Summary: Our argument is that the life of Jesus Christ provides for us a paradigm upon which we can pattern our lives.
Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008
Fulfilling Our Commitments: Christ’s Conquest
John 20: 24 – 29
The triumph of Christ’s Conquest concludes our series: “Fulfilling Our Commitments.” We looked at Jesus Christ from six perspectives as he fulfilled his commitments to God, to God’s Law, to the Church, to the City, and to the Cross.
It was our hope that by looking to Jesus we would then develop a pattern for our lives that would allow us to fulfill our commitments to God, to God’s law, to the Church, to the City and to the Cross.
Our argument was that the life of Jesus Christ provides for us a paradigm upon which we could pattern our lives.
We sought to proclaim that his commitment was true; it was real; it was deep; it was profound; it was sincere; and it is worthy of imitation.
These were things that we could do.
On the other hand, Christ’s conquest is not something we can do; it is what he does for each one of us.
Thank God! Jesus is a conqueror.
Thank God! The grave could not hold him.
Thank God! Sin could not defeat him.
Thank God! The Kingdoms of this world have to bow before him.
Thank God! He is a liberator.
Thank God! He is a mighty God, a prince of peace, an everlasting father and he is the King of Kings.
Easter should be a time of thanksgiving in our hearts!
Because Jesus is a conqueror we should always have hope, to live life to its fullest potential.
Why? Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly.
The abundant life is life lived at its fullest potential.
The abundant life is not a life that looks at what you do not have; it’s life that looks through the lens of what you do have and says, “Thanks be to God!”
The essence of Easter is found in a faith that says I do believe!
Professor N.T. Wright of Oxford was in town two weeks ago. He is known as one of the foremost New Testament theologians in the world. He has distinguished himself by his painstaking research that proves the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was indeed a bodily resurrection. His proof is convincing as he examines the scriptures, the eyewitness testimony of the day, the reaction of all those who made the claim that they saw Jesus; he eliminates any doubt one may have that the bodily Resurrection is not real.
I appreciate his scholarship. I’ve read most of his books. He has even autographed my copies. But I didn’t need Professor Wright to prove to me that Jesus rose from the dead.
I just like Paul know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that nobody but Jesus could have looked beyond all my faults and seen my needs.
Nobody but Jesus could have stepped into my life and turned me around.
Nobody but Jesus could have moved a youngster from the marble steps of Druid Hill Avenue, take him through the highways and byways of life, walked with him through the valleys and transport him to the mountaintops, create a network of colleagues and friends that bless him through their living, gave him a family where love abounds from heart to heart and from breast to breast; bring him back to his church home, the church of his youth, with the determination in his heart and the strength of faith to preach as best he can with the blessed assurance that Jesus is mine. As I was going down my own Damascus Road, Jesus stopped me in my tracks, and asked me the question, “why are you not living life to its fullest potential?
I asked: how can you live life that way?
Jesus told me to live the abundant life, to live life to its fullest potential, you must understand what Paul understood, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Do you believe that Jesus is a conqueror?
Do you believe that by his stripes you are healed?
Do you believe that you are worthy of his suffering and sacrifice?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins?
Do you believe that he is the risen savior and that he is in the world today?
That’s what Easter is all about – do you believe?
Have you tried him?
Have you proved him?
Have you touched the hem of his garment?
Have you had your blinded eyes opened?
Have you experienced the power of God to work miracles in your life?
Have you reached out to touch him and then realized that is touching you too?
Have you had the opportunity to have Jesus walk with you and talk with you and tell you that he is your own?