Lessons

Textbox Section

When Jesus Seems Distant – Look For The Risen One

Tagged With: / Our Risen Savior

ORS-26

080323AM Easter Meet the Risen Christ at WorkToday–what is Jesus doing today.doc

When Jesus Seems Distant—Look For the Risen One  

John 20:1-18

Open with me to the Garden Tomb, on Resurrection morning in John 20:1-18.

This morning, many of us are so often like Mary heading to the Tomb on Resurrection Sunday.

Mary needed to spend some time with Jesus. She had so many questions about life, the future, and what exactly she was to do for God. She also came in sorrow and confusion—thinking that now He was gone. Jesus seemed so distant to her after the crucifixion.

All the memories of Him flooded her mind. Jesus had loved her, forgiven her, and made her so many promises. But now Jesus seemed to be so far away, all of those things seemed distant to Mary.

When Jesus Seems Distant—

Look For the Risen One

Mary needed to see Jesus. That is why she was last at the Cross, and first at the Tomb. Mary came needing Him, and was now first to see the Risen Christ. Only He could strengthen her faith and comfort her heart and that is what He did.

But that was 2,000 years ago—and it seems so long ago and so far away.

John 20:1-18 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. NKJV

When Jesus

Seems Distant

Do you sometimes feel distant from the Lord? As we go through all the struggles of life, most of us seem to arrive at those distant times, far from the quietness of the garden on Resurrection morning.

We slowly drift away from some of the gracious assurances that Jesus offered to Mary.

But, as God’s Word constantly reminds us, that is only our fault, because the truth of the resurrection is that Jesus is alive. And since He is alive; He is still doing the same things He did then.

Did you catch that? Jesus wants us to know that He is still doing just what He did that morning with Mary in John 20, and in the days that followed. So much of His ministry was assuring the disciples of what they already knew, and encouraging them to do what He left them here to do.

This morning, will you look at the Scriptures, and meet again the Risen Christ?

And as you meet Him, will you see what He is doing today? That is what He wants for us–to see Him, and even, more believe Him. And then will you respond with me, to His work in us through His Word?

To best see what Jesus is doing this morning, turn with me to the only eye witness account with a complete description of the Risen Christ. It was over sixty years after Resurrection Sunday another meeting took place. It was also on a Sunday, a Lord’s Day.

And in the flawless record of that meeting comes seven perfect descriptions of what Jesus looks like. And from those seven descriptions we find out exactly what He is doing then and now!

Will you see Jesus anew and afresh with me, and experience all that He wants to do in your life and mine today, and in the days ahead—if we will invite Him to be at work in us.

Seeing the

Risen Christ

Open with me to the last book in God’s Word, Revelation 1.9-20. Stand with me, and as I read notice what John saw.

Revelation 1:9-20 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches [that is code for: this is important and God wants all is His Church to have it] which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp stands [read that as representing all churches, v. 20], 13 and in the midst of the seven lamp stands: One like the Son of Man; clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,  “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands which you saw are the seven churches.

Pray

If you’ll closely look at each of these seven descriptions John records, you will find the Four Gospels describe a matching ministry of Christ’s while He was on earth.

The amazing truth that can change your life today is that John actually sees Him doing  after the Resurrection just what He did while He was here on Earth before His death, burial and Resurrection.

Jesus is the same—yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). And how John needed that reminder—and so do we!

What did John see? Pencil these in your mind, mark them in your Bibles, and hold tight to them in your heart—He saw Jesus and tells us of it.

The Risen Christ

Is the Same

When John sees the Risen Christ, He is–

  1. Relating to His Church that He is Human, just like us. v. 13a “like a Son of Man”. So He can truly have compassion upon us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Humanity
  2. Praying for His Church. v. 13b-14b “robe, sash, white hair”.So He can truly forgive us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Priesthood
  3. Watching over His Church. v. 14c “eyes like a flame of fire”.So He can truly see us where we are. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omniscience
  4. Protecting His Church. v. 15a “feet like fine brass”.So He can truly protect us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omnipotence
  5. Comforting His Church. v. 15b “voice like the sound of many waters”.So He can truly encourage us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omnipresence
  6. Offering Himself to His Church. v. 16b-17a “face like the Sun shining in its strength”.So He can truly be worshipped by us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Majesty
  7. Reaching out to His Church. v. 16a; 17b-20 “hand upon me”.So He can truly help us. That is Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Touch

This morning we need to experience the fact that:

Jesus Can Feel Our Needs Completely

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Humanity

v. 13a “like a Son of Man”.

The book of Hebrews describes the 100% humanity of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 2:14-18 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. NKJV

And again:

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus was made like us; He can feel our needs completely—so He can truly have compassion[1] upon us. Every time the verb “showing/having compassion” is used in the New Testament it speaks of Jesus! (12x).

As we read the Gospels, what do they emphasize about what Christ did on earth? They show His great compassion upon weak and wandering humans.

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

So what does He do now? He has compassion upon us in all our needs!

he is visitING us in his CHURCH 1:13 “…and in the midst of the seven lamp stands [One] like the Son of Man”.

Do you know that this church is His? He is watching today to see if grace-energized equipping/mending and edifying/building up—are going on as a chosen part of our lives.

Jesus is visiting around, He is checking our hearts to see if we came to church cleaned up and prepared to seek Him. He comes to see if we came spiritually cold or if we came with our “first love” for Him.

  • Anyone felt they could come to Him, He was approachable: woman with blood, leper, dad with dying daughter, sick servant. He has compassion.
  • Are you weak? He understands, and looks upon you with compassion.
  • Are you afraid? He is acquainted with all we face, and knows our fears—and looks upon us with compassion.
  • Are you alone? He faced the long loneliness of the Garden of Gethsemane, the Wilderness temptation, and the hours of darkness on the Cross—He know what it is like to be alone, He feels our weaknesses—and looks upon us with compassion.

Jesus Prays for Me Constantly

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Priesthood

v. 13b-14b clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,”So He can truly intercede for us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He forgave sins!

Mark 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Mark 2:1-5 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

So what does He do now? He forgives our sins.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Hebrews 7:24-25 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

  • Do you feel defiled? He alone can forgive and cleanse.
  • Do you feel the fear of future judgment? He can take that penalty you deserve away forever.

Jesus Can See Me Always

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Omniscience  

v. 14c “eyes like a flame of fire”.So He can truly see us where ever we are.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He always knew where His disciples were and what they needed.

Arbel watching (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:46-48; John 6:15-21) Mark 6:46-48 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

So what does He do now? He knows every detail, every fear, every weakness and can help us!

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus Can Help Me Anytime

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Omnipotence  

v. 15aHis feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace”.Those feet of brass speak of strength and power. He reveals that strength to remind us thatHe can truly protect us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always delivering them from danger, and stilling their storms (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:23-25).

Mark 6:46-48 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

Luke 8:23-25 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

So what does He do now? He ever lives to intercede and help us in every danger we face.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Hebrews 7:24-25 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Jesus Can Comfort Me Anywhere

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Omnipresence

v 15b “voice like the sound of many waters”.Have you ever noticed that Jesus was always speaking to people at their time of greatest need? His voice can be heard anywhere, for He is everywhere present.So He can truly encourage us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always meeting their most desperate needs.

John 20:13-16 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

John 21:15-17 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him,  “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time,  “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him,  “Feed My sheep.

So what does He do now? He is always with us, He promises to never leave our side! He can encourage and help us always, anywhere, and anytime—just invite Him to come to your rescue.

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Jesus Wants Me to Worship Him

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Majesty

v. 16b-17a “face like the Sun shining in its strength”.One look at Jesus and John crumbles in awe and wonder filled worship at His feet. He is glorious in Majesty and power. He reminds us of that glory so we can truly be worship Him.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always inviting the worship of those who loved Him.

Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Mark 6:51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

So what does He do now? He is always waiting for us to lavish our love upon Him and worship Him.

Luke 24:52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Jesus Wants to Touch Me Each Day

Christ’s Risen and Glorified:

Touch

v. 16a; 17b-20 “16 He had in His right hand seven stars; He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,  “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands which you saw are the seven churches.”

He holds His church, He guards its message and its messengers. And when John was overwhelmed, Jesus reached down to strengthen him.He can always help us. Just think of Peter as he sank, the Leper as he pleaded for cleansing, and Thomas as he knelt before the Risen Christ.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always touching those He loved with strength and help.

Peter at his direst moment full of fear. Matthew 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

The leper at his direst moment full of decay. Luke 5:12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Thomas at his direst moment full of doubt. John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

But that was 2,000 years ago—and it seems so long ago and so far away.

We live so distant at times from the quietness of the garden on Resurrection morning.

But that is only our fault, because the truth of the resurrection is that Jesus is alive. And since He is alive He is doing the same things He did then.

Did you catch that? Jesus wants us to know that He is still doing just what He did that morning, and in the days that followed. So much of His ministry was assuring the disciples of what they already knew, and encouraging them to do what He left them here to do.

This morning, have you meet again the Risen Christ?

Have you seen what He is doing today? That is what He wants for us–to see Him, and even, more believe Him. And then respond to His work in us through His Word.

Will you see Jesus anew and afresh with me, and experience all that He wants to do in your life and mine today, and in the days ahead—if we will invite Him to be at work in us.

So what does He do now?

He is always there to touch us, lift us, encourage us, restore us, and remind us that all that He promised is true.

Hebrews 13:5, 8  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

When Jesus Seems Distant—

Look For the Risen One

  1. Jesus Can Feel Our Needs Completely Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Humanity
  2. Jesus Prays for Me Constantly Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Priesthood
  3. Jesus Can See Me Always Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omniscience 
  4. Jesus Can Help Me Anytime Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omnipotence 
  5. Jesus Can Comfort Me Anywhere Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omnipresence
  6. Jesus Wants Me to Worship Him Christ’s Risen and Glorified:  Majesty
  7. Jesus Wants to Touch Me Each Day Christ’s Risen and Glorified:  Touch

[1] Each of the eleven times in the Gospels that this verb splangnidzomai  #4697 is used for a person, it is Jesus Christ that is described (Matthew 9:36; 14.14; 15.32; 18.27; 20.34; Mark 1.41; 6.34; 8.2; 9.22; Luke 7.13; 10.33 (Good Samaritan acted as Christ would have acted). The noun form also describes why God sent His Son in Luke 1.78; and is what each true believer is commanded to put on each day (Col. 3.12); and its presence is an evidence of salvation (I John 3.17).

 
  • How To Understand The Book Of Revelationhttps://media.blubrry.com/discoverthebook/p/discoverthebook.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ORS-26-When-Jesus-Seems-Distant-Look-For-The-Risen-One.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Android [...]
  • How To Understand The Book Of Revelationhttps://media.blubrry.com/discoverthebook/p/discoverthebook.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ORS-26-When-Jesus-Seems-Distant-Look-For-The-Risen-One.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Android [...]
  • How To Study, Understand & Apply The Book Of Revelation To Your Daily Lifehttps://media.blubrry.com/discoverthebook/p/discoverthebook.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ORS-26-When-Jesus-Seems-Distant-Look-For-The-Risen-One.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Android [...]
  • The Discipline of Scripture Memory & Endless Joyshttps://media.blubrry.com/discoverthebook/p/discoverthebook.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ORS-26-When-Jesus-Seems-Distant-Look-For-The-Risen-One.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Android [...]
 
Scroll Up