Summary: By definition, the resurrection will produce a response. Pick a good one. – These responses might be service, totally committed gratitude, or disdain; the greatest of these is love.
Title: Responses to Resurrection
What if it were true?
Text: John 12: 1-5
FCF: By definition, the resurrection will produce a response. Pick a good one. – These responses might be service, totally committed gratitude, or disdain; the greatest of these is love.
II. Martha responded w/Service
III. Mary responded w/Gratitude
IV. Judas responded w/Disdain
V. Conclusion – Foot-washing
Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Intro)
Up From the Grave He Arose (Offertory)
During the foot-washing:
- Just As I Am
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
- Blessed Redeemer
Final: Because He Lives
If you’ve had an email account for more than a year now, you’ve probably gotten this letter. It starts out with an introduction – the man sending you this letter has found $30 million dollars that were overpaid into a Nigerian government account. If you would be kind enough to let him launder the money through your bank account, he’ll give you 10% of it. Now, if you are like 99% of the population, you’re probably a bit skeptical of such an offer. If you are like the 1% of the population that falls for this scam – and it is a scam – then you should know you are at least in good company. In 1996, over $100 million dollars was lost in this scam. Either way, however, an outrageous claim like this will almost always elicit a response, whether it is simple laughter, righteous indignation at the mean-spirited exploitation, or simple gullibility.
We know the Nigerian scam is a scam because the moment you start to test it, it falls apart. If you send in the bank account details, for instance, you’ll probably get another letter saying they need a few hundred dollars for a bribe; repeat until money = 0. Your chances of ever seeing any actual money is as likely of seeing serious journalism in the Weekly World News. It’s amazing what a little bit of reality can do.
So, you can imagine what’s going in John 12, when another one of those stories that just can’t be true turns out to have some pretty startling evidence.
Now, let me warn you – this Easter morning, I’m pretty sure I’m just not good enough to tell you about Jesus’ resurrection. I’m reminded of the famous sportswriter Red Smith. The football game he was writing up had been played in such slippery mud that only one quarterback had the agility to hold on to it – but hold on he did, and the quarterback scored three touchdowns. After the game, the other sportswriters started furiously working their typewriters, but Red Smith couldn’t. He just started at the paper and began crying – “It’s too big! I can’t write this, it’s just too big!” I totally understand that sentiment. Jesus’ resurrection is simply too big a story to do any justice to it in a single sermon. So, that’s why I want to focus on a much smaller resurrection.
In John 11, you probably remember the story – Mary & Martha beg Jesus to come heal their brother Lazarus. Jesus purposely waits, and by the time he gets there, Lazarus is dead. Deader than a coffin nail, as Charles Dickens might say. Lazarus is already in the tomb and stinkin’ up the place. But Jesus has another plan. “Lazarus, Come Out!” he commands, and here’s the amazing part – he does. All that’s left is for people to unbind Lazarus’ linen cloths. He’s back.
Now, imagine you’re in the 1st Century Judean supermarket, and as you check out, you see this headline: Man Risen From the Dead Hosts A Party! You probably give a little chuckle until you and prepare to pass it by, when you see what’s next – Dinner tonight at 7:00, you’re invited. That second line makes a whole lot of difference, doesn’t it? Now, if you’re like 99% of the population, I think you go, even if only to check this out. A claim this outrageous deserves a little bit of investigation, don’t you think? But let me warn you – once you see the facts before you, you will be changed, and that’s what I want to look at this morning.
Now, since that dinner has already passed, let me read you an eyewitness account of that dinner, instead. John records it in John 12, and if you have your Bible this morning, why don’t you open it with me? Let me read what it says:
1Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?”