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ernestandersonTHE RESURRECTED CHRIST – Rev. Ernest Anderson

Reading John 21

FASCINATING FACT: One of the great things to read about and be blessed with are the accounts where Jesus met up with people following His unique resurrection from the dead. He was around and about for forty days after this supernatural event and He met up with individuals, pairs, groups and a very large company of people – 1 Cor.15. It must have been a very exciting period for Him and certainly unforgettable to those concerned. There was a new feeling in the air and atmosphere in the meeting of Him in this way and in the knowledge He was alive.

SPIRITUAL DEVASTATION: It had been a time and period of intense devastation all around to those in close accord with Him. It seemed unbelievable that this one in whom a lot of people had pinned their hopes had been victimized and placed on a Roman gibbet, the Cross. He had been utterly cancelled out in one major swoop and it looked as if it was the end of Him. So many had been blessed, but now all is temporarily forgotten in the absolute fact He had been crucified and His body lay in a tomb, dead. The prospects looked dim and dismal for many who had set their faith and hope in Him. This is where Christ met the people, in the main, in a forlorn and fretful state. They were in a low condition.

SIGNIFICANT ENCOUNTERS: In each case they were significant encounters and had purpose and meaning in them. Something truly happened that made all the difference to them, their faith, emotions, testimony and future In reading their stories one discovers how He found them and then after his input how He left them. There is no doubt about it, the revelation of Himself and the fact that He was alive brought radical transformation to them on every front. They could and never would be the same again. What people need today is a real confrontation with the risen Lord.

Illustration: See the difference the news made of Joseph’s existence, of being alive and exalted to Jacob – Genesis 45:26-28

1/. HE MET A DISTRESSED AND DESPAIRING MARY – JOHN 20:1,2,11-18

It is recorded that she was the first one to the tomb and was expecting to perform certain action with regard to the deceased in terms of anointing the body with spices. She had known and experienced some remarkable things with this unique person when He was alive and around. It had been a pleasure to have had Him in her home and served Him. There had been a time when she was transfixed as she listened to the gracious and inspired truth that flowed from His lips. There had been the recent occasion when she had seen and witnessed the greatest miracle of all, the raising of her brother from the dead. But now, all had dramatically altered. It is now no longer Lazarus in the grave, it is the Lord!

She must have come to the tomb with a lot of mixed thoughts and emotions. She was certainly distressed and to a certain extent in despair especially when there was no body there. Christ had GONE MISSING! She was weeping v11 and the question posed was: “Woman , why weepest thou?” – v13. It does indicate some trauma and bewilderment and a sense of hopelessness.

Into this scene Christ reveals His Person and presence with a word and with His own voice – “Mary” – v16. It was enough to stay the weeping and to confess Him – Rabboni = Master. All she required was a sight of Him and to hear Him speak her name. The distress and despair was over. There was everything to be excited about and to live for. The resurrection of Lazarus brought untold thrill and witness, but the resurrection of Christ superseded.

2/. HE MET TWO DEPRESSED MEN ON A JOURNEY – LUKE 24: 13-35

One of the most thrilling tales and stories of all time happened to two men on resurrection day. They were on a journey of 60 furlongs – 7/8 miles. They were not to thrilled about this trip because of recent events and experiences that had taken place which had greatly affected them. They didn’t know just where they were. Having seen and witness the crucifixion and then to simply hear that Christ was risen it left them mixed up and sad. They were not in a believing mood or state of mind – vv21,25.

Christ then spoke inspiringly to them first of all and they sensed an inward lift in their beings but it wasn’t until the final act at the meal at supper that the light dawned and the truth hit home – v30. Every bit of depression and sadness evaporated and disappeared because they knew for a fact that they had been enjoying the company of the resurrected Christ. It was like a sudden blood transfusion that brought new life and inspiration into their beings. They had but one message to bring – v34.

3/. HE MET A COMPANY OF DISCIPLES IN DREAD – JOHN 20: 19-23

There came the time when all the disciples were assembled together and they were in a state of fear and dread – v19. It is obvious they felt threatened especially when the news started to circulate that they had stolen the body of Jesus – Matthew 28: 11-15. His resurrection at the first may well have placed them in a seemingly vulnerable position. Things were not all simply cut and dried. Here they met in an enclosed situation just wondering what was really occurring.

Christ in resurrection life and power provided the answer to this new development. It was essential that the fear factor be dealt with and the best way was by making Himself known and by speaking the appropriate word that would still every nerve and silence all fear. He said the dynamic word as the Prince of Peace, Jehovah Shalom – “PEACE be unto you” – v21.

They had heard that word spoken by Him on numerous occasions in differing circumstances and to different people and seen its impact – e.g. Mark 4:39. He could always be relied upon to banish all inner conflict and strife and bring some equilibrium and balance back into conditions.

4/. HE MET A DISCIPLE POSSESSED BY DOUBT – JOHN 20:24-29

It is very choice and wonderful that Christ can put Himself about for one in order to produce a confession of faith. Thomas seems to represent the great army of doubters that do emerge amongst mankind and even within the precincts of professing Christendom. The doubting spirit of Thomas still prevails. His kind still exist and need to be convinced. In spite of the fact that he knew his trusted comrades and colleagues, he could and would not accept their word of witness. Unbelief is a persistent evil.

It is encouraging to note that the resurrected Christ did not need to be informed. He was aware who was missing and what his reaction would be on hearing the recent experience of the group. Christ was prepared to keep him waiting for 8 days allowing him to go through all kinds of thoughts and feelings on the matter. He did not simply turn up on the expression of Thomas but knew when to turn up and deal with the issue.

He may well have been surprised and shocked when Christ came and immediately challenged him. After greeting, he addressed this individual –vv26-28. Every bit of doubt and questioning had to go and a real state of faith to prevail and persist. It is here He lays down a lasting truth to be accepted – v29 “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

5/. HE MET AN APOSTLE IN DENIAL AND DISCORD – JOHN 21: 1-18

Possibly the most challenging of all was his interview with a very close disciple and apostle, Peter. It was absolutely imperative that he meet up with him and deal with his condition. If ever a person was confused and in a dilemma it must have been this one. He was passing through a real time of crisis and conflict. The three-fold denial must have effected a traumatic situation of discord in his being. Whilst he could trust Christ, he could not trust himself and now he appears to be in no man’s land.

He must have felt that this was the best thing to do, to go back to his hold trade. He could handle the occupation of fishing. It had been the whole concern of his life until Christ met him but what a difference he had made to life and living. What things He had witnessed in relation to Christ and what confessions he had made. He had even had the delight of walking on water! But now, he is under all kind of pressures.

Christ comes to him in this condition of being and in both a caring and challenging way and puts him on the spot. He not only finds and knows that Christ is alive but comes in resurrection power to reveal Himself and re-commissions him – vv14-19. This encounter would let him see how matters stand and what the expectation of Christ was. The denial and discord had to go and he had to get a hold of what was before.

6/. HE MET A MAN IN DETERMINATION – ACTS 9

There was one important figure that Christ had to encounter, win and master that was to make an incredible impact upon Christendom. He found this man in a very determined mood and temper – Acts 9:1. He was fixed in his religious traditions and on his way to enforce matters against Jesus Christ. Seeds had been sown in him that must have agiated his inward frame – Stephen! The Church must have felt he was a threat but he was no threat to Christ. The Lord had him in his sights and all lined up for a unique meeting. He was just the sort of person he was looking for to make as a principal pattern and worker for Him.

The Damascus road has become an historical one because of what occurred there centuries ago. Saul, the arch-enemy of Christ, really discovered that Jesus Christ really was alive and that he could not escape from Him. It was the resurrected Christ that switched him on and he truly spoke out and underlined the fact Jesus Christ was and is alive. He was determined to get this message of Christ’s resurrection across to all he met.

CONCLUSION

• From resurrection to the blessing of the receiving and knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit, and that is another episode and story. It is this resurrected and ascended Christ that bestows on the whole body of Christendom the choice and effective blessing of the Holy Spirit Acts 2: 33.

• Let it be realized and known that Jesus Christ loves to make His Living Presence known to and in the churches – c.f. Revelation 1 and to each Christian life. In the today and in all the tomorrows of our lives, He would meet us and minister in His own way to and through us to prove His life and ability at every level.

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