Summary: Jesus Is Here! 1. To stand by us. 2. To speak to us. 3. To show the truth to us. 4. To satisfy us. 5. To send us.
Jesus Is Here!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 31, 2013
*I am so glad that you are here with us today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I want to remind you that Jesus is here with us too. Jesus was there with His followers on the first Easter day. And by His Holy Spirit, He is surely here today.
*Pastor Tom Long told about teaching three little girls in his church about special days in the Christian calendar. Of course, they talked about Christmas and Easter, but then the discussion turned to Pentecost.
*Pastor Long asked the girls if they knew what Pentecost was. Since none of them did, he told them that Pentecost was when the church was sitting in a group. And the Holy Spirit landed on them like tongues of fire on their heads.
*Two of the girls took that information in stride. But one girl's eyes got as big as saucers, and she said, "Gosh, Reverend Long, we must have been absent that Sunday." (1)
*Of course, the story of Pentecost is found in Acts 2. And we may not have the tongues of fire today, but we have HIM. Jesus Christ is here. And this great Bible passage from the first Easter helps us understand this life-changing truth.
1. Notice that Jesus is here to stand with us.
*In vs. 19, "Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst. . ."
*The disciples were gathered that night. And we all ought to gather for worship every time we can. But they weren’t gathered together that Sunday night because they were faithful members of their church. No. -- The disciples were there that evening, because they were scared to death. Jesus had been killed, and they thought they were next.
*But when they were afraid, something wonderful happened: Jesus showed up! And He stood by them. The Lord's presence made all the difference in the world! And it will for us.
*In Matthew 18:20, Jesus said: "Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." Jesus is here. And it’s great to know that in the hardest times Jesus will stand right by our side.
*Pastor Joel Baker tells the wonderful story about how his grandmother came to America from Serbia. As a young teenage she was frequently beaten by her abusive father. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore, so one day she ran away from home and caught a boat to America. But, when this young Serbian arrived at Ellis Island, she had no papers, no family and no sponsor.
*As she stood in the long line, an immigration officer realized she had no papers, so he put a white "X" on her arm with chalk. She didn't know it, but that "X" meant she would be sent back home just as soon as she got to the entry desk.
*But after the officer moved away, the young man in line next to her reached over and wiped the "X" off her arm. When they got to the entry desk, the authorities asked for her papers. Of course she had none, but the young man put his arm around her shoulder and said, "She's with me."
*They were both welcomed to America, and a few weeks later they were married! (2)
*Joel's grandfather-to-be stood by his future wife. He gave her a new life in a new land. And that is exactly what Jesus wants to do for us. He stands beside us, and with sacrificial love, Jesus wipes away the "X" of our sin. Then He says, "This one is with Me!"
*Jesus stands close by to save all who will trust in Him. He takes us to a new life. And one day He will take us to a new land. But on the worst day of your life, Jesus will stand by you to give you the comfort and strength you need. We know this is true, "For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
*Jesus is here to stand by us.
2. And He is here to speak to us.
*As the Lord stood there in vs. 19, He said to His disciples: "Peace be with you." And when you need words of comfort, the Lord will speak to you too. There are many places in God's Word where He speaks words of peace and comfort to His people. Listen to this assurance from Psalm 121:
1. I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help.