Summary: Our confidence is built on the real Jesus who clearly proved to his disciples that his resurrection is real; therefore, his promises are real and his fogiveness is real.
The Real Jesus Gives Us Real Confidence
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit strengthens our confidence in Jesus is the account of Jesus’ resurrection appearance recorded in Luke 24:36-49 –
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled and why do doubts rise in your minds? 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.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:36-49 NIV) – This is the Word of our Lord
Dear friends who celebrate our risen Savior,
A year or so ago the rage on TV was the reality shows. Survivor was the first one that made it it big. The selling point was that instead of actors, these were real, every-day people. The outcome was not scripted and no one knew who would come out the survivor at the end. Since then many other kinds of reality shows have been tried.
If you think about it though, there isn’t too much reality in reality shows, is there? Maybe they have ordinary people and no script, but how real is it to be confined on a desert island, helping, competing against, betraying the other people with you? And how can anyone really condense reality to one hour of flickering pictures and sounds interrupted with commercials? Even the reality of a real war can’t be properly conveyed over television, so how can TV claim to show reality with these artificial realities like Survivor?
Unlike TV and reality shows, God’s Word assures you and me of what is really real. God’s Word shows us the reality behind the flickering scenes of our daily life and the changeable appearance of our feelings. The portion of God’s Word before us today, shows us the real Jesus who gives us real confidence. For you see, Jesus is what reality is all about. May the Holy Spirit strengthen our faith as he assures us through his Word that the real Jesus gives us real confidence. That’s theme this morning: The real Jesus gives us real confidence. He gives us confidence 1) that his resurrection is real, 2) that his promises are real, and 3) that his forgiveness is real.
1) His resurrection is real
The real Jesus wanted to give his disciples real confidence that he had really risen from the dead. The disciples and women had seen the reality of Jesus death. He had hung on that cross. He had bleed and died. His cold, stiff body was laid in a tomb. Reality tells us that death is final. How could he be alive again?
Yet what they thought was reality was being challenged. The women and Peter had said they had seen the risen Jesus . A few moments ago two of disciples who had been on the way to Emmaus had returned saying that Jesus had walked with them and explained the Scriptures to them. Then Jesus appears. The same Jesus who had really died, really appeared to them.
Notice how Jesus gives proof after proof that he has really risen from the dead. He was not a ghost or a figment of their imagination. He speaks to them in his own voice, “Peace be with you.” He invites them to look at his hands and feet. It is the real Jesus, the same Jesus they had seen crucified and dead, the same Jesus who still had the nail marks in his hands and feet. And he is really there – alive! He invites them to touch him; he is not a ghost. He even eats some food in front of them so they see that Jesus has bodily risen risen from the dead. His resurrection is real.