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Summary: Events in the Bible that took place on a mountain

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Mountain Moving Faith

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Matthew 28:1-20

The Story Behind the Song. Go Tell It on the Mountain, the carol that provides inspiration for this sermon, was the product of the prayers and faith of an unknown slave, probably before the Civil War. During that dark and shameful period of slavery in our country, unknown African American slaves, a largely uneducated people often humiliated and cruelly treated, longed for freedom. In spite of their plight, God seemed to inspire them to produce songs of incredible majesty and haunting beauty. Many of them could neither read nor write, and their songs were preserved only in the oral tradition—from the fields to small slave churches, and eventually to white churches and concert halls.

Many of these songs have been saved, however, because of the devotion of John Wesley Work, an African American church choir director in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the few educated African Americans in the South, Work decided that the new generation of blacks needed to know and learn the songs their ancestors sang during the days of slavery. Work’s brother, Frederick, is credited with being one of the first to recognize the power and potential of the song, Go Tell It on the Mountain.

The folk song captures the feeling of an unknown slave from whose heart these words sprang. Probably unable to read the Bible, this anonymous poet imagined the reaction of the shepherds as the great light from heaven shone around them. Little did the slave know that this song, expressing the wonder in his own soul, would eventually touch the hearts of millions. (Source: Ace Collins, Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Zondervan, 2001, pp. 47-52)

”When I was a seeker

I sought both night and day,

I asked the Lord to help me,

And he showed me the way.

”Go tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere,

Go tell it on the mountain,

Our Jesus Christ is born.

”He made me a watchman

Upon a city wall,

And if I am a Christian,

I am the least of all.”

But where does the story end? Did it end when the shepherds went back to the fields, or when the wise men returned to their country? Where does it end for you and me? Christmas isn’t over at midnight on December 25th. What began at Bethlehem continued and reached a new climax 33 years later. The Gospel that Jesus proclaimed during those years, and confirmed with His death and resurrection, is the message we are to go and tell on the mountain!

I. The Fact of the Resurrection (28:1-10)

Bethlehem signaled that the promised Savior of the world had arrived. John the Baptist confirmed His mission when, upon seeing Jesus approaching him, said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus’ work on earth culminated at the cross where, in shame and humiliation, He paid once for all time the entire price for mankind’s sin. He became the sacrifice which would do away with all other offerings of animals on the temple altars.

Because Jesus perfectly satisfied God’s requirement in His Law, God acknowledged the success of Jesus’ mission by raising Him from the dead. Thus God made Him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Jesus’ resurrection, in accordance with His prediction that on the third day He would rise again, confirmed His claims and proved that His death was an actual payment for sin and that God had accepted it as such.


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