be with you. Jesus came to them to assure them. Now John makes it clear to us that the doors were locked bolted shut and that has not changed. I wonder what the first looks must have been by the disciples. Here was Jesus. He had done exactly what he had said. I wonder if they were afraid that Jesus was going to rebuke them for being cowards and running and hiding. But notice Jesus was not in that business. Rather he comes to him and instead of scolding them he blesses them
When Jesus stepped through those locked doors, he had one thing on his mind and that was to give them Peace. And that is what he wants to do with you and me today. He wants to remove fear from our lives and replace it with peace. To give us peace from our past. To remind us and the disciples that when we truly ask for forgivenenss that we receive a peace that passes all understanding. That Jesus form of peace comes in the form of a presence. Of a person that comes in to help us even when we are in a mess. Peace helps to take the past sins and remove them as far as the east is from the west.