Gospel of John: Jesus...The Compelling Truth
Gospel of John: Jesus…The Compelling Truth
All of us have dark pages (or even chapters) in our life story. How we wish we could tear those pages out! How we wish we live that part of life over again. The disciple Peter was in this situation when Jesus confronted him on the beach at Galilee that morning a couple of weeks after the resurrection. Peter would have been dreading this moment after denying Jesus so blatantly three times on the night before the crucifixion. In this message we see how beautifully Jesus dealt with Peter… helping him face his sin, giving him a chance to declare again his love and loyalty, restoring him and recommissioning him for future ministry. This is a story of hope for every one of us. Do you need a second chance? Then be encouraged as Pastor Murray opens up this final chapter in our series from the Gospel of John.
The story of “Doubting Thomas” is set in Christian concrete, but deep down there is more than a bit of Thomas in every true believer. We are like the father of the boy Jesus healed, who said: “I believe; help my unbelief!”. Thomas was cautious by nature. Faith did not come easily to him. But at least he was open to becoming convinced of the truth about Jesus’ resurrection. That’s more than can be said for many people today. We have the eye-witness testimonies recorded for us in our Bibles. We have 2000 years of personal testimonies of people who claim to have encountered the risen Jesus. And Jesus is throwing out the same challenge today: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Like Thomas, is it time for you to “stop doubting and believe”?
On that first Easter Sunday, a new reality dawned. Jesus had risen from the dead! Listen as we consider how this profound reality effects us.
The details of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are clearly set out in the New Testament accounts. They are vivid and make for difficult reading. Brutality was certainly not spared that day. But what does the death of Jesus mean? That’s the question we must ask ourselves as we ponder this story. The clue comes in the very last words Jesus spoke before he died: “It is finished”. The whole reason for His coming into the world in the first place reached its climax at that moment. His death became the final, perfect sacrifice by which sin could be forgiven and sinners could be made right with God. That day two observers (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) came to understand this great truth personally. Jesus had died for them! Do you realise that He died for you, too?
Listen as Pastor Dave continues our series in John’s gospel and discusses how Jesus is our ultimate, sovereign and compassionate king!
It is very easy to gloss over the details of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, to the point that we overlook the sheer amount of suffering he endured, even before he was nailed to the cross. In today’s passage we are forced to face these details and squirm – the flogging, the crown of thorns, the humiliation, the rejection, and after all this, the eventual verdict consigning Him to death. Make no mistake! The suffering of Jesus Christ was very real. And in His humanity every pain fibre in His body would have been crying out. He is uniquely qualified to understand our physical and emotional pain. But as the perfect Son of God he also suffered for us. The One who really was the King, as declared by Pilate, would die in the place of others… ”to bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). No wonder we call Him the Saviour!
Justice is not a word that we normally associate with the crucifixion of Jesus. His treatment by the high priest, the Jewish ruling council (Sanhedrin), the Roman governor Pilate, and even the onlookers, is nothing less than shameful. Yet throughout His trial the dignity of Jesus shines through. He did not deny that He was a king, but He was a very different sort of king than His accusers imagined. His kingdom would be made up of people who submitted to His reign over their lives… a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one… a kingdom based on truth which could only be found in Jesus Himself. A few hours later Jesus would die to establish this kingdom and publicly declare this truth. Have you found the truth that makes sense of your life? Then take a serious look at Jesus today.
You can’t understand the life of Jesus without facing the facts about his death. And these facts are recorded in considerable detail in the New Testament accounts. In today’s message we see the way Jesus was harshly interrogated by the high priest (Annas) and denied by his friend (Peter). His journey to the cross was a painful one. Yet, amazingly, it didn’t deter him. We can be critical of people like Annas and Peter today as we look back at these details, but who of us has never been guilty of rejecting or denying Jesus? Despite his treatment, Jesus actually died for people who reject and deny him, and Peter is the classic example of the forgiveness Jesus offers to the person who sincerely repents. What about you? What do you believe about Jesus? That’s a question which only you can answer.
Headlines, though often clever, generally can’t tell the full story. This is certainly true when we think about the story of Jesus’ arrest. No headline could possibly capture the significance of the events that took place that night. As we read John’s account of Jesus’ arrest, we see his desire for us to know the full story of what happened that night. He wants us to understand the significance of these events, and especially how these events make a difference for us today.
Tune in as Pastor Dave explains this amazing piece of scripture!
The Bible records many prayers and they come in many different forms. In John 17 we get to listen in to a very personal prayer, prayed by Jesus only a few hours before he went to the cross. No doubt His heart was very heavy. But what is obvious is a very clear awareness that in His death and resurrection He was bringing to completion the mission God had given Him. God the Father and also Jesus the Son would both be glorified through this. But now it was time for the disciples to continue that gospel mission. So Jesus picks up these themes as he prays for Himself, His eleven disciples ….. and indirectly for all of us who live faithfully for Him in the world today.
Confusion …. questions …. doubts …. fears. We all know what these feel like. And that’s the way it was with the disciples of Jesus on the night before He would die on the cross. What would it mean for these men that he was leaving them? So Jesus took the opportunity to reassure them and give them hope. Sure, life would be different (and even difficult), but in a positive way. As we face the uncertainties of our lives, there is one great certainty that we must cling to, and that is Jesus Christ Himself. He takes our questions, doubts and fears and assures us that in Him we can know joy, answers to our prayers, and God’s peace, whatever we may be facing. Are you trusting Him today?