2016MAR27 - Why He Came - Jesus is the Door to Life Abundant

160327AM Easter Why Did He Come.docx

Why He Came: Jesus is the

Door to Life Abundant Today 

John 20:11-16; 10:9-10

 

Open with me to the Garden Tomb, on Resurrection morning in John 20:11-16[1].

We have come to the third and final stop on our journey through Passion Week.

Palm Sunday: We saw Who He Was;

Good Friday: We saw What He Did; and today,

Easter Sunday: We need to see Why He Came.

Jesus is the Door to Life Abundant

Have you experienced this wonderful new life that Jesus came to offer you?

This morning, many of us are so often like Mary heading to the Tomb on Resurrection Sunday.

All the memories of Him flooded her mind.

Jesus had loved her, forgiven her, and made her so many promises. But now Jesus seemed to be so far away, all of those things seemed distant to Mary.

 

When Jesus Seems Distant—Find the Risen One

Mary needed to see Jesus.

That is why she was last at the Cross, and first at the Tomb.

Mary came needing Him, and was now first to see the Risen Christ. Only He could strengthen her faith and comfort her heart and that is what He did.

John 20:11-16 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). NKJV

Pray

Why He Came: Jesus is the Door to Life Abundant Today

Have you experienced this wonderful new life that Jesus came to offer you?

Jesus came for one very simple reason, He said it so clearly:

John 10:9-10 (NKJV) I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus lives—The Tomb is empty.

Death is defeated—The Grave is opened.

God is in control—His Word is true.

The Devil’s power is destroyed—God won.

Historic Faith can say Christ Lives—but Saving Faith always says Christ Lives in me today!

Everything we marvel at in the Gospels, Jesus still does today

He sees, He knows, He cares, He comes, He prays, He provides, He cleanses.

But most of all, He saves and gives life that is: guilt-free, anxiety-free, hope-filled, love-filled, abundantly joy-filled, and overflowing with peace no matter what is happening.

 

Saving Faith says Christ Lives in Me Today

On this Easter Sunday as we celebrate Christ's resurrection, is that the check-list of what you are experiencing in life today? Ask yourself:

Am I at peace, with fears and turmoil banished by Christ's presence in me?

Are you filled with hope, joy, kindness, and love?

Are you guilt-free, knowing that every one of your many sins are all forgiven, paid for, and forever erased from God’s record?

Each of those qualities are results of saving faith that results from Christ living in me today.

Have you cried out “God be merciful to me” through Christ and confessed that you have broken God’s Law and are “the sinner” that Jesus died and rose to save?

If not, you can this morning.  Jesus is here, alive and with His arms open wide to you!

Today we celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

But what does Christ's rising from the dead imply to us today? It means that Christ now is free to be everywhere anyone may be, all the time. During His earthly ministry Jesus could only be in one place at a time; but now He stands beside each of us here today.

Christ’s Compassion:  Jesus Can Feel My Pain Today

As we read the Gospels, what do they emphasize about what Christ did on earth? They show His great compassion upon weak and wandering humans.

Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

Anyone felt they could come to Him, He was approachable: a woman with blood, a leper, a dad with dying daughter, someone with a sick servant. Jesus has compassion.

Are you weak? He understands, and looks upon you with compassion.

Are you afraid? He is acquainted with all we face, and knows our fears—and looks upon us with compassion.

Are you alone? He faced the long loneliness of the Garden of Gethsemane, the Wilderness temptation, and the hours of darkness on the Cross—He know what it is like to be alone, He feels our weaknesses—and looks upon us with compassion.

 

Christ’s Omniscience:  Jesus Can See Me Today

Do you remember how the Gospels picture Christ's ministry to His disciples when He was on earth? He always knew where His disciples were and what they needed.

There is a spot, often referred to in the 4 Gospels as “the mountain”. It was the spot Jesus went to pray, to call His disciples, to give them the Great Commission, and other events. It was a place they knew so well that after one of His times in Jerusalem after the Cross, Jesus told the disciples that He’d meet them next on “the mountain” in Galilee.

Today that mountain is called Arbel; and if you turn to Matthew 14:22 we can see a beautiful reminder of how Jesus can always see each of us, and how He responds to what He sees (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:46-48; John 6:15-21).

Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me! 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

So what does Jesus do now?

 

Jesus Stretches Out His Hands to Us Today

He knows every detail of our lives, every fear we dread to face, and every weakness that can defeat us—so He can always help us!

Jesus watched you straining against the waves and storms of life this week.

Jesus saw all of your fears that you were sinking back into that sin that so easily besets you.

Jesus saw you knocked down by waves of fear, waves of doubt, waves of sadness.

Jesus saw that your boat was swamped with those waves, and you were sinking.

He sees it all.

Jesus wants you to cry out to Him from the storm, as you start to sink.

He wants you to say: Lord, save me.

Look back at what we just read:

Matthew 14:30-31a But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me! 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him,  

Matthew 14:31b-33 and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Have you said for the first time those words in faith to Jesus? That is the way of salvation.

If you’ve not, right here this morning you can reach out to Him in your heart, confess that you agree with Him that you are a sinner, and then reach out to Him and say, “Lord save me.”

He will. Anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.

That cry to be saved is only the start. Jesus follows our boat through all the storms of life. He stays with us and will save us from sinking all through life.

He just waits for us to cry out to Him.

Look at another very special promise from God in Hebrews 4:15-16

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

How do you get this promised grace to help in time of need?

The same way: cry out like Peter did, saying, “Lord, save me”.

He will, it works, I’ve tried it over and over and over again in life.

When you feel the coldness of despair sucking you down into it’s blackness, cry out: Lord, save me!

When you feel the chains of lust starting to wrap around your mind, or the chains of fear capturing your emotions, cry out for help.

Say to Jesus, “Lord, save me”.

Sometimes we know this, we’ve heard this, but we have never done this.

 

Jesus Stretches Out His Hands to Us Today

How about practicing those three life-changing words this Easter Sunday with me?

In a moment, with you own voice, whisper aloud to Jesus:

Lord—Save—Me

Okay, ready? At the count of three everyone who wants to practice this amazing truth cry out to Jesus. 1, 2, 3

Lord—Save—Me

Sometimes I whisper those words, sometimes when I’m all alone I say them loudly as I feel the world, the flesh, and the devil closing in.

Jesus always stretches out His Hands to all who cry out for His help!

This morning there is more proof that Jesus lives than of any other truth in the Universe.

The proof is written in the hearts and lives of those who stand around you, and of all the countless ones who have lived in Christ these past two thousand years.

 

Christ's Priesthood: Jesus Cleanses Us Today

What did Jesus do on earth? He forgave sins!

Mark 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Do you feel defiled? He alone can forgive and cleanse.

Do you feel the fear of future judgment? He can take that penalty you deserve away forever.

He is always with us, He promises to never leave our side!

He can encourage and help us always, anywhere, and anytime—just invite Him to come to your rescue today.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Christ's Touch: Jesus Wants to Touch Us Today

What did Jesus do on earth? He was always touching those He loved with strength and help.

Peter at his direst moment full of fear. Matthew 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

The leper at his direst moment full of decay. Luke 5:12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Thomas at his direst moment full of doubt. John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

This morning, have you meet again the Risen Christ?

Connecting with Christ Today

Please stand for the closing. Here is a prayer you can pray, a prayer that expresses your desire to transfer your trust to Christ alone for your eternal salvation.

This prayer can be the link that will connect you to God.

And if you pray it in faith, God will receive you.

Dear God,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself.

I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven.

At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross.

I believe that He did all that ever will be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence.

I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection.

As best as I can, I now transfer: my trust to Him.

I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures.

Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior.

Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me though the deep valley.

 Thank You for hearing this prayer.

 In Jesus' Name. Amen.

 

[1] 090412AM WNS-20 Jesus Today