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Jesus Died...but God - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2021 2:00 am

Jesus Died...but God - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 5, 2021 2:00 am

The resurrection of Jesus is the heart of the gospel message. In the message "Jesus Died...but God," Skip shares how the greatest event in history brings hope and renewal to your life today.

This teaching is from the series ...but God.

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Jesus was put on the cross and left for dead but God raised him up.

They put Jesus in a tomb but God got him out. They walked away and thought it was all over but God made sure it was just the beginning. But God, those two little words of hope, they can be part of your story.

I hope they are part of your story. The words but God could be the two most important words in history. Throughout the Bible, God worked in his people's lives, turning hard times into critical turning points. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip shares how the but God moments you experience bring hope and renewal into your life. Right now we want to tell you about a special resource that sheds light on what the Bible says about God's nature and character, including his plans and purpose for your life. The best biographies make you feel like you personally intimately know the person you've read about. From Mozart to Mother Teresa, Sojourner Truth to Steve Jobs, it's exciting to learn the details of influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's the author, Skip Heitig. There's nothing more elevating to mankind than the study of God himself. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes and mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. Skip's new book is Our Thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now we're in Acts chapter 13 as we get into the message with Skip Heitig. The heavens declare the glory of God. When you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, when you see something in nature that should grab your attention, that is God reminding you of his glory, the heavens declare the glory of God. God has spoken generally but then God has also spoken specifically. He sent prophets, spokespeople to proclaim his messages. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.

You know what that means? That means that God, the Creator, is interested in his creation. He's so interested in his creation he doesn't want to just leave them alone floundering. He wants to communicate to them.

He has something to say to them. Now we have a problem as human beings. We are inside a natural box and the walls of that box are time and space. We can't crawl out of that box. We're sort of stuck. Outside our box of humanity is the supernatural realm.

We all know it's true. All of us born suspect that there's something beyond us. But someone comes along and says, I got to get outside this box. We got to get into the supernatural world. And every time somebody comes along and makes an attempt to get out of this natural box and make contact with the supernatural world, a religion is born. That's what religion is. Man's attempt to reach God.

It's man's attempt to escape the natural and get to the supernatural. Here's the problem. We can't do it. We cannot transcend our own existence. We can't reach outside the box.

Someone outside the box must reach into our box. And that's what God did. And He did it in many ways. He spoke in many ways. He spoke in a burning bush to Moses. He spoke in a lightning storm at Mount Sinai.

He spoke in a still, small voice to the prophet Elijah. He sent prophets to His people. He spoke truth through those prophets.

Truth, His values, His desires, His longings for those people. Why did God speak? Why did God send His messages? Because God loves people. God loves the creation He created. He did not want people living on this earth without purpose, without meaning. He wanted us to have hope. Even when people messed up, God spoke. Listen carefully. Especially when people messed up, God spoke.

Especially when they messed up. Your life, you may feel, is a mess today. You say, my life is a mess. I say, God has a message that will speak to your mess. God wants to speak to you. He has a message for you.

And here it is in a nutshell. He cares for you. He loves you. He loves you passionately.

He has a message of love for you. There was a mother who went to a doctor. She had three children. And the doctor asked her a question sort of off the cuff. The doctor said, hey, of your three children, which do you love the most? Well, that caught her off guard. She didn't expect that question. She goes, what do you mean, which one of my children do I love most?

I love them all the same. And the doctor said, well, it's psychologically impossible to extend the same kind of a love to three different humans. He said that's impossible. She started crying when he said that. She said, you're right.

You're right. When one is sick, I love that one more. When one is in pain, I love that one more. When one is doing something bad, I love that one more.

But apart from that, I love all three exactly the same. St. Augustine said, God loves each of us as if one is in pain. And St. Augustine said, God loves each of us as if there was only one of us to love. God has that message for you today.

He has spoken, Paul said, His word of salvation throughout history. Has God been speaking to you lately? Has He been trying to get your attention?

Now, He doesn't have to do that dramatically. You say, well, I don't think God's getting my attention. I haven't had Him speak audibly to me. I haven't had a dream in the middle of the night or a vision.

That doesn't matter. Something deep in your heart God may be trying to get at. And you've been feeling that. You've been sensing that. He's been knocking at the door of your heart saying, I want you to make room for me. Maybe it's through a friend. Maybe a friend invited you today, invited you to church.

You're thinking, why should I get up early and go to a stadium and sit outside? But God could be trying to get a hold of you and speaking directly to you. You're not here by accident, friend.

You're here by appointment. So God has a message for us. Here's the second truth. Not only does God have a message for us, God sent a messenger to us. Paul continues, for those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. Now notice what Paul just did. Paul just moved from speaking about an it to speaking about a Him. He says God has had a message for people for years and they crucified Him, the messenger. So he goes from a message to a messenger.

And here's why. God's ultimate message to humanity is not a sermon, it's not a prophecy, it's not a set of instructions or a law, it's a person. God's ultimate message to humanity is in the person of Jesus Christ. All those messages in the Old Testament, all those prophets that spoke, were all pointing forward to a messenger the Jews called Messiah. We call him Jesus. Messiah means somebody specifically prepared and selected by God to save the world, including you. So God spoke through the ages, but His final message before judgment is His hand of love extended to people saying, I love you, here's my Son, my messenger, I'm sending to you to pay for your sins. The writer of Hebrews, I just quoted him, I didn't finish the verse though, it says long ago God spoke at many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets, but now in these final days He has spoken to us through His Son. If you think about it, the Old Testament was God's story.

It unfolded very gradually and progressively. Genesis gives some truth, Exodus gives more truth, the prophets give more truth, the Psalms give a few more, and it just progressed a little bit more completely, but it was never totally completed. We never really get the whole picture until we open the pages of the New Testament, then suddenly it's all clear. That's why Jesus said, do not think that I have come to destroy the prophets, I didn't come to destroy them, I came to complete them, to fulfill them.

The picture is now complete. All those messages in the Old Testament were still a bit fuzzy until the messenger showed up. Then it's like, ah, I see it clearly. Listen to how John introduces Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, that's God's message, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh, and He dwelled among us. So go back to that box analogy. Mankind is trapped in a natural box with walls of time and space, we cannot get out of our box, we can't reach out and connect with the supernatural, so God's plan was to send His Son to crawl inside the box.

Get in the box. For God to become a man and come to our earth and show us all the truths of God. This is the difference between Christianity and every other world religion. Many people say it doesn't matter what religion you belong to, as long as you're sincere, that's wrong.

It does matter, it makes all the difference. Religion is man's attempt to reach and discover God. Christianity is God bursting into our world, crawling inside our box. When Jesus came, He showed people what God is like. One of His disciples, Philip, said, Jesus, show us the Father, and that's enough.

Yeah, I guess it would be. Jesus said, Philip, if you've seen Me, you have seen the Father. If you see Jesus, you see God, you see the Father. When I was a kid, I remember looking up at my mom, and she was so huge, tall, massive.

Now, here's the truth. She was five feet tall. That's how tall she was. She was a very little, thin lady, five feet. I'm 6'5", and when I grew up, it's like, really? I used to think you were, like, really a giant.

But, you know, from a kid's perspective, somebody five feet, that's pretty tall. I have grandkids. They're sitting right up here in the front. I can see them, Seth and Katie. Yesterday, we were playing out here on this field, just getting ready.

Or, actually, we were watching everybody else get ready for this event, and we were playing out here. And so, you know, whenever I flex my arms and I come at them like I'm going to get them, they cower. But when I get down to their level, nothing changes. Now I'm approachable. Now I'm get-able. I'm wrestle-able. I'm jump-able, and they'll tackle me to the ground.

Why? Because I've come down to their level. And when you come down to their level, the relationship changes. And when God came down to our level, the relationship changes. He showed us what God is like. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. So, God has a message for you.

And the message for you is His messenger for you. And that is Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a creed. Christianity is not a ritual. Christianity is not an institution. Christianity is Christ, personally. You say, well, I've received the rituals of Christianity.

Have you received Christ personally? So God has a message for us. God sent a messenger to us. Here's the third truth. God knows the mischief in us.

Yeah, we have a problem. God knows the mischief in us. Paul said, and though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. And when they fulfilled what was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree, that is the cross, and they laid Him in a tomb. This messenger from God, this Messiah, was innocent.

He lived a perfect life. The very people He was sent to, however, executed Him, condemned Him as a criminal. People didn't want to hear God's message, and people didn't want to have God's messenger. So they killed Him. John said He came into His own. His own received Him not. That is His own people, His own nation. Jesus came to His own world. Jesus came to His own land. Jesus came to His own city. Jesus came to His own temple. The Jews had waited for the Messiah for centuries. He shows up. John said, We beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, but the crowd shouted, Crucify Him!

They executed Him and put Him in a tomb. The Old Testament gave those flickerings of light, those hints of light, and the more you read in them, it gets a little bit brighter and a little bit brighter. And then you get to the New Testament, and it's as if the sun comes out of the sky and lands right on the earth. The brightest light ever. Jesus said, I am the light of the world. But it was so bright. You know what it's like if somebody shines a bright light on you?

What do you do? You put on the sunglasses like some of you have on right now, or you cover your eyes if the sun's shining right. If the sun was behind the clouds now, but if the clouds left and shining right on you, I guarantee you'd have your hand over your face.

It's just a little too bright. So the light of truth came to this world, and the Bible says, But men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. And they hated the light. And so the very hands that God created took Jesus' own hands and stapled them to a cross. The cruelest form of execution the Romans had was crucifixion, because it delayed the death of the victim for days.

And so they got rid of them. I've discovered something. If there's one thing this world consistently gets wrong over and over again, it's the identity of Jesus Christ. If so many ideas out there on who Jesus Christ is, and they get that wrong all the time, the Gospels are filled with various ideas and concepts of who Jesus was. For example, in John chapter 7, some in the crowd said He was a good man, some said He was a deceiver. In Matthew 16, some said that He was John the Baptist, others said He was Elijah, others said He was Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. In John chapter 6, after Jesus gave a free lunch to a large crowd, they thought He would be their king, and they tried to take Him by force and make Him king. In Luke chapter 23, they called Him a tax evader and one who subverted the government. In John chapter 10, they said He had a demon. Even His own family wanted to get rid of Him.

Did you know that? On one occasion, they came and tried to take Him away because they said He's crazy. It's His own brothers and sisters. So the world consistently gets wrong, the identity of who Jesus Christ is. You know, every year at Easter time especially, it's sad but almost humorous to notice all the television specials that come out and they say, Here's the real Jesus. We've just found out who He really was.

So everybody tunes in to find out what we've never known before. And they have the craziest ideas of who Jesus was. Some say He was a magician who practiced hypnosis and illusion. Others call Him a zealot, others a guru, others call Him an avatar. One theory is that He was the husband of Mary Magdalene and they were going to procreate a secret lineage to rule the world.

And here's the best one. The concept that the name Jesus Christ was a code word for a hallucinogenic mushroom. And the disciples would take the mushroom and get really high and they would see all these crazy visions of what Jesus did and they made a religion out of it.

So it's like they were the first hippies, I guess. What about you? Who is Jesus to you? What have you done personally with Jesus Christ? Have you rejected Him? You say, Oh no, I've never rejected Him.

I've never rejected Christ. I'm just not a fanatic. Like some of these people around me, hands raised, singing really loud.

That's just weird, really. I'd like to see you in a football game in this stadium. I bet you're a fanatic. You're just a fanatic about the wrong thing, perhaps. The best thing to be a fanatic about is the living God who can change lives. God bless all you fanatics. You say you haven't rejected Christ. He said, If you're not for me, you're against me. If you don't follow me, you scatter. So you ask yourself that question, Who is Jesus to you and who are you in relation to Him?

I want to close with a final point. Not only God has a message for us, not only God sent a messenger to us, not only does God know the mischief in us, but here's the best part. God works a marvel despite us.

Despite us. That's verse 30. But God raised Him from the dead.

He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are witnesses to the people. I love this verse. The chief priest didn't have the last word. Punches pilot didn't have the last word.

That fickle crowd didn't have the last word. God had the last word. But God raised Him from the dead.

There's those two words. But God. Jesus was put on the cross and left for dead, but God raised Him up.

They put Jesus in a tomb, but God got Him out. They walked away and thought it was all over, but God made sure it was just the beginning. But God, those two little words of hope, they can be part of your story. I hope they are part of your story. I hope that what I'm about to read right now is your story.

You tell me if it is. In Ephesians 2, Paul said, once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins, you used to live just like the rest of this world, full of sin, obeying Satan. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else. That's quite a statement. Paul is saying apart from Jesus Christ, people are spiritual zombies. The walking dead.

They're dead and they don't even know they're dead. But it says this, we were under God's anger like everyone else, but God, but God who is so rich in mercy and He loved us so very much even while we were dead because of our sin, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. I hope that's your story. I hope that's your testimony. Every Christian has this basic testimony. I was going my own way, but God changed my life.

And I'm going a different direction. Once you were dead in sin, unable to find peace, but God showed up. Once you were running from God, but God hunted you down. Once you were deceived, blind and hopeless, but God opened your eyes. As the hymn writer sang, I once was lost, but now I'm found.

Was blind, but now I see. Now you may be sitting here this morning and you may be thinking something like, well, you know, I've lived a hard life. I've got a lot of baggage. I've got a lot of stuff that I've done that I'm not too happy about. I have too many sins to overcome.

I have too much to be forgiven for. You need to insert those two words, but God. Because listen, if God can raise up a dead corpse from the dead, He can change your life today, guaranteed. But God. The world says no, but God says yes. The world says can't, but God says can. The world says defeat, but God says victory. The world says death, but God says life. The world says impossible, but God says possible. The world says hopeless, but God says hope.

That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, But God. Now, here's Skip to tell you how you can help keep these messages coming your way as you help connect others to Scripture. God's Word has the power to change lives. What a great truth. That's why we work to take these Bible teachings to more people.

You see, we want to see lives change around the world. So I'd like to ask you to consider giving a gift today to help make these teachings available in more places and through more outlets. Your generous gift can help others experience the power of the Word of God. Here's how you can give a gift today. Call 800-922-1888 to give. That's 800-922-1888. You can also give online at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

As always, thank you for your partnership. Come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzig looks at the lives of two people who had to deal with haters, reminding you that God has a plan for you, even when others work against you. You don't want to miss that. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 18:29:55 / 2024-01-07 18:39:03 / 9

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