“The Victorious, Resurrected Christ”
March 27, 2016
Author Sidney Sheldon and Groucho Marx were close friends and neighbors for a number of years. As Groucho got well into his 80s, he started a daily habit of visiting Sidney’s house each afternoon for a snack of an apple and a piece of cheese. “It became such a ritual that my wife and I looked forward to it every day,” Sheldon recalls. “Groucho would eat his snack and walk back to his own house.”
Then Sheldon and his wife leased the Hollywood house and moved to Rome, where he began work on a novel. One day in Rome, he got a letter from the new tenant, who wrote: “We love the house, but there is one strange thing. Every afternoon, there’s a little old man, about 85 or 90, who knocks on our kitchen door and asks for some cheese and an apple. He’s too well dressed for a hobo. Can you tell us who it is?” [Reader’s Digest, July 1978, 160.]
You never know what you might miss by not knowing your neighbor’s name!
And sometimes you can miss even more. Consider the plight of the disciples: three years they spent with Jesus, and during that time they knew and understood the claims of Christ as the Messiah. So Peter knew enough to declare, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16) and James and John knew enough to have their mother ask if they could sit on either side of His throne in His kingdom (Mt. 20:20ff). And yet for all their knowledge of Christ, they really didn’t know Him. When Jesus stilled the storm they asked, “Who is this?” When he repeatedly told them of His coming death and resurrection, they repeatedly argued with Him and were puzzled over the statements. They knew Him and who He was, but they didn’t really know and understand.
So on Thursday night of the Passion Week, Jesus spent several hours with the disciples in the Upper Room, inaugurating the first Lord’s Supper, and teaching them and preparing them for His death and resurrection in the coming weekend. And Christ’s instruction to them is encouragement to us as well. It is a reminder of the incarnated, resurrected, and ascended Christ and His work on behalf of His believers.
As John recounts Jesus’ words in John 16, here is the lesson for the disciples and us —
The resurrection of Christ is the power and hope of the believer for everyday living.
- The Incarnate Christ: Teaching His Followers (v. 25)
- His “confusing” teaching
- His “explained” teaching
- The Ascended Christ: Interceding for His Followers (vv. 26-28)
- The Father’s love (vv. 26-27)
- The Son’s position (v. 28)
- The Resurrected Christ: Victor for His Followers (vv. 29-33)
- The believer’s trouble (vv. 29-32)
- The believer’s hope (v. 33)
Download the rest of this sermon from John 16:25-33.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.