170416 Easter 110424AM Easter 7 words.docx
Remember What He Said to You?
The Resurrection Message Jesus Gave By His Seven Words from the Cross
Jesus said some pretty amazing things during His recorded life on Earth.
All of what Jesus said was tied to His promise to Rise from the dead.
This Easter/Resurrection Sunday our goal is to “Remember What He Said”.
I invite you to join me on a journey through some of the most amazing statements that Jesus made.
Remember What He Said
Have you ever thought what it must have sounded like to hear Jesus teaching, back when He was only an itinerant, uneducated, poor Galilean carpenter speaking? Jesus was riveting as a speaker, but had no real authority other than Himself, especially when He made such astounding claims.
After sorting through all 89 chapters of the 4 Gospels, here is what I consider the most preposterous-sounding claim of all Christ's statements.
In Jerusalem, at a feast (think high traffic, many people around listening) Jesus stood up and confidently said these words in John 5.
Please open there with me in your Bibles, and allow the unbelievable scope of what Jesus said to cross your mind. John 5:24-30.
Please stand and listen to perhaps the single most astounding, amazing, incredible, incomprehensible statement Jesus ever made:
John 5:24-29 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Jesus Made an Incredible Claim
Think about what we just read.
Jesus claimed that at a future date He would speak, and His voice would prompt every person, whose body ever died on this planet, to rematerialize. Jesus claimed He would empty every grave, rematerialize every cremated body, and put back together every human that has died and turned back to dust
Jesus can pull bodies from graves that are gone, bodies that are no longer there.
That is an astounding claim of power.
Think of the graves around the world. Jesus claimed that every dead body, that was placed in every grave around the world would come back to life. Every graveyard, even:
· Wadi Salaam in Iraq is one of the largest cemeteries, it has 5-10 million Muslims
· The Catacombs under Paris have about 6 million people’s remains.
· The many Catacombs under Rome stretch for many miles, and no one knows how many are buried there.
· There are quiet country and city cemeteries.
· There are sobering military cemeteries. The dirt of southern Poland has the cremated remains of millions of Jews, as do the battlefields and bombed out cities of all the World Wars.
· There are ancient tombs like the Pyramids, beautiful tombs like the Taj Mahal, and amazing tombs like the 1st Chinese Emperor buried with his terra cotta army.
Jesus promised that the dead in all of those cemeteries, and every other burial place in the world will take on a physical form. The way we know that is because of one tomb, the Tomb of Jesus, found Empty of the very first Easter Sunday when His Resurrection was discovered.
Jesus Will Reconstitute The Body of Every Person Who Ever Lived on Earth
Jesus said He would awaken dead people.
Christ's voice will pierce the dirt, dust, rocks, and waters of this world find the dead, bringing those long-forgotten bodies back into the world of the visible.
Jesus claimed astonishing power.
Jesus claimed mind-boggling power.
“How do you literally in a moment recreate every human being who has ever lived and join that recreated form suitable for heaven or hell with the spirit of the person already in the presence of God or out of His presence? That power is beyond imagination…beyond comprehension. But that hour will come…that hour will come”. (John 5:24-29, in. loc. MacArthur New Testament Commentary).
Jesus claimed that He would rise after being murdered, and buried for three days to authenticate His claim to have resurrection power.
That is the reminder we get each time we think of the Empty Tomb.
Words Are So Very Powerful
Words are very powerful in life.
Words of invitation can lead to the start of an amazing career; just as the words “You’re fired” can mark the ending of a career.
Words like “I Do” can lead to the joys of marriage; just as the words “I have found someone else” can lead to the deep pains of that marriage dissolving.
Words can encourage or lead to despair.
Words are very powerful
Some of Jesus’ Amazing Words
Jesus said some amazing things in His 3 ½ year ministry.
Jesus said words that were very absolute, that were very forceful and sweeping.
Some of Christ's most amazing words are a set of seven statements that have come to be called the seven “Nevers”.
Here is an amazing expression.
To say it in our world it would be that: when Jesus does something that’s it.
What Jesus does can’t be stopped, thwarted, overturned, ruined, destroyed, or ended.
Christ's Gospel is unstoppable, where ever God opens the doors.
The Gospel by John captures the “nevers” of Jesus Christ.
They are like a string of priceless pearls that we treasure more the older we get. This is the message that Christ's church is to proclaim, and watch Him use unstoppably for His glory.
The Seven Amazing Nevers in the Gospel by John
1. Jesus promised His children would Never Thirst: John 4:14 (NKJV) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
2. Jesus promised His children would Never Hunger: John 6:35 (NKJV) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
3. Jesus promised His children would Never Walk in Darkness: John 8:12 (NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
4. Jesus promised His children would Never See Death: John 8:51 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
5. Jesus promised His children would Never Taste Death: John 8:52 (NKJV) Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.
6. Jesus promised His children would Never Perish: John 10:28 (NKJV) And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
7. Jesus promised His children would Never Die: John 11:26 (NKJV) And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
See how almost all of Christ's absolute statements are tied to death, dying, and the grave?
Back to Those Most Astounding Words
So when Jesus said all those words He was just an unknown Galilean peasant, involved in an itinerant teaching tour.
Jesus stopped His carpenter’s job, lived off people’s kindness, and traveled for about 3 ½ years. He gathered a group of 12 mostly fishermen who went around with Him almost everywhere.
Jesus also attracted huge crowds many times in His journeys.
Then, at the end of the 3 ½ years of traveling and speaking tour Jesus went from being just an unknown Galilean peasant, involved in an itinerant teaching tour to a widely known DEAD Galilean carpenter, formerly involved in an itinerant teaching tour.
But the reason we are gathered today is that all of history, since the death of Jesus, points to the fact that first a handful of people saw Jesus risen from the dead, then scores, then hundreds. Those hundreds of witnesses went on to spend the rest of their lives convincing others that Jesus was alive and had transformed their lives.
Jesus Rose Proving His Words Are True
It is now 1,900+ years later and millions and millions across the centuries have come to the same settled conviction that the formerly unknown Galilean peasant, involved in an itinerant teaching tour, became the well-known Jesus of Galilee who offered Himself to die on the Cross for the sin of the world. That same Jesus who died, also rose from the dead and is alive today.
From Resurrection morning and onward, Jesus taught His disciples in the reality of what God accomplished through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Those disciples needed help to fully understand all that had taken place—and so do we.
In Luke 24:44 Jesus led His disciples in the final training sessions, before He launched them out to live for Him after He ascended back to Heaven.
But how did He do all that?
Jesus Reminded Them of What He Had Said
Jesus just reminded them of what He had already said. Jesus did not really introduce any new revelations to them; He just opened their minds to what He had already said.
In other words Christ took them back to the Bible.
Luke 24:44-45 (NKJV) Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
After the Resurrection Jesus took His disciples back to what He had said before His Death. That is also what we are going to do on this Resurrection Sunday as we ponder that:
Christ Spoke Seven Last Times from the Cross
From the dying lips of Jesus, from His raging-thirst-dried-mouth, in the midst of excruciating pain, even though being crushed by the horrors of sin and death and the pains of hell—Jesus carefully and clearly speaks.
If we will listen, Jesus is speaking to each of us today from His Crucifixion. Here are those words Jesus said just before He died.
He spoke in pain.
He spoke in short gasps.
He spoke exactly seven times.
Remember What Jesus Promised from the Cross
From the dying lips of Jesus, from His raging-thirst-dried-mouth, in the midst of excruciating pain, even though being crushed by the horrors of sin and death and the pains of hell—Jesus carefully and clearly speaks. If we will listen, Jesus is speaking to each of us today from His Crucifixion.
1. Jesus says: I Can Forgive Anyone. Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
2. Jesus says: I Can Get Anyone Safely to Heaven. Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
3. Jesus says: I Can Care For Anyone On Earth. John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”
4. Jesus says: I Can Face the Horrors of Hell For You. Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
5. Jesus says: I Can Understand Any of Your Pain. John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
6. Jesus says: I Can Assure You That You’ll Never Be Condemned. John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”
7. Jesus says: I Can Conquer Death . Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
Do You Have Reservations in Heaven?
Jesus conquered death.
Jesus rose from the Tomb.
Christ's second word from the Cross assures us, that He has a place in Heaven reserved for us. Analyze Christ's eight-word response to this guilty criminal on the very doorstep of death, with no place to turn but to Jesus:
TODAY: Not after purgatory, not after limbo, not after soul sleep—TODAY!
YOU: Yes, you a guilty, convicted, no doubt very bad, man near death—TODAY, YOU!
WILL BE: Not maybe, hold on, if you make it and if God doesn’t waiver; no Jesus said it would happen. God never changes, what assurance! Today You Will
WITH ME: Not soul sleep, but conscious existence. Not purging left over sins, but today with Jesus, immediately upon death, entering life with His Savior! Today you will be with Me!
IN PARADISE: Yes, heaven, the presence of God forever, no sin, no sickness, death nor sorrow, endless conscious bliss. Today you will be with Me in Paradise!
Christ's last words assure us that He keeps His promises. He told all who were weary of their sins that they could come to Him and find eternal rest. And that is what He offers to all this day!
So from the Cross Jesus spoke: He offers forgiveness; and He promises everlasting life.
When Jesus speaks to those surrounding Him on the Cross, it is actually us hearing Him praying. It is the cry of our Savior’s heart that those who are there know that He offered them full and complete forgiveness.
To those criminals and those soldiers who were just everyday sinners living their lives, and swept into the greatest crime ever committed, Jesus said: don’t hold this crime of mocking me (the thieves) and crucifying me (the soldiers) against them. It is interesting that this prayer was answered before our eyes.
One thief and one soldier of the group at His feet take His offer of forgiveness that very day. That means that they experienced: Christ’s Greatest Miracle.
Have YOU Met the Risen Jesus?
Forgiveness is the miracle that I have personally experienced. It is the miracle that most of us in this room have also experienced.
If you are forgiven, then you also have reservations in Heaven.
That is what Jesus offered from the Cross; and what He accomplished when He stepped forth from the Tomb; and what He offers to YOU today.
If you don’t know you are forgiven and have reservations in Heaven, Jesus stands here offering both to you. Don’t leave without knowing that you are forgiven eternally.