Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #112
TEXT: John 20:19-23
Every now and then, we hear about someone being called a hero because of something great that they do. A firefighter who charges into a burning building to rescue a child, soldiers who risk their lives for their country in battle, a doctor who pulls off a risky medical procedure — all of these are hailed as heroes. But, there are many heroes who go unnoticed and who are not applauded by the world. These unsung heroes simply do what is in their power, and then fade into history.
Over the past few days leading up to this Resurrection Sunday, we have been looking at the unsung heroes of Easter — those characters who are critical to the Easter story, but who are often overlooked. We have looked at Pilate’s wife, Simon of Cyrene, Mary the mother of Jesus, John the disciple who loved Jesus to the end, the Roman Centurion, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene. Each of these unsung heroes played an important role in the Easter story, but each of them would tell you that the real hero of Holy Week is the one who rose from the dead on Easter Sunday — Jesus Christ, the ultimate hero.
The Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson said, “Imagine, for a moment, the reaction of Hell to the death of Christ. Jesus was bound with the bands of death. What celebration and joy! God was defeated! Vengeance was the Devil’s. But they reckoned without the wisdom of God. For Christ could not be held down by the bands of death. In fact, through death He was paralyzing the one who had the power of death, and He was setting His people free. What seemed to be defeat was actually victory. The Resurrection morning was Hell’s gloomiest day. Satan saw the wisdom of God and tasted defeat.”
Jesus Christ is the greatest hero of all time because He died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead by the power of God on the third day. But He didn’t stop there. He immediately gave his disciples and us peace, power, and purpose. He gave us something that we all crave and that is purpose in life and peace and power to accomplish it.
1. First of all, Jesus Christ gave us peace. The Bible tells us that on that first resurrection Sunday, two thousand years ago, the first words that Jesus Christ said to his disciples were, “Peace be unto you.” And then, as if he wanted to make sure that they understood, the Bible says that Jesus “shewed unto them his hands and his side… Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you…”
2. Jesus Christ gave us power. In verse 22, the Bible reads: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” This was Jesus Christ giving power to his disciples. Acts 1:8 specifically calls, “the Holy Ghost” the “power” that these disciples received. The work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives is that he makes us capable to do what we are simply not able to do on our own. He gives us power.
3. Jesus Christ gave us purpose. Finally, Jesus Christ tells his disciples, “…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” In other words, Jesus says, just as God sent me into the world with the purpose of saving it. I am sending you into the world with the purpose of telling everyone about me so that I can save them.. Jesus says that we are his representatives, his ambassadors, called to take his peace and power to those who are still oppressed by Satan.
+ Plus, listen to Nicole C. Mullen singing “Redeemer” and Jeremy Camp singing “This Man”