March 20, 2012
By John Barnett
Read, print, and listen to this resource on our website www.DiscoverTheBook.org
One of the greatest gifts God has promised is His peace. On the last night, j gave this gretaest of all gifts to His disciples. This passover night is shadowed by the cross, but lightened with the hope Jesus gave in His peace. Note the elements of this night of nights.
SO CLOSE, BUT SO LOST
The table before you represents the last supper of our Lord Jesus. The center candle was for Christ's seat. The unlit candle beside Him was where Judas Iscariot reclined next to Jesus. As Jesus warned in Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ NIV
FROM THE LAST SUPPER
TO THE EMPTY TOMB
• Last year we looked in depth at the Last Supper of Christ with His disciples.
• Tonight lets look at the period from the Last Supper to the Empty Tomb.
• We will meet the Risen Christ this Sunday, on Resurrection morning. But this evening note with me the serenity of Christ through the darkest hours the world has ever known.
• You remember how the week started at Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ home (John 12) the crowd, the threats (Luke 19:28-48), the joyful eruption of King Jesus riding into Jerusalem – Sunday or perhaps on Monday (the Scriptures aren’t clear on what day it was) – It was on the 10th of Nissan as the sacrificial lambs were finding temporary homes.
• Then, the rest of the week has Christ teaching parables and facing controversy (Luke 20-21) and then tonight.
• It is the quiet evening of Luke 22:7-23 as Christ (mandere) commanded His memorial feast…. Maundy Thursday.
• Watch Jesus as He peacefully faces the worst man has to offer:
⇨ physical abuse,
⇨ false accusation,
⇨ inhumane treatment,
⇨ public humiliation,
⇨ excruciating pain,
⇨ spiritual oppression and finally
⇨ the horrible sin of the world crushing down upon Him on the cross. Do you see -
CHRIST'S SERENITY IN THE MIDST
OF INCREDIBLE DIFFICULTY
Jesus gave His disciples an incredible gift during this time of distress. Remember? Turn with me to John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. NIV
And how He lived that peace each step of that terrible path He had to walk for you and for me.
⇨ GETHSEMENE: tears – bloody sweat and darkness, weak disciples, angry religious leaders, rough soldiers, torches, clubs – and the King of Kings led away.
⇨ MOCK TRIALS with Annas, then Caiaphas –
⇨ DENIALS by Peter in the courtyard. SANDHEDRIN and condemnation –
⇨ REMORSE & SUICIDE for Judas.
⇨ THEN, PILATE and Herod: uncertainty, vacillation, weakness
⇨ ROMAN SCOURGING, SOLDIERS GAMES –
⇨ STAGGERING TO GOLGOTHA A HOSTILE CROWD – some loving friends –
⇨ THOSE DULL THUDS of the mallet.
⇨ THE GASP of pain – AND, THEN,
⇨ THE Horrors of His death on the CROSS.
And what was He through it all? Serene with inexhaustible peace. Have you found -.
CHRIST'S PROMISED PEACE
Now turn back with me to Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, (NKJV)
CHRIST'S PROMISED PEACE IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE
“JOHN, TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES”
John Phillips in his excellent work Exploring Revelation :
“And not only is there grace, but peace as well! Here is a book which deals with the very opposite of peace. It deals with bloodshed and war. It rings with the din and noise of strife. It tells of carnage and conflict, earthquake and famine, pestilence and woe. It tells of purges and persecutions which dwarf all those of history. Blood flows in crimson tides. This book tells of the crash of empire, of anarchy, oppression, terror, and despair. It tells of war in heaven and of war on earth. It tells of an incarnate beast, driven and indwelt by the devil, wreaking fearful vengeance on the saints of the Most High. Thunders roll, stars fall from heaven, plagues issue up from the abyss, demons take control of human affairs, armies are marshaled by the countless millions of men. Yet God begins this book with a single word -- peace!” and ends it with the source of peace - grace!! (22:21)
Wouldn’t you agree? Isn’t the peace of God we get by His grace - inexhaustible!? Yes it is!
And John wrote about it to 7 churches! Why seven? Seven is God's number of completion (7 days in the creation week; 7 fat years and lean years in Pharaoh’s dream from God; 7 years in Tribulation; 7 feasts in Israel, 7x7 years in Israels cycle before the Jubilee year of rest; 7 churches in Paul’s epistles; To show it is to all, for all, inexhaustible and complete! It was to show all churches Christ is intimately acquainted with His Body, the Church...and to represent conditions always present in the church through all ages!
So, we find His peace is inexhaustible and -
CHRIST'S PROMISED PEACE IS VISIBLE
Through Jesus this inexhaustible peace:
1. ENCOURAGES Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
2. GUARDS Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
3. RECONCILES Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (NKJV)
4. RULES Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (NKJV)
5. SANCTIFIES 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus. (NKJV)
6. IDENTIFIES Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: (NKJV)
7. ADORNS James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJV)
Is Jesus your inexaustible peace? Are you resting in Him right now? Tonight, have you thanked Jesus lately for the serenity He has given us in His Peace? Please quietly stand with me and right there, in your own words, thank Him for His peace.
# 500“Peace, Peace Wonderful Peace”