Summary: This sermon focuses on Jesus as Healer... Jesus as one who knows what it is like to suffer.
“After Easter – The Healer”
Welcome Back, I had an amazing week off. Got rested… my favorite saying is “I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.” No… but really it was a good week of family and rest and I’m ready to get back to it how about you? But before we do, I have to ask… Wasn’t Easter an awesome season? If you think Easter was good this year, I want you to turn to somebody sitting next to you and say, “Easter was good.”
Next month… we are starting a new series. If you liked taking Easter and breaking it down into small parts and using all of Lent to look at Holy Week, you are probably going to like Pentecost this year. We are going to break Pentecost down into four parts with a series called “Lighting the Fires of Pentecost” and we will be spending four weeks talking about how we can light the fire in our Christian lives.
But before we do that… I want to wrap Easter up just a little bit. We DID have an awesome Easter, we really dug into Holy Week and the events surrounding Jesus’ death. We came together for Easter with that really big “Yay!” but I feel there is something left on the table that we need to talk about today.
You know, Easter is one of those times when Christian’s come out of the woodworks to come to church to hear that “Yay!” message. They get recharged for the next year and go on their way… but they are missing such a huge part of the message if all they hear is the “Yay!” part of things.
Now the message of Easter is a good one… believe in Jesus Christ… decide for yourself and you will be saved by him who sacrificed so much. But that is only half of it. We concentrate on having salvation and for many people that is good enough for them. Eternal salvation… CHECK. But this is only half the story.
On Palm Sunday we hit the Old Testament pretty hard and talked about the “suffering servant” passages from Isaiah, I want to hit one of them again to get us started today. Isaiah 53
Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
You know… we focus so much on Jesus’ death that sometimes we look past all the other ways in which Jesus experienced suffering… all the ways he experienced rejection. Imagine being the best at something… but having your boss kick you out of the workplace the way the teachers drove Jesus out of the Synagogue. ++++
If you are being despised and rejected… guess who knows what it’s like! If you are being excluded, kept out of the loop, persecuted, made fun of… Jesus has been there.
A man of sorrows…
Luke 19:41 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
John 11:32-35 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. 35 Jesus wept.
If you know the depths of sorrow… and I think all of us have… if you know the deep depths of sorrow… you are not alone. Jesus was a man troubled by sorrows.
A man familiar with suffering…
Cinderella (From Max Lucado)
Now I want to turn things to an illustration as we transition to our final point. It is a true story that takes place at Disney World. Cinderella’s castle. It was packed with kids and parents. Suddenly all the children rushed to one side. Had it been a boat, the castle would have tipped over. Cinderella had entered.
Cinderella. The pristine princess. She was perfectly typecast. A gorgeous young girl with each hair in place, flawless skin, and a beaming smile. She stood waist-deep in a garden of kids, each wanting to touch and be touched.
The other side of the cast was now vacant except for a boy maybe seven or eight years old. His age was hard to determine because of the disfigurement of his body. Dwarfed in height, face deformed, he stood watching quietly and wistfully, holding the hand of an older brother.
Don’t you know what he wanted? He wanted to be with the children. He longed to be in the middle of the kids reaching for Cinderella, calling her name. But can’t you feel his fear, fear of yet another rejection? Fear of being taunted again, mocked again?