Do you remember the first mobile phone you ever saw or used?
My dad had a huge box that sat under the dash in the front of his car. In this box was the most wonderful contraption. It was a gigantic mobile phone.
He was a homebuilder, and he used this phone when he was out on job sites to communicate with clients and with his office. Sometimes, he would even call my mom on this phone.
We thought it was the coolest thing ever.
A few years later, someone created a home phone that could be carried away from the socket on the wall. It was all “the rage” to have a mobile phone at home. You couldn’t take them very far, but you could carry the phone up to your room or out on the back porch to talk. We thought it was amazing to be able to talk away from the phone cord or wall plug.
In the late 1990’s, flip phones came along and everyone began to carry these. It was like being on the set of a Star Trek episode to be able to carry one of these devices around with you.
After that, technology seemed to get better and better. The Blackberry was invented; Nokia made all sorts of great phones, and LG had some cool options.
Then, in 2008, Apple came on the scene with their iPhone. We were all blown away again by this technology.
Today, it seems like a new phone with amazing features comes on the market all the time. We are constantly surprised with all that our gadgets and gizmos can accomplish for us.
However, I think back to my childhood and that first humongous mobile phone.
It was like nothing we’d ever seen, and we were astounded by it.
To segway into today’s lesson, I want to ask a question:
How long has it been since you were amazed and astounded by Jesus?
When you first met Him and accepted Him as Savior and Lord, you were probably blown away with love and appreciation for His gift of salvation.
- But what about now?
- Have you grown a little cold and used to His gift?
- Do you find yourself unfazed and underwhelmed by the Lord Jesus?
Perhaps, like me, you need a quick refresher course on what He has done for us.
First, Jesus willingly left heaven and came to earth to live and die as a human.
He gave up the beauty and splendor of Heaven to come down and live among us – knowing His life would end in sacrifice. I can’t even imagine.
We discussed this over the past two weeks in our series. You can read more about this topic:
Second, Jesus literally rose from the dead!
He was totally dead when they took him off that cross. The soldiers verified it, his mother verified it, and others in history bore witness.
Then, He came back to life. He came out of the tomb. It was no trick or hoax.
No one had ever done this before, and no one has done it since. Jesus overcame the powers of hell, the grave, and death to come back to life again.
Many, many people saw Him after He came back to life.
In fact, in seminary, we had to memorize a list of all those who saw Jesus after He arose from the dead.
They were, in order of appearance:
- Mary Magdalene. (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18)
- Peter and James. (Luke 24:4; 1 Cor. 15:7)
- The other women. (Matthew 28:8-10)
- The two men on the Emmaus Road. (Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-34)
- The 10 Disciples. (Mark 16:14)
- The 11 Disciples including Thomas. (John 20:26-31)
- Seven disciples while fishing. (John 2:1-14)
- Eleven disciples on the mountain. (Matthew 28:16-20)
- The crowd of 500. (1 Cor. 15:6)
- All the Apostles. (1 Cor. 15:7)
- Disciples in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-49)
- Those who watched Him ascend. (Mark 16.19:20; Luke 24:50-53)
- Paul on the road to Damascus. (1 Cor. 15:8-9; Acts 9:1-8)
Third, Jesus literally ascended into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God!
As a crowd of onlookers watched, Jesus was lifted up into Heaven. There was no cord or tether that pulled Him up. In His Almighty power, He miraculously took off and went up into the clouds.
In Luke 24:50-51, we read,
“Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven.”
Jesus was taken up to a real place – heaven.
Some scholars believe He is just in some different time/space continuum. But the Bible clearly speaks of a place called Heaven.
And, in John 14:2-3, we are told that Jesus is preparing a place for us in Heaven. One day He is coming back to get us, to take us to heaven to live with Him.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Finally, Jesus did all of this for you! (and for me)
Because of His great love for us, He did all of this.
These great miracles of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus… He did it for you and for me.
Romans 5:8 puts it this way,
“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.”
1 John 4:9 tells us,
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.”
Today, as I close, can I encourage you to do three things?
1} Look up to Heaven and say, “Thank You, Jesus!”
2} Ponder this question for a few minutes – How long has it been since you were truly amazed and astounded by Jesus?
3} If you’ve lost the “wonder of it all, “ invite the Lord to astonish you again with Himself!
“Father, thank You for sending Jesus to live, to die, to rise, and to ascend. Thank You, Jesus, for doing this for me. I am amazed at how much You love me. Instill in me a greater awe for You. Grow my love for You. I want to fall deeply and passionately in love with You. Astonish me once again, Lord!”
Join us as we take a clear and practical look at some of the most basic and essential tenants of the Christian life – the doctrines of the faith.
Each week, we will highlight and explain a core doctrine. Then, we will pose the question, “Why does this matter to you and me?”
You can catch all of this year’s “Delight in Doctrine” posts by clicking HERE.
For the purposes of the study, our main texts will be first, the Bible, of course, and Wayne Grudem’s classic, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.
It is our prayer that by the end of 2017, we will all find more delight in understanding what we believe and why we believe it.
“…And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (ESV)
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