Summary: Thoughts about the power of Christ on Resurrection Sunday, and who He was, and what He did for us.
Text: Luke 7:11-23, Title: The One, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/4/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: The Babi prophecy of the coming one, Bahá'u'lláh, see below
B. Background to passage: Jesus has been ministering in Galilee, given the Sermon on the Plain, then traveled through several of the towns ministering to the crowds and teaching His newly designated disciples. When He comes to Nain, he meets a funeral procession, and demonstrates some things for everyone.
C. Main thought: God has come, raises the dead, and saves the world!
A. The One Who Commands the Dead (v. 11-17)
1. As Jesus entered Nain, there came a funeral procession, up the same lonely street came the Resurrection; they mourned the loss of a loved one, and Jesus saw their grief, he laid his hand upon him, and death had to leave. The text said Jesus had compassion upon her, and said, “Do not weep.” But biblical compassion is always completed by action, for words like these would seem insensitive, if no action followed. In the touching of the coffin (to stop the procession) Jesus became ceremonially unclean, but then He commanded the corpse to live. Only 9 people were raised from the dead, not including the saints at the death of Jesus. Three were in the OT, one was Jesus, 2 were in Acts, and three were raised by Jesus. All of the ones raised by Jesus were given a command to live. And the corpse obeyed! Elijah and Elisha prayed and laid over their resurrections, Peter prayed, Paul embraced, but Jesus commanded by His own authority. This was very much a sign of Christ’s deity. Only God commands life. This was the main reason that Jesus performed all His miracles—to demonstrate His deity.
3. Illustration: Lee Strobel reflecting on the conversion of his wife, and his planned deliverance, stated, “The starting point seemed obvious to me: clearly the resurrection was the linchpin of the Christian faith. After all, anyone could call himself the Son of God. But if someone could substantiate that assertion by returning to life after being certifiably dead and buried—well, that would be a compelling confirmation that he was telling the truth, even for a skeptic like me.”
4. Christ was not only a great teacher, and prophet, a holy man, a miracle worker, a visionary, a leader, a radical, a preacher, an observant Jewish rabbi, HE WAS GOD INCARNATE. In fact, He still is God! He has no limits upon His power! And today on Resurrection Sunday morning 2000 years ago, Jesus raised Himself. Yes, God raised Him too, but remember that Jesus said, “if I lay it (His life) down, I will take it up again. He not only commanded this corpse to live, He willed His own body back to life. And one day He is going to will every dead body worldwide to come forth, some to a resurrection of life, as Daniel 12:2 says, and some to a resurrection of damnation. If you believe, if you are born again, because Jesus rose, you will rise too. In fact, if you believe, spiritually you have already been raised with Christ. So then you will be physically what you are now spiritually.
B. The One Who is Coming (v. 18-23)
1. John the Baptist heard of these healings of the Gentiles, and other things that stretched the Jewish notion of the coming one. There was a long-standing expectation (that still exists among Orthodox and Hasidic Jews today) that the Messiah, or Anointed One, would come. And He would be their deliverer, their king, their political liberator, etc. John was in prison awaiting execution, and he wanted to know for sure if Jesus was “the One,” before He died. Jesus’ ministry didn’t fit the mold, John’s or the Jews’, and so John sends disciples to figure it out. And Jesus answers by telling the disciples to tell what they have seen, and speaks of the miracles, and the prophecies of the Messiah found in Isaiah, “The Festival of Salvation.”
2. Isa 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 42:18, 43:8, 61:1,
3. Illustration: the rabbi in Brooklyn, NY that all the Hasidic Jews believed to be the Messiah see below, Belief in the eventual coming of the moshiach...is part of the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. In the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, recited three times daily, we pray for all of the elements of the coming of the moshiach: gathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin, and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.
4. Jesus tells John, and now I tell you, “Yes, He is the One!” Jesus is God in the flesh, to whom has been given all authority in heaven and earth, and glory and honor and power! Jesus is our Savior, because He alone can ransom your soul from the sin that you have committed and deserve the wrath of God for! Jesus is our Deliverer from death, because He will raise us too; from sin, because He broke the curse, and freed us from the bondage of the law; from shame, from doubt, from worry, from hopelessness, from sorrow to joy! Jesus is our sacrifice satisfying the wrath of God; and our substitute obtaining righteousness for us! Jesus is our great High Priest, interceding for us! Jesus is life, breath, joy, strength, power, righteousness, and all the promises of God summed up together! Don’t you want to know Him? He is the ONE! And you must put your faith in Him, believe in Him, trust Him, and follow Him, if you want eternal life!