Easter: Hope for Life’s Greatest Disappointments

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Big Idea: Jesus does not avoid us when we fail. John 21:1-22

In the Resurrection encounters of John’s Gospel, Jesus meets His followers to reveal Himself; along the way He becomes the answer to their grief (20:1-23), doubt (20:24-29), and disappointment (21:1-22).

 

Peter’s great disappointment.   John 13:36-38 & John 18:15-18, 25-27

Peter had failed to stick with Jesus. Peter denied he knew Jesus. Peter’s bold appraisal of courage and faithfulness turned into lies, curses, and avoidance. Peter was crushed!


Jesus’ abundant grace. 
John 21:1-14

A large catch of fish and breakfast on the beach!


Jesus restores those crushed by disappointment!

Jesus invites you to commune with Him.  vs. 15

17For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.19Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:17-20

The disappointed need relational attachment affirmed by Jesus.

 

Jesus raises the question of allegiance and affection.  vs. 15-19

3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.  Revelation 2:3-5

The disappointed need character built on the foundation of Jesus’s love.

 

Jesus calls you to align your life with His mission.  vs. 15-19

“I will build my church.”  Matthew 16:18
“Feed my lambs.” “Tend my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.”
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” Matthew 6:33

The disappointed need purpose and vision for life clarified by Jesus.

 

Jesus commands singular discipleship; no comparing and no predicated obedience.  vs. 18-22

“If it is my will that he ______, what is that to you? You follow me!”

The disappointed need the Resurrected Lord Jesus’ grace for “a long obedience in the same direction.”

 

the Resurrection of Jesus & the “new normal”

Jesus who was crucified, is Risen.  To accept the Resurrection of Jesus as a new normal is to challenge what you believe about God, life, and yourself, it is to begin a journey with a new guide, and with new rules:  live by faith, not by sight.  The resurrection of Jesus as a new normal changes the way you do business.

1.  God matters.  Life is not about me.  God becomes the main character in the story of my life.  Its not about me or my family, or my country, its about Him.  The glory, honour, praise, of life is to be His.  True worship is something that seeps from my life because of WHO God is, not what I want Him to do for me.  To stand before the Resurrected Lord with Pride in my heart seems ludicrous and in fact can only produce fear or denial of Who Jesus really is.  To stand before the Resurrected Lord with humility and with the confidence of His acceptance of me is to know that life is not about me.  Its about Him.

“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!”

If God is the main character of our life story, then our acceptance of the Resurrection of Jesus as the new normal promotes Him rightfully into the star role and not just our audience for whom we are performing.

“He became obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:9-11

The Sovereignty of God or the supremacy of Jesus over all things is not something we run from, but something we joyfully embrace.  For then life’s pain, suffering, trails, are not meaningless, but instead are made meaningful by the knowledge that the one who suffered on the Cross and was raised to life is able to accomplish His purposes and retain His glory in them and through them.

2.  Jesus is the victory.  Jesus has victory over death.  Jesus has the power.  Jesus has been promoted by God as judge over the living and dead.  By entrusting myself to Jesus and believing on him I have one who claims me as His own and is able to judge between all situations.

When a day’s work is done…you go home.

“He is headed to Galilee.”   Jesus is going home.  Death did not keep him down.  He is not stuck outside Jerusalem in shame.  He is going to Galilee.  He is going home.  He is going home victorious.

The new normal.  When confronted by my fear of people and the “death” they may inflict on me, the new normal of Jesus’ resurrection, reminds me that my life is hidden in Christ.  He is victorious over death.  Death is not the end.  physical death By entrusting myself to him and by believing on Him I am freed from the bondage of sin, of my sin, of the fear of death.

This is a new normal that I confess I am still getting used to.  This past year to be at the bedside of one of our members who was dying…  To share in that moment with the family… to have confidence of our eternity in Christ.  Jesus is the victor.  Paul said, “Oh death where is your is your victory where is your sting?” The sting of death is sink and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:56-57

3.  My life matters to God.  The angel said, “Tell his disciples and Peter.”  To take a big view of creation is to be confronted with the smallness of ourselves.  To read the Scriptures is though is to be confronted with the bigness of God and His big interest in people.  I matter to God.   You matter to God.

Because the Resurrection of Jesus is the new normal the Cross of Jesus becomes a sign pointing to a new reality:  my life matters to God.

John 3:16 becomes personal

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose…”  1 Cor 1:26-27

“I chose you…”  John 15:16

God has chosen to share His mission of redemption with people.  He entrusts his Gospel to women and to men and says share this.  He takes an interest in the lives of people.  God is big enough for this.  And you matter enough to Him.  He knows your name.

The resurrection of Jesus created a new normal for the disciples’ view of the cross.  They would come to know that the cross showed that God would take extraordinary measures to show the glory of His grace.  Your life matters to God for it is intended to show the glory of His grace.  Sin distorts and hides His grace and glory.  You matter so much to God, that Jesus accepted the cross for the joy set before Him—the glory of the Father and the incredible treasure that would be His—people redeemed and saved.

4.  What Jesus says matters to me.  “There you will see Him, just as He told you.”   Christ is the authoritative voice in my life.  To accept the Resurrection of Jesus as the new normal is to accept that Jesus is now the authoritative voice for life.  Everything Jesus taught has new authority.  And now by the power of His Holy Spirit made available by the Resurrected Jesus I enter into a real living relationship.

Jesus is exalted as Lord of my life, and has become my shepherd’s voice.  So as I look back on His teachings I am also seeking to hear his voice for today.  Jesus is a living Lord, not a dead voice speaking from the past.  His voice and word is present, not just past or future.  Today Jesus can speak to me and guide me into his paths of life.  I expect that the Word of God is a living Word giving not only wisdom for my relationships, but directives about what I do in response to this grace of God.  I am united with Jesus in his death.  I am united with Jesus in his resurrection.  The disciples were to go to Galilee to meet Him.  But now by His Spirit He meets me wherever I am.  Learning to hear His voice and know Him is the essential relationship I now enter into when I accept the Resurrection of Jesus as the new normal.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he will strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Ephesians 3:16-17

You and I lack spiritual comprehension.  Unless the Holy Spirit intervenes we are left with only. hearing about the resurrection of Jesus.  By the power of the Holy Spirit we We miss the new normal.
A new normal is on your doorstep.  To be with Jesus in His Resurrection is to let Him create a new normal in your life where
1.  God matters to you & life is not all about you.
2.  Jesus is the victor.
3.  Your life matters to God.
4.  What Jesus says matters to you.

To face life with the Resurrected Jesus means that when life presents me with “new normals” that challenge the very core of who I am, I face them not alone, but with Him.