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The Greatest Intervention of ALL Time

The title of my Easter message today is “The Greatest Intervention of ALL Time”. As you can probably guess being Easter it is about Jesus intervening in this world and His actions we celebrate each year at Easter.

But before I look at that I want to look at the idea of interventions in general life. Interventions were all the rage a few years ago. You heard about people doing them for those they cared about deeply. You saw them on tv on the sitcoms or on the drama based shows. Usually it was about a group of friends and family who would gather around a person they were worried about and they would encourage them strongly to make change. Often it involved drugs and alcohol and the person themselves did not think they had a problem, but everyone else around them could see they did. It some cases the person listened and made changes or went to rehab. Sometimes they didn’t.

If we think about God for a moment we realise God is a God of intervention. Throughout history or His-story, He regularly stepped in to help His people.

When the people were captive in Egypt under Pharos harsh rule He sent Moses to tell him to “Let my people go”. When Pharos army chased them with murderous intentions, God intervened by parting the Red Sea. When the people wandered in the desert God intervened and provided Mana and Quail for food. When the people were in dispute, God intervened to provide judges to make wise decisions. When the people were off track spiritually, God intervened and sent Prophets to call the people back to Himself. When Daniel was in the lion’s den, God intervened. When Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were in the fiery furnace, God intervened. When Saul was hunting down and killing Christians, God intervened and spoke directly to Saul and his life was changed forever. History tells us he became the Apostle Paul and went on to be a great church planter and leader to the early church.

Jesus is the ultimate intervention

So how does this idea of intervention tie in with the Easter message? I believe the ultimate and greatest intervention of all time is found in the Easter story.

Bible Reading – John 19:16-42

16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away.
17 Carrying the cross by Himself, He went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).
18 There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with Him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.'”
22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided His clothes among the four of them. They also took His robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided My garments among themselves and threw dice for My clothing.” So that is what they did.
25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.”
27 And He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into His home.
28 Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfil Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.”
29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips.
30 When Jesus had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.
31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.
32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus.
33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs.
34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.)
36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of His bones will be broken,”
37 and “They will look on the One they pierced.”
38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away.
39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.
40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.
41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before.
42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”
3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb.
4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in.
6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there,
7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.
8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed–
9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

Message Points

This is a great passage of Scripture. It encompasses the Easter story. The death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday is the greatest and most powerful intervention the world has ever known.

Right now I want to share four reasons why Jesus intervened into our lives

1. Jesus intervened to bring us life more abundant

John 10:10 KJV – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

This verse is part of the passage that talks about the Good Shepherd caring for and protecting His sheep. Jesus as the Good Shepherd came to give us an abundant life. The NIV says describes this abundant life as a “full life”. The NLT describes it as a “rich and satisfying life”. The Greek word used here in this text is perisos. This means more abundant, superior, exceedingly above, beyond measure.

Jesus did not want us to live a dreary, ho-hum life. He came so we could experience abundant life. Jesus wants to give us a life with meaning and purpose; a life with that knows who you are, where you are from and where you are going; a life that has our sins are forgiven and eternal destiny sorted out; and as the Good Shepherd He wants to provide protection and provision; He wants to give us a life that brings us peace in knowing these things. Jesus wants to give us a life that knows that no matter where we go or what we do, He is right there with us helping us through.

For me I have known this abundant life. Since that Saturday night in July 1989 when I invited Jesus into my heart and life as Lord and Saviour, I have experienced an abundant life first hand. I know that in the good times and the bad times, God is with me. He holds me in the palm of His mighty hand. He provides for me and my family. He has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace that is not from this world.

Jesus intervened to give all those who trust in Him abundant life.

2. Jesus intervened to bring us hope

Romans 5:1-2 NIV84 – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

One of the great messages of the Bible is hope. In the NIV the word hope is mentioned over 150 times. One of the greatest things we can have in this life is hope.

Hope according to the Bible is having “a certainty in the present and a firm expectation for the future”. This is what we have in Christ – a present certainty and a firm hope for the future.

We have been justified with God and we have peace with Him, because of what Jesus has done. As a result of this we know beyond doubt we are right with God and we can be confident on the day of judgement, because as we saw a few weeks ago, perfect love drives out all fear. We have a great hope for the future.

We know that Jesus has gone to prepare a place and one day He is coming back for us. John 14:1-3 says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.  2 There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.”

Jesus intervened to give us this great future hope. He is coming back for us… maybe even today!

3. Jesus intervened to bring us victory over sin and death

Romans 8:1-4 NLT – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  2 And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Jesus intervened to give us victory over sin and death. The Law of Moses with all of its rules could not save us, it only shows us we are sinners who need saving. Jesus’ death on the cross intervened and paid the price for our sin. He took our punishment; the price has been paid and God is satisfied (Romans 3:25).

Not only has sin been defeated, but death has too. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT says, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Death for us as Christians is not a scary thing. We need not fear it. Death for the Christians in not the full stop and the end of the story, but it is the full stop at the end of the first chapter. We have a great hope as we saw earlier.

Jesus intervened to give us victory over sin and death.

4. Jesus intervened to bring us salvation

The Bible has so many great verses that talk about salvation and what Christ has done for us. None greater than John 3:16-18.

John 3:16-18 – “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.  18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.

These verses talk about a God who could not stand for us to miss out on spending eternity with Him. Jesus intervened in our world and in our lives so He could save us.

Jesus wanted you to spend eternity with Him so much that He left the glories of heaven to live amongst us. He came to show us what God is like, to show us how to live and love one another, and ultimately, He came to die on the cross for our sin. You were so important to Jesus that He stood before evil men and said nothing at His trial. He allowed Himself to be beaten, whipped and carry a cross through the streets. He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and left to die the most painful and horrific death that one could endure. He did this for you. He did this for me. He did this for everyone in our community, in our nation and in our world. He wanted everyone to be saved so much that He held back nothing… not even His own life. No price was too great for Jesus to pay for you. And He paid it gladly.

Jesus intervened to bring us salvation.

Closing Summary

So in closing today, on this Easter Sunday 2017, I want you to remember the greatest intervention of all time. The intervention into this world of Jesus, who came and died on the cross for our sin and to open the door for us to find salvation and eternal life in Him.

Today let us remember why Jesus intervened…

1. Jesus intervened to bring us life more abundant
2. Jesus intervened to bring us hope
3. Jesus intervened to bring us victory over sin and death
4. Jesus intervened to bring us salvation and eternal life

Amen


By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSIONAustralia.org

 

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