SEEING JESUS

ON THIS RESURRECTION SUNDAY AS WE CELEBRATE THE TRUTH THAT JESUS IS ALIVE AND HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, (CAN I GET AN AMEN) I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT SEEING JESUS.

WITHIN EACH OF THE FOUR GOSPELS WE READ OF THEIR ACCOUNT OF ALL THE WITNESSES WHO SEEN JESUS ON THAT THIRD DAY AND AFTERWARDS WHEN HE HAD RISEN FROM THE DEAD.

BUT, PROBABLY THE MOST EXTENSIVE LIST OF EVIDENCE OF PEOPLE SEEING JESUS LIES IN PAUL’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN CORINTH, WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO RECOGNISE THE EVIDENCE AND BELIEVE THAT CHRIST HAS RISEN.

1 CORINTHIANS 15: 3 – 8. TELLS US.

“FOR WHAT I RECIEVED I PASSED ON TO YOU AS OF FIRST IMPORTANCE, THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES,

THAT HE WAS BURIED,

THAT HE WAS RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES,

AND THAT HE APPEARED TO PETER, AND THEN TO THE TWELVE,

AFTER THAT HE APPEARED TO MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED OF THE BROTHERS AT THE SAME TIME, MOST OF WHOM ARE STILL LIVING, THOUGH SOME HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP.

THEN HE APPEARED TO JAMES, THEN TO ALL THE APOSTLES, AND LAST OF ALL HE APPEARED TO ME ALSO, AS TO ONE ABNORMALLY BORN”.

TODAY, IT IS DIFFERENT FOR ALL OF US, WE CANNOT PHYSICALLY SEE JESUS AS THOSE WHO DID AFTER THE RESSURECTION.

BUT GOD HAS PROVIDED ANOTHER WAY FOR US TO SEE JESUS IT HAS TO BEGIN WITH BELIEVING AND ACCEPTING “HE HAS RISEN” JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD.

OUR ACCEPTANCE OF CHRIST OPENS A NEW KIND OF SIGHT, IN OUR HEARTS AND IN OUR SPIRIT, THIS IS WHERE THE REALITY OF CHRIST IS FOUND, JESUS IN ME, JESUS IN YOU.

EPHESIANS 3:17 “THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS THROUGH FAITH”.

WHAT A GLORIOUS GOD WE HAVE, IN GIVING US SUCH A GIFT.

OUR CIRCUMSTANCES TODAY HAS PUT US IN A STRANGE PLACE, WITH THE RESTRICTIONS ON US, I CANNOT SEE YOU IN PERSON (EXCEPT ON MY SCREEN), OR HUG YOU, WE CANNOT ENJOY FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER OR A MEAL, BUT I KNOW YOU ARE THERE.

IT’S THAT KNOWLEDGE AND ASSURANCE THAT COMFORTS ME.

ISN’T THAT THE SAME WITH JESUS, WE CANNOT SEE HIM PHYSICALLY BUT WE KNOW HE IS HERE.

DURING THIS TIME THE CHURCH IS FINDING NEW WAYS FOR JESUS TO BE SEEN, THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT ARE BEING DONE TO SUPPORT AND HELP OTHERS, NOT ONLY FOR OUR FELLOWSHIP BUT FOR THE COMMUNITY, MUCH OF WHICH WILL BE LONG REMEMBERED AFTER THE VIRUS IS GONE.

2 CORINTHIANS 6:16 SAYS “YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD”, AS GOD HAS SAID, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE”.

THE PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST IS AMONG US, GOD NO LONGER DWELLS IN A TEMPLE OR IN A BUILDING MADE BY MEN, BUT HE DWELLS IN US. JESUS IS NOT FAR AWAY, HE DWELLS WITHIN YOU.

KING DAVID WAS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF SEEING JESUS, HIS PSALMS ARE FILLED WITH THE INTIMACY THAT HE HAD WITH GOD, HE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED US TO SEEK THE FACE OF THE LORD.

HE LEARNED TO SEE THE LORD AS HIS BEST FRIEND IN THE DESERT, WHEN HE WAS DESERTED BY HIS VERY OWN FAMILY AND FRIENDS, IN THESE TIMES OF LONELINESS AND ISOLATION HE DEVELOPED A DEEP RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD.

PSALM 105:4 “LOOK TO THE LORD AND HIS STRENGTHS, SEEK HIS FACE ALWAYS”

PSALM 27, IN PARTICULAR IS FILLED WITH EXHORTATIONS TO SEEK THE LORD, BUT V8 IN PARTICULAR SAYS “MY HEART SAYS OF YOU, SEEK HIS FACE! YOUR FACE, O LORD WILL I SEEK”

IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO SEE JESUS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL SENSES, IF WE CAN LEARN TO USE THE EYES OF OUR HEART, WE WILL SEE JESUS.

THIS IS A TIME OF FAITH, WHEN WE CAN SEE JESUS AROUND US WITH THE EYES OF OUR HEART, THE LOVE OF GOD BEING DISPLAYED THROUGH EACH OF US.

SOMETIMES IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO SEE JESUS, OUR VIEW OFTEN GETS BLURRED OR BLOTTED OUT COMPLETELY, WHEN SIN IS PRESENT IN OUR LIVES WE CAUSE AN OBSTRUCTION TO OUR ABILITY TO SEE JESUS.

OUR EMOTIONS CAN DISTRACT US, BUT HE IS NOT FAR AWAY, IF WE LEARN TO USE THE EYES OF OUR HEARTS, WE WILL SEE HIM.

WHEN WE LET EVERYTHING ELSE FALL AWAY FOR A MOMENT, ALL YOUR CONCERNS, STRUGGLES, QUESTIONS AND YOUR NEEDS, AS THE DESIRES AND DEMANDS THAT SURROUND US GET LAID ASIDE, THAT’S THE TIME TO ASK GOD TO OPEN THE EYES OF YOUR HEART.

SEEING JESUS WITH THE EYES OF OUR HEART DURING WORSHIP, PRAYER AND FASTING, WHEN WE CAN DEVOTE OUR ATTENTION SOLELY ON HIM WILL TRANSFORM US.

IT’S THE TRANSFORMATION IN US THAT REVEALS JESUS TO OTHERS.

THESE DAYS OF ISOLATION OR WORKING FROM HOME HAS REMOVED THE BUSYNESS THAT HAS FOR SO LONG BECOME THE NORM, WHEN WE COULDN’T FIND TIME TO JUST SIT IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

SO, WHEN THE FREEDOM TO ENJOY THE COMPANY OF OTHERS IS REMOVED FROM US, WHERE WILL WE TURN!

WHAT BETTER TIME THAN RESSURECTION SUNDAY TO FOCUS ON THE ONE WHO HAS GIVEN US A FREEDOM THAT THIS WORLD CANNOT UNDERSTAND.

THIS IS THE TIME TO SEEK FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD THAT WILL SUSTAIN US AND GIVE US ASSURANCE AND HOPE THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL.

THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO BE VISIBLE IN US, BUT IT BEGINS WITH US SEEING JESUS BY SPENDING TIME IN HIS PRESENCE.

2 CORNINTHIANS 4: V 6, 7,15.

FOR GOD, WHO SAID, “LET THE LIGHT SHINE OUT OF DARKNESS, MADE HIS LIGHT SHINE IN OUR HEARTS TO GIVE US THE LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE OF CHRIST”.

“BUT WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY TO SHOW THAT THIS ALL- SURPASSING POWER IS FROM GOD AND NOT FROM US”.

V15

“ALL THIS IS FOR YOUR BENEFIT, SO THAT THE GRACE THAT IS REACHING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE MAY CAUSE THANKSGIVING TO OVERFLOW TO THE GLORY OF GOD”.

‘WE HAVE THIS TREASURE’ THAT IS CHRIST IN US, THIS IS A TIME FOR MORE AND MORE GRACE TO BE REVEALED THROUGH US, WHEN THE GLORY OF GOD IS SEEN IS US, IT’S JESUS WHO IS SEEN.

I’VE ASKED MARK TO LEAD US IN A PARTICULAR SONG THAT REFLECTS ON THIS, AS WE SING IT, LET IT BE A PRAYER FROM YOU, THAT GOD WOULD OPEN THE EYES OF OUR HEARTS, FOR THEN WE WILL SEE JESUS.

SONG: OPEN THE EYES OF MY HEART LORD.