Thanks for participating in our Easter Worship Services today. Easter is a big deal to us because Christians celebrate the Cross and the Resurrection, the most significant event in all of history. God sent His Son to live a life of perfect truth and grace so that we might know who God is. Jesus also died on the cross as humanity’s full substitute for the punishment of sin. We deserved the punishment of death, but Jesus took our place.
Luke 9:22 Jesus said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
This is love. Further, after three days He was raised to life that all those who believe in Him will too have eternal life. That’s the gospel and what it means to be a Christian. It’s glorious and I hope this message encourages you to pursue God.
Luke 9:26 “The Son of Man comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
In today’s Easter message, I want to talk about something that is too often missing in Christianity and church life. Many discuss these topics as merely academic or worse apathetically, creating a cute and cuddly domesticated Jesus; Jesus is my homeboy mindset. YET, when you read the Gospels there is a far different picture of Jesus and the life to which He calls His followers. So, here is my single and essential message point: we must become glory-chasers.
We must become glory-chasers.
Whether we admit it or not, our life consists of a chase. We pursue glory; glory grabs our attention. Our hearts are hard-wired to pursue this purpose and passion. We go after it. The Bible says, “God has put eternity into man’s heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) which leads us to personally ask the questions, “What is my purpose? Who or what am I passionate about? What am I chasing after?” This idea of an eternal chase is wrapped up in a single word: glory. But what is it?
Glory is greatness. The Bible has 2 words for glory: tiperet (OT) and doxa (NT). The OT word refers to beauty or greatness (cf. 1Chronicles 29:11 “Yours O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens belongs to You.”). The NT word refers to significant worth and value (cf. Ephesians 1). Glory is awe-inspiring and attractive. It is majestic, magnificent and like a magnet we are drawn to it.
Review some glorious pursuits – pictures: Michael Phelps & Olympic medals, Superbowl, Parents at child-birth, Hikers at Mountain Summit, Student at graduation, Military; Flag…
In each of these pictures or cultural symbols of glory, they show glory is greatness. None of these would have been satisfied for something less. They had greatness in sight and chased with a set focus.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28
Glory comes from groans.
As we chase glory, we are reminded it never comes easy. For each of these visuals you can imagine the groans, strain and stress, pain and pressure they each faced. Athletes, soldiers, students and even parents have to choose wisely how they use their time, training and focus. True glory is reached at the expense of that which is lesser glory.
In his humanity, Jesus received glory from His servant obedience to death on the cross. “Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
As you consider what glory you are chasing, examine your heart. What do you frequently think and talk about? How do you spend your time, talents and treasures? These questions and qualifiers help you identify the groans of your heart and life. Ultimately, we chase what we cherish, we pursue what we prize.
Glory in God (Luke 9:25-34)
In becoming glory-chasers; pursuing greatness and through groans, we must understand God is most glorious. And we do not make God glorious, He is glorious! The glory of God is one of the grand themes of Scripture, referenced over 300x.
Psalm 96:6-9 “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness, tremble before him, all the earth.”
1) Jesus will suffer & die on the cross
2) Jesus will rise on the third day
3) Jesus will return to bring shame on unbelievers and glory to believers.
Jesus understands your life. He knows what it means to suffer and be feel rejection. He understands that life on earth is headed in one ultimate direction that no one can solve or cure – death! Yet, Jesus provides the solution – resurrection! Jesus is the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in him shall never die (John 11:25). Jesus is promising to share all the glory that God possesses for those who believe.
We must become glory-chasers but too often we live in a world of faded-glory. Life stays in the darkness and death of Good Friday. We must remember Resurrection Sunday is fixed in history. Jesus accomplished full payment for sin and overcame death. He is alive, He is alive, He is alive!