Summary: This sermon examines how Jesus prepared his disciples after the resurrection and prior to the ascenion.
“The Equipping Factor”
Introduction: Asking a man or woman to go to war to fight and possibly die for a cause is one thing. Sending someone to battle with the right training or tools to defend themselves is a whole other thing.
Illustartions from the Korean War:
NO BOOT CAMP FOR THE MARINES: An estimated 8,500 Marines in the 20th century Marine Corps never went to boot camp. These were no-prior-service members of the Marine Corps Reserve who were mobilized for active duty at the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. It is almost gospel that when two Marines—active, Reserve, or veteran—meet for the first time, the question of where they went to boot camp comes up in the first 5 minutes of conversation.
NO WEAPONS---North Koreans and Chianese troops were sent without weapons
The Equipping Factor—Jesus equipped/prepared his disciples to successful take the gospel to the World after his ascension to heaven. By looking at this passage of Scripture we will see several ways how Jesus help prepare them:
1.First, Jesus equipped them by showing the physical evidence –proving he was the resurrected Lord.
2. Second, Jesus helped them remain steadfast by appealing to the truth of his CHARACTER!
3. Next Jesus is honest with about what he is calling them to!
4. Jesus prepared or equipped his disciples by letting them know that it is okay to be afraid.
5. He also equipped them by giving them the power to overcome.
1. First, Jesus equipped them by showing the physical evidence –proving he was the resurrected Lord. No matter how much Jesus’s disciples loved or liked him they would not have changed from hiding out in an upper room to be willing to die unless they were totally convinced that he was the Resurrected Messiah of the Jewish people.
A. JESUS PRESENTED HIS SCARS AS EVIDENCE
--36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
People will give up without evidence---and his disciples were radically changed by what they saw!
ILL: Fishing for days and no one ever catches anything –eventually you will give up.
ILL: Chasing someone in a relationship and they are distant and out of touch eventually you will give up!
Ill: Searching for a lost person. –Suspend the search
Ill: All stories of triumph had little glimmers of help along the way! B-29’s flying high overhead
Reading about the POW in Japan during the War –they had little glimmers of hope along the way!
Jesus presented enough physical evidence to his disciple for them to be willing to believe and die for what they believed! We believe today based upon their inspired testimony passed down over the years. For years many have tried to prove the historical life and resurrection of Jesus by claiming to have physical in the form of relics. (University Press of Kentucky, 2007)
Every once in a while, someone comes forward saying they've discovered what can only be the nails that pinned Christ to the Cross. This is nothing new. In 1911, English liturgical scholar Herbert Thurston counted all the nails that were at that time believed to have been used to crucify Jesus. Though only three or four nails (the exact number is up for debate) were supposed to been used in Christ's crucifixion circa A.D. 30, in 1911, 30 holy nails were being venerated in treasuries across Europe.
Before Jesus was crucified, the Gospels say, Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on his head in a painful mockery of his sovereignty. Many Christians believe the thorny instrument of torture still exists today, albeit in pieces scattered across Europe. One near-complete crown is housed in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The documented history of Notre Dame's Crown of Thorns goes back at least 16 centuries — an impressive provenance — but it doesn't quite trace back to A.D. 30. Furthermore, Notre Dame's crown is a circlet of brush, and is completely devoid of thorns.
Bloody bandage: A similar relic is the Sudarium of Oviedo, a blood-stained cloth that was supposedly wrapped around Christ's head when he died and which, since A.D. 718, has taken pride of place in a cathedral in Spain. Blood on the Sudarium is of type AB, common in the Middle East but not in Europe, leading many to believe it's the blood of Christ. However, according to Joe Nickell in his book "Relics of the Christ"