Daily Spirit & Word, 500: Jesus Gives A New Hope.
40 Days With Jesus, Day 16: Jesus Gives A New Hope.
Today, we can see how that same Christian HOPE that we shared so confidently on the streets last night, was first sparked into ignition on the evening of Easter Sunday, when Jesus appeared in the upper room to the Disciples who were locked in in fear. We saw yesterday, that Jesus gave his followers New PEACE, today we’re going to discover the NEW HOPE.
First when Jesus appeared He said PEACE, then He began to give them physical EVIDENCE of who He was. You see my friends, His followers thought that they were seeing a GHOST or a Phantom or a Spirit, because of the miraculous way that Jesus appeared. What would you have thought my friends, if you were them, locked into your house and suddenly in the same room a person appears from nowhere. You too would think it’s a ghost or a dream or a vision, wouldn’t you. Jesus knew that, He knew what they were thinking and then decided to give them as much evidence as they needed to be reassured that He really was alive, that He’d come back from the dead.
Look again at the passage from our reading this week and watch out for the Physical Evidences that Jesus gives.
John 20:19-23 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
WOWzer! So it’s not only PEACE, but physical, real and tangible proof that He’s with them in the room. Luke’s has gone much further than John in his Gospel account of this incident.
Luke 24:36-49 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Notice in Luke’s account: The disciples didn’t believe it (the resurrection or that it was Jesus). Why? Because of JOY and AMAZEMENT and THINKING it was GHOST.
- Our Joy can deceive us.
- Our Amazement can deceive us.
- Our Thinking can deceive us.
So Jesus goes much further and shows them: His hands, His side, His feet (I’m certain if some of the others had written they’d have said, his head, His back as well.). But these just go to prove beyond doubt that Jesus was a real person. But He didn’t stop a mere physical evidences. He said to them, because He knew that they still thought he was a ghost, “Give me something to eat”… Then He explained, “A ghost doesnt’ have flesh and bones as I have and a ghost can’t eat can it?”
“He showed them; His; HANDS, FEET and SIDE.”
“A GHOST doesn’t have FLESH and BONE”
“Give ME something to EAT”
This is such convincing proof AND evidence my friends, that so many agnostics and doubters having read this account in the Bible have become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This evidence transformed the disciples and once they received the promised Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday 40 days later, they took that same message, “We’ve seen the resurrected LORD” around the world. It’s still going around the world, Jesus is still alive today and it’s possible for people to meet Him. Of course our encounters today aren’t physical, but non-the-less, they are REAL encounters, that will convince you and you’ll KNOW that you’ve met the risen Jesus.
HOPE: Gives Gospel Encounters:
We had another wonderful night of sharing the Good News of Jesus on the Streets of London my friends. There were great conversations, Gospel moments and prayers with people. Even a young man, who it seemed just wanted to race through his arguments and objections to believing the Bible, though he proclaimed belief in God. When he’d reached the end of his flow of words, we knew it was a smoke-screen, and a diversion, because, we looked beyond argument and reasoning for the power of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it came into his life as we shared the risen Lord Jesus. It’s always amazing, though we should expect the same Kingdom things to happen today as they did in the times of the Apostles and first believers and we really should not be surprised. We continued discussing and by-passed his mind and called upon the internal ally with him, his conscience, and it came to life, did it’s job and brought conviction. He knew now how he’d offended a holy and righteous God. We prayed and parted company and he left us uplifted and enlightened. He promised to come and worship and to keep reading His Bible. Hopefully he’ll find the place to worship the Lord and the desire to keep reading God’s Word. Just one conversation from last night please pray for the many that were touched and challenged and encouraged to consider the Lord Jesus.
So we can see today, that it wasn’t just Thomas, doubting Thomas, who needed physical proof that Jesus had risen from the dead, but every single one of His followers. You too need convincing my friends, you too need a divine encounter with Jesus and thankfully Jesus will not disappoint. He’ll provide everyone who responds to the Gospel with the same kinds of proofs, that He’s real and alive today. He’ll come to you in so many wonderful ways and you’ll KNOW.
For me the best way to explain how I know Jesus is real is like this:
I was an electrician for many years before I became a Pastor and Evangelist. I’d been shocked by Electricity many times. I knew from experience and pain, that if I touch an open electrical wire or contact, with the power still on, that it will hurt and the electrical energy and power will surge through my body. It’s the same when we finally decide to BELIEVE, REPENT, TRUST AND RECEIVE the Lord Jesus. He comes into a believer’s life. He comes in such a way that you KNOW that He’s inside. He’ll give you a NEW HOPE: Hope that will never leave you. Hope that will stay, even if circumstances don’t go well. Hope that is with you through every single storm. Jesus is in YOU. You’ll also see evidence in your Character as the Holy Spirit begins to change you to become more like Jesus on the inside and in the way that you interact with people in the world. You’ll see the fruit and the evidence of increasing; LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL. You’ll love God more, you’ll love His Word, you’ll love gathering with the brothers and sisters in God’s family. This is empirical evidence and cumulative evidence that will enable you to go out into the world and serve the risen Saviour. He’s in the World today and He wants to give that SAME HOPE to every single person alive as well.
Have an exciting, empowered and enthusiastic day of NEW HOPE with Jesus today.
Stay blessed in Him my friends,
Points to Ponder on Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.
In a world that believes that death has the last word, can anything be a truly lasting success?
How does the idea of Jesus resurrection transform our disappointments over what we might have failed to achieve?
Hoe hopeful do you feel about your future today? Do you need to ask God to heal any sense you have had of feeling ‘hopeless’? Take some times to reflect on the great FUTURE that is awaiting and available to you today, because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. His resurrection gives you hope today of an eternity with Him, beginning NOW and LASTING FOREVER.
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I’m thanking you right now for the glorious new hope that you give me every day. Not just hope for now, but for my eternity with You. I’m looking forward to Heaven and I have that deep assurance within my heart that You are able to keep me going with You through all the storms that will come in my life. I’m praying for everyone I know today, who needs that same Hope Lord, that You’ll come to them and draw them to Yourself by the Holy Spirit. Let Your love touch every heart and bring them the same New Hope in their hearts. Amen.
Jesus Gives a New Hope. Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.