Sunday, May 10, 2020

Easter 5

Easter 5
10 May 2020
John 14:1-14

The Power of the Resurrection

Our Gospel lesson for this morning is the beginning of Jesus’ “farewell discourses” that continue through chapter 17 of John’s Gospel. The disciples are not to be troubled because He is going to prepare a place which is large enough for all. Moreover, he is the only way to the Father. To know and see Jesus is to know and see the Father. It is essential that the disciples know and believe in him and the Father. If they do, they will do greater things than Jesus did and their prayers, offered in his name, will be answered.

Let us pray to the Lord;
O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found;  Lord Jesus Christ, Bless  Your Word. That we might trust in You. Amen.

This passage is, almost without exception, read at funerals. It has become identified with death. It is really associated with the resurrection. After the resurrection, Jesus goes to prepare a place for the believer. This passage then speaks to the living on earth to comfort them that after death they will be secure in Christ.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have —

1. A way is prepared for you in heaven — v. 2. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

According to Jesus, there is a heaven. He said he was going to prepare a place for his people in heaven. It is a place large enough for all believers in Christ as it contains — “many rooms.” The nature of heaven is given — it is being with Christ — “Where I am you may be also” (v. 3).

Sin, sickness, pain and heartache are not a part of heaven. Heaven is free from these things.  They do not exist in the Father’s house. Heaven is a place which Christ Himself has created especially for His children.

Heaven is also personalized. Did you realize that? Notice what Jesus says to us in this verses. He says, “I go to prepare a place – for you.” In six short days the universe was made, and yet, in heaven the creative power of God continues as Jesus tells us that He is preparing a place custom made especially for you.

Every wife, I suppose, has a romantic picture in her mind of her “dream house” which is made especially for her. In our text Jesus Himself tells us that our home in heaven is not a romantic thought and it is far from being a “dream house”.  The place created by Jesus has been constructed by the master craftsman Jesus Christ. The creative power of the carpenter from Nazareth continues as He builds a home for you.

Transition: Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Savior reminds us that He is the way which leads to life with God.

2. A way to God exists — v. 6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

A false conception created by misguided people is the notion that says, “We’re all going to the same place, called heaven, we’re only traveling different roads to get there.”  What that statement suggests is that two entirely different people can worship two entirely different “gods” and still arrive at the same destination – namely heaven.

 Jesus discredits that perception as He makes the claim of absolute uniqueness. He is the way, truth, and life. He emphasizes this by adding that no one comes to God except by Him. People desiring a pluralistic approach to their faith value system will have troubles with verse 6. How then shall we consider non-Christian religions? What does this verse mean to the evangelism and missionary programs of the church today?

Jesus is not just one option among many. Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. He is the only true God. Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. Jesus Christ is the only one who is able to remove the sting and the debt of sin and strife. He is the only one capable of bringing us from death to life.

Transition: Jesus being the only way to the Father guarantees us that we shall see God. What these words say are simple and yet, in their simplicity the most profound statement of faith is revealed.

3. God is revealed in Christ — v. 9. Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Philip wants to know and see God. Jesus points to himself as the answer. We are to see, know, and find God in Jesus. Can we believe this? Jesus says if you cannot believe it on the basis of his words; take a look at his deeds. Can anyone less than God do these works?

The resurrection proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus IS God. Only God can raise the dead. Only God can forgive sins. Only God can call people to Himself.  Only God can turn people from sin to His marvelous light.

Transition: Having come to this realization that Jesus is Lord we bear witness of Him in the world, as we become salt and light for Him.

4. You will outdo Jesus in works — v. 12. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

This passage is to be seen and used in the light of Easter. Without the resurrection, this passage would be useless. There would be no assurance of a place prepared in heaven, no one way to God, no deity of Jesus. The Easter account makes all these sayings reality and truth.

This is what Christ does for people. He is not as some might presume to be only “a son of God.” To the contrary Jesus IS God. He is the Lord. Only in Him is there everlasting life. 

Because of the resurrection, because of its power we do not wonder through life aimlessly. We have a purpose, a divine purpose. The resurrection assures us that heaven is our home. The resurrection assures us that Christ is our one and only Savior. The resurrection assures us that in Christ we have everlasting life. A blessed life in His name.
Words –1,175
Passive Sentences – 9%
Readability – 78.1%
Reading Level -5.4
-Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Resurrection of our Lord’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

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