Sermon Reflections from A Risen Lord | Alex Hardt | April 9, 2023
Our service always includes the reading of God's Word over the passage Pastor Alex has chosen. This Sunday Sue read from Luke 23:44-24:11 and before she started she said, "There is bad news that is thankfully followed by good or great news!" We began with the cross and Jesus' crucifixion followed by his glorious resurrection. The bad news of Jesus' death and suffering is turned into glorious hope for us as we are now able to receive Jesus' sacrifice bringing restoration, redemption and hope to all who believe!
Pastor Alex began his sermon by focusing on the breath, width and depth of God's love for us. Without God's supreme love for us, He would not have sent his only Son to die in our place to redeem us. John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 remind us of God's motives, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life," Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This kind of love is incomprehensible and undeniable when we consider God's actions. God is God and when we say that God is incomprehensible we are saying that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God is infinite and eternal and knows all things. God made us in His image but we are finite and flawed by sin. In heaven, Praise God!, we will be perfect, but we will still not know all that God knows. God tells us all we need to know about Him through His Word and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.
God wants us to be in fellowship with Him. For that to become a reality, Jesus had to go to the cross and be resurrected. For us to be in fellowship with Him, we need to accept Jesus as our Savior, admit our sinfulness in repentance and invite Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives. In that acceptance prayer, we are transformed by His Holy Spirit that comes to indwell us. The transformation is a growing process as we let go of the world and its values and turn to God and seek to glorify and serve Him with our lives. It calls for surrender on our part- will, soul and mind. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Our surrender brings about reconciliation and restoration to our bodies. We can then profess 2 Corinthians 5:17 " Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
I love the Easter Story as it is filled with hope and newness of life. It is indeed Good News to all who hear and believe. Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people." Make sure in the wake of Easter that you are reconciled to God through your faith in Jesus. Reconciliation brings hope and joy. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 " that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." As brothers and sisters in Christ, we at Crossroads desire that you too be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus so that you can experience the joy and fullness of life that Jesus brings.
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