Contributed by Aaron Kilbourn on Apr 17, 2006 (message contributor)
Summary: People look in the Gospel of Judas, Hollywood versions of scriptural stories, and scientific discoveries to "enhance" their faith. The problem is that they’re all looking in the wrong places.
Resurrection Check Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-12, 31-34; John 20:26-31
(READ Matthew 28:1-10) I want to talk a little bit about what people have been looking for lately. Do you know what really raised my eyebrows a couple weeks ago? The Gospel of Judas. How many here have heard something about this discovery? The Gospel of Judas was supposedly written by Judas himself and was supposed to add something to our understanding of the Bible and what “really happened.”
The National Geographic Channel hyped this up a week before we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. All major TV broadcasters, magazine periodicals and newspaper publications have at least something to say if not make the story of this discovery their cover story. Many respected scholars from various religious and secular institutions have been foaming at the mouth and rubbing their hands in eager anticipation for the unveiling of the 1700-year-old manuscript. Not to mention all those involved in how they will make money off of what they call “sacred.“ It seems like the eyes and ears of the respected education and media world have been turned towards Judas.
I’m not against scholarly debate about authenticity, reliability and validity of new discoveries. I think we need to measure and weigh matters of faith and truth. What I do have a problem with is where everyone has been looking. The Gospel of Judas, a re-make of the Ten Commandments, the Discovery Channel’s report on a boat from the Sea of Galilee that Jesus may have been in -something new. Something to make us think there could be more to the greatest story ever told. But the problem is people are not looking in the right place. (READ Luke 24:1-12)
We’re can be like Peter most of the time. We really don’t believe that Jesus has done something awesome - like rise from the dead. We don’t believe Jesus has done something personal - like speak through our loved ones. We don’t believe Jesus has done something unbelievable - like forgive us of our sins. So often we’re like Peter - we look at what Jesus has left behind - His Word for example - and we walk away wondering to ourselves what has happened.
(READ John 20:26-31) Here the disciples were hiding. They were leaderless, lost and unsure of the next day. When we feel abandoned - when we are lost in our sins - when we have despair and no hope - when we are afraid of what’s coming - we need to stop. Before our fear paralyzes us like dead men. Before we wander away wondering what if God is really there. Before we lock ourselves in a room full of doubt and fear we need to do one thing…..have a resurrection check. Did you hear me? We need to have a Resurrection check! I didn’t say, “Reality Check”. The resurrection IS our reality!
We need to look into the tomb. Look into the grave. Look past the suffering and the death. Look past our regret and remorse. Where is the cold stone that sealed the grave? Where is the cold judgment for your sin? It rolled away. It rolled away! Look into the tomb. Is our hope in the grave? Is it dead? No! We must look for Jesus. We must look for hope Where is He? “He is not here ; He has risen!” Put your hands in His side and in His nail scarred hands. Hope has risen! And because He rises so do you! Resurrection has come! Amen!