Coming to a place of deep conviction about the reality of Jesus Christ sometimes takes time. Many people, both seekers and Christians, struggle with doubts or feelings of unreality. Pastor Scott walks through the Luke 24 resurrection narrative and shows that those who were the mighty pillars of faith in the first church were weak, doubting and frightened. Jesus didn’t turn away from them for struggling to believe. He didn’t scold them. He didn’t hate them. Rather, He came to them as a merciful teacher to help them. And when they encountered the risen Christ they were transformed. The end of the message answers the question of what we can do to have an encounter with Christ that transforms our lives into people who are fully persuaded.
This message on Easter was designed not only to strengthen the faith of believers but to help people with doubts about Christianity consider the claims of Christ more carefully. As C.S. Lewis once said, Christ was either lord, lunatic or a liar. There’s just no option to call him a good moral teacher as many try to do. Scott draws a line in the sand and essentially asks the question, ”What do you believe about Jesus?” He also offers some practical wisdom on how to attain faith.
Pastor Scott walks through the resurrection narrative found in John 20-21 for most of the message and then points out three simple things that can be seen. We see weak, doubting people many of whom denied the Lord. We see the resurrected Christ coming to these struggling people not to condemn but to help. We see that when these weak seekers encounter the risen Christ their lives are utterly transformed and they go out and turn the world upside down. Parallels are made throughout the message of how Jesus works in our lives today in much the same way.
Pastor Scott unpacks Mark 16, and the astonishment that comes when we (like Mary Magdalene, Mary, Salome and the disciples) first realize that Jesus is actually alive, raised from the dead, now Lord and King and Savior of the universe. Something supernatural happens when the Holy Spirit makes the truth real. We stop hearing and seeing in the natural, but hear and see with our hearts. Scott also offers an exhortation against soul weariness: God is merciful and compassionate, and gives power to the weak.
On our first Sunday in our new building at 184 Broad Street, Pastor Scott breaks open I Corinthians 15 to look at the resurrection of Jesus. The good news is that Jesus has risen from the dead and is alive! Christianity is not just a nice, cute religion but the belief that Jesus is who he says he is and has done what the Scriptures say. We proclaim that he defeated death and lives!
There is no one like Jesus. In this Easter message Pastor Scott tells the story of Jesus. His life was unique and his death & resurrection are unmatched. History has given us many great figures but no one is on the same level as Jesus, he sits on his own level. Fully human and fully God. In light of who Jesus is and what he has done, asking what is the minimum we need to do to get to Heaven is the wrong question. The right question is what does God deserve from us?
If Jesus is risen, His message is true… If He is resurrected, it means we know who God is. We know what God is like—we know He’s good, we know He’s holy, we know He loves us with an everlasting love. We know He wants us. He showed us the heart of God. We know who God is. We’re not in the dark. We will be His people, and He will dwell in the midst of us forever.