Summary: An easter sermon that can be modified to make the point that God is sovereign, loving, and holy.
Jesus: The Living One
Introduction: Cemeteries can be spooky places. I heard a funny story about a guy in Scotland we'll call Ian McGregor. After a long evening in the pub, Ian took a shortcut to his house that took him through a dark cemetery. He accidentally fell into a freshly dug grave. Ian tried to climb out, but discovered the hole was too deep, so he just decided to wait until the morning when someone would come to help him out. So, he sat in the corner and covered himself with his coat, and went to sleep.
Sometime later he was awakened by the sound of another guy who fell in the front of the grave. The second guy didn’t see Ian in the corner. Ian watched as the man tried and tried to climb out of the grave. Finally, Ian said, "Stoop your tryin’, Ya canna’ get out." But you know, that guy jumped all the way out of that grave!
Because of the resurrection, we don’t have to be afraid of the grave.
(From a sermon by David Dykes, Words of Life, 8/9/2010)
Not having fear of death is why we celebrate today and it is why I want to draw your attention to something the apostle John experienced in the first chapter of Revelation. He says "that He was in the Spirit" we might be tempted to think that 'being in the Spirit is the same as to being in a dream or some sort of hallucination. That is not the case at all. What John saw is present all around us. The veil between what we see in the flesh and what can be seen in the spirit was temporarily removed for John. But don't think that the Spiritual realms are not real. The snowcapped mountains are always there behind the low clouds and fog that hides them, just as they are in bright daylight.
John heard a voice giving him instructions to write on a scroll what he saw and give it to the seven churches and as he turns to see who was speaking he see seven golden lampstands and someone like a son of man dressed in a robe and golden sash. His head and hair were white like wool as white as snow and his eyes were like blazing fire His feet were glowing and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. seven stars were in his right hand and out of his mouth came a sharp double edged sword. The word of God is like a two edged sword. He says his face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. And this is what we read in Revelation 1:17,18
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." -Rev. 1:17,18
I. A Disciple is Overwhelmed
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. ..." v.17
How powerful is the sight of Jesus in his resurrected and glorified form!? The sight of Jesus in his glory will force any man, no matter how righteous, no matter how holy, no matter how pure or pious he may be, not only to his knees, but will force his face to the ground. In the presence of such greatness, no one has anywhere to turn, they have no where to run, there is no place to hide. They are purely at the mercy of the Almighty God. How many Christians think that they would love to see Jesus in his glorified body? I don't know of any that would argue against it. But they do not know what spirit they're of. You would think that this beloved disciple, who followed Jesus, loved Jesus, suffered for him and served him would be filled with ecstasy being able to see his Lord, glorified. Instead we read that "he fell ... as though dead." If the common man with his earthly eyes were to see the glorified Jesus, if that glory itself didn't kill him, his spirit would be so humbled that he would wish that he were dead. We can not look into the sun without it hurting our sensitive eyes, think about looking into the glory of the one who created the sun, which is just a small creation in comparison to the universe that He has placed it in. It's naïve to think that if we were in the same situation, we would later say "I saw Jesus in all his glory and my heart was filled with joy!" - No. If we were to see him in our present state, we would be like the one who did see Jesus in all his glory and fall at his feet as though we were dead.