5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
Critics often say the disciples made this story up
Roman guards and rocks are hard to move
Women’s testimonies were not accepted in court at the time and Roman soldiers were not known for their honesty
All of the disciples were tortured and most of them killed
Response: Worship (v. 9-10, 16-20)
Jesus is God! (v. 9, John 1:1-14)
He rose from the dead (v. 5-6)
A few more reasons we worship Him:
He is more powerful than nature and government (v. 2-3)
He cares for the voiceless and makes them part of His great work (v. 5-7)
He has all authority in both heaven and earth (v. 18)
He has given us a mission and is always with us (v. 19-20)
Scripture: Matthew 28
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
Application: Are there areas of your life that you struggle to give to God?
Exceeds our Expectations (v. 5-11)
As humans we often have a limited expectation of God’s plan.
The salvation of our souls is more important than our earthly condition.
How does this passage speak to difficult situations in our lives that we have trouble understanding?
Eternal (Revelation 19:11-16)
Jesus’ kingdom is going to last forever!
Zechariah 9 is going to fully come to pass.
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (ESV)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
3 attributes essential to prayer: faith (v. 14), righteousness (v. 16), fervency (v. 17). They are all God-given but we can grow in them.
Accessibility of God
Effective prayer is not limited to the superheroes of the faith!
God has big plans for all of his followers (Ephesians 2:10)
Hope for the Wanderer
After addressing impossible feats only accomplish-able by God, James addresses bringing back wayward brother and sisters. Accident?
No, prayer is a powerful act that brings hope! (v. 19-20)
Scripture: James 5:13-20
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (ESV)