Jesus Knew and He Did It Anyway (An Easter Sermon)

What’s most intriguing about Jesus to me is that, according to the written accounts of his life, it’s evident that Jesus, who claimed to be God incarnate, knew of his forthcoming demise on a Roman cross at the hands of his own people.

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Jesus Knew and He Did It Anyway

The story of Jesus is either the most impressive creative work of fiction ever, or it’s true. There’s not a whole lot of room for middle ground here.

What’s most intriguing about Jesus to me is that, according to the written accounts of his life, it’s evident that Jesus, who claimed to be God incarnate, knew of his forthcoming demise on a Roman cross at the hands of his own people.

A local Jewish Doctor named Luke records at the time, that Jesus mentions his pending doom openly, almost casually at times.

Jesus even knows the gruesome details too! – insults, mockery, spitting, flogging and crucifixion. It’s all written in the story.

So who knowingly walks unresistant into their own crucifixion?

Who does that?

I can hear some say; “Well isn’t Jesus a right Bunny!”.

Maybe Jesus is the Easter Bunny after all?

But that’s pretty much what Jesus did.

And death by crucifixion isn’t anything like death by gunshot or lethal injection either.

The word crucifixion finds it’s origins in the same word that we get ‘excruciating’ from.

As in ‘excruciating pain’. Not a pleasant way to go!

Insults, mockery, spitting and floggings aside, who of you would get on a plane bound for New York knowing it only had enough fuel to make it halfway?

Sounds like a suicide mission.

But what if it wasn’t a suicide mission?

What if there’s more to the story? (Wait, there’s more!)

Here come the steak knives.

In the story of Jesus, not only did he foretell of his pending exit from planet earth over the dinner table, he clearly says that he’s coming back after a few days.

His killers must have been somewhat alarmed at his own prediction of return, because they had his tomb locked and guarded after his death. And they knew he was dead, because they rigorously drained all the blood from his body.

Nothing like thoroughness, hey?

And you’ll never guess what happens next:

Jesus comes back!

And has dinner with people.

It’s recorded that Jesus appears to many people after his death, even 500 at one time, so there’s more than a few witnesses.

Many of these said witnesses of the resurrection also met their own death, because they wouldn’t recant what they said they witnessed, so they were obviously convinced.

If this is true, then could it indicate that Jesus’ short time with us was more like a rescue mission than a suicide mission?

Huh?

Rescue us from what?

Death apparently.

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but we’re all dying.

However, according to Jesus, we were designed to live forever.

So he shows us how to fix that.

Thanks.

However, so much of the focus in Christianity is about Jesus’ death on the cross.

Christians all over the planet sing songs about the cross, they preach about the cross, they adorn their necks, and places of worship with crosses.

How do you recognise a church building?… Case in point.

How do you recognise a Christian?… Don’t answer that.

I heard a preacher from India recently who described this focus on the cross like someone who takes a month-long vacation to London. On the way they had a two hour stopover in Bangkok, and a month later they come home to tell the story of their travels, and all they ever mention is Bangkok.

The stopover is simply a means to an end, not the end itself.

So Jesus personally demonstrates how to beat death.

Via a short stopover…

Jesus also shows us a couple of other cool things too…

Jesus shows us what real love is.

Rather than just telling us all what love is via text message with cute emojis, once again, he demonstrates.

Jesus eats with people that we weren’t supposed to eat with. He hangs out with the social outcasts and misfits. He loves the unlovable, seeks forgiveness for his persecutors, and so forth.

He lays down his life for his friends. (We’re his friends)

Jesus demonstrates a different kind of justice also. Justice that’s more restorative than punitive.

He offers justice to the sick by healing them. He offers justice to the blind by restoring their sight. He offers justice to the dead by raising them back to life.

So Jesus demonstrates how to live forever, how to love, and what true justice looks like.

Not bad for a few days’ work!

The story of Jesus is either the most impressive creative work of fiction ever, or it’s true. There’s not a whole lot of room for middle ground here.

Worth pondering I reckon.

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James is passionate about people living free and authentic lives. He is a champion of people working through ‘matters of the soul’ with an exceptional ability to help people make the connections between key life experiences and the stories they tell themselves in order to give meaning to those experiences. He has a firm belief that our inner world determines our outer world, and he uses his insight and perspective to help people question and at times, challenge their personal life narrative. James practical insights and dedication to the process of wholeness through transformation, have led him to develop the Tree of Life course. As well as leading the faith community of Encore, James is the Director of Learning Discovery, a successful children’s bookselling business. He is the proud husband of Annie and father of three extraordinary young adults, Elly, Josie and Tristan. http://www.treeoflife.international