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Showing posts from April, 2011

Sermon on Colossians 3:1-4 for the Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Sunday. "Christ Who is Your Life!"

Outline for my Easter sermon. Sermon audio available on


1. The first resurrection appearance—a life-changing experience. Where their lives any different? We know they were! The women and disciples’ lives were forever changed—no returning to life as usual. New braveness, bold witnesses, new joy

a. That death had been defeated was not news that could casually be overlooked

b. Outside the realm of normal human experience, yet something that could and was completely experienced, seen, and understood by humans

2. What would you be doing now if Christ had not been raised? Where would your life be? What choices would you have made differently? But since Christ has been raised, has that changed your life? For those who believe in Him, the answer has to be Yes!

a. Colossians 3:1-4 you have been raised with Christ! How? In your baptism:

b. Colossians 2:11-12, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Chris…

Sermon on Psalm 22 and Mark 15:34, for Good Friday, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? These gasping, dying words of Jesus, as He hung dying on a cross. Ancient words that begin a prayer written some 1,000 years earlier by the prophet, King David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1. It was no accident that these particular words tumbled out of Jesus’ mouth—this whole Psalm was an ancient prophecy, an ancient prayer, that described in great detail the events of this very day of Jesus’ death. These words were written and then waited 1,000 years to find their fulfillment on Jesus’ tongue. They describe His intense feeling of loneliness and abandonment by God. In a terrifying way, He felt what it was to be separated from God because of sin. Yet it was not because of His own sin that God’s face was hidden from Him, but because of the sin of the world that He bore as the heavy yoke and burden on the cross.

Movies that have tried to portray the sufferin…

Sermon on Hebrews 9_11-22, Maundy Thursday, "Last Will and Testament"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Tonight we gather on the night called Maundy Thursday. As a child, it always confused me because it sounded like Monday Thursday. But the word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum—command. On this “Command” Thursday, Jesus gave His disciples the command to celebrate the New Supper He had instituted: “do this in remembrance of me.” Also He renewed their call to obey the command that they love one another. Tonight is the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. At the Last Supper, Jesus warned that one of them (Judas) would betray Him, and that the sign of who was the betrayer would be that he dipped his bread together with Jesus. It was a night of concern and confusion for the disciples. What did He mean that He was going to be betrayed? What was about to happen?

When Judas left the upper room, some thought he was going to buy something for the feast, or give something for the poor (Joh…

Sermon on Matthew 27:11-66, for Palm Sunday, "The Blame Game"

• the signs of Jesus’ innocence are repeatedly ignored and overlooked, and He is sentenced to crucifixion against all justice and with no fair trial. There was no “Innocent till proven guilty” for Jesus. No one ever proved any guilt in Him.
• Take the life of another person and you have their “blood on your hands.” Since Pilate knew he was killing an innocent man, he tried to exculpate himself (free himself from blame) by washing his hands. But this couldn’t free him from guilt. Shockingly, the mob made no such attempt to exculpate themselves--they brazenly said: “His blood be upon us and on our children!” They took the responsibility and were glad for it, thinking that they were vindicated by the fact that they were supposedly doing good by getting rid of this troublemaker Jesus.
• What are the different ways we try to exculpate, exonerate, absolve, vindicate, ourselves from sin or guilt? We “wash our hands” of the matter, saying we had nothing to do with it, or if we knew we shared …

Sermon outline on John 11:17-53, for the 5th Sunday in Lent, "Not too late for God!"

1. Jesus is drawing closer to the cross—the plot against Him thickens—He is getting too popular, too powerful. What to do?

2. Martha and Mary to Jesus—“you’re too late!” Death is the silently acknowledged victor, and humans are seen as powerless in its face. Yet Martha’s great faith!

a. OT faith in the resurrection: The God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob; Job confesses faith in His redeemer—in my flesh I will see God

b. Trust in Jesus as the Christ, and His power, even before having seen the resurrection

c. Jesus’ great emotion and humanity—tears for Lazarus. Try to scratch the surface of the source of this great emotion: Analogy of an architect of a great city, now ruined. Jesus’ creation overrun with death and sin and suffering. People disbelieving, angry, hurtful, sin-blind, deaths claws tearing into life. God’s heart endured the scorn, pain, sin, insults, etc

3. Grieving at funerals & the Christian confidence in the resurrection—a contrast:

a. Is death the silently acknowledged vict…

Sermon on John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39, for the 4th Sunday in Lent, "Lord, I Believe!"

1. Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? (Exodus 4:11) God made us the way we are for His own purposes—to show His glory; that His works might be seen in us. This man’s blindness was through no fault of his own, or his parents, though the Jews and disciples believed it was. Each are given different gifts or abilities—sometimes also handicaps—but God works through them. Are we “marked” by our circumstances? Find our worth and esteem in Christ, not ourselves or how we compare to others.

2. Sin blindness. Spiritual. Unable to see the truth or the salvation that is in front of us. The Pharisees’ growing spiritual darkness, while a man first sees the light. We don’t want to see, because to see means to recognize our own helplessness, our lost condition—that we need God.

3. John 12:35-43 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest dar…