Listen to the Easter sermon below.
“Rumors of a Resurrection”
(The Four Gospel Accounts)
As witnesses accumulate…As evidence mounts…Rumors are proven to be Reality!
e-mail KCS Princ: “Hi Pastor Ron, There’s a rumor going around the 11th grade Asian History class that before you became KCC Senior Pastor, you ruled Taiwan as Chiang Kai-shek.”PPT:Chiang Kai-shek “I hope this made you laugh.”
I replied to Robyn: “It did indeed make me laugh. Dee too. In recent years, some have accused me of being a TY psych”:PPT:Dr. Phil
“In the early 80’s, I had an elderly Japanese friend who told me that he told his people he had a pastor friend who “looked just like Barney Miller.”PPT:Barney Miller Similarities PPT, Barney Miller & Ron), Rumors ult proven false…laid to rest.
4 Gosp – Matt, Mk, Lk & Jn – acct of J; Combine…birth, bapt, teaching/mir, betrayal, crucifixion & burial…Friday
borrowed tomb, sealed, squadron
Reading…first time…end of the story. No!
Each…eyewitnesses Sun morn…empty,
encounters very much alive J!
Rumors erupted Res! Rumors reverb Jerus As witnesses accumulated, as evidence mounted, there was only one reasonable conclusion to draw.
Let’s consider…eyewitness accounts:
Women first to go: Mary Mag, Mary, mother of James, Salome, unnamed…spices…
Arrive, astonished…stone/young man… Mary Mag runs…Upper Room, disciples
“She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.”
–Mark 16:10, 11
1st Rumor of Res, disciples don’t believe it
2 of them, P & J, not w/ rest of disc
So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
P decides…check out rumor! Bolt thru streets/gate…to tomb…only grave clothes, realize may be substance to Rumor!
Meanwhile, guards…uncons earthquake?
Find body missing, lives are in jeopardy
Go to Jewish chief priests, hoping for cover before…Governor. Here’s religious ldrs do:
And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' "And if this should come to the governor's ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble." And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.
2nd Rumor of Res; won’t even consider it way too much invested…power/reps
Afternoon, 2 disc…to Emmaus, 7 mi, stranger (It’s J, prev from recog!) He asks why troubled/discussing.
Could He be only one in Jerus? Tell J how devastated… Tell J report of women, Rumors of Res
J scolds…not believing…prophets, Moses Messiah first suffer before glory, showing what Scrip had said about Himself
Reached dest, asked Him to stay…broke bread, recognized Him! Then…gone!
They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon." They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. –Luke 24:32-35
Midst of disc, men…Emmaus…yet another Rumor of Res, told another by the disciples…Peter had seen risen Lord!
Witnesses are accumulating. Evidence is mounting.And then, it happened…
While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you." But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. –Luke 24:36, 37
J showed hands/feet…scars as vis evidence, Marveled, struggling to believe really happ The rumor was becoming reality.
1 of 11 missing. Thomas, not there…related reports, he woudn’t believe unless he could see/touch
Week passes; Thomas, heard rumors, unresolved doubts. Who can blame him? Resurrections don’t happen every day.
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." –John 20:26
Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." –John 20:27-29
Jesus doesn’t rebuke. Instead, reaches out…When Thomas sees/touches…falls in worship
No longer a Rumor, the evidence proves the resurrection is a Reality.
Rumors of Resur, 1st day of the week, (PPT: Chart of Appearances, then 8 days later/40 witnesses accumulating, evidence mounting and the inescapable conclusionthat these rumors had been proven to be reality!
Since, countless billions heard Rumors Rumors persist…lives changed
People today respond…same ways…
Mention 3 typical responses.
May find yourself…one of these groups:
PPT: 1. Like those women early to the tomb, like Peter & John who raced to the tomb:
Some look for the Lord and gladly consider the evidence, finding to their joy the risen Jesus reveals Himself to them!
Child… parent or SS, believes to scholar…
In this group, peace/purpose, His loving presence, promise never to leave you.
I heard the Good News…9…bel/baptized Drifted…young adult years…
By His grace, intercepted after married/min
Now, 44 years, diagnosed Stage 4 Panc Canc Peace He promises…more real now
Joy knowing Him, living for His purpose, imperfectly…grateful I know…Rumors of the Resurrection are true!
PPT: 2. Like the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers:
Some have too much invested in their present lifestyle, career or beliefs and simply refuse to believe.
How many today unwilling to consider Rumors of Res…similar reasons?
• Teaching at U…bel could cost him his job.
• Scientist, never get art pub/receive grant
• Journalist/TV comm..modify..stay…
• Person…immoral life, not wanting change
Dismiss Rum of Res as false, lest found true
Stephen Hawking may…sincerely
Considered most brilliant scientist…gen Theories…black holes, A Brief History of Time…amazing insight op of universe
Diag with A.L.S. (Lou Gherig’s disease) 21, body deter/paralysis…single cheek muscle
Quest to unstd depths of univ, Q why here
Yet, people shared with him, could never bring himself to believe. Called Gospel a “fairy tale for those who are afraid of the darkness.”
Hawking wasn’t angry/caustic..some atheists PPT:"We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate.”
Stephen Hawking’s funeral service…yester…church in England. Going church, mem service in church don’t make Ch; Believing
Stephen Hawking now knows Rumors true
Find yourself…this category…refusing to consider evidence rumors, interfere w/ lifestyle, mess w/ beliefs, cost too much friendship/rep?
None of those matter if rumors…true
Urge you surrender, open mind/heart..Christ believe/claim eternal friendship
PPT: 3. Like Thomas who needed more evidence than the word of others:
Some today have doubts, but come to faith when Jesus comes personally to them.
Hear the news story…Romanian man, Constantin Reliu, learned in Jan…dead? (PPT, Picture)Since Jan, he’s battling to convince author very much alive.
After more than 20…cook…Turkey, papers expired, Turkish gov’t deported Reliu
Landing Bucharest airport, informed by border officials…wife, Italy, off dead.
6 hrs Q/tests; distance between eyes, comparing data to an old passport photo. fingerprints/specific Qs…hometown. “They decided it was me!”Hope…settle/benefits
Not so fast. Reliu appealed to Rom Court to overturn declaration; few weeks ago, court ruled against him, request filed too late. Decision, court said, is final.
Court…Constantin Reliu’s dec of death final, affect reality…very much alive status?
Many have declared reports of Js’ death final word, denials…any impact on risen Lord?
You may have denied His Res yourself…at least doubted. I pray…not final answer.
If it is, wake up other side of death one day and realize…to your horror…that the rumors of Res, and of Hell for those who refuse to believe…were absolutely true.
Urge you. Don’t wait. J has given…all evid you need…put faith in Him.
If open heart to Him, He…come to you just as…to doubting Thomas.
Can you, w/ Thomas, fall fig to knees, cry out to J, “My Lord and my God!?”
give Opportunity right now.
Lead us in prayer. Bow heads, Close eyes. Already believer, pray for anyone here who yet has doubts.
If ready to believe the witnesses to the Resurrection…
If you’re willing to accept the evidence the Lord has offered to you…
If you’re ready to acknowledge that those rumors have proven to be reality, then I’d ask you to offer a simple prayer to the risen Lord, inviting Him into your life.
Prayer of Salvation…