But First, Death Part 2 | TBN

But First, Death Part 2

Watch But First, Death Part 2
October 20, 2019
27:55

Fresh Life with Levi Lusko

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But First, Death Part 2

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  • MUSIC
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  • MUSIC
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  • The resurrection is the power of our faith. He went into the
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  • grave to get us out of it. The resurrection is not just meant to
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  • affect your eternity, but also your journey. The resurrection,
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  • what we're talking about, is not just meant to be something
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  • OK, I'll file that away for when I die one day.
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  • To only think of, what is our relationship with God in terms of life
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  • after death, is to miss out on some of the best parts of what
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  • Jesus died for you to experience.
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  • Hey this is Levi and I wanna thank you so much for watching
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  • Fresh Life TV. It is such an incredible privilege to get to bring
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  • God's word into your life, and that's exactly what we're about to do.
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  • We're gonna have our attention turned to the Gospel of John,
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  • where were going to be looking at the seven different times that
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  • Jesus disclosed His identity using the words, I Am, and then
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  • telling us who He is.
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  • We'll be going from the bread of life, to the true vine, to the
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  • door of the sheep and the good shepherd, to the resurrection and the life.
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  • Come one, it's going to be an incredible ride.
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  • And I also love that He chose seven different times to tell us who He is.
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  • Cause if you know anything about scripture you'll know the
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  • number seven is kind of like one of God's favorite Easter eggs.
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  • He loves to hide in and pepper in, not only into the scripture but
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  • really into all of creation this number seven.
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  • That really speaks of completion or fullness. It's in the calendar,
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  • seven days in the week.
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  • It's in the rainbow, seven colors. It's in the musical scale, it's
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  • even in the amount of Harry Potter books there are.
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  • Now I'm not sure that God had anything to do with that but it is
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  • an incredible thing because in the seven statements of Jesus
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  • this magnificent seven, we're going to get a totality a full picture
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  • of the rainbow of who He is and how He wanted to reveal Himself to us.
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  • And through that our lives can be changed in the process.
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  • If in anyway you re encouraged by this message or blessed, we
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  • sure would love to hear about it.
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  • Shoot me an email, Levi@freshlife.church and I would love to
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  • hear what God is doing in your life.
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  • And as well if you wanna support this ministry financially and
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  • help us to bring God's word to more people, it would be
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  • thrilled to partner with you in that way.
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  • You can click the give button at Levilusko.com.
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  • Well let's jump into today's message.
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  • I am the door. Not just the shepherd of the sheep, but the door
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  • of the sheep. And we talked about how the shepherd would lie
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  • down at the opening of the pen and actually be the door for the
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  • sheep, too. He's not just your shepherd, He's also the door. You
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  • can go in and out through Him and find pasture.
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  • He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no one comes
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  • to the Father except through me. Who are you, Jesus? I'm the
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  • way to God. I'm the way to know God. Jesus said, I am the true
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  • vine, and my father is the vine dresser. And just as branches
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  • can't produce fruit if they get disconnected from the vine, Jesus
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  • said, if you're disconnected from me, you can't have life. So He
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  • wants an organic, life-giving relationship with you, not one
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  • that's on-again, off-again that's interrupted constantly, because
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  • then the power can't flow through you and you can't produce
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  • what God wants to produce through you. So we need to have a
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  • connection to Him.
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  • And then the seventh of the times that Jesus said, here's who I
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  • am is what we just read in John chapter 11, where-- let's look at
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  • it one more time together-- Jesus said, I am the resurrection
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  • and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, he shall
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  • live. Who is Jesus? He is the resurrection and the life. That's a
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  • perfect thing to spend some time on
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  • But first, death. That's the title of this talk. You might have had a
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  • busy day one day and someone comes and you're not working
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  • and you're like, don't you have a busy day? You're like, yes, but
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  • first coffee. First coffee. That's serious business. I am here to
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  • I want to end by pointing your attention to how powerful the resurrection is.
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  • But I wouldn't be doing a good job if I didn't say, but first, death.
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  • But first, death, because the resurrection doesn't mean
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  • anything apart from death. It's only necessary and only possible
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  • because of death. It's necessary because of your and my
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  • death, spiritually and physically, because there's two different
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  • kinds of death, and they're both spoken of in this text. That's
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  • why it talks about, if you have this life, though you die, you will
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  • live. And in another sense, if you had this life, you'll never die,
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  • because it's talking about spiritual life and physical life
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  • We're not just dying physically, we're also, according to
  • 00:05:20.250 --> 00:05:24.110
  • scripture, we're dead spiritually. That is to say, we're cut off
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  • from that life that God wants to flow through us. And so there's
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  • more than one kind of death. But it's truly a part of all of our
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  • lives. And death is three things jot them down-- number one, vicious.
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  • Death is vicious. Aren't you glad you
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  • came to church? Vicious. Death is vicious. What does that
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  • mean? It is cruel. It is capricious. It is unkind. Death is not like,
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  • oh, if I kill you, you don't have life insurance so your kids won't
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  • have a way to go to college or have rent paid next month? OK,
  • 00:05:59.100 --> 00:06:02.280
  • I'll let you live. We've all seen so many examples of how
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  • screwed up that is. Death is vicious.
  • 00:06:06.130 --> 00:06:10.000
  • One of my first encounters with death was when I was in grade
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  • school. I mean, I wasn't further along than second grade when
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  • a girl who sat next to me in class named Abby-- and she was
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  • so nice, she was so excited because her brother was getting
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  • married, and the whole family, they were going to be traveling
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  • to Hawaii for the wedding. And I remember just as a little kid
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  • just being a part of the constant conversation because, you
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  • know, teachers are like, what are you doing this weekend, what
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  • are you doing spring break, what are you doing.
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  • And I remember Abby saying that her family was going to be
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  • going to Hawaii because her brother was getting married. And
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  • then I remember the whole class being shocked, the whole
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  • school being saddened when Abby's brother, on his
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  • honeymoon, drowned while snorkeling, and coming back to
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  • class and all of us as little kids trying to process what was so
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  • vicious. And here's this bride now a widow literally only a
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  • couple days into being in this special new relationship. Isn't death vicious?
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  • Then I think about third grade, when I had a friend who was
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  • named Adam. And Adam and I would play Micro Machines
  • 00:07:04.000 --> 00:07:06.270
  • How many children of the '80s remember Micro Machines, and
  • 00:07:06.290 --> 00:07:10.120
  • the fast-talking mustache man from the commercials? And
  • 00:07:10.140 --> 00:07:13.170
  • Micro Machines. Amazing. And Adam had so many Micro
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  • Machines. Then I remember going to a different school and, in
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  • fifth grade, getting in touch with some of my friends from third
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  • grade and finding out that Adam had gotten brain cancer and
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  • died. And just the hard reconciling of that little kid with his
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  • whole life in front of him having to go through brain cancer and
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  • unsuccessfully face the rigors and pain of chemo, and then
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  • eventually succumb to death.
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  • Death is vicious, isn't it? That's not cool. It's nothing if it's not
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  • cruel. And that's not the only thing, because death is also
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  • violent. That's my second V
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  • Death is violent in that many people die violent deaths. It's car accidents, it's
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  • machinery mishaps, it's something goes wrong and it's a
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  • violent set of circumstances that leads to death. But not just
  • 00:08:02.260 --> 00:08:06.050
  • violent in that many people die grisly deaths, but also violent in
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  • the way it feels to be left behind when someone you love dies. That's violent, too.
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  • Yeah, there's seven stages of grief, but when Jennie and I and
  • 00:08:15.000 --> 00:08:19.290
  • our family had to face unexpectedly the death of one of our
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  • children, as our second-born daughter Lenya had an asthma
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  • attack five days before Christmas and died in our arms as we
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  • did CPR, we found, in the following days from then till now,
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  • some 1.928 days later, that death is violent in that, when you
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  • lose someone that you love, you violently careen through the
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  • different stages of grief, at times in no apparent order.
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  • You hear, oh, there's seven stages of grief, so you just assume
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  • it's going to be one, two, three. Goodness, I'm on four. Five has
  • 00:08:55.090 --> 00:08:58.180
  • got to be-- it's not like that at all, at least in my experience. You
  • 00:08:58.200 --> 00:09:01.240
  • can be in one season, and then all of a sudden, with almost
  • 00:09:01.260 --> 00:09:05.200
  • whiplash-causing snap of the neck, no airbags, no seatbelt,
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  • now you're in this stage, then you're back in this one.
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  • Then you're feeling good for a while, and you kind of think
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  • you're through it. Then all of a sudden, something sucker
  • 00:09:14.140 --> 00:09:16.150
  • punches you and takes the wind out of you like an uppercut to
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  • the solar plexus. And you're left gasping for air thinking you
  • 00:09:19.110 --> 00:09:22.170
  • were already through that. Because Valentine's Day triggers
  • 00:09:22.190 --> 00:09:26.030
  • something, and this triggers something, and something
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  • someone says, and someone you see, and you realize that
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  • could be what my little girl would look like right now.
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  • And it's violent to face death, no matter which side of it you're
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  • on. But it's not just vicious and violent, it's also vile. It's vile.
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  • Why? Because, to put it rather bluntly, after someone dies and
  • 00:09:46.260 --> 00:09:51.210
  • is no longer living in their body, their soul leaves it and steps off
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  • this mortal coil into eternity, the body instantly begins to return
  • 00:09:55.120 --> 00:10:00.020
  • to the state in which it was formed out of. The Bible says God
  • 00:10:00.040 --> 00:10:03.270
  • formed us from the dust, and we begin to decompose, whether
  • 00:10:03.290 --> 00:10:07.210
  • it's through cremation and return to ash and dust very quickly,
  • 00:10:07.230 --> 00:10:11.090
  • or it's through the decomposition of being buried. And that's vile.
  • 00:10:11.110 --> 00:10:15.230
  • There's a smell to death. And when you're around really sick
  • 00:10:15.250 --> 00:10:20.280
  • people, when you're around death, there's just-- there's
  • 00:10:21.000 --> 00:10:23.060
  • something unmistakable about it, and something wrong about
  • 00:10:23.080 --> 00:10:27.140
  • it. And it's in the text we just read. I'm trying to be as delicate
  • 00:10:27.160 --> 00:10:32.060
  • and as sensitive as I can, but in John 11, if we were to keep
  • 00:10:32.080 --> 00:10:36.080
  • reading, when Jesus finally got to the grave and said take
  • 00:10:36.100 --> 00:10:39.140
  • away the stone, Martha objects and says to Jesus, no,
  • 00:10:39.160 --> 00:10:44.270
  • because it's been four days and there's going to be a smell.
  • 00:10:44.290 --> 00:10:48.020
  • And that's just heartbreaking and vile.
  • 00:10:50.000 --> 00:10:52.290
  • And people tell you, oh, death is peaceful and it's beautiful and
  • 00:10:53.010 --> 00:10:56.180
  • it's lovely. Let me tell you something, don't believe it for a
  • 00:10:56.200 --> 00:10:58.030
  • second. Death is your enemy, not your friend. It's an atrocity.
  • 00:10:58.050 --> 00:11:01.190
  • It's terrible. It should sicken us to think of someone made in
  • 00:11:01.210 --> 00:11:04.080
  • God's image being sown in dishonor. That's what the New
  • 00:11:04.100 --> 00:11:07.150
  • Testament describes it. It's a dishonorable thing to happen to a
  • 00:11:07.170 --> 00:11:10.110
  • body that God lovingly, fearfully, and wonderfully made. It was
  • 00:11:10.130 --> 00:11:14.000
  • never meant to happen.
  • 00:11:14.020 --> 00:11:15.150
  • You were never meant to experience death. And don't you feel
  • 00:11:15.170 --> 00:11:17.280
  • that when you're at a funeral and you sit there and you look in
  • 00:11:18.000 --> 00:11:20.060
  • that casket. Doesn't everything inside you say, this is wrong,
  • 00:11:20.080 --> 00:11:22.240
  • this is perverse, this is not how it should be. There's something
  • 00:11:22.260 --> 00:11:26.270
  • very wrong here. And deep down inside, we sense the
  • 00:11:26.290 --> 00:11:31.090
  • signature of God's hand on our soul telling us this was not what
  • 00:11:31.110 --> 00:11:35.100
  • he intended to happen. He never wanted us to face it, never
  • 00:11:35.120 --> 00:11:39.060
  • wanted us to face death. It's a terrible thing. And eventually we
  • 00:11:39.080 --> 00:11:43.250
  • will not have to face any longer.
  • 00:11:43.270 --> 00:11:45.170
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  • So there's my outline. Death is vicious, death is violent, death
  • 00:12:30.020 --> 00:12:33.100
  • is vile. And at this point, you should see some of your faces,
  • 00:12:33.120 --> 00:12:37.030
  • because you are-- you're like, whoa. It got heavy quick. This is
  • 00:12:37.050 --> 00:12:43.250
  • a lot to process. I think you've given me a lot to think about.
  • 00:12:43.270 --> 00:12:46.170
  • Hold on a second, I'm not done. I realize we've gone Donnie
  • 00:12:46.190 --> 00:12:50.290
  • Darko pretty good here, but what I want you to understand is
  • 00:12:51.010 --> 00:12:54.280
  • that good news isn't good if you don't get bad news first.
  • 00:12:55.000 --> 00:12:57.270
  • And we can't just come in here and be like, yay, isn't that great
  • 00:12:57.290 --> 00:13:01.010
  • if we don't understand, if our feet aren't
  • 00:13:01.030 --> 00:13:03.130
  • standing in a cemetery, because that's what Christ rose out of.
  • 00:13:03.150 --> 00:13:07.000
  • That was the circumstances under which the resurrection took
  • 00:13:07.020 --> 00:13:10.250
  • place. People grieving, tears streaming down faces, people
  • 00:13:10.270 --> 00:13:14.110
  • careening in and out of the stages of grief. The resurrection is
  • 00:13:14.130 --> 00:13:17.250
  • only possible and necessary because of death. It's necessary
  • 00:13:17.270 --> 00:13:21.160
  • because of your death, but the resurrection is possible
  • 00:13:21.180 --> 00:13:24.070
  • because of Jesus's death.
  • 00:13:24.090 --> 00:13:26.140
  • Here's my whole sermon in a sentence. He went into the grave
  • 00:13:26.160 --> 00:13:29.050
  • to get you out. That was the only way you're coming out. The
  • 00:13:29.070 --> 00:13:33.120
  • only way I'm coming out is that He went in. So now that I've told
  • 00:13:33.140 --> 00:13:39.030
  • you three things about your death, let me tell you three things
  • 00:13:39.050 --> 00:13:41.240
  • about Jesus' death.
  • 00:13:41.260 --> 00:13:43.110
  • Jesus' death, number one, was voluntary. Voluntary. And I love
  • 00:13:43.130 --> 00:13:49.090
  • it. I love that Jesus didn't have to die, he chose to die. Friend, it
  • 00:13:49.110 --> 00:13:53.260
  • wasn't nails that held Jesus to that cross, it was love. It was
  • 00:13:53.280 --> 00:13:57.010
  • love for you, it was love for me. God so loved the world that He
  • 00:13:57.030 --> 00:14:00.280
  • sent his only begotten son so that whoever would believe in
  • 00:14:01.000 --> 00:14:04.010
  • Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
  • 00:14:04.030 --> 00:14:07.080
  • You see this in the fact that Jesus provoked the circumstances
  • 00:14:07.100 --> 00:14:13.060
  • under which His death would take place. What do you mean? I
  • 00:14:13.080 --> 00:14:16.080
  • This has everything to do with Jesus's death. What do you mean? I
  • 00:14:16.100 --> 00:14:19.260
  • mean Him calling Lazarus out, as great as it is, it wasn't the big
  • 00:14:19.280 --> 00:14:23.280
  • deal that day. I could prove it to you. Lazarus had to die again.
  • 00:14:24.000 --> 00:14:27.270
  • And I guarantee you, of all the happy people there at the tomb
  • 00:14:27.290 --> 00:14:30.140
  • that day, Lazarus was the least happy about this whole thing.
  • 00:14:30.160 --> 00:14:33.060
  • He gets to heaven, he's like, this is pretty good. He's just kind
  • 00:14:33.080 --> 00:14:37.070
  • of settling into his new room. And all of a sudden, he's getting
  • 00:14:37.090 --> 00:14:40.120
  • sucked out. He's like, I've only been here four days, what's
  • 00:14:40.140 --> 00:14:42.130
  • going on? And then he's like, oh, back in my arthritic body?
  • 00:14:42.150 --> 00:14:46.200
  • This is the worst. Right? He's totally bummed.
  • 00:14:46.220 --> 00:14:48.270
  • He's like-- [GROANS]. I mean, I'm sure he's happy. And then
  • 00:14:48.290 --> 00:14:51.190
  • he had to die again. He's like, oh, this again? It's like,
  • 00:14:51.210 --> 00:14:55.020
  • eventually, that had to-- so that was not the biggest thing that
  • 00:14:55.040 --> 00:14:57.260
  • day. It was awesome, but not the thing. The thing was Jesus
  • 00:14:57.280 --> 00:15:02.250
  • doing this, because I told you He did it with a lot of people
  • 00:15:02.270 --> 00:15:05.030
  • around. This was the most public instance of Jesus doing a
  • 00:15:05.050 --> 00:15:08.110
  • resurrection like this of his entire ministry. And the text-we
  • 00:15:08.130 --> 00:15:12.260
  • didn't read it, but it specifically tells us that, from this moment
  • 00:15:12.280 --> 00:15:16.010
  • on-- John 11:53-- from this moment on, they, his enemies,
  • 00:15:16.030 --> 00:15:19.210
  • plotted to put Him to death.
  • 00:15:19.230 --> 00:15:22.030
  • Because now people aren't saying, oh, He's a good guy, oh. It's
  • 00:15:22.050 --> 00:15:24.150
  • like, OK, they're saying He calls the dead out. We have to stop
  • 00:15:24.170 --> 00:15:29.280
  • him. And Jesus intentionally stood in front of that grave and
  • 00:15:30.000 --> 00:15:33.260
  • said, Lazarus, come forth. Oh, by the way, church historian
  • 00:15:33.280 --> 00:15:37.140
  • Augustine, he said the reason He said Lazarus come out was
  • 00:15:37.160 --> 00:15:40.250
  • because if he had just said come forth, every dead person i
  • 00:15:40.270 --> 00:15:43.210
  • that grave that day would have got up and got walking around.
  • 00:15:43.230 --> 00:15:46.000
  • So He had to be like, no, just Lazarus. And all the other ones
  • 00:15:46.020 --> 00:15:48.140
  • were like, oh, OK, OK. OK, easy boys, easy. Easy.
  • 00:15:48.160 --> 00:15:51.030
  • Come on, that's amazing, right? That's good. I don't even care
  • 00:15:51.050 --> 00:15:55.260
  • if it's not even, like, theological. That's just-- that's bad to the
  • 00:15:55.280 --> 00:15:58.250
  • bone, right? So Lazarus, come forth, knowing that it would lead
  • 00:15:58.270 --> 00:16:05.080
  • to the series of events that would cause Him to be on that
  • 00:16:05.100 --> 00:16:07.110
  • cross. And He chose to do it. It was voluntary, for me and for you.
  • 00:16:07.130 --> 00:16:12.160
  • Secondly, it was also vicarious. It was vicarious. Jesus' death
  • 00:16:12.180 --> 00:16:18.070
  • was vicarious. Now, vicarious means done for someone else or
  • 00:16:18.090 --> 00:16:21.150
  • done through someone else. You know, a lot of parents live
  • 00:16:21.170 --> 00:16:23.290
  • vicariously through their kids. And that can be sweet, but it can
  • 00:16:24.010 --> 00:16:28.040
  • also be really unhealthy, meaning, you know, it's like, you have
  • 00:16:28.060 --> 00:16:31.260
  • to go to Yale, Billy. Why, Daddy? Because I went to Yale. He
  • 00:16:31.280 --> 00:16:35.210
  • says, every man in this family goes to Yale. He's like, OK.
  • 00:16:35.230 --> 00:16:40.030
  • And he's like, you have to do gymnastics, Sally. I want to play
  • 00:16:40.050 --> 00:16:43.010
  • basketball. Shut up and vault, Sally. Your mom was a great
  • 00:16:43.030 --> 00:16:47.110
  • gymnast, and you'll be a great gymnast, so help me. It's like,
  • 00:16:47.130 --> 00:16:50.030
  • ah. This isn't really my sermon, but you know, the job of a
  • 00:16:50.050 --> 00:16:57.180
  • parent is like the job of an archaeologist. We're to unearth what
  • 00:16:57.200 --> 00:17:01.090
  • God put in, not to be changing what's coming out.
  • 00:17:01.110 --> 00:17:03.210
  • We're just trying to sense and see what God put in our kids
  • 00:17:03.230 --> 00:17:08.030
  • and coax that out. We're not trying to change the T-rex into
  • 00:17:08.050 --> 00:17:11.110
  • stegosaurus, right? And to cause our kids-- we want our kids to
  • 00:17:11.130 --> 00:17:15.070
  • walk in God's footsteps, not ours. And it is the height of
  • 00:17:15.090 --> 00:17:18.190
  • selfishness to try and live vicariously in a way that would distort
  • 00:17:18.210 --> 00:17:21.280
  • our kids' calling as opposed to them just hearing God's voice
  • 00:17:22.000 --> 00:17:24.280
  • and us being the biggest fan that we-- we would do well to have
  • 00:17:25.000 --> 00:17:30.030
  • our kids know that we are pleased with them so long as they're
  • 00:17:30.050 --> 00:17:32.260
  • doing what God put them on this earth to do, and that we're
  • 00:17:32.280 --> 00:17:35.280
  • going to cheer them on regardless of whether it's our career
  • 00:17:36.000 --> 00:17:38.070
  • path or the sport we played or this or that or the other.
  • 00:17:38.090 --> 00:17:41.290
  • But when I say Jesus died vicariously on the cross, like I said,
  • 00:17:42.010 --> 00:17:46.230
  • it's doing something for someone or doing something through
  • 00:17:46.250 --> 00:17:49.150
  • someone. And both are kind of involved here because, listen to
  • 00:17:49.170 --> 00:17:52.120
  • me, he didn't just die on the cross for you, he died on the cross
  • 00:17:52.140 --> 00:17:55.250
  • as though he were you. That's what the Bible says. It says in 2
  • 00:17:55.270 --> 00:17:59.120
  • Corinthians 5 that God made Him, Jesus, who knew no sin to
  • 00:17:59.140 --> 00:18:03.190
  • be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • 00:18:03.210 --> 00:18:08.160
  • As He hung there on the cross, He was vicariously dying for
  • 00:18:08.180 --> 00:18:12.110
  • you, as God put all the sins that we've committed on Him. God
  • 00:18:12.130 --> 00:18:16.160
  • treated Jesus like we deserved to be treated so He could treat
  • 00:18:16.180 --> 00:18:19.180
  • us like Jesus deserved to be treated. And if you put your faith in
  • 00:18:19.200 --> 00:18:23.200
  • Jesus Christ, God looks at you and sees the righteousness of God.
  • 00:18:23.220 --> 00:18:27.260
  • And some days, you feel bad. Oh, I haven't been to church in a
  • 00:18:27.280 --> 00:18:30.160
  • while, I haven't read my Bible in a while. And God's like, I don't
  • 00:18:30.180 --> 00:18:32.210
  • know, you look like Jesus to me. And when you fall and when
  • 00:18:32.230 --> 00:18:36.150
  • you feel lousy and you feel like I haven't been praying, and I
  • 00:18:36.170 --> 00:18:38.240
  • haven't-- and God just says, I only see Jesus, I always see
  • 00:18:38.260 --> 00:18:42.120
  • Jesus. Because as Christ hung there, He paid for your sins. He
  • 00:18:42.140 --> 00:18:47.170
  • vicariously died for you that day, died as though He were you that day.
  • 00:18:47.190 --> 00:18:52.030
  • His death was vicarious. And that's not all, because for the
  • 00:18:52.050 --> 00:18:56.240
  • vicious and vile and violent death that we experience here on
  • 00:18:56.260 --> 00:19:02.190
  • this earth, we have Jesus'-- what is it-- it's his voluntary
  • 00:19:02.210 --> 00:19:06.250
  • vicarious and, praise God, his victorious death, because he
  • 00:19:06.270 --> 00:19:12.020
  • didn't stay dead. After He was taken off the cross, He was put
  • 00:19:12.040 --> 00:19:16.210
  • into a grave, and on Easter Sunday he rose out of that grave,
  • 00:19:16.230 --> 00:19:20.250
  • and He lives today.
  • 00:19:20.270 --> 00:19:22.220
  • He was dead, but He is alive. He lives forever. And he can offer
  • 00:19:22.240 --> 00:19:27.120
  • the resurrection life to you so that, when you die, you'll know
  • 00:19:27.140 --> 00:19:31.130
  • that your soul is in heaven, but you will know that one day your
  • 00:19:31.150 --> 00:19:34.220
  • body will rise from the grave. And on that day, ain't no grave
  • 00:19:34.240 --> 00:19:38.270
  • gonna hold your body down. He'll stand in front of your grave
  • 00:19:38.290 --> 00:19:42.290
  • and say to it, come forth. And you will one day once again live
  • 00:19:43.010 --> 00:19:47.230
  • in a refashioned, reformed, resurrected version of the body you
  • 00:19:47.250 --> 00:19:48.290
  • live in today. And you will live in it forever.
  • 00:19:49.010 --> 00:19:56.060
  • And that is the crown jewel of Christianity. Nay, that's not even
  • 00:19:56.080 --> 00:20:03.150
  • deep enough. That's not even enough. That's not big enough.
  • 00:20:03.170 --> 00:20:06.240
  • That is the Christian faith. That is the Christian faith. That's the
  • 00:20:06.260 --> 00:20:10.180
  • totality of the Christian faith meaning we're not just following
  • 00:20:10.200 --> 00:20:14.070
  • Jesus because he said nice things and did some miracles. You
  • 00:20:14.090 --> 00:20:17.240
  • know, and I think there's this kind of movement afoot to kind of
  • 00:20:17.260 --> 00:20:20.050
  • reshape Jesus into this kind of just vegan-eating, you know,
  • 00:20:20.070 --> 00:20:25.160
  • guy who said nice things, and man, that guy Jesus, He's the best, you know?
  • 00:20:25.180 --> 00:20:30.080
  • Almost like he's just Mr. Rogers with a beard. And to you kids,
  • 00:20:30.100 --> 00:20:34.150
  • ask your parents or Google it to figure out what I'm talking
  • 00:20:34.170 --> 00:20:36.250
  • about. But just with a cardigan who mostly just wants us to
  • 00:20:36.270 --> 00:20:39.070
  • share more, you know? But that's not Jesus. Jesus was radical
  • 00:20:39.090 --> 00:20:43.260
  • and wild and said ridiculous things like, I'm God. And if you
  • 00:20:43.280 --> 00:20:47.260
  • believe in me, after you're dead you can have life again.
  • 00:20:47.280 --> 00:20:51.030
  • Now, if He's not able to deliver on that, He's not, oh, He's so
  • 00:20:51.050 --> 00:20:54.160
  • nice. No, He's a whack job if He didn't rise up from the dead. But
  • 00:20:54.180 --> 00:21:00.100
  • because he did rise from the dead and was seen by as many
  • 00:21:00.120 --> 00:21:03.290
  • as 500 eyewitnesses who had no incentive or reason to follow
  • 00:21:04.010 --> 00:21:08.090
  • Him-- John is a perfect example. John. He's Zebedee's kid.
  • 00:21:08.110 --> 00:21:11.170
  • He's just part of a rich fishing family. He has nothing to gain by
  • 00:21:11.190 --> 00:21:15.140
  • following Jesus, but Jesus calls him, so he follows Him.
  • 00:21:15.160 --> 00:21:17.220
  • And it's pretty wild. He's seeing some things. He's like, man,
  • 00:21:17.240 --> 00:21:20.010
  • this is great. Jesus is the guy And so he thinks it's all going to
  • 00:21:20.030 --> 00:21:22.130
  • go one way, but then Jesus gets killed. His disciples were
  • 00:21:22.150 --> 00:21:23.290
  • horrified. He thought Jesus was going to be this epic Jewis
  • 00:21:24.010 --> 00:21:29.040
  • messiah turned king, and not get slaughtered. When He got
  • 00:21:29.060 --> 00:21:32.110
  • slaughtered, they thought the party was over. They were all
  • 00:21:32.130 --> 00:21:34.200
  • going back to their old life, back to fishing, and they're like that
  • 00:21:34.220 --> 00:21:36.270
  • was a fun run, but it's done.
  • 00:21:36.290 --> 00:21:38.250
  • And so they were mostly scared that they were going to get
  • 00:21:38.270 --> 00:21:40.220
  • arrested, too, and get killed, guilt by association. But then
  • 00:21:40.240 --> 00:21:43.190
  • Jesus shows up, He's like, wazzup. And they're like, ah! And
  • 00:21:43.210 --> 00:21:46.090
  • then He's like, touch me, feel me. Like, ahhhh. And then they're
  • 00:21:46.110 --> 00:21:49.160
  • like, what can we do? This guy's got the goods. He rose from
  • 00:21:49.180 --> 00:21:54.080
  • the dead. So what's the sermons in the early church? Read the Book of Acts.
  • 00:21:54.100 --> 00:21:56.200
  • The first two sermons, they're just like, Jesus is alive. You killed
  • 00:21:56.220 --> 00:21:59.050
  • them. That was not a good move, by the way. But He's alive
  • 00:21:59.070 --> 00:22:01.290
  • anyway. He'll forgive you if you come. 5.000 people were saved
  • 00:22:02.010 --> 00:22:05.110
  • in the first two sermons preached. Why? Because they were
  • 00:22:05.130 --> 00:22:07.220
  • saying Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive. If you'll follow Him like we are, you'll have life.
  • 00:22:07.240 --> 00:22:13.210
  • [CLAPPING]
  • 00:22:13.230 --> 00:22:16.050
  • It was just this radical, unexpected twist, this scandalous, too-
  • 00:22:16.070 --> 00:22:20.020
  • good-to-be-true-but-is-true story, that this guy who conquered
  • 00:22:20.040 --> 00:22:23.130
  • the grave and shares his life with anybody who will follow Him
  • 00:22:23.150 --> 00:22:26.250
  • He'll let you be part of the way. The way? Yeah, because
  • 00:22:26.270 --> 00:22:29.200
  • remember when he said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
  • 00:22:29.220 --> 00:22:32.190
  • The notion of Christian didn't come till much later, and it was an
  • 00:22:32.210 --> 00:22:35.230
  • insult. People were trying so hard to follow the way that they
  • 00:22:35.250 --> 00:22:38.270
  • were getting made fun of.
  • 00:22:38.290 --> 00:22:40.130
  • Have you ever been made fun of for following Jesus? I have.
  • 00:22:40.150 --> 00:22:43.060
  • It's a wonderful thing. Jesus said, you should actually consider
  • 00:22:43.080 --> 00:22:45.080
  • that a compliment. And so if you get made fun of for following
  • 00:22:45.100 --> 00:22:48.170
  • Jesus, I mean, think of how Jesus got treated. Not particularly
  • 00:22:48.190 --> 00:22:52.060
  • well. He got crucified. So we're gonna follow Him, of course
  • 00:22:52.080 --> 00:22:54.240
  • there's gonna be flak. Of course not everyone's gonna
  • 00:22:54.260 --> 00:22:57.140
  • understand it. Of course they're gonna say all manner of evil
  • 00:22:57.160 --> 00:23:00.130
  • about it. We just can't let that develop into a bitter spirit or a wounded heart.
  • 00:23:00.150 --> 00:23:03.250
  • We have to have a tender heart but some thick skin to where
  • 00:23:03.270 --> 00:23:06.210
  • we can handle it and love people anyway, love people anyway,
  • 00:23:06.230 --> 00:23:09.230
  • love people anyway. Turn the other cheek, and love them
  • 00:23:09.250 --> 00:23:12.030
  • anyway. And so they're following the way, they get made fun of,
  • 00:23:12.050 --> 00:23:14.290
  • and people are like, you're just a bunch of little Jesuses. And
  • 00:23:15.010 --> 00:23:17.220
  • the believers were like, that's the nicest thing anyone's ever
  • 00:23:17.240 --> 00:23:20.090
  • said. And so they took an insult and they put the word circus on their hat.
  • 00:23:20.110 --> 00:23:26.270
  • Yeah, love it. Come on. Purveyor of humbug. Like, this is great,
  • 00:23:26.290 --> 00:23:33.130
  • this is fantastic, I love the circus. They put the insult-- that's why
  • 00:23:33.150 --> 00:23:37.240
  • we call ourselves Christians, because we put the insult on ou
  • 00:23:37.260 --> 00:23:40.260
  • hat and said, yeah, we are Christians, we are proud to be
  • 00:23:40.280 --> 00:23:44.150
  • followers of the one called Jesus the Nazarene who was
  • 00:23:44.170 --> 00:23:48.210
  • crucified but rose from the dead. And so if He's not alive, we don't have anything.
  • 00:23:48.230 --> 00:23:56.060
  • Paul put it this way. He said, look, if Christ isn't risen, then our
  • 00:23:56.080 --> 00:23:59.280
  • preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty. I like how J.
  • 00:24:00.020 --> 00:24:05.040
  • Vernon McGee put it. He's an old Bible commentator. He's in
  • 00:24:05.060 --> 00:24:07.150
  • heaven. I love his Thru the Bible commentaries, read them
  • 00:24:07.170 --> 00:24:09.190
  • every week. He put it this way. He said, the resurrection of
  • 00:24:09.210 --> 00:24:12.120
  • Jesus Christ is the very heart-blood of the Christian faith. We
  • 00:24:12.140 --> 00:24:15.250
  • cannot make too much of the death of Christ, but we can make
  • 00:24:15.270 --> 00:24:18.080
  • too little of the resurrection of Christ.
  • 00:24:18.100 --> 00:24:22.010
  • So without it, we don't have power. The resurrection is the
  • 00:24:22.030 --> 00:24:25.270
  • power of our faith. He went into the grave to get us out of it. But
  • 00:24:25.290 --> 00:24:30.140
  • don't miss this. The resurrection is not just meant to affect your
  • 00:24:30.160 --> 00:24:34.100
  • eternity, but also your journey Jot that down. The resurrection
  • 00:24:34.120 --> 00:24:39.260
  • what we're talking about, is not just meant to be something for
  • 00:24:39.280 --> 00:24:42.050
  • OK, I'll file that away for when I die one day. You know,
  • 00:24:42.070 --> 00:24:45.180
  • because if you're honest, some of you are here-- you're
  • 00:24:45.200 --> 00:24:48.000
  • reasonably certain there is no God, but the only reason you're
  • 00:24:48.020 --> 00:24:51.180
  • here is just to make sure in case you're wrong, and you're
  • 00:24:51.200 --> 00:24:53.140
  • hedging your bets a little bit. You know what I mean? And this is
  • 00:24:53.160 --> 00:24:55.210
  • probably a good weekend as any because this is probably
  • 00:24:55.230 --> 00:24:57.210
  • when God takes attendance if He is real.
  • 00:24:57.230 --> 00:25:00.090
  • And you know, but here's the truth. To only think of what is our
  • 00:25:00.110 --> 00:25:08.160
  • relationship with God in terms of life after death is to miss out
  • 00:25:08.180 --> 00:25:12.110
  • on some of the best parts of what Jesus died for you to
  • 00:25:12.130 --> 00:25:14.180
  • experience. And that's life during life. In fact, it was this very
  • 00:25:14.200 --> 00:25:20.200
  • thing, this pushing off of eternal things until just some far-off
  • 00:25:20.220 --> 00:25:24.250
  • distant thing that caused Jesus to give us the 7th I am statement.
  • 00:25:24.270 --> 00:25:28.050
  • Because Martha, you'll remember, when Jesus said, your
  • 00:25:28.070 --> 00:25:31.050
  • brother's going to rise again, she goes, I know, I know, he'll rise
  • 00:25:31.070 --> 00:25:34.020
  • again one day. Translation, I know heaven is a better place, I
  • 00:25:34.040 --> 00:25:38.070
  • know it's-- I know that heaven stuff, yeah, that's great for then.
  • 00:25:38.090 --> 00:25:43.250
  • And Jesus said no, you don't get it. I am the resurrection and
  • 00:25:43.270 --> 00:25:48.110
  • the life. Present tense.
  • 00:25:48.130 --> 00:25:51.000
  • The resurrection isn't some event for one day, it's a reality to
  • 00:25:51.020 --> 00:25:55.290
  • change your today. Resurrection- listen to me-- it is not what
  • 00:25:56.010 --> 00:26:01.020
  • He does, it is who He is. It's not some event, He's going to get to
  • 00:26:01.040 --> 00:26:06.070
  • that someday, so when you die, that's great to know that
  • 00:26:06.090 --> 00:26:08.140
  • heaven's there, like fire insurance basically. It's not what He
  • 00:26:08.160 --> 00:26:12.030
  • does, it's who He is. And so if you're in a relationship with
  • 00:26:12.050 --> 00:26:14.250
  • Jesus, resurrection is what He's constantly doing.
  • 00:26:14.270 --> 00:26:17.130
  • He doesn't just want to resurrect your eternity, but your journey.
  • 00:26:17.150 --> 00:26:20.190
  • He wants to resurrect relationships. He wants dead things that
  • 00:26:20.210 --> 00:26:23.230
  • have died because of shame and condemnation to live again.
  • 00:26:23.250 --> 00:26:27.020
  • He wants potential to blossom again. Anything in your life, as
  • 00:26:27.040 --> 00:26:31.200
  • you walk with Jesus, you can find it coming to life. You would
  • 00:26:31.220 --> 00:26:34.280
  • think, I thought I would never get to see that, I thought I would
  • 00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:37.130
  • never gonna do that. I've walked under this for so long.
  • 00:26:37.150 --> 00:26:40.080
  • He says, I am the resurrection. He wants you every day of your
  • 00:26:40.100 --> 00:26:43.240
  • life to walk in this beautiful journey of experiencing bursts of
  • 00:26:43.260 --> 00:26:47.250
  • esurrection, as everything He touches springs to life, springs to
  • 00:26:47.270 --> 00:26:52.260
  • life, springs to life. It's not once-a-year holiday, it's a whole
  • 00:26:52.280 --> 00:26:57.240
  • new, energizing dynamic reality that, every time you need a
  • 00:26:57.260 --> 00:27:04.070
  • new resurrection, it's only a prayer away.
  • 00:27:04.090 --> 00:27:07.190
  • MUSIC
  • 00:27:07.210 --> 00:27:21.010
  • MUSIC
  • 00:27:21.010 --> 00:27:29.210