Sermons

Summary: Believe that Jesus’ wounds are for your forgiveness as you touch Jesus with the hand of faith. Breathe in his promise of forgiveness and breathe it out by forgiving those who sin against us and by sharing the good news of our risen Savior.

Touch Your Risen Savior

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit kindles Easter joy in our hearts is the account of Jesus’ resurrection recorded in John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus did many other miraculous sings in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:19-31 NIV)

This is the Word of our Lord.

Dear friends who celebrate our risen Savior,

The 5-year old had been missing all night. When his mother had looked out yesterday afternoon, she no longer saw him playing in the yard as he had been doing fifteen minutes earlier. Had he been abducted? Had he wandered off? Soon she and her husband, the neighbors and the police were all searching. It had been a long, horrible night.

But at 10:30 the next morning, a neighbor found him in a nearby woods, cold and crying and hungry, but unharmed. He had wandered off and fallen asleep hidden under the leaves. When his mother and father saw him they ran and hugged him and didn’t want to let go. Being able to touch him meant so much. Touching assured them that he was really there. Their dear son whom they loved was really there.

On that first Easter night Jesus appeared to his disciples and invites them to touch him. Luke tells us that Jesus said, “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see” (Luke 24:39). The following Sunday Jesus invites Thomas to touch him. Jesus wanted his disciples to be assured that he was really there. Their Jesus whom they loved was really there.

Through these disciples we, too, touch our risen Savior. That’s why Jesus wanted them to touch him and see that he really had risen – not only to drive out their doubts, but also to assure us through their testimony that he has truly risen.

Through the testimony of these disciples, may the Holy Spirit lead you to keep touching your risen Savior. That’s the theme: Touch Your Risen Savior. As we keep touching him, we all the more 1) Believe that his wounds are for us, and we all the more 2)Breathe his forgiveness. Through the Word of God, touch your risen Savior.

1) Believe that his wounds are for you

On that first Easter night, the disciples’ faith in the risen Jesus was growing, though it was still weak. Since morning they had been hearing the good news. The women had seen angels at the tomb who said, “He is not here. He has risen!”. Peter and John had found the tomb neat and empty. Jesus had spoken to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. He appeared to the other women on their way back from the tomb, and later to Peter, as well. The two Emmaus disciples had just returned reporting how Jesus had walked with them and opened up the Scriptures for them. Yes, the evidence was mounting. Jesus had risen. But the disciples were still scared. They still hid behind locked doors for fear of the Jews.

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