The Ultimate Proof
The Gospel of John #6
The Ultimate Proof
(Readings John 20:1-10... John 20:11-18)
Today is the final message in our 6-week series looking at the divinity of Christ - as revealed to us in the Gospel of John. Over the last 5 weeks we’ve covered a lot of ground, haven’t we?!
1. We’ve discussed the fact that Jesus isn’t just a good teacher that we should listen to occasionally; Jesus is God... God the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. And as God, Jesus deserves our entire attention and complete devotion. He’s worthy of our worship and praise.
2. We’ve also discussed how the authoritative Word proves Jesus is God... even stressing His unique ability - His singular ability - to save us from both our sin, and the consequences of that sin.
3. He has given us evidence of his divinity through miracles, as recorded in the scripture... including the miracle of allowing us to understand Who he is.
4. He also knows what tomorrow holds for each of us... and He’s actively working out his plans for our lives... working all for our good and his glory.
5. And, just last week we talked about how Jesus shows us his divinity through His intimate relationship with the Father... while offering us the opportunity to have an intimate, growing, maturing relationship with God, too. We’ve talked about all that, and more!
Well, today: John gives us, what I believe to be the ultimate reason, the ultimate way (or the ultimate proof) that Jesus is God... through his account of Christ’s victory over death itself. In other words, the Resurrection is the ultimate proof that Jesus is God.
Of course, our scripture reading for today is usually reserved for Easter... isn’t it? That’s when we usually focus on the Resurrection the most. It’s kinda odd hearing it read in late August.
But the Resurrection is too important... too central to the Gospel message... to limit it to one season of the year!
The Resurrection is the standard by which every other thing Jesus said, or did, has context... it’s all pointless without the Resurrection. All the miracles... all the teachings... our Justification before God... and our ongoing Sanctification in Christ - are all moot - they’re all for nothing... if Jesus didn’t rise victorious over death.
The Resurrection is the keystone... it holds everything else together.
John Calvin said, “The resurrection of Christ is the most important article of our faith, and without it... the hope of eternal life is extinguished.”
Tim Keller (a Presbyterian minister who founded the Redeemer Church in New York City, which grew from 50 members, to over 5,000)... has authored several books and is considered a leading voice in the Reformed/neo-Calvinist movements)... Keller said, “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if He didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching but whether or not He rose from the dead.”
Much like Jesus said... the whole of the Law and Prophets (the Old Testament) hangs on these two things... Love God and love your neighbor (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself)... those two things are the foundation of everything else. And the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of the New Testament. None of it matters without the Resurrection.
That’s why it really, earnestly, crucially matters what we do with Jesus. It matters how we think about Christ... and who we believe Jesus is...
R. C. Sproul (one of favorite Reformed theologians) said, “A Christian is not a skeptic. A Christian is a person with a burning heart, a heart set aflame with certainty of the resurrection.”
Morgan (for you who don’t know - he’s our youngest son) was a wrestler back in his school days. He wrestled for Long Cane and Troup... and you’d be amazed at the support the wrestling programs around here have. Parents and grandparents and everyone else (it seemed) would pack into the gymnasium to watch their favorite wrestler wrestle.
Morgan has a few medals for winning his weigh class.
Of course, one of my Aunts says, there’s a difference between wrestling and “wrassling.” Wrestling is a sport... Wrassling is entertainment.
Pro wrestling - WWE, WWF, is staged. Before the wrestlers ever enter the ring, it’s been predetermined who’ll win. The hits, and the jumps, and the landings are all choreographed. The contenders go through the fight for entertainment purposes... but the point of the battle is not to decide who will win, but to give the crowd a show. The winner doesn’t fight for victory but from victory. He fights knowing that he’s already won!
The Resurrection allows us, as Christians, to fight from victory! Those who live in Christ have already won! The victory is certain... the price has been paid, the sacrifice has been made, the blows have already be taken. God allows us to go through our Christian walk, the process of Sanctification, not to win the victory... but to proclaim to all... that He who is in us, is greater than he that is in the world.
Who is Jesus to you today? Is he the Messiah... the Savior? Is he your resurrected Lord? Is Jesus God?
John 20:30-31 tells us, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”