6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Missions, close to home, our neighborhoods and city.


Jerusalem and Judea

Acts 2: 14-21 (p 771) August 5, 2012

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1)


Have you ever sat on a dock, or stood on the bank of a pond and thrown rocks? I’m not talking about skipping contests…but just thrown a rock and watch the explosion of water as it hits and then the ripple of waves that spread out farther and farther?

I’m sure really really smart people could explain the Kinetic energy and the efforts of the rock’s mass, the water’s resistance and gravity’s pull…I don’t really care about the scientific particulars…

I just remember as a boy being fascinated with the explosion and then the waves that seem to go out and on forever. In our text a rock has exploded through the surface of the Jerusalem pond…And it rolled away to reveal an empty tomb and a resurrected Jesus…that explosive message punches a hole in the Holy City…and ripples of waves will spread out in ever widening concentric circles through the whole world.

Luke 24: 1-9 (p748)

The explosion begins with Mary Magdalene and the other women who want to finish up the hurried burial…instead they find an empty tomb and an angelic messenger…

“He’s not here….He’s risen”

The women tell Peter and the others, but they don’t believe them at first…it seems ridiculous…nonsense…John had been there when Jesus was crucified.

But Peter and John run to the empty tomb to see for themselves…they see the grave strips and Peter leaves wondering about what’s going on.

Let me share with you this morning why the resurrection is so explosively essential…and without the resurrection there will be no powerful mission for the disciples or for us.

There is no good news unless sin and death are defeated.


Do you remember last week when we talked about the authority Jesus has…Matt 28:18 says “Jesus has all authority in heaven and in earth.”

Phil 3:21 says “Jesus has the power (authority) to bring everything under his control…and by his power will transform our lowly bodies so they well be like his glorious body.”

Listen to why the resurrection is absolutely essential for God’s powerful plan

1 Cor 15: 21- 26 (p 815)

Sin and death came to mankind through Adam and Eve…Each of us are descendants of Adam…and each of us have inherited his fallen nature. We’ve all sinned…we all are dying.

Death is the greatest and most powerful energy of every single one of us. Who could stop the momentum of born – live – die? Ecclesiastes 7: 2 says “Death is the destiny of every man.”

Now the bigger question…what happens after death…some will say, “Nothing…you’re simply worm food…”

The apostle Paul said, “If there’s no resurrection…no life after death...then we Christians should be pitied above everyone else.” (1 Cor 15:19)

Why would he say that…because if this life is all there is and we’ve spent it serving Jesus and others above ourselves then we’re idiots…we’ve blown all we’ve got…and there’s no chance to get it back.

But if there is an eternity after this life…and if at the end of this earthly life I face a judgment…as Hebrews 9:27 says “Man is destined to die once and after that to face the judgment.”

If I believe God, who said…”Everyone who calls on my name will be saved.”

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…All have broken God’s law. No one is religious…not the few who had God’s law or the Gentile that didn’t….None are righteous…Sin made us God’s enemy…what did He do to remedy that?

Romans 5: 6-8 (p 798)

This is an eternal truth…I believe it is the only hope and answer for all mankind…it is the good news…the gospel…but how could we hear it and believe it?


The audience believed the disciples were drunk; at least some accused them of it.

These men weren’t drunk…it’s only 9:00 in the morning (it must be 5:00 somewhere, but it’s not “happy hour” in Jerusalem!). Peter recalls the words of the prophet Joel when God promised “I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women I will pour out my spirit in those days. All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4)

That’s why some accused them of being drunk. Worldly people can never truly grasp spiritual power and so they will attack it. Jesus’ promise of the baptism of the spirit was taking place. The power the disciples were promised, the power they had been told to wait for was now allowing them to be witnesses of the resurrection, the gospel. And it all started in Jerusalem and Judea.

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