Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Acts 1.11 + 2.32-33 [March 2011]

[This is a copy of a sermon I prepared to give to a school in Uganda as part of a series known as 'Jesus is the King.'  Other people on the team had already explained that since Eden we are all sinners and deserve to be punished, but that Jesus is God and came to save us by dying on the Cross for our sins that everything might be good in God's eyes.  In the end for various reasons this sermon was not given in its entirety but rather a much cut down version to well over 1500 secondary school children in Kabale Uganda.]

In the Bible it says “God has raised Jesus to life, and taken him up to the place of honour at God's right hand.”  (Acts 2:32-33) and it also says that “This Jesus, who was taken up into heaven, will come again in the same way as you saw him go.” Acts 1:11

So we can see that God is king of all things, but we turned away from Him – yet amazingly God did not abandon us to sin and death but did something wonderful – He came down to this world and lived as we live that we might have a full relationship with Him.  But this was not enough because Jesus still had to defeat what happens because of sin – death.  But how do you defeat death, the thing that we see all around us – plants grow and die, animals grow and die, we grow and die?  Well Jesus defeated death by removing its sting – He made death like a mosquito with no mouth, a snake without fangs or venom, a scorpion without a tail.  Jesus did not just take on our humanity but He saw it through to the end and even died as we die.

But here is the truly amazing thing – Jesus did not stay dead, on the third day He rose again, the massive stone in front of His tomb was rolled away, the roman soldiers removed, and angels came and told His disciples what had happened.  Jesus was not a ghost or a spirit, He was real and physical, He could eat and drink and people could touch Him, He was real and He was back. And because Jesus rose again, if we believe in Him and love Him and give our lives to Him– if we have faith in Him – then we will rise again just like Jesus.  And because Jesus who had no sin died on the cross instead of us, then just like Jesus never sinned, it will be like we have never sinned, and just as Jesus rose from the dead to a glorious new life, so we will rise again and live forever with our Mighty and Loving God.

In England we have a saying – ‘the proof is in the pudding’ – now the proof is the seal of authenticity, it shows that something is real.  So when a baker made their cake they would put a little metal seal like a coin inside the dough.  Then as the dough rises the coin would be stuck inside the new risen cake.  And when a person ate it they would find the coin and know that this cake truly was what it said it was – made by the baker.  Now Jesus rising from the dead is the proof in the pudding that all we have said so far has been one hundred percent true, complete truth, no lies or deception, just truth: that God loves you so much that He came down and died for you that you can have eternal life with Him.

And not too long after Jesus came back to life He gathered together His disciples and said farewell, and promising that He would be with them always, He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  So now Jesus is seated besides God the Father and having been here on earth and lived as we live and even died as we die He pleads with the Father for us, He calls us righteous for believing in Him and what He did.  We always have someone on our side, we are never alone, God always cares and God always loves us.  Jesus is now King of the whole world, of the whole universe – the best king there could ever be, the most understanding and wise king there could ever be.

And that is not all, one of the reasons that Jesus went up to Heaven was to send the Holy Spirit down from Heaven that the Spirit might live in us and bring us to Jesus, that the Spirit would pray for us even when we cannot find the words, that the Spirit would lift us up and encourage us, would give us strength and energy and life itself.  This Spirit is for everyone if only we allow it to come in, and when we do wonderful things happen.  The Holy Spirit is like a well in the desert that never ever runs dry, a tap in our life that gives us cold fresh clean water that never runs out so long as we don’t turn it off.

But here is the important thing for you – Jesus the King of the Universe, the king of you and me, is going to come again: just like He went up, so He will come down.  And when He does God is going to judge everyone.  And no one is good enough to get into heaven, because to get into heaven you need a perfect record, not one sin or mistake. No one can get into heaven on their own - but Jesus came and died for us, living without sin that we might have His record instead of ours, that He might step in and say “this one is my child, He believes in me, I will vouch for him and give him a perfect record – you can go to heaven.” 

And so we have a simple choice – believe and accept that Jesus is King of the universe and Jesus loves us so much that He came down and died and rose again and went up to heaven and will come again to judge us all, because if we believe this and invite Jesus and the Holy Spirit into our lives we will be saved and live forever in glory and joy.  Or we can reject Jesus, reject the Holy Spirit, reject God and all He has done and be punished in Hell for all eternity.  God loves everyone, He is offering His hand to each one of us in friendship, all we have to do is take hold of it and walk with Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts