Summary: The Church has called Him "Lord" for the past two millennia; largely the secular world passes that off with an arrogant sniff, asking, "who’s really in charge?"


sermon ministry of


Thomasville, NC


March 14, 2004


28Thomas answered and said to Him, ¡§My Lord and my God!¡¨ John 20:28 (NASB)

The Easter service was about to begin. The brother-in-law of the pastor was sitting with his 5-year-old son, Sean. He pointed to the cross and said, ¡§See the cross? The people put Jesus on the cross. The people killed Jesus.¡¨ Sean looked around very nervously, then asked, ¡§These people?¡¨ [1]

These people; what a wonderfully appropriate and poignant question. If the Bible is correct, the answer is yes¡Kin that sanctuary and this one! The Bible tells us that we are all partakers in the humanity problem which nailed Jesus to the cross.

If you have seen The Passion of the Christ film, there is hardly need to recount the brutality and finality of what happened to Jesus on the cross. The Garden arrest, trial, scourging of Jesus ¡V his death march down the via Delarosa, and the final excruciating event on Golgotha are all well-imprinted on your mind. The film took just over two hours to drain all the blood from his body, drop by agonizing, flesh-whipping drop.

But ¡V what then; so what; what does it all mean? So what that Jesus was brutalized, bled and died; so what that they put a dead man in a hole in the ground and covered the hole with a big boulder.

Thomas, doubter that he was, took one look at Jesus and fell at His feet, called Him ¡§Lord¡¨, the word in Greek is kurios (supreme Master), in Hebrew Adonai (Lord, God). Down through the last two millennia the church has called this man Lord; the word means ¡§master¡¨ ¡V the one who is completely in charge.

Largely the secular world hears that and says, with a sniff of arrogance, and a ¡§hmmpf¡¨ of defiance, Sure¡Kcall him Lord, the man in charge. He didn¡¦t look in charge to me when they arrested and beat him, and then nailed him to that cross. He didn¡¦t look in charge when he died and they buried him. Lord? Really?

There is, of course the resurrection. But there has been no shortage of skeptics to challenge the veracity of the resurrection; and, of course, there would be. The resurrection settles it. If they really did put a dead Jesus in the grave Friday evening, and then Sunday morning He was alive again, it changes everything. The skeptics have to slink away; atheists can¡¦t show their faces¡Kand we have to bow and call Him ¡§Lord¡¨. But, if it is not true, the church is a lie, and we are without a god at all, except to live this life for all the selfish pleasure it may hold or offer.

It has been said that the unexamined life is not worth living; I agree. I also hold that examination must begin with the resurrection. Billy Graham once said:

If the Bible is true and Jesus is who He claimed to be, and raised on the third day, then nothing else matters. But if the Bible is false at that point, nothing matters!

Here is the ¡§Lordship examination¡¨ with which we must begin; it is our thesis this morning:

Jesus can only truly be Lord

if the resurrection is true;

it is, and He is!

I would like to borrow my game plan from Sir Lionel Luckhoo this morning. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the greatest trial lawyer in history. He won acquittal for his clients in 245 consecutive murder trials¡Knever lost a case! [2]

Sir Lionel became a Christian later in life. He was born in 1914 and accepted Christ when he was 64. For 19 years (until his death in 1997), Sir Lionel traveled the globe telling people about Jesus. One way he did that is through his books.

I read one a few years ago entitled ¡§The Silent Witness¡¨. [3] In this account, Luckhoo places himself in the book as the trial lawyer, defending Jesus, who is accused of lying about being Lord. Clarence Darrow seeks to prove Jesus’ guilt. During the trial, a variety of witnesses, including Freud, Darwin, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are called to the stand to testify, and the verdict comes as a great surprise to the court.

I would like us to put the resurrection on trial today. There are about four theories that usually surface when the resurrection is called into question. Let¡¦s investigate them together.

I think it only fair to tell those of you who may harbor some of these theories ¡V those of you who have never surrendered to Christ ¡V that at the end of this message, I hope to have put these to rest sufficiently so that you can too! And, then perhaps you can put your faith in Christ and be saved. We will offer that invitation at the end of the service.

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