Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 19)
In many ways the resurrection of Jesus is the “clincher” that makes the Christian faith credible. The apostle Paul even says that if Christ had NOT been raised then “our faith is futile …. we are still in our sins …. we are lost …. we have no hope ….. and we are to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:17-19). Without the resurrection Christians are “no-hopers”! Yes – so much rides on the resurrection. And we can be confident that Christ really has been raised. But in practical terms, what difference does it make to our everyday lives? Listen in as Pastor Murray shares with us seven good reasons to feel encouraged by this wonderful Easter discovery.
Soon after His birth Jesus was worshipped as “King of the Jews” by wise men from the east. Years later He burst onto the public stage with the message: “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” The sign above His head as He died read: “The king of the Jews”. A day is coming when He will finally put an end to all evil and be known as “King of kings and Lord of lords”. This King gave His life for you and me. He is more than king of the Jews. He is King and Lord over every one of us. Have you bowed before Him with a thankful heart? Let Him reign in your life today.
Who was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus? Judas ….the Sanhedrin …..Governor Pilate …..the Roman soldiers? Of course, they were involved. But what about Peter …..and the other disciples? And what about us? As we look more closely at Peter’s denial of Jesus we simply can’t avoid the stark truth that we are all far more like Peter than we care to admit. We think our commitment to Christ is stronger than it is. We think that we are better than others. We fail to pray like we should. We cave in when challenged to identify with Christ publicly. That night Peter saw himself as he really was, a sinner in desperate need of the forgiveness that only Jesus could give him. Perhaps for the very first time he understood why Jesus had to die …….it was for him as much as anyone else. Jesus did forgive Peter and made him a new man. What Jesus did for Peter He wants to do for you and me too.
Humility is not a particularly popular virtue today. In fact it’s probably seen as sign of weakness. We are taught to promote ourselves and encouraged to “have a bit of attitude”. So what does Jesus think? In today’s message we see Jesus turning the world’s values upside-down, and in a most dramatic way. To make yourself a slave to someone else seems ludicrous, yet that’s exactly what Jesus has done for us on the cross. In divine humility He took our place in order that we might be washed clean from our sin. How should we respond to this? By now following Christ in serving others.
Surely one of the more bizarre incidents in Jesus’ life happened during the final few days prior to His crucifixion. During a meal with His friends, Mary of Bethany quite unexpectedly anointed Jesus with 300-400mls of the most expensive imported perfume, then wiped His feet with her hair. Why did she do it? What about the expense? How about the waste of money? Through this act of extreme generosity and devotion, Mary challenges the way every Christian ought to respond to Jesus. As we consider all that Christ has done for us, especially His death on the cross, is there anything we should not be willing to gladly give to Him?
Skeptical scientists question the possibility of a worldwide flood, and even more so the possibility of a man-made ark being the means of saving the air-breathing population of animals and humans. But what if it is true as the Bible consistently teaches? The story of the Bible is the story of God’s dealing, often miraculously, with the people He created. And that’s what we see vividly portrayed in today’s message. God’s judgement upon the sin of the human race through the cataclysmic worldwide flood was matched only by His miraculous salvation of Noah, his family and the animals in the ark. God today still promises judgement upon sinners, but has provided salvation for us in the person of His divine Son, Jesus Christ, who has taken that judgement in our place. We must all face the prospect of that day of judgement and only Jesus can save us when it comes. Are you trusting Him?
One of the best known stories of the Bible is the story of Noah and the ark. But is it true? Could it really have happened? Should we believe it today? The answer to each of these questions is yes…yes…yes. This message begins a three part look at this incredible event. But more than the event itself, we look behind the scenes at why it happened and what it has to teach us about life today. Far more than a fascinating fairy story, the story of Noah is a potent warning to our generation about the danger of rejecting God, and our urgent need to find personal safety and security through faith in Jesus Christ.