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  • Aug 02 / 2015
  • Comments Off on What Did the Cross Say? (Matthew 27:1-66)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What Did the Cross Say? (Matthew 27:1-66)

08.02

08.02.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

What Did the CROSS Say?

Matthew 27:1-66 (Pastor Heo)

Judas Hangs Himself

1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. 2 They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 

3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Jesus Before Pilate
27:11-26pp — Mk 15:2-15; Lk 23:2,3,18-25; Jn 18:29-19:16

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge–to the great amazement of the governor. 

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. 

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27:27-31pp — Mk 15:16-20

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion
27:33-44pp — Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:33-43; Jn 19:17-24

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ “44 In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus
27:45-56pp — Mk 15:33-41; Lk 23:44-49; Jn 19:29-30

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “”Eloi, Eloi,” “lama” “sabachthani?””–which means,”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

The Burial of Jesus
27:57-61pp — Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:38-42

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.


Shall we read one more time? 10:00~

Topic:

What did the cross say to human history?
What does the cross say to us each individually?

Honestly consider/ponder this question.

This is a very significant question.

I cannot repeat too many times this question: “What does the cross say to us each individually?”

A certain word/thing can be changed in its impression by a single event. Ex:

  1. Judas: original = “praise God” (at that time, MANY boys were named Judas)
    Because of THAT Judas, the name became = “betrayer” (nobody likes that name now – perhaps Judah is better?)
  2. Cross: original = “extreme shame, humiliation, pain, death”. Because of THAT cross = “victory, hope, life, future, forgiveness”

Now, we are proud of the cross.

Paul (Gal 6:14) “I have nothing to boast of except the cross…”

Last time, Jesus prayed so earnestly in anguish, his sweat was like blood falling to the ground. He arose, and voluntarily gave himself up for arrest. He was bound, judged (18 hours) (Wed night – Friday?)

He endured 6 trials:

  1. He was taken to Annas – the High Priest that year,
  2. then to Caiphas for a second hearing,
  3. then the Sanhedrin for a third hearing,
  4. then to Pilate for another hearing,
  5. then to Herod,
  6. then back to Pilate

He was hanged on the cross for 6 hours: (9am-3pm)

According to the title: What did the cross say to history? What does it say to us here and now?

There are 5 truths:

#1: Jesus = innocent

At that time, if a man was crucified, it said clearly, definitely – “he is EVIL”

The truth of the cross revealed that Jesus was absolutely innocent (irony #1)

According to the Bible, there are 5 (or more) witnesses (not Christians – they had no benefit to gain to support him – rather it seemed natural and good to stand against him) who testified that Jesus was sinless:

1: Pilate – the governor – the highest judge at that time

he was the champion to find the fault in a man – his main job was to find fault in Christ – but he repeatedly said (throughout the gospels) “I find no basis for a charge against this man – there are no grounds for the death penalty”

Imagine – Pilate = judge (above), Jesus = accused (below) – who should be afraid of whom? But Pilate was afraid of Christ – so much so that he washed his hands of the matter and confessed his innocence of this blood before the crowd. Pilate testified that Christ was sinless.

2: Pilate’s wife (v. 19)

While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message saying that she suffered a great deal because of him. Actually, she did not even see Christ face-to-face, but she sent this message to her husband.

3: The crucifying Centurion before the cross (v. 54)

The main job of this centurion was to crucify people – they were generally quite cruel.

When he saw the earthquake and the other Roman soldiers were terrified of Christ when the earthquake struck and cried out “Surely, he was a righteous man. Surely, he was the Son of God.” Even a “bad” man testified for Jesus in this way.

4: Jesus’ neighbor on the cross

He was notoriously wicked – that’s why he was crucified with Christ at the same time. He confessed “this man, has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Christ, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

5: Judas’ own testimony – the betrayer (v. 3-5)

He betrayed him for (small) money (30 silver coins). He was so remorseful, he confessed his sin and returned the money. Then he committed suicide. This was not good, but it clearly shows that Jesus was perfect, innocent, blameless, infallible.

#2: Jesus = strong/powerful

If a man was crucified at that time, it said, “He was desperately hopeless, powerless, and weak”

The cross said Jesus = omnipotent/and ultimately powerful (”Surely, I say to you, you’ll be with me today in paradise.” Also from 12pm-3pm, the day became DARK – and earthquake split the temple veil in two (this destroyed ALL barriers between God and man, man and woman, slave and free), dead bodies were resurrected and walked into the town, rocks cracked in half) – (irony #2)

  • Col 1:3? “The cross made it possible for all to be reconciled to God.”
  • 1 Cor “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to we who are being saved, it is the POWER of God.”

What kind of power? Life-giving, creating, changing, transformational power.

#3: Jesus = absolutely unselfish and sacrificial

At that time, the cross meant the man was selfish, greedy, stole from/murdered others, etc

Yet even on the cross (while hanging) he GAVE unconditional forgiveness “Father, forgive them…” and blessings/mercy “You will be with me in paradise” and LOVE to those who hated him.

Eph 2:8 “Jesus Christ humbled himself even to the point of death…”

He was hanged for 6 hours totally nakedly. At the same time, under the cross, the soldiers divided his clothes by casting lots.

Jesus gave ALL – not only spiritually, but even physically – his love, eternal life, salvation, submission, obedience, even clothes. He fulfilled the requirements of all laws on the cross.

#4: Jesus = God

If a man was crucified, he was “just a man”. (Paradox). Yes, Christ was fully Man, but at the same time, fully God. For what charge was he crucified? Saying, “I’m God.”

So, there were two ways for Jesus to NOT be crucified.

  1. Confess “Sorry, I’m actually not God, fellas. Joking.~~” He would not have been crucified. But he never said “I’m NOT God.” He didn’t open his mouth, nor try to defend himself. You know, even if he’d have just said that SINGLE SENTENCE, he could have escaped death.
  2. There must be one reliable witness that had authority to testify that Jesus was NOT God. If there was even ONE witness who had public official authority to testify that Jesus was NOT God, he would have been proved wrong and NOT been crucified. Who would be this kind of witness.

As we read, could you imagine this situation? Jesus own MOTHER watched under the cross. She witnessed the ENTIRE thing and didn’t open her mouth to say “He’s not.”

Since the beginning of the world, Mary was the only one person who knew perfectly the secret of conception of the birth of Christ, and how he grew up and spent his childhood. She KNEW all about him, his entire life story – through her own experience. This was her son – she did not want him to die like this. If she had only opened her mouth and shouted, “Oh no! Jesus is only my silly son! He’s not God! I conceived him 33 years ago by my husband Joseph! Please, check his DNA!”

He would not have been crucified like this. But, Mary just stood under the cross and cried to see her own son dying. She did not open her mouth – she was speechless from first to last. What did her silence say? Sometimes our silence is more powerful than any powerful words. Her silence standing under the cross, witnessing the crucifixion of her own son loudly declares that Jesus is God. She could not deny it.

#5: To be concluded…

  1. Cross = sinful man vs. Jesus (innocent)
  2. Cross = powerless vs. Jesus (ultimately powerful)
  3. Cross = selfish vs. Jesus (selfless)
  4. Cross = man vs. Jesus (God)
  5. (Next time)

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 19 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Passion of Jesus at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Passion of Jesus at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)

07.19.2015

07.19.2015-PHeo

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The Passion of Jesus at Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36-46 (Pastor Heo)

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little father, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”


 

Conclusion: Rise! Let us go!

Our conclusion is the same: Rise! Let us go!

Even, “here comes my betrayer” – to confront/face everything that comes before us.

Last time, we saw the Passover meal and communion. In the middle of the meal, Judas ran away to betray him. After the communion Jesus took with his 11 disciples, he went to the Garden of Gethsemane (the Mount of Olives) – a private garden – he’d often used as a retreat.

Gethsemane = “oil press” – this is a significant name in the light of Jesus’ passion here. This is something we must approach on our own knees. We must observe this passage in reverence – to see his passion in this passage.

The word “passion” can be negative or positive. Here, Jesus has a “holy passion” – enthusiasm:

FIVE points:

1. The agony of Christ (v. 37-38)

“my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” – he left 8 disciples at the entrance and took only 3 inside the garden with him. He could feel the death that lay before him – death as a TRUE, real, 100% man – no man wants to die at the age of 33 – at the pain of the cross.

Here is a supreme struggle to submit his earthly will to the will of God. This was not play-acting, this was a HARD struggle – in which the salvation of the world swayed back and forth – it was at risk in the garden. Jesus had a choice to turn back and God’s will would be frustrated. All Jesus knew at this point was that he must go on continually.

Jesus started his ministry with temptation from Satan (Matthew 4) “if you are the Son of God…prove it”

  • Heb 2:18 “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” 
  • Heb 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, rather he was tempted in EVERY way just as we are, yet was without sin.”

Why was he tempted like us? So he could fully understand us, be like us, help us. This is the true reality of the incarnation.

Yet, even though he was tempted in every way, his LAST determination all the time was, “not my will; YOUR will be done.” (Even in the Lord’s Prayer we see this).

Yes, we will struggle with trials, temptations, difficulties – but if we are TRULY Christians, we must be able to say, “not my will; but YOUR will” – “not I; but Christ.”

2. The loneliness of Christ

Do you feel lonely sometimes?

Yes, there had been such a great multitude that had followed him at one time, but ALL of them abandoned him – one disciple betrayed/sold him, 8 waited for him, only THREE (Peter, James, John) went with him – this was the third time he’d taken only the inner circle with him:

  1. 1. Mt. of Transfiguration
  2. 2. Room of Jarius (resurrected his daughter)
  3. 3. Garden of Gethsemane

He wanted them to watch and pray. Jesus was entering into a very difficult time, so their prayer support would be a GREAT encouragement to Jesus – but they fell asleep THREE times in this final crucial moment. They were not “with” Jesus in spirit. Jesus had to fight his battle ALL alone.

As long as we live in this world, this is the truth for all people – there are certain things we all face, certain decisions we must make, certain times ALL other comfort and help is gone (visibly) – but remember God is always with you (was with Christ at this time too). Even when you feel ALL alone – there is the presence of Christ who also experienced this GREAT aloneness like you.

Even when you feel all alone, Jesus is there.

3. The trust of Christ

The situation is very terrible. This trust is even more visible in Mark’s account (14:36) “Jesus started his prayer with ‘Abba, Father,…’” 

There is a world of loveliness in this word – it’s not Hebrew, nor Greek – it’s Arabic meaning “Daddy” from a little child to their father. “아빠”

Until this time, no one had thought to call God by this word. But Jesus did. In his childlike, trustful, intimate way – as a little child to his Daddy.

Yes, we know what our little children call us when we are fathers. Yes, even his spiritual conviction was that God was pushing him to a cross – he called him as a little child.

Isaiah 40:55 “God’s thought/plans/ways are HIGHER than ours.” – because He is Creator – “just as far as the heavens are from the earth, so are God’s thoughts from our thoughts.” We may not be able to understand what’s happening TO us or AROUND us, but we know we can TRUST Christ – because his FINAL plan is good and best for us.

Also, we are allowed to call God “Abba” as Jesus did.

  • Romans 2:8 “You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, you received a spirit of sonship by which we call him “Abba, Father.””

Yes, even when all is against us, we can trust God as our Abba, Father.

4. The prayer of Christ

Here are three times that Jesus prayed, prayed, and prayed. Jesus wanted them to pray and watch not to fall into temptation. Jesus closed his ministry here with prayer, and his life on earth with prayer “Father, God, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing…Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Sometimes Jesus spent all night in prayer. Sometimes he rose very early (3, 4,am) to pray.

  1. He prayed before great tasks.
  2. He prayed before missionary tours.
  3. He prayed before choosing the disciples.
  4. He’s praying before the cross.

Luke “In anguish, Jesus prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

  • Heb 5:7 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death and he was heard because of his reverent position.”

Is the SON of God needed to pray and wait, how much MORE do we need to pray and wait?

5. The courage of Christ

Even though he prayed earnestly three times about this visible situation, the situation itself did not change. Yet, in the last verse, he says, “Rise, let’s go.”

It means the time for prayer, for this garden is past, now is the time for action – to take action – to face everything set before him. He rose from his knees to go out into the battle of life.

This is the PURPOSE OF PRAYER.

Do you pray? In prayer, we kneel down before God. Then we can stand erect before men. The more you kneel before God in prayer, the more you can stand up before men.

  1. In prayer, we submit to the will of God, so that we can resist and defeat the will of Satan.
  2. In prayer, we meet heaven, so after prayer we can confront this earth.

This passage shows the:

  1. Agony of Christ
  2. Loneliness of Christ
  3. Trust of Christ
  4. Prayer of Christ
  5. Courage of Christ

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 05 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.05-easter
04.05.2015-PHeo-Easter

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 

19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


 

Jesus is alive! again!

So, Jesus’ resurrection holds a unique place in Christianity. Christianity is the ONLY religion on earth that bases its foundation of faith on the resurrection of its founder.

Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to our faith and to our salvation – provided for by his death.

In 1 Cor 15, this is the Resurrection chapter.

Paul wrote 13 books, 87 chapters – but THIS chapter is the longest chapter. EVERY line, every verse, every sentence is concentrated on the resurrection of Christ.

Everything in our faith stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus.

Are you Christian? Who is a Christian? One who is united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. Believe his death is “my death” and his resurrection is “my resurrection.”

We can see one very short word repeated many times in almost every verse today: IF (repeated 7 times today). Through these IFs we can see 5-6 negative facts:

  1. (v. 14) IF Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. (Our gospel is robbed of its joy – the joy would become a funeral dirge?) – What’s the point without the resurrection? There’s nothing to preach.
  2. (v. 14) IF there is no resurrection, our faith is in vain and worthless. All we have we received as a free gift of God – divine childship, justification, sanctification, glorification, salvation, a home in heaven – it’s all worthless.
  3. (v. 15) IF no resurrection, then all witnesses are false – liars and deceivers (essential for apostleship = a witness of the resurrection) – the KEY message of all missionaries, evangelists, preachers, etc is Jesus substituationary death and resurrection
  4. (v. 17) IF no resurrection, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.
    Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Only Jesus is our Savior from sin and death – the wages of sin = death. Only Jesus paid completely and totally the punishment, power, presence, of sin. Only Jesus defeated the LAST enemy, death.
    But IF he didn’t rise from the dead, then he has no more saving power than any other man throughout history.
  5. (v.18-19) IF no resurrection, all who died in Christ are LOST = in hell, and WE are the most miserable – above ALL people in the world – we ought to be the most pitied. 
    Up to today, throughout the world, many Christians have been martyred with only ONE hope – the hope of the resurrection. So, how miserable they are if there is NO hope – if there is NO resurrection.

Isn’t that true?

It is better to be sorrowful for NO hope than sorrowful for FALSE hope.

So, today, I want to share the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ.

Yes, this is a miracle. The kind of evidence needed to prove this fact is the same evidence that we need to prove any other miracle. i.e. reference to the laws of nature cannot apply when the laws of nature are bent (miracles work outside natural laws). So, competent witnesses and other proofs are the most appropriate methods to show the credibility of this fact.

  1. Cause and Effect = the first
  2. Argument from witnesses = the second

Every effect around us has a cause. Without an effect, no cause.

So, if Jesus’ resurrection = a cause, then what are the effects? There are MANY throughout history, but I will share only 4.

1. The empty tomb

The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by many competent witnesses – both friends and enemies, angels, Roman soldiers, women, disciples.

How can we explain this? The angel came down from heaven and rolled away the stone and sat on it, said to the women, “Don’t fear, I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but he is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come and see the very place where Jesus lay.”

2. The Lord’s Day

(Sabbath = Saturday, right?) then why do we worship on Sunday? For us, every day is “technically” the Lord’s day because he created them all, but the first day of the week is the “Lord’s Day” because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

At that time, to keep the Sabbath (Saturday) service had been VERY important. So, who would ever dare to change it? On what grounds could it be changed?

The origin of the Sunday worship service can only be explained by the resurrection.

3. This building

The temple of Jesus Christ – the Christian church – all over the world

There are so many churches all over the world, the Church is a grand institution all over the world. What would the world be without church? Helping ministry, mercy ministry, worship, songs, preaching, etc. Where did this church come from? This is an effect, what is the cause?

The reason Jesus appeared and visited the discouraged and revived the faith of the disciples to send them forth on mission to announce BOLDLY and LOUDLY (the character change of the disciples is also another effect of the cause of the resurrection) the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ – to continue his work and expand his kingdom on earth.

This is HOW the church began. This is why the church is called the “body of Christ” and Jesus is the “head of the Church.”

4. The New Testament

This is the Word of God written in human language for us to understand clearly. For our understanding, the Bible is written in human language. This is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Had Christ remained dead, his story ALSO would have remained buried with him. What would be the point to tell such a story of a dead zealot/rebel?

As you know, in the New Testament, his resurrection is spoken of more than 100 times. There are fruits, interpretations, meanings, of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the “Book of the Resurrection” – the WHOLE New Testament.

—-

Next, there are the testimonies of the witnesses:

We need three things:

  1. Capable, eye-witnesses
  2. Enough in number (more than 2)
  3. Have a good reputation

All the disciples qualify in these respects. They all said, “We are EYE WITNESSES” – there were at least 12 appearances of Jesus to the disciples. There were MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses to his resurrection.

If only I said, “Wow, I saw a tiger running on the street yesterday.” (But do you trust my reputation?) What if Pastor Brian said that? The same thing. Would it still be difficult to believe? If FIVE people said the same thing, would you believe? What about 10, 50, 100, ALL members of AICF? Would you believe then? Jesus appeared to MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses who testified to his resurrection.

What about their character, human reputation? Yes, we know before the resurrection, many of the disciples were timid, cowardly – Peter denied Christ 3 times at the cross and all the others RAN AWAY returning to their old lifestyles. They lost their faith and hope totally.

Yet, after they met the risen Christ again, these believing disciples became STRONG and TIRELESS believers and they ANNOUNCED his resurrection LOUDLY putting their own lives at risk and DIED as martyrs.

Yes, today, this message remains the same.

The resurrection is our HOPE, our JOY, our HOPE of HOPES.

(v. 58) “STAND FIRM” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Let nothing move you” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” – why? Because Christ has risen. “And we know that our service for the Lord is not in vain” – why? Because Christ’s resurrection is HOPE for us.

Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits (guarantee) for us who believe in him. Only Christ can say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in me will not die.” Do you believe this? If we believe, then we also believe that Jesus is still guiding us now. If we believe, it means that we are to give our lives to his service – we will also be resurrected into eternal life later.

  • Romans 8 “If the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, then he will also give you life.”
  • Phil “We want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and sharing in his suffering.”

Why? Without death, no resurrection.

May God bless us with his resurrection joy, power, and HOPE.

Let’s pray.

  • John 11:26 “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will never die…”

We must share in his death and cross. Without these, there is no resurrection nor crown.

  • Jan 27 / 2013
  • Comments Off on It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)

01.27

01.27.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do you like Jesus’ death?

As a Christian, what do you believe, or what can you say about the death of Jesus Christ?

If you are a Sunday school teacher / evangelist / missionary, what will you teach/preach about the death of Christ?

For humans, usually death is sorrowful news, there is no more work to be done.

But, in the case of Jesus, it is “good news of great joy for all the people, for all time.”

Good news of the gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the death and resurrection, the gospel cannot be gospel.

Jesus’ death is a great work, the greatest work.

It didn’t come unavoidably, but by his definite choice according to his own purpose. 

  • “It is finished.” in Greek is only one word.
  • “It is accomplished. All is paid.” etc.

This is one of 7 sentences he spoke at the cross.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
  2. “I tell you the truth, today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Even at the point of death can you also preach to save souls as he did?)
  3. “Dear woman, this is your son.” To John, “This is your mother.”
  4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. “I’m thirsty.” (literal thirst)
  6. “It is finished.” (all is done)
  7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

It is finished = with my death, I do all things I’ve wanted to do for all eternity for all men (in the past, in the future)

Actually, our whole lives are not long enough to fully meditate on the death and meaning of Jesus’ death.

6 Spiritual Meanings.

#1: Substitution 

He did not bear his own sins, but substituted himself for our sins. Numerous scriptures say, “Jesus died for you…for others…for us.”

  • Isaiah 53:5-6 “Christ was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed…we all like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way, but God laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his great love for us in this…”
  • 1 Corinthians 15 “What I received, I passed on to you as of first importance.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5 “God made him without sin to become sin for us.”
  • 1 Peter “God made him on the tree for us.”
  • 1 Peter 3 “Jesus died for us all to bring us to God (once for all).”

There is no question Jesus died as our SUBSTITUTION – for our sins.

#2: Ransom (Redemption)

Literal meaning = an amount of money paid to set someone free (prisoner, kidnapped)

Redemption = deliverance of that prisoner to freedom.

Jesus death is our ransom price for deliverance from death to life, from child of Satan to child of God, from hell to heaven, from condemnation to forgiveness, from bondage of sin to freedom of truth, from Old Creation to New Creation. 

Jesus already paid the whole price to get us as a child of God.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (Romans?)

If we try to please ourselves, we are bad men, because we were already bought.

What must we pay to buy salvation? You cannot because it is too late. Already 2000 years ago, Jesus paid the full price. 

How much must we pay? You cannot because it is too expensive, far beyond your ability to pay. 

The price of salvation is priceless.

“The value of one soul is more valuable than the whole universe.”
“I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for all.”

Galation 3 “Christ became a curse for us to destroy the curse, for everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.”
“It is not from gold or silver we are bought but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God.”

  • Ransom (cause)
  • Redemption (effect) 

#3: Propitiation (atoning sacrifice)

Literal meaning = covering or mercy seat or appeasing.

In the OT, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (with 10 Commandments) was called the Mercy Seat (propitiation).

If there is something bad, dirty, etc, and I cover it, then I can no longer see it. 

The covering over us is Jesus’ death, is the propitiation for our sins so that God no longer sees the sins.

Appeasement = if someone is angry at me, and I relieve that anger by giving a gift, that is my propitiation. 

Propitiation removes God’s wrath from us.

How can God declare the unrighteous righteous? Are you righteous before God? Can you say you are a perfect man?

If you are, then God is no longer righteous.

Propitiation is when God declares the unrighteous righteous because he believes in Jesus and his death for our sins.

Romans 3:25-26 “God presented Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins.” (KJV)

“God presented Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV)

“because in his long suffering, he had left sins before Christ unpunished. He did this to be just and to justify the one who believes in Christ.”

1 John 2:2 “Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world.”

#4: Reconciliation

The Bible encourages us and challenges us to be reconciled to God. 

First, enmity (enemies) and then reconciliation (friends again).

2 Corithians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

God reconciled all human beings through Christ. If we are reconciled, then we are given the message and ministry of reconciliation. 

The story of reconciliation goes like this:

At first, God and man stood face to face in fellowship with original koinonia (Genesis 1-2)

If God judged immediately because of human sin, there would be no more Bible because we fell in Genesis 3. So, the rest of the Bible is God’s pursuit of us to reconcile us and save us from condemnation.

  • At first, Adam and God could talk face to face, and listen to each other. 
  • Usually, sinful man does not like holy God. So, man turned away from God and walked away.
  • Also, holy God could not see sin, so turned away from man.

“The sinful mind is hostile to God, but Jesus Christ has fully satisfied the commands of God and has reconciled us to him.”

Still now, man is entreated, encouraged to be reconciled to God by believing in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:3 “Be reconciled to God.”

Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with yourself, with others, with your parents, children, spouse, friends.

The key to all reconciliation with anyone is first reconciliation with God.

“Jesus Christ is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier between God and man.”

#5: Fulfillment (Satisfaction)

“It is finished.” “All is done.”

Jesus’ death is the fulfillment and satisfaction. His death is the fulfillment of God’s law, God’s justice, God’s holiness, God’s love, God’s prophecy, God’s covenant. 

  • In God’s law, sin must be paid by death. 
  • In God’s justice, must be punished.
  • In holiness, must be removed.
  • In love, must be forgiven and all things given up.
  • In prophecy, nothing must be left undone.
  • In covenant, all requirements must be met.

All these are met in death – perfectly in Jesus’ death.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them.”

Romans “Jesus is the end of the law, the fulfillment of the law.”

#6: Our Story

  • Substitution
  • Ransom
  • Propitiation
  • Reconciliation
  • Fulfillment

All this mental agreement and mental knowledge is NOT enough to save us.

Even Satan knows and believes this and shudders. He knows and believes but is not saved, why? He does not commit his life to Christ.

Mental agreement is not enough.

#6 is our personal story, personal belief, personal relationship

Jesus’ death is MY death (personally).

Can you personally confess this? 

“Jesus’ death is MY death.”

Can you be united with Christ in his death, really, truly? This is the full truth of Jesus’ death from the text this morning.

Visible things are temporary, but invisible things are eternal. If we really have faith, we must be able to see things that are invisible.

  • Today, visibly, it looked like THEY killed him.
  • Invisibly, Jesus killed death, the final enemy.

Yes, we say, “Jesus died for me.”

This is the first step (confession).

Unbelievers never say this because they don’t believe – so they don’t confess the real meaning, effect, blessing. For them, this is resolved until they believe.

  • It looks (visibly) that Jesus died for me.
  • In reality (invisibly) we died with Christ 2000 years ago.

Where Were You When Jesus Was On the Cross? (last sermon)

Galatians “The life I live in the body I live by faith…”

Romans 6:6 “I was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin was done away with… 

This morning, did you see the sun in the sky?

It rises in the morning and sets at night – even the Bible expresses this. 

But in the invisible world, the sun is constant, and the EARTH is moving. But we do not feel it, do not see it.

Visibility doesn’t always equal reality.

The Christian life is union with Christ (first) in his death. Then, if you are really united with him in his death, then you can be (second) united with him in his resurrection. 

If you are not united with him in death, you cannot be united with him in resurrection, and nothing else that happens after (life, glory, etc).

But, if you are united with him in death, then you are also united with him in all things that come after.

Romans 6:4-5 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead for the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will also certainly be united with him in his resurrection.”

Let’s stand and confess and proclaim.

  • If you do not believe, keep silent.
  • If you believe, open you heart and mouth.
  • Jan 20 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)

01.20

01.20.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Where were you spiritually when they crucified Christ?

We should be able to see not only Jesus on the cross, but also ourselves, our old selves.

Galatians “I was crucified with Christ…”

Romans 6:6 “We know that our old self was crucified with Jesus Christ that our old body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

We should see not only Jesus, but also our own selves.

Romans 6:6 once more:

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

  • Dec 09 / 2012
  • Comments Off on What is Your Decision in Dealing with Christ? (John 18:28-40)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What is Your Decision in Dealing with Christ? (John 18:28-40)

12.9

Bulletin_12.09.2012

Sermon Notes

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The Jews had already arrested Jesus in the Garden, but had no authority to execute anyone.

In John, there are three stages of Jesus’ trial, before the court.

  1. Arrested, bound, brought to Annas
  2. v.24 Still bound, brought to Caiphas
  3. v.28 Brought to Pilate

If we see all the four gospels, Matt, Mark, Luke, John, there are 6 stages

  1. Before Annas (retired High Priest) as preliminary hearing. (Jews thought, “once a HP, always an HP”) They tried to prove that Jesus and doctrine were against the Law. Jesus, “All I’ve done was in public, nothing in secret.”
  2. Brought to Caiphas – “Are you the Christ? The Son of God?” Jesus, “Yes, you will see in the future, me at the right hand of God.” Caiphas tore his clothes, and yelled, “You are worthy of death, why more witnesses? You should die!” And they spit and slapped and struck him.
  3. Brought to Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) – before the Sanhedrin, they decided to kill Jesus (although that was not the purpose, to judge, but rather to justify their preconceived notions about Jesus).
  4. Brought to Pilate – “He claimed to be a king.” Pilate – “Are you?” Jesus – “Yes.” He was afraid and didn’t want to judge, heard he was Galilean, so, sent him to Herod.
  5. Herod had long wished to see Jesus’ miracles. But Jesus did nothing before him, though he asked many, many questions.
  6. Back to Pilate.

First three stages were before the Jewish leaders.

Second three stages were before the Gentile political leaders.

Pilate was in office from AD 26-36. He was in charge of Judea. From these trials, we can see that he was weak, compromising, fearful.

At that time, Rome’s motto was, “Let justice be done, even though the heavens fall.”
Pilate was not concerned about justice, just to protect his job, his position.

Three times he said, “I find no charge against him, he is innocent.” But he refused to release Jesus. 

v. 28-29 At that time, entering the house of Gentiles was unclean – they could not enter a Gentile’s house (where they took Jesus for trials – they literally pushed him in, but they kept outside). If they entered that house, they would not be able to participate in the Passover Feast or other ceremonies.

So, Pilate kept coming in and out and talking to them. 

Inwardly, the Jews kept the traditions and ceremonial laws, but inwardly, they were full of murderous intent. Hypocritical.

v. 32 – “This happened so that the word Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.”

They’d already decided to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t do so – they needed permission of the Roman government. Jewish captial punishment at the time was stoning – they could do it without the permission of the Romans. Roman capital punishment was crucifixion.

So, they absolutely needed the permission of the Roman government. Why did they choose to crucify Jesus and not stone him?

If they wanted to stone him, they could do so immediately. Why? To fulfill the prophecy of Jesus.

Several times, Jesus predicted his going to Jerusalem and his arrest, trial, and handing over to the Gentiles, as well as his death and resurrection.

Jesus’ sacrificial death is absolutely essential for our salvation. The method was already laid out by God for several reasons.

4 Points why it had to be crucifixion

#1 – Accuracy of long-standing prophecies 

(None of the Messiah’s bones would be broken – Ps.Isa., he would be pierced – Isa.53)

#2 – It combined the Jews and Gentiles in a conspiracy of death – meaning the guilt of the death of Jesus was upon the Jews AND Gentiles – the entire world. Therefore, the entire world, all men for all time, are guilty and accountable for the death of Jesus.

#3 – It visualized and actualized an Old Testament illustration (Num 31) – On the way to Canaan, they disbelieved God, complaining of no food – so God sent snakes which killed many. They said, “We’ve sinned, we’ve sinned.” So Moses prayed, and God told him to post a bronze? snake on a post and anyone who was bitten by a snake would need to look up at the snake on the stake to be saved. 

John 3:14

Only one way to be restored and healed fully – to look up to Jesus Christ on the cross.

#4 – It symbolized God’s commanded form of death for anyone who is under God’s curse. Galatians 3:5 – Christ redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for us, because it is written “Cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree.”

In the remaining verses, Pilate asked a clear question “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “I am A King, but my kingdom is not of this world…anyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate, “What is truth? (veritas?)”

Jesus asked also, “Is that your own idea? Or did others tell you?”

What kind of king to you have in mind? Religious/political/secular, Jewish/Roman?

Now, looks like it’s not Jesus on trial, but Pilate on trial.

He made 4 attempts in dealing with Jesus.

#1 – He tried to put his responsibility on someone else (sent him to Herod, tried to give him back to the Jews) – but judging Jesus was his job as governor. 

**No one can deal with Jesus for us, in our place. We must deal with him personally, directly.

#2 – He tried to find a way to release Jesus, “It is your custom for me to release one prisoner at the time of Passover, do you want me to release the King of the Jews?”

**There is no escape from a personal decision in regard to Jesus Christ. We ourselves must decide what to do with Jesus – accept him or reject him.

#3 Tried to compromise/negotiate/bargain with Jesus and others. In the next chapter, he flogs Jesus in order to satisfy the accusers and then release Jesus. Here is a big self-contradiction. He said with his mouth, “He is innocent – there is no basis for charges against him.” But with his actions, he flogged Jesus.

**We cannot negotiate with Jesus in this world, we cannot compromise with him, we cannot bargain with others about Jesus. We cannot serve two gods. We either love or hate him, believe or disbelieve, faithful or unfaithful. If we say with our mouths “Jesus is Lord and King” yet don’t acknowledge that in every area of our lives, that means there is a self-contradiction in our lives.

#4 – He tried to appeal to the sinner’s (Jew’s) emotions. “Shall I crucify your king?”

**We cannot escape from our personal decision in dealing with Jesus Christ. Our eternal destiny rides on this decision. Don’t push it off, ignore it, bargain. Make a decision.

Is Jesus king to you?

If so, we must put Jesus, his kingship, his kingdom first in all areas of our lives – before anything else in our lives.

Christmas season = the King’s COMING season. Jesus did not become a king when he became an adult, he WAS a king when he was born.

Matt 2 – Magi came, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star, and we have come to worship him.”

The first thing they did was bow down, worship him, gave their presents.

From this story, we can know that true worship must be followed with offerings. True worship is not acceptable without offerings. God says, “When you come to me, do not come empty-handed.”

So, how can we make the Christmas season more beautiful? Biblically, spiritually, the most meaningful, blissful, is to offer him (our king) our best gift from our treasures. What is the best gift? The souls of the lost as living sacrifices. 

If Jesus is king really and truly, then we are the royal family (in heaven), we are princes and princesses. 

Several days ago, I heard that Kate (UK) is pregnant.
Very normal, and natural. Why is THIS one so impressive?

Yes, my wife was pregnant too, but there was no news on the TV about that.

Why is that such big news?
She is the royal family in England. 

That baby is called a royal baby, a prince/ess.

If you give birth to a born-again baby, that baby is a royal baby in this kingdom eternally. Because of that baby, there will be a huge party! International, heavenly news!

There is more rejoicing, more joy over one royal baby than 99 regular babies. 

So, we must do our best to constantly give birth to royal babies in God’s kingdom – and save the lost.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen