Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH080331A
00:32 This morning, as we open the Word of God together,
00:34 I'd like to invite you to turn in your Bibles
00:36 to the scripture reading for this morning
00:40 in Matthew 28:6.
00:43 Matthew 28:6.
00:51 The Word of the Lord reads as follows,
00:53 and if we can read this together,
00:54 I'd surely appreciate that.
00:58 Together, "He is not here
01:00 for He is risen, as He said,
01:04 'Come, see the place
01:07 where the Lord lay.'"
01:08 He is risen.
01:12 Loving Father in heaven,
01:13 we celebrate with deep anticipation
01:19 that our risen Lord
01:23 will soon and very soon become our returning Lord.
01:28 This morning, as the world pauses
01:31 to contemplate sometimes on a social and economic level
01:37 what this time of the year means,
01:39 we pray that the Easter bunnies
01:42 and the colored eggs and the baskets
01:45 and the Cadbury chocolates
01:47 will not replace the empty tomb.
01:51 This morning, guide our hearts and minds away
01:53 from the tradition to the scriptural reality
01:58 that Jesus is alive and well
02:00 and the signs all around us.
02:04 Peel back to remind us that He is coming again.
02:10 Now send Your Holy Spirit, Lord, to awaken our hearts
02:13 in the sense of not only gaining knowledge
02:16 but being filled with a dedication to serve You
02:19 as our soon-coming King.
02:22 In Your precious name I pray.
02:30 this week is designated as Holy Week.
02:34 And I emphasize the word traditionally
02:37 because the Bible does not speak of a Holy Week.
02:41 It speaks of a holy day.
02:44 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
02:50 The Bible Sabbath is from sunset Friday
02:54 to sunset Saturday.
02:57 Ironically though, this is the only time of the year
03:01 where tradition gives the Sabbath its proper standing.
03:08 Think about it,
03:09 yesterday was traditionally Good Friday,
03:13 tomorrow traditionally is Easter Sunday.
03:16 We call it Resurrection Sunday
03:18 because the word Easter comes from that tradition of Ishtar,
03:22 that Phoenician God.
03:25 We believe in the newness of life,
03:27 but the newness of life comes in the recognition of the power
03:33 and the glory coming from Jesus and not from tradition.
03:39 And so the Bible collides with tradition all year long,
03:43 but to some degree, this week is the only week
03:48 where tradition has recognized
03:52 that today is the day
03:55 that Jesus blessed, today is the day
03:59 that Jesus blessed from creation,
04:02 today is the day that Jesus is anticipating
04:06 His resurrection on tomorrow.
04:08 Today is the holy Sabbath day.
04:12 But when you think that your week has been tough,
04:15 just remember the week that Jesus had,
04:19 the week that led Him to be wrongly accused
04:22 and then to be betrayed
04:25 and then to be taken to the courts of Pilate
04:28 before the Jewish Sanhedrin, the high priest,
04:32 to be interrogated, to be led,
04:35 to be scourged and whipped with a cat o' nine tail
04:38 where blood and His back being ripped from the severe torture
04:43 of the Roman guards
04:45 and eventually to be led to the cross
04:48 where He paid the price for our redemption.
04:51 Before I even begin the message,
04:53 I say this morning,
04:54 "Thank the Lord that He was willing
04:55 to pay the price for our redemption."
04:59 We could not even talk about Jesus today
05:02 had He not paid the price for our redemption.
05:05 But the next time you think that you had a tough week,
05:09 remember the week that Jesus had.
05:11 It was not a tough week, it was a criminal week,
05:15 not enforced on Him but because of love,
05:18 He chose to walk our road
05:21 that one day by faith we will walk His road.
05:26 He chose to wear our robe,
05:28 to wear our robe that one day
05:31 we might wear His robe.
05:34 He chose to have our thorns planted on His head
05:39 that one day we might have
05:41 the crown of glory planted on our head.
05:44 But this morning,
05:45 cometh me to the scene of a vicious crime,
05:48 stand with me at the intersection
05:50 of what was and what will be.
05:54 Pause for a moment and inhale the scene,
05:58 like blackened soot escaping the mouth of an angry furnace.
06:02 On that day of death, finality of death paints
06:06 the night air as Jesus is laid, as it seem to be,
06:11 in a tomb of great finality, the stone is put in place.
06:16 The Romans sealed the tomb.
06:18 Jesus appears to be at His end.
06:22 And then to decide, listen carefully,
06:24 and you'll hear the cacophony of demons rejoicing.
06:27 The restless clamor of satanic praise
06:30 collides with the discordant racket of hell-born dissidents.
06:34 Hell and its minions are now rejoicing
06:37 that it appears to them
06:39 that they have finally defeated Jesus.
06:42 Satan waited 4,000 years for that moment.
06:46 And it appears to the human eye
06:49 that he had been successful.
06:51 The orchestrator of this symphony of death stands erect
06:54 proudly leading his rebellious minions
06:57 in the chorus of temporary praise.
07:00 They are soon to be reminded of their feeble efforts
07:03 for it is true,
07:04 it is true that you cannot keep a good man down.
07:10 You cannot keep a good man down.
07:12 When Jesus proclaimed it is finished,
07:16 Satan knew that what was finished
07:18 was not Jesus but the plan of salvation,
07:22 what was finished was not the reign of Jesus
07:25 but the price He paid to redeem everyone of us,
07:27 and that is why
07:29 they got together and coalesced in the scheme
07:31 to prevent Jesus from coming forth,
07:34 but I love the words that history paints for us,
07:37 "Christ did not yield His life up
07:40 until He had accomplished the work which He came to do."
07:44 And with the parting breath, He exclaimed, "It is finished."
07:47 The battle had been won.
07:48 His right and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory.
07:53 And as conqueror...
07:54 Listen carefully, as conqueror,
07:57 He planted His banner on the eternal heights.
08:01 You see the cross, the place of suffering,
08:05 the place of torment, the place of persecution
08:08 was in fact, to heaven,
08:10 a declaration of the victory of Jesus.
08:15 Somebody else ought to say amen.
08:17 The cross was a declaration of the victory of Jesus,
08:22 but among the angels,
08:23 was there no joy among the angels,
08:26 all heaven triumph at the Savior's victory.
08:30 Satan was defeated,
08:31 and he knew that his kingdom was lost.
08:35 The chief priests and Pharisees
08:37 accomplished their evil desires
08:40 and the desires of their heart.
08:42 But yet in the recesses of their minds,
08:44 hear me carefully,
08:46 there was something about the name Jesus
08:48 that kept their wicked hearts troubled.
08:50 There was something about the work
08:52 that they had seen in the life of Jesus
08:53 that kept their wicked hearts uneasy,
08:57 and they devised a plan.
08:58 Go to Matthew 27:62-64.
09:01 Unable to dismiss the possibility
09:03 of His divinity,
09:04 they devised a plan,
09:07 they remember the work that Jesus had done,
09:09 the dead He had raised,
09:11 the eyes He had opened, the cripple He made to walk,
09:14 the blind He made to see.
09:16 And they thought if He is possibly divine,
09:19 let us devise a plan.
09:21 The Bible says, "On the next day,
09:23 which followed the Day of Preparation,
09:25 the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together
09:28 to Pilate, saying, 'Sir, we remember,
09:32 while He was still alive, how that deceiver said,
09:36 'After three days I will rise.'
09:40 " They continued, "Therefore command
09:42 that the tomb be made secure until the third day
09:47 lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away
09:50 and say to the people,
09:52 'He has risen from the dead.'
09:54 So the last deception will be worse than the first."
09:58 Do you know, if Jesus wanted to,
10:00 He could have prevented Himself from going in the tomb anyway?
10:06 But He went into our tomb
10:08 to pay for our redemption.
10:11 And according to the plan of salvation,
10:14 the cadence of our redemption was set.
10:18 These feeble men thought they could keep Jesus
10:21 from coming forth from the tomb.
10:23 When they thought about His life,
10:25 the purity of His life led them to question
10:27 the permanence of His death.
10:28 Let me say that again, the purity of His life
10:31 led them to question the permanence of His death.
10:34 You can almost hear the Jewish contingency appealing
10:36 their case to Pilate, "In the event that He is the Christ,
10:41 we need to make sure that He does not come out."
10:45 Can I jump ahead of myself?
10:46 Thank the Lord He came out.
10:49 Satan said, "Shut Him up."
10:51 What he did not know, in less than 72 hours,
10:55 heaven would say, "Get Him up."
10:58 There's a difference between shut him up and get him up.
11:02 But Pilate's hands were washed,
11:04 but his heart was troubled.
11:05 Look at Matthew 27:65-66,
11:08 he tried to recuse himself but he could not.
11:12 Then, "Pilate said to them, 'You have a guard,
11:15 go your way,
11:16 make it as secure as you know how.'
11:20 So they went and made the tomb secure,
11:23 sealing the stone and setting the guard."
11:27 The tomb was sealed
11:29 and the Roman guards manned their post,
11:32 deceived by the darkness
11:33 of their understanding, the betrayers of Christ
11:36 were willingly ignorant of the fact
11:39 that by the death of Jesus,
11:40 the plan of salvation would be accomplished.
11:42 Let me make that clear, you see, from antiquity,
11:46 from the day that sin entered the world,
11:50 from the day that Adam and Eve fell,
11:54 God assured mankind
11:57 that He would not abandon us
12:00 to the darkness of sin.
12:01 Amen? Amen.
12:03 He assured us that one day
12:06 He would come to conquer death
12:08 and once again open the gates
12:11 that we might have life
12:13 and have it not only abundantly
12:15 but have it eternally.
12:16 Look at the promise in Genesis 3:15,
12:19 4,000 years earlier,
12:21 outside of the gates of man's evictions,
12:24 Jesus declared these words, Genesis 3:15,
12:28 and the Bible said,
12:30 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman
12:33 and between your seed and her Seed.
12:36 He shall bruise your head,
12:39 and you shall bruise His heel."
12:42 Now what is enmity?
12:43 Enmity is that discomfort,
12:45 when the heart is being led into sin,
12:48 enmity is that discomfort
12:50 placed there by God to say, "This is wrong, don't do it.
12:54 This is the incorrect direction, don't go there."
12:57 Enmity is the discomfort between hell and heaven,
13:01 between darkness and light, between error and good.
13:06 It is there placed by God to keep us understanding
13:09 that there is a way that seems right
13:11 but then there is a way that is right.
13:15 John 10:18 makes it very clear that Jesus says,
13:19 "No one can take My life from Me."
13:21 He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
13:24 You see, His death was not orchestrated by hell,
13:28 His death was ordained by heaven.
13:33 I remember the movie, I saw the Passion,
13:35 I saw that with about 4,000, 5,000 pastors
13:38 at NRB a number of years ago.
13:41 And they marveled at the brutality
13:43 of the whipping of Jesus as Mel Gibson,
13:45 the producer had portrayed.
13:47 They made it look as though
13:48 Jesus died from the whipping He took.
13:52 But He did not die from the abuse,
13:54 He died because of sin,
13:58 your sin and my sin.
14:00 He was wounded for our transgression.
14:03 He was bruised for our iniquity.
14:06 It is so easy to put it on the head of the Jews
14:08 and the Romans, but He died for me.
14:11 He died because of me.
14:12 He died because of my sin and your sin.
14:16 He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
14:19 In John 10:18, Jesus says, "No one takes it from Me,"
14:23 that is My life,
14:25 "but I lay it down of Myself.
14:26 I have power to lay it down,
14:29 and I have power to take it again.
14:32 This command I have received from My Father."
14:35 So when Jesus
14:36 decided to enter the way of suffering...
14:40 My wife and I, not too long ago,
14:41 walked the Via Dolorosa,
14:43 there in the courts of the walls of Jerusalem,
14:46 we walked the Via Dolorosa,
14:48 and we saw as it were people carrying crosses,
14:50 but I thought to myself,
14:52 "They're carrying a wooden cross
14:55 but Jesus carried the cross of the world on His shoulder."
15:00 The cross of every suffering human being.
15:04 Wherever sin had abounded,
15:06 His grace much more abounded.
15:08 Jesus carried my sin and your sin.
15:11 He carried sin that was yet to be perpetrated,
15:15 and He carried sin that was thousands of years old.
15:18 And He took it to the cross.
15:19 "I have power to lay it down,
15:22 and I have power to take it again."
15:25 But the question I ask is
15:27 how can you take life from one who is life?
15:31 We are told again in John 1:4, "In Him was life,
15:34 and the life was the light of men."
15:36 In Christ is life,
15:39 original, un-borrowed, and un-derived.
15:45 Let me make it clear
15:47 for those of you that are holding
15:48 your amens to the end.
15:50 Let me make it clear, nobody created Jesus,
15:53 He is the Creator. Come on, say amen.
15:55 Nobody decided to give Him life, He is life.
15:59 So when this superhuman came to the earth,
16:03 when this atomic beginning of all existence decided
16:09 to tune His power down to come down here.
16:13 Can you imagine plugging a shaver
16:16 into an atomic power plant?
16:20 It'll fry not only the shaver but you too.
16:24 All the power harbored in Jesus could annihilate
16:28 the world had He not tuned it down
16:30 when He touched this planet.
16:32 He came through the delivery system
16:34 of a humble girl.
16:36 He tuned it way down so that her flesh would not be
16:39 consumed by His divinity.
16:41 What a gift? Amen.
16:43 And even though He looked to be a helpless babe,
16:45 He had the secret service of the angels of heaven.
16:49 Somebody said they didn't see how He came,
16:51 he came through the backdoor of Jerusalem,
16:53 but He came so that one day we could go through
16:55 the front door of the New Jerusalem.
16:59 This baby did not have His beginning in Bethlehem,
17:03 He is from everlasting to everlasting.
17:06 He was before the earth was.
17:08 He later on would say,
17:10 "Father, glorify Me with the glory
17:11 that we had before the world was."
17:14 And how I wish today, in more churches and more pulpits,
17:17 the gospel of the resurrected Lord
17:20 would be preached and not tradition.
17:22 I believe that when the power of Christ is proclaimed,
17:25 when the veracity of the price He paid for our redemption
17:29 is accounted, we will understand
17:31 that everybody alive
17:35 has the freedom to partake of eternal life
17:38 if they would simply come to Jesus.
17:41 It doesn't make sense.
17:43 In Christ was life un-borrowed,
17:47 original, and un-derived.
17:48 Didn't get it from anybody else,
17:51 He got it from Himself.
17:53 Jesus became what we was not.
17:55 Jesus became what He was not
17:58 so that one day we could become what we are not.
18:01 The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21,
18:04 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us
18:07 that we might become
18:08 the righteousness of God in Him."
18:10 Do you know...
18:12 Do you know that there is no righteousness in us?
18:18 Every good deed portrayed in our lives
18:21 comes from the presence of Christ
18:23 working through a vessel of flesh.
18:25 There is no good in us.
18:28 The unfortunate thing about this world is they say,
18:30 "Oh, you have a good heart."
18:32 There is no good heart.
18:34 As Jesus said to the rich young ruler,
18:36 "There is none good but one."
18:39 There's no good in any of us.
18:41 My hope today lies in the righteous character
18:44 of the risen Lord,
18:46 not in my ability to follow a set of rules.
18:49 Even the rules would lead me to a place of abandon,
18:54 frustration, without the power of Christ
18:57 reigning in our lives and in our hearts.
19:01 "He made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us
19:04 that we might become
19:06 the righteousness of God in Him."
19:12 You got to understand what that means.
19:14 That means you cannot walk through the gates
19:17 of the New Jerusalem saying, "I'll overcome one day."
19:21 We got to overcome down here.
19:23 We could overcome by the blood of the Lamb,
19:25 by the word of our testimony, but we overcome down here
19:29 before we get up there.
19:32 So this thing called religion is not sufficient,
19:34 it's the Christianity of Christ,
19:36 it's the power resident in Him
19:39 that causes fallen humanity
19:42 to get up in the morning and say,
19:43 "I am a son of God.
19:45 I am a child of the King."
19:47 Amen, somebody? Amen.
19:49 We've got hope
19:51 because He went into the tomb and He came out.
19:54 You see, Satan planned to bring Jesus down,
19:57 but heaven planned to lift Him up.
19:59 And why?
20:01 John 12:32, notice what the Bible says,
20:04 "And if I be lifted up from the earth,
20:07 will draw all men unto Me."
20:11 By the way, do you know that
20:12 that's a fail-proof evangelistic method?
20:14 If we would simply lift up Jesus, let me say that again,
20:18 if we would simply lift up Jesus,
20:20 more people will see Him rather than us
20:25 if we would simply lift Him up.
20:27 In this fallen world, people need to hear about hope,
20:31 people need to know that there is hope
20:33 beyond the failures of their lives.
20:35 People need to know that there is hope
20:37 beyond the destitution of their homes.
20:39 People need to know that
20:41 our failures are not our permanent identity.
20:44 Come on, say amen. Amen.
20:46 We need to know
20:47 that, in Christ, our past can be wiped away,
20:50 our present can be redeemed,
20:52 and our future can make sense.
20:55 We need to know
20:57 that when death says, "This is your final breath."
21:00 God says, "No,
21:01 I will bring you forth perfect from your dusty bed."
21:06 There's a day when everybody who lived and died in Christ
21:09 will come forth in the first resurrection.
21:12 Satan cannot prevent the saints of God
21:15 from coming forth perfected.
21:19 That's what Jesus did for me.
21:20 That's what Jesus did for us.
21:22 That's what Jesus did for my mother
21:23 and for my stepmother
21:25 and for my friends that are dying in Christ.
21:28 Every one of us has a hope
21:29 beyond the dusty beds of the grave.
21:32 So when you say goodbye to me, please don't say, so long
21:35 'cause give me time, I'll be out.
21:37 Amen somebody?
21:41 "If I be lifted up from the earth,
21:44 I will draw all men unto Myself."
21:47 That's why today,
21:48 I remember the words of Isaiah the Prophet,
21:50 Isaiah 53:5, who did He die for?
21:54 "But He was wounded for our transgressions.
21:57 He was bruised for our iniquities."
22:00 So when you get beside yourself
22:01 and start pointing out other people's sin,
22:03 find yourself a mirror and point out your own.
22:07 "The chastisement of our peace was upon Him,
22:09 and by His stripes we are healed."
22:14 You know what the word healed means?
22:16 It doesn't just mean the wound is closed.
22:20 It means there is no wound that we can experience
22:24 that is permanent as eternity.
22:27 You see, in eternity, the only one
22:29 that's going to bear wound is Christ, not us.
22:32 There will be no signs of death.
22:36 There will be no residual of the heartaches
22:40 that we bore in this life.
22:43 There will be no memory
22:45 of the disappointment we face.
22:51 I know you're stunned.
22:53 Silence is not a bad thing if you're stunned.
22:56 There will be no more records of murder, and crime,
23:00 and violence in the New Jerusalem.
23:04 Healed permanently, no reversal of sin,
23:08 it will not rise up a second time.
23:16 "The chastisement of our peace is upon Him,
23:19 and by His stripes..."
23:21 together, "we are healed."
23:26 Nobody could expunge my record like Jesus.
23:29 Nobody could hit the delete button like Jesus.
23:33 Nobody could say, "John, from the time you were born
23:36 until this moment, it's all forgotten.
23:38 It's all thrown away.
23:40 I've put it in the vault of forgetfulness,
23:42 and I'm not even going to open it.
23:43 I've lost the number."
23:47 How much He loves us?
23:51 But I must say,
23:53 His betrayers would have been better
23:54 not to have been born.
23:57 Mark 14:21, the Bible says,
23:58 "Woe to the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!"
24:02 You see, one of my aims, I read this text,
24:04 and I know it refers to Judas,
24:06 but I've determined in my life
24:09 that I don't want to live a life
24:11 to betray the name of Jesus.
24:14 This betrayal is far greater than just what Judas did.
24:17 "It would have been good for that man
24:18 if he had never been born."
24:22 The newness of the death of Jesus
24:24 was echoed and reechoed
24:26 through the limitless regions of unfallen worlds.
24:29 The message the Passover Lamb was slain,
24:32 the bread of life was broken,
24:34 the blood of the covenant was poured out.
24:38 And at last...
24:39 at last, Jesus is at rest,
24:43 the long day of shame and torture has ended.
24:47 Finally, Jesus is freed from the persecuting hands
24:51 of the Roman government
24:53 and from the recalcitrant rejection
24:56 of the pharisaical Jews, scribes, and Pharisees,
25:00 finally, the long day of shame and torture has ended.
25:03 The trailing rays of the setting sun
25:05 bow their head on the horizon as Jesus is shut up
25:09 in Joseph's tomb where never a man laid before.
25:14 Finally, the crowd has dispersed.
25:16 The Son of God
25:17 lays in the tranquility of a perfect setting.
25:20 His work completed, His hands folded in peace.
25:25 And Jesus, also even in the hours of His death,
25:28 rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath.
25:32 Come on, say amen. Amen.
25:34 Because He told a woman, concerning the woman
25:36 that followed Jesus, the Bible says in Luke 23:56,
25:41 "Then they returned
25:42 and prepared spices and fragrant oils.
25:44 And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."
25:49 Why did they do that?
25:51 Because Jesus did it. Why did Jesus do it?
25:54 Because He commanded for them to do it.
25:55 You see, it's so good to know
25:57 that when you live the Christian life,
25:58 you live a life in harmony with what Jesus did.
26:01 If you have any question about anything you do,
26:04 you'll never be lost if you do what Jesus did.
26:09 Do it because He did it.
26:12 Jesus did what He asked His followers to do.
26:16 "If you love me," come on," keep My commandments.
26:21 And My commandments are not burdensome,
26:22 the Sabbath is not just for the Jews."
26:24 It was not nailed to the cross.
26:25 It's not a long forgotten thing of the past,
26:28 but it is the cadence of the perfection
26:30 of the government of God, a reminder that we can pause
26:33 from our labors and rest in the secure reflection
26:37 of what it means to spend time with our God,
26:40 not a minute, not an hour, but an entire day.
26:44 How much does our world need rest?
26:45 Come on.
26:47 How much does this fast-paced society,
26:50 even in the context
26:52 of the Greenfields of Southern Illinois
26:54 and the mellowing hills of Thompsonville?
26:58 If you could call them that.
27:01 Every one of us needs rest.
27:03 And the Lord knew that, so He gave us the Sabbath.
27:07 "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."
27:09 Mark 2:27 and 28,
27:11 "Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath."
27:15 Gave them a gift, whenever the Sabbath comes around,
27:18 my body says, "John, even you could rest."
27:20 Amen, pastor?
27:22 Even pastors could rest.
27:25 I heard a pastor one day say...
27:26 I forgot the television program,
27:28 I don't want to label anything insignificantly,
27:30 could have been ignorance, but somebody once said,
27:32 I heard a pastor say, "Well, the Sabbath really can't be
27:35 a day of rest because we work so hard.
27:37 God doesn't want us to keep the Sabbath
27:38 because the Sabbath is the day that I work the hardest."
27:41 If you call preaching work,
27:44 then you don't know what work is.
27:46 It's a joy to preach the message about Jesus.
27:50 This ain't work.
27:52 To get paid for this is a privilege.
27:55 This ain't work, this is a joy.
27:59 The only thing I want to get paid for...
28:03 Well, I can't even ask for pay for that
28:05 'cause I can't even buy that.
28:09 Everything that I receive from the Lord is a gift
28:14 of His almighty grace.
28:17 So when I walk through
28:18 the gates into the New Jerusalem,
28:20 I'm not going to ask, "How much this costs?"
28:23 because the lamb will be standing before us to remind us
28:27 through the ceaseless ages of eternity
28:31 the price of our redemption.
28:34 But I got to change the scene,
28:36 what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours,
28:39 I got to borrow the phrase from that old song
28:41 "What a Difference a Day Makes", 24 little hours.
28:45 You see, it's amazing
28:47 how the rising sun chases away darkness.
28:49 All of a sudden,
28:51 the Jewish leaders remember the declaration of divinity.
28:54 What did Jesus say in John 2:18 and 19?
28:58 When the Jews asked Jesus, "What sign do You show us
29:01 since You do these things?"
29:02 And Jesus answered and said to them,
29:05 "Destroy this temple,
29:06 and in three days, I will raise it up."
29:10 Well, let me make the point,
29:11 the day to raise it up finally arrived.
29:14 The day to raise up that holy,
29:17 perfect temple finally arrives.
29:21 And they could not comprehend it.
29:24 They were interrogating the Life Giver,
29:27 and they could not comprehend that the very one that came
29:31 to save them was the very one that they had rejected.
29:35 Well, I love these words, "The night of the first day
29:37 of the week had worn slowly away.
29:39 The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come.
29:42 Christ, still a prisoner in His narrow tomb.
29:47 The great stone was in its place."
29:49 I'm reading from the book Desire of Ages,
29:51 where the Library of Congress, hear me carefully,
29:54 the Library of Congress has categorized this book
29:59 as the best book ever written about the life of Christ.
30:04 You didn't just say amen, did you?
30:06 Amen. Amen.
30:08 If the Library of Congress, a secular institution,
30:11 can recognize the veracity and the beauty
30:15 of the inspiration, why should we not?
30:18 I echo the words again,
30:20 the great stone was in its place.
30:22 The Roman seal was unbroken.
30:23 The Roman guards were keeping their watch.
30:28 But they were unseen watchers.
30:31 Hosts of evil angels were gathered about the place.
30:34 Had it been possible, the prince of darkness
30:38 with his apostate army would have kept forever sealed
30:43 the tomb that held the Son of God.
30:47 But I want to say this, even in death,
30:50 Jesus had secret service protection.
30:55 Continuing in that very famous book,
30:57 "A heavenly host surrounded the sepulcher."
31:00 Evil angels on one side, holy angels on the other,
31:04 waiting for the moment
31:06 to call the Prince of Life back to life.
31:12 "A heavenly host surrounded the sepulcher.
31:14 Angels that excel in strength were guarding the tomb
31:18 and waiting to welcome the Prince of Life."
31:22 Can you see it?
31:24 If the eyes can be peeled back to see what happens
31:27 in the spiritual realm, you can see angels even now
31:32 in this room keeping watch over the people of God,
31:34 for the Word of God says, "The angel of the Lord
31:38 encampeth around about those
31:39 that fear Him and deliver them."
31:41 I believe that.
31:43 I've been in situations where there's no explanation
31:45 why I'm still alive.
31:47 I've been on planes, Shelley, I've been on planes,
31:50 Pastor CA, where I know that had it not been
31:53 for the protecting hand of God,
31:54 it wasn't the skill of the pilot
31:56 but the grace of God.
31:59 I've been in cars, in places,
32:01 my life should have been snatched away,
32:03 the streets of New York,
32:04 and I know that it was not my skillful choice
32:06 of the street I went down,
32:08 but it was the protecting hand of the holy angels.
32:11 I perpetrated sin in my life that I know nobody could have
32:15 delivered me from but the holy angels of God.
32:20 So this morning, I speak not of what may be speculated,
32:25 but I speak of my own experience.
32:27 That's why the Bible says they overcame
32:29 by the word of their testimony.
32:31 Can I testify today?
32:34 I serve a God who knows how to deliver,
32:36 but the God who knows how to deliver
32:39 was about to be delivered Himself.
32:41 The angels of God were waiting to give the declaring call,
32:47 "Son of Man, come forth,"
32:48 but then all of a sudden, in the kingdom of heaven,
32:51 operation countdown is initiated,
32:54 like an enthusiastic football announcer,
32:57 heaven sounds the two-minute warning, stick with me,
33:01 in just two more minutes,
33:02 the King of glory will be declared victorious.
33:04 Stay with me, in just two more minutes,
33:07 the chains of death will be forever broken,
33:09 in just two more minutes,
33:11 the risen Savior will sing again.
33:13 And what do you say? Amen.
33:15 Heaven was in cadence with the plan of salvation.
33:21 In just two more minutes, the hour of darkness
33:23 will be replaced with the hour of light,
33:25 bowed heads will be forever raised,
33:27 sadness will give way to exultation
33:30 and dormant graves will be ripped open
33:33 never to be inhabited again.
33:37 But I continue in my favorite book
33:39 outside of the Bible.
33:41 Clothed with the splendor of God,
33:44 this angel left the heavenly courts.
33:47 The bright beams of God's glory went before Him
33:49 and illuminated His pathway.
33:52 Let me tell you the way that God showed it to me,
33:55 like a Polish stealth bomber,
33:57 Gabriel positions his majestic frame
34:00 on the launching pad of the holy city.
34:03 He then leans forward
34:05 and catapults himself into heaven's rescue mission.
34:08 He tucks his wings close to his perfect frame
34:11 to minimize the turbulence, and all of a sudden,
34:13 the planets move out of the way for God is sending
34:17 the Angel Gabriel to remove the stone
34:20 that our risen Savior may come forth.
34:25 The Bible says in Matthew 28, look with it,
34:27 look there with me, Matthew 28:2-4.
34:30 You guys are team for me.
34:34 Look at Matthew 28:2-4, look at this,
34:36 how the Bible describes
34:38 the beauty of this resurrection.
34:40 The Bible says, "And behold, there was a..."
34:43 What? "Great earthquake."
34:46 I believe that was the turbulence
34:49 of the angel of God breaking the sound barrier.
34:55 I've heard fighter jets pass over the airport in St. Louis,
34:59 and you see them, then you hear them.
35:01 I believe that was the angel leaving in his wake,
35:04 a signature that "I'm on my way."
35:06 And I could imagine in the tomb, the Lord said,
35:09 "I hear him coming."
35:13 I apologize for my imagination,
35:16 but I believe that even in His death, He was dead,
35:22 He died in humanity, but you can't kill divinity.
35:29 "There was a great earthquake for an angel of Lord
35:31 descended from heaven and came
35:33 and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it."
35:39 I don't know how you could miss that?
35:43 How you could get so comfortable to fall asleep
35:45 on the angel sat on it.
35:49 The angel sat on it.
35:53 The Angel Gabriel rolled away the stone as it was a pebble,
35:58 and he sat on it.
36:01 He said, "I need a place to sit.
36:04 Let me just sit on the stone
36:07 that held my Lord on the inside."
36:09 He sat on it.
36:10 That's a whole sermon right there, he sat on it.
36:15 You see, it took all the Roman guards
36:17 with all the grub they had for the morning
36:19 to put that in place, and Gabriel said,
36:22 "Excuse me," and he sat on it.
36:28 The Bible describes,
36:29 "His countenance was like lightning
36:31 and his clothing as white as snow.
36:33 And the guards shook for fear of him
36:36 and became like dead men."
36:42 And I go back to my favorite book,
36:46 "As He comes forth in majestic glory,
36:50 the angels bow low in adoration before the Redeemer
36:54 and welcome Him with songs of praise."
36:56 But what about the Roman soldiers?
36:57 "Brave soldiers that never had been afraid
37:00 of human power are now as captives
37:02 taken without sword or spear.
37:05 The face they look upon
37:06 is not the face of a mortal warrior.
37:08 It is the face of the mightiest of the Lord's hosts.
37:13 This messenger is he who fills the position
37:16 from which Satan fell."
37:18 And I give the name, Gabriel.
37:20 "It is he who on the hills of Bethlehem
37:23 proclaimed Christ's birth to the lowly shepherds."
37:26 It is he who showed up at Mary's apartment and said...
37:34 Hail, you're about to have a baby."
37:37 The earth trembles at his approach,
37:40 the hosts of darkness flee, and as he rolls away the stone,
37:44 heaven seems to come down to the earth.
37:47 The soldiers see him removing the stone as he would a pebble
37:54 and hears him say, "Son of God, come forth,
37:58 Thy Father called Thee."
38:01 And Jesus comes forward with the words,
38:04 "I am the resurrection and the life."
38:09 "And I can proclaim it today,
38:12 I am the resurrection and the life."
38:16 And Desire of Ages said, "At the death of Jesus,
38:18 the soldiers had beheld the earth wrapped in darkness
38:21 at midday, but at the resurrection,
38:24 they saw the brightness
38:25 of the angel illuminating the night
38:28 and heard the inhabitants of heaven
38:29 singing with joy and triumph."
38:33 What did Jesus say?
38:35 "I am He who lives and was dead and behold,
38:37 I am alive forevermore."
38:39 And they heard a jingling when Jesus came out,
38:42 and then He said,
38:43 "I've got the keys of hell and the grave."
38:47 And they said, "He went in there empty handed.
38:49 What is that is in His hand?"
38:51 He's got the key that everyone
38:52 who is laying in the graves in Jesus will come out one day,
38:56 the keys of death and the grave.
39:00 To God be the glory.
39:04 Suddenly, the scene changes,
39:07 the Roman guards don't remember Jesus,
39:10 they now behold when Jesus showed up,
39:12 circumstances suddenly changed.
39:15 At the resurrection of Jesus, everything changes.
39:18 You see, the child you've been agonizing over
39:21 suddenly accepts Jesus,
39:23 the message you've been studying suddenly makes sense,
39:26 the truth that you questioned suddenly becomes clear,
39:29 the prayer that you've been praying suddenly gets answered.
39:32 When Jesus shows up, things change suddenly.
39:35 Can I get an amen?
39:37 The freedom you've been searching for
39:38 suddenly comes your way,
39:40 the fear that shackled you suddenly leaves your mind,
39:43 the burden that you've been carrying
39:45 suddenly is lifted from you,
39:47 the storms that have been battering you
39:49 suddenly pass over,
39:51 and the Jesus that you thought you knew
39:54 suddenly becomes real.
39:56 That's what happened when Jesus shows up.
39:58 And the reason for this sudden change is this,
40:01 Jesus is not the I was, He is the great I AM.
40:06 "I am the alpha and the omega,
40:09 the beginning and the end, the first and the last,
40:13 who is and who was and who is to come,
40:17 the Almighty."
40:20 We proclaim this message
40:22 not with timidity but with assurance,
40:25 with blessed assurance.
40:27 And I pray this morning that the death of Jesus Christ,
40:30 the knowledge of His resurrection
40:31 does not become a ho-hum,
40:34 "let me yawn my way through it" message,
40:36 but a "Thank You, Jesus that even though the present
40:41 seems to be a moment of delay, the promises of God are sure,
40:46 as sure as the tomb is empty, Jesus is coming again."
40:52 We were in Jerusalem there,
40:53 and we went to one of the garden tombs.
40:55 They say that there are five in the Middle East.
40:58 They say that there are five, Matthew, five.
41:01 And the guy that was giving us the tour, he said,
41:03 "Now there are five places that have been presently designated
41:07 as the place where Jesus rose from."
41:09 He said, "But I think the truth about this
41:11 is He's risen from the sixth place."
41:14 'Cause we really don't know where He rose from.
41:17 He says, "So here's the point,
41:18 we're not concerned about where He rose from,
41:20 we're glad that He rose."
41:25 And we went in the tomb, and they said,
41:26 "That's where his body was laid."
41:27 But then again, about a mile and half away,
41:30 somebody said the same thing there,
41:31 and about two miles away, they said the something there.
41:33 The fact of the matter is they couldn't find
41:35 any one of these tombs with the body of Jesus in it.
41:40 And here we are today in 2018 AD, Anno Domini,
41:43 in the year of our Lord, which means atheist,
41:45 agnostic, believer or non-believer
41:48 must operate under the auspices that we live in the reality
41:53 that the entire world is labeled
41:56 in the year of our Lord.
42:01 Not a dead Lord, not a Lord that is hewn out of stone or
42:05 molded out of melted gold and silver
42:08 but a Lord that liveth and reigneth and behold
42:10 He's alive forevermore.
42:15 "Christ came forth from the tomb glorified.
42:18 And the Roman guards beheld Him.
42:20 Their eyes were riveted upon His face,
42:22 whom they had so recently mocked and derided.
42:25 Can you imagine how they felt?
42:29 In this glorified being, they beheld
42:31 the prisoner whom they had seen in the judgment hall,
42:34 the one for whom they had plaited a crown of thorns.
42:37 This was the One who had stood
42:40 unresisting before Pilate and Herod,
42:43 His form lacerated by the cruel scourge.
42:46 This was He who had been nailed to the cross,
42:49 at whom the priests and rulers,
42:51 full of self-satisfaction, had wagged their heads, saying,
42:55 'He saved others, Himself, He cannot save.'
42:58 This was He who had been laid in Joseph's new tomb.
43:02 The decree of heaven had loosed the captive.'
43:05 And I love this,
43:06 'Mountains piled upon mountains over the sepulcher
43:10 could not have prevented Him from coming forth.'
43:15 " Get another mountain, that's not big enough.
43:17 Get Mount Vesuvius, that ain't going to work,
43:19 get Mount Everest, that ain't going to work,
43:21 get Mount Kilimanjaro,
43:22 even the Mariana's Trench turned upside down,
43:26 put on the tomb of Jesus, could not keep Him in.
43:31 Excuse me if I'm a little enthusiastic today.
43:36 The angel's message revives the hope
43:39 in the followers of Jesus,
43:40 Matthew 28:5 and 6,
43:43 "The angel answered and said to the women,"
43:45 the faithful woman who in His hour of greatest trial
43:50 didn't run like the men did.
43:52 Amen, ladies?
43:55 These women were not hiding for fear of their lives.
43:58 The women were hanging around, they stayed in the garden tomb.
44:02 They sat there in patient expectation
44:05 that the promise He made was sure,
44:07 and I could imagine if they had an iWatch or an Android watch,
44:10 they might have said,
44:11 "The world's got 15 more seconds.
44:16 He's coming out."
44:17 He didn't come out after 72 hours,
44:20 He didn't come out the fourth day,
44:22 He come out within the third day.
44:25 There's some people that argue over, "Was it 72 days?
44:28 Was it Wednesday? Was it Thursday?
44:30 Did He go in on Friday and come out Saturday?
44:32 How is it possible to have
44:34 72 hours from Friday to Sunday?"
44:37 You could argue with the chronology,
44:38 I'm glad of the Christology.
44:41 He's not there.
44:43 You want to figure out when He came out,
44:45 one disciple said, "While it was yet dark."
44:47 The other one said, "At the breaking of the day."
44:49 But all of them said, "He ain't there."
44:52 Amen. Amen.
44:55 And the Christian church today says to the world,
44:58 "He ain't there."
45:00 "Where is your Lord?"
45:02 "He ain't there."
45:03 There ain't no place on earth that you can point to the tomb,
45:06 you can find Muhammad's tomb,
45:08 you can find Buddha's tomb,
45:09 you can find the great tombs of all the leaders of the past,
45:12 but there's no tomb with the name Jesus on it.
45:17 You know why?
45:20 The angel said to the woman,
45:21 "Do not be afraid, for I know who you seek,
45:24 Jesus whom was crucified.
45:25 He is not here,
45:27 for He is risen," as He said.
45:29 "Come, see the place where the Lord laid.'
45:32 " You see He's not there, why?
45:34 Because the rose of Sharon would bloom again,
45:36 the bright and morning star would rise again,
45:39 the light of the world would shine again,
45:41 the oil of gladness would flow again,
45:44 the lion of the tribe of Judah will roar again.
45:49 The author of salvation would
45:51 become the finisher of our faith,
45:53 the Mighty God would become the everlasting Father,
45:56 and the alpha would become the omega.
45:59 The Apostle Paul left us
46:01 this record of the evidence of His divinity,
46:04 Lamb of God would become the eternal high priest.
46:07 And today, you may ask the question,
46:09 "Then where is He?"
46:11 Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul
46:13 in Hebrews 7:25,
46:16 "When your day is going dark and your hope is growing dim,
46:19 remember these words,
46:21 therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost."
46:24 To the what church?
46:26 To the uttermost.
46:27 We used to say in New York, Pastor CA,
46:29 from the gutter-most to the uttermost.
46:31 "He is able to save to the uttermost
46:33 those who come to God through Him
46:37 seeing that He always lives,"
46:43 "to make intercession for them."
46:45 Jesus was arrested so that we could be set free.
46:49 On that note alone, you ought to say hallelujah.
46:51 He was arrested that we could be set free.
46:53 He was declared guilty so that we could be declared innocent.
46:55 He was condemned so that we could be pardoned.
46:58 He walked our road so that one day we can walk His road.
47:01 He wore our thorns so that
47:02 one day we could wear His crown.
47:04 He suffered the shame of death
47:05 that one day we could share the glory of life.
47:08 Jesus rose to take His rightful place
47:11 as a high priest in the kingdom
47:13 so that one day we will be able to sit with Him
47:18 in a place that we have no right to.
47:24 I don't have any right to sit with Jesus,
47:27 but because of His blood and His salvation,
47:29 because of His forgiveness...
47:31 Somebody was asked the question,
47:32 "What are the steps of salvation?"
47:34 If you confess your sins,
47:35 He's faithful and just to forgive you of your sins
47:38 and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
47:41 What are the steps of salvation?
47:42 Repent and be baptized that your sins may be blotted out.
47:46 What are the steps of salvation?
47:48 Repent and be converted.
47:53 And when you walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
47:57 what a glory He sheds on His way, what He says,
48:01 we will do, where He sends, we will go, never fear,
48:06 only trust and obey.
48:10 And I close with the words of Dr. Luke.
48:13 Xenia, come.
48:14 I close with the words of Dr. Luke,
48:18 "For the rightful place that Jesus has now taken,
48:22 " in Luke 1:32-33,
48:25 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest,
48:31 and the Lord God will give Him
48:34 the throne of His father David."
48:37 Stop for a moment, his father David?
48:41 This sinful man, this recalcitrant adulterer,
48:46 this man who turned his back on the obedience of God,
48:49 the love of God, the love of Christ,
48:52 the love for the sinner,
48:53 He expunges the past
48:56 and sets us up as His lineage.
49:01 By grace, we can walk through the door,
49:03 and He can call us His children,
49:06 and we can call Him our Father.
49:10 The throne of His father David,
49:13 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
49:16 and of His kingdom, there will be no end.
49:25 Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
49:31 Because He lives,
49:33 all fear is gone.
49:38 Because He holds my future,
49:41 life is worth living because He lives.
49:45 Because He lives,
49:48 my mother is waiting for the day
49:50 when she hears the voice, "Come forth from your grave."
49:55 Because He lives,
49:58 you can fall to your knees and ask for forgiveness,
50:00 and He'll hear from His kingdom,
50:02 He'll lean His ear to your voice
50:03 and extend to you the pardoning grace
50:06 that will immediately bring you into the adoption
50:09 of a son or daughter of the Most High God.
50:12 Because He lives, there is no darkness
50:15 that he cannot remove from your life.
50:19 Because He lives,
50:22 He will come again to take us to our home
50:28 that is being prepared even as we sit.
50:34 Why do you seek the living among the dead?
50:38 He's not here for He is risen.
50:41 I want to invite you to stand with me to sing this song
50:43 Because He Lives.
50:45 He is not here, but He is risen.
50:49 He's not here, but He is risen.
50:52 We serve a risen Savior.
50:55 And because He lives, because He lives,
50:59 we can face tomorrow.
51:07 God sent His Son
51:13 They called Him Jesus
51:18 He came to love
51:23 Heal and forgive
51:29 He lived and died
51:34 To buy my pardon
51:40 An empty grave is there to prove
51:46 My Savior lives Together.
51:52 Because He lives,
51:57 I can face tomorrow
52:01 Because He lives...
52:03 Because He lives
52:08 all fear is gone
52:13 Because I know
52:19 He holds the future
52:24 And life is worth the living
52:29 Just because He lives
52:36 How sweet to hold
52:41 A newborn baby
52:47 And feel the pride
52:53 And joy He gives
52:58 But greater still
53:04 The calm assurance
53:09 This child can face uncertain days
53:16 Because He lives
53:19 Raise that chorus.
53:21 Because He lives
53:26 I can face tomorrow
53:32 Because He lives
53:37 All fear is gone
53:42 Because I know
53:48 He holds the future
53:54 And life is worth the living just
54:00 Because He lives
54:06 Our Father in heaven...
54:10 Our Father in heaven...
54:13 Lord, this old, old story...
54:19 continues to be the hope
54:23 of the new day that is coming,
54:27 often repeated, the death, the trial, the scourging,
54:34 the accusations, the betrayal of Jesus,
54:39 this often repeated story sometimes brings to our mind...
54:46 I've heard that story before,
54:50 but I just say, Lord Jesus,
54:52 I pray that the story of our redemption
54:53 will never be an old story,
54:57 will never be a byproduct of religious jargon,
55:01 will never be a story that collects dust
55:05 but will forever remain new in our souls, in our hearts,
55:09 in our minds, in our spirit, will forever be the place
55:14 where we clutch onto the anchor of our salvation.
55:18 His name is Jesus.
55:21 We thank You, Lord, that there is no place
55:26 where Your DNA can be found,
55:27 there is not place where empty clothes
55:30 still mark the spot that you once laid.
55:34 So we glory not in the cross,
55:37 we glory in the empty tomb,
55:40 we glory in the promise
55:42 that You have said You will come again
55:45 to receive us unto Yourself.
55:48 And so, Lord Jesus, we pray that, today,
55:51 the hope has been revived in our hearts,
55:53 renewed in our spirit,
55:57 that we have once reclaimed again
56:00 the very anchor of our name, Adventists,
56:04 looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.
56:08 So when we leave this place,
56:10 Father, may we proclaim it by the life we live,
56:12 by the words we convey,
56:14 by the embrace we communicate,
56:17 may we live this story
56:20 over and over until
56:24 our faith is made sight.
56:28 And so, Lord Jesus, we hold on to that promise You've made.
56:31 And one day, we believe
56:34 that the heavens will depart as a scroll
56:36 and the voice of the Life Giver will call us
56:40 to our eternal home.
56:42 We thank You,
56:43 we praise You, and we give You glory
56:47 in Your holy and precious name.
56:51 And all of God's people said...