Summary: This is the third in a series of messages looking at the days surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. This studies the resurrection as it applies to living each day.
The Passion Pt 3
Five Keys To Living In Resurrection Power
In the weeks leading up to Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday – I shared with you the first two installments of a series called The Passion. I want to conclude that series today. One of the main points that I wanted to get across in those two first messages was that in the Passion we can lose the message in the method. Christians in today’s world make several mistakes I think.
One is that we linger too long at the cross. We can so focus on the painful brutality of the cross that we miss the understanding of the crucified. Some Christians linger in the shadow of the cross and it’s brutal destruction of sin and set up a system of legalistic rituals to make sure that we truly understand the cost of our sin. Placing on people the unyielding burden of the law – always in fear that this cross might still be ours someday if we deviate in the slightest measure from the standards that are set.
Others I believe linger too long by an empty tomb. Gazing in wonder at the empty grave clothes that mark the living Christ. We can get so lost in the euphoria of the empty tomb and the risen Christ that we miss the message. There is a great euphoria that surrounds this empty tomb. We find there a risen Lord – who through His death and resurrection has given us new life. That is truly something to get excited about isn’t it? The danger here at the tomb is never moving on. I experience an empty tomb in my life – that day that Jesus saved me – It was then that the empty tomb became real to me – my forgiveness – my redemption – my new life – my eternity all caught up in the risen Lord. The problem is that for far too many – this is where it stops.
For 40 days after His resurrection – Jesus went about the countryside continuing His message. He met with small groups of the disciples – and with as many as 500 people at one time teaching. It was during this time that Jesus taught one of our most valuable lessons. The lesson that transformed the disciples from scared rabbits into roaring lions who changed the world. The lesson – How to live in resurrection power. Some of the lessons obviously were learned by the day that Jesus ascended into heaven – others he left with them that day but let’s look together at the lessons we need to learn to live in resurrection power.
1) Living in Resurrection Power Begins with Obedience – v16 – The eleven went to the Mount of Olives as Jesus had instructed them to do. Notice that Jesus is not with them and yet they still obey – Have you noticed something about children – you tell them to do something but you have to keep reminding them and you have to stay after them till its completed. One sign of maturity is when you give your child a job and you know that they will complete it – no questions. Living in resurrection power comes not from knowing what God’s wants for you in life – It’s in doing what He wants for your life. How often do we find ourselves not listening to God’s commands? We know what we should do, we know what we are supposed to do, we know what God has commanded us to do but we simply don’t do it. James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. We will never know what it is to live in resurrection power until we decide to live in obedience to the call of Christ.
2) Living in Resurrection Power – Centers in Worship – v17 – These men had followed Jesus for three years, they had eaten with Him, slept with Him, and ultimately denied Him. Now they fall on their knees and worship Him. Don’t take this lightly – this is an acknowledgment on their part that Jesus is God. Worship is for no one else but God. God wants us to make that final decision in our lives, is He God or isn’t he. If He is not then lets be done with all of this pretense. If He was only a prophet or a good man then be done with it. If He is God then lets stop playing religious games and Worship Him for He is worthy of our Worship. Our power for living centers in our worship of God as God – not slaving away for the false gods of our day – gods of materialism, popularity, or power. Real power – resurrection power – power for life and living centers in worship.