It’s EASTER! Today, we look at whether Jesus was just crazy or if His claims are worth taking seriously… Invite someone to watch with you! When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom! GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION:Man, one of my favorite things to do in this life is go to an escape room… I had some friends come into town a while back and we went to Countdown games. They lock you in this room with a giant concrete castle and tell you if you don’t escape in an hour you will die. I of course start immediately messing around and making jokes. That is until it starts to get serious, about 45 minutes into it I start freaking out, running around like a chicken with my head cut off because all of the sudden “it counts”
TAKE THE TURNIn the past two years, we’ve all gone through a pandemicthat NO one wants to talk about anymore
We have sat on the edge of WWIII watching from afar, reading news stories – seeing atrocities in real-time over Twitter-I told some friends when Russia first invaded Ukraine how weird it was to see the war through the eyes of Twitter
We’ve lived through crazy price hikes, working from home, wearing masks changing jobs, moving, and a million other things
It has felt like, if ever, now was the time it countsbAnd everyone I know is trying to find ways to escape – we take trips (experiences)
- we put our kids in crazy amounts of sports
- hours spent reading news, swiping through tender, watching TikTok
- some of us have even gone to some dark places, trying to escape
The problem is the things we run to for escape are only short-term fixes. They all still leave us in a locked room.
How do you find the real fix for what your soul longs for?
Jesus found himself in front of a group of people who are looking for a fix – looking to escape-they are financially in a bind – just trying to make it day-to-day-they are oppressed, feel like they are constantly under someone else’s thumb-they are in need…
Jesus has just done something incredible – this crowd of 5,000 men – he has miraculously provided food for them – bread and fish
they see this as free Chic Filet – they follow him and ask him to give them more bread
They want quick solutions but it won’t fix their souls
-giving them food is like just dumping yourself into entertainment or your phone or more stuff to do – it fulfills for a little while but leaves you empty
This is where Jesus takes a weird graphic turn – listen to His response to their request for Him to give them bread – because He has said He is the bread of life He says this…
John 6:53-54 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
ILLUSTRATION: When I was a kid, I can remember watching Dracula, I was sitting on a 1970’s couch. freaked out as Dracula was sucking people’s blood. What I didn’t know was my dad was sneaking up behind me right when it was at its scariest, you’re super worried about some woman about to be taken by Dracula, my dad jumps out and is like, “Ah…” I pretty much soiled myself…
Jesus turns ghoulish here – I need you to stop hearing this like someone who’s heard it before
Picture a real man standing in front of you saying you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood if you want eternal life.
He’s making the point that the only eternal fix for your soul is found in Him…
That’s a crazy statement…bIt’s crazy to think someone would be audacious enough to say He could fix that hole in your heart, that deep part of you that knows there has to be something more
That He has the key to escaping the human condition and giving eternal life…
Unless…He can prove it
You may not know this, but Easter is specifically the day Christians celebrate not the death of Jesus, but the resurrection of Jesus…
Because someone dying, even dying an unjust death is nothing special…
The reason we celebrate is Jesus made claims that He would die and then He would raise Himself from the deadbAnd He did it!
I know that sounds crazy, but did you know there is eyewitness testimony that Jesus was seen alive after His death and at the time of that testimony there were over 500 people who had seen him that you could have asked about Him?
Even secular atheist scholars don’t deny this testimony – they think it’s crazy, but they believe the person thought they saw it…
There are so many reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead…
-Not to mention the fact that the eyewitnesses are all clear that women were the first ones to discover Jesus had risen from the dead (which would be unheard of)-or the fact that the men don’t believe it and look like idiots – again if you’re making up a religion, don’t paint yourself as an idiot-or that all the disciples went to their deaths believing that they saw Jesus raised from the dead and they died BECAUSE of that belief…
Here’s the deal, what this means is Jesus is only crazy if He’s lying – but if He’s telling the truth – then He is the one who is our escape.
He is the one with the keys to death – that thing that holds you locked in fear
Listen to what He says about himself in Rev.
Revelation 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: I’ve never not made it out of an escape room. But I’ve also never made it out of one without asking for help. There’s always the person watching you struggle in that room and any time you want you can say, “Hey clue person, give us a clue…” Man, so many of you have been trying to find life in this world and it’s just not working out. You can’t drink enough, you can’t make enough money, no amount of success, no physical interaction. None of it satisfies. None of it has allowed you to escape – as a matter of fact, it’s left you feeling like a slave to it. Jesus offers true escape, true hope. He can forgive you of your sins and set you free TODAY!
-maybe you’re not ready to take that step – I get it, I’m a critic at my core-what if you just gave church a try for the next 3 weeks? Could you try it and see what God can do with you?