Sermon delivered on B, Sunday, , 2021 at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Westerville, OH.
Lectionary texts: Acts 4.32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1.1-2.2; St John 20.19-31.
Prayer: Lord Jesus you are the son of Living God. You are the messiah. That is why you only can say these words. Revelation: 1: 17-18 “Fear Not; I am the First and the Last, And the Living one. I Died and behold I am Alive for ever And I have the Keys of Death (grave) and Hades. Amen.” Bless the hearts of St. Augustine family to an encounter with you in order to have resurrection life. In Jesus name I pray .Amen.
What is the difference between Complete and finished?
If you find the right partner /spouse you are complete. And if you find the wrong one you are finished. And if you are wrong and have the wrong partner, you are completely finished.
Let us reflect the Evidences of Jesus Christ Resurrection:
1. Eye Witnesses – Who saw Jesus after the resurrection?
The first one to see Jesus after His resurrection was Mary Magdalene, and Mary and Salome who were with Mary Magdalene, ( Mark 16:9 ). Matt 28:9; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:15-18; John 20:14; 1 Cor 15:3-5 The three women, Matthew 28:9, “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 Saul-Paul of Tarsus reported the resurrected Jesus had appeared to Peter – Cephas, then the 12 disciples, then more than 500 brethren most of whom who were still alive and could be questioned, Jesus appeared to James (skeptic) and finally to Paul himself (a Pharisee and a man who persecuted Christians until he had a face-to-face encounter with the resurrected Jesus)
Who felt Jesus real presence after the resurrection? Who touched Resurrected Jesus?
All the faithful followers beginning with the Apostle, saw resurrected Jesus and felt His breath of Holy Spirit.
2. The truthfulness of the word of God:
Acts 2: 22-30 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him …but God raised Him from the dead.
1cor 15: if Christ has not been raised my preaching is in vain and you faith is empty…. You still in sin
Rom 10: 9-10 that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
John 2: Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days
3. Why should all the Apostle die alone except John in a far distant countries, became martyrs for the false belief and what is the gain?
Apostle Thomas had come to south India and proclaimed Christ and was stabbed to death by the Hindu Brahmins.
4. The Empty Tomb – Pharisees and kings with all the authority could not prove with the dead body of Jesus either in the tomb or in Jerusalem or elsewhere. If they were to found the dead body of Jesus they can falsify the resurrection of Jesus.
5. The Mission of Preaching of Risen Christ began in Jerusalem to the ends of the world from the day of Pentecost. There were many good deeds and miracles done by the apostles in the name of risen Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit spread to everyone who believed in the Lord.
6. The change of Worshiping day from Saturday to Sunday began in the church. It is because Jesus rose on Sunday.
7. The history of mankind began with the birth of Jesus –the son of God. We start AD –Anno Domini. The time, days and years designated from the Birth of Christ Jesus.
8. The conversion of Saul of Tarsus- the persecutor of the church began to preach the Jews and Gentiles the grace and redemption through the passion and the crucifixion and the power of the resurrection and witnessing the risen Christ. The one who wrote 1/3 of the New Testament.
9. With all the knowledge of science and discoveries, atheist do not even come close to disprove the resurrection even after 2000 years.
10. The existence of the church that began with Jesus continues even today after thousands of years with all the persecutions and destructions of the churches all over the world. Whereas all the powerful emperors, dictators, kings, presidents,Priministers and famous scientists and many more cannot be remembered after a century.
11. My own experience believing the Absolute God the Almighty and the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I feel free from sin once I received the resurrected life- Born Again – New Life in Jesus Christ.
`Shalom! ` With God as we are reconciled. Shalom with our neighbors as we learn to love them.
Peace comes with occupation with Christ.
Christians can have peace in times of trouble. Fear cripples the Christian faith and life. Those who operate with fear orientation forget about how the sovereignty of God relates to their lives.
The disciples’ world changed at the shocking appearance of Jesus in bodily form. Their suppressing fear turned to joy (Jn 16:22). Jesus offered them “peace,” a harmony of their soul. He puts together all the discord of our lives as well (Jn 16:33). Circumstance does not have to control our lives. Occupation with Christ can allay the troubled heart (1 Pe 1:6-8).
- ‘Jesus breathed on them’. The Holy Spirit empowered all who assembled with the fire of love to preach and to observe the commands and teachings of Christ. The mission of the Risen Christ is to make the disciple of all the nation.
- Do I have any sense of ‘being sent’? Good news is first foremost is for me. I should change myself from bad to good-The change of heart. And sharing the joy in Christ to others.
- Can I Witness that believing in the name of Jesus Christ has brought freedom from slavery to sin, salvation to my soul and everlasting peace, joy and the life to me?
- The Risen Jesus meets his closest friends for the first time after they had all abandoned him in his hour of need. It must have been a moment they were all dreading. Yet his first words, twice over, were, ‘Peace be with you’. No rebuke, no reproach, just ‘Peace!’ And then he showed them his wounds, the unmistakable signs.
- ‘As the Father sent me, I also send you’. While they were feeling they had failed abysmally as his disciples, he entrusted them with the same mission he had received from the Father: now they knew it was not they who had chosen him, but he had chosen them. Their mission, a mission of bringing forgiveness of sins with true repentance of heart and preach that Jesus is the only the way to heaven.
- Thomas is an ordinary person, knotted up in his own fears and doubts. Perhaps we all carry something of his DNA? Here we are shown the transforming impact which his personal encounter with Jesus has on him. We Christians have to have a renewed personal encounter with Jesus.
‘These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name’. The final sentence of this text underlines the purpose of the Gospel in general and of the Resurrection narrative in particular: that through faith in Jesus as the Messiah we may have life in His name.
- Thomas places his hands in the wounds of Jesus, and the experience draws from him the first, ringing affirmation of Christ’s divinity: “My Lord and my God!” Fully human, and fully divine. Eternally human, eternally divine. His human nature is glorified, just as His divinity is humanized. Our human nature will be forever in Him; His divinity dwells within us, and will remain with us even to the consummation of the world.
- I let Jesus whisper to me, ‘You will be blessed if you decide to believe!’ To believe in him is to give my heart to him,not just my head. It is not too demanding to do this, because he has already given his heart to me.
- ‘Sending’ is what God likes to do. Jesus is sent, the Holy Spirit is sent, and we are sent too. Jesus is sent to bring love, light and truth into the world. I too am sent. I am to bring love, light and truth into my little world. I am important to the plans of God. The world will be better if I carry out the mission of Jesus Christ.
- Brave, honest Thomas had gone off to grieve on his own, so he missed that meeting with the Lord. I can taste some of his isolation and resentment in his Unless…. I will not believe. I have suffered in this way when I isolated myself from the community of faith. It is when I am stunned by sorrow that I most need the company of friends and the support of faith.
- Thomas was a modern man, finding faith hard, like many people today. He was let down by the others who ran away, the leader denied Jesus, his trust in the group of apostles had been abused. He didn’t want much more to do with them. He had got tired of it all. He wanted to believe but needed a sort of proof. But faith grows within a community. That’s why we administer the sacraments like baptism. We find growth in our faith through the community – for example, in the Mass, sharing our faith in a group or a good spiritual- Bible study, sharing our doubts but never closing the door to Jesus, sharing our faith in thanks for what our faith gives us.
- In community, the disciples found faith in the risen Christ. Thomas, for some reason, was not with them when the Lord came. Separated from the community, he found faith more difficult. Faith in the Lord, while personal, is not a private affair. In the faith of one, the faith of another may be strengthened. Formation in faith for the disciples had its communal experience – together they learned and found faith in the Lord.
- Jesus always brings peace and reconciliation. Saint Augustine called peace ‘the tranquility of order’, meaning order in my relationships with God, with other people and within myself. Where is there lack of peace in my life? Who do I need to make peace with? Do I make space to experience God’s forgiveness and gift of peace? I ask for his peace so that I may bring others the peace of Christ.
Experience the living Jesus: Jesus was alive- with physical body. John the apostle says we have seen with our eyes, we have heard with our ears and we have touched and ate with him.
That’s what we experience in this Lord’s Supper the Living Presence – His body to satisfy our hunger and His blood to quench our thirst.
The Easter brings Three gifts to us: 1. the gift of peace, 2. the gift of power-“Receive the Holy Spirit” [the power]. And 3. The gift of purpose “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” – . The opposite of peace is conflict. The opposite of power is weakness. The opposite of purpose is aimlessness.
“Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1).
Jesus sending you and me to extend His peace, His power, His mission and His light and His truth and His life in the world.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for blessing us with Great HOPE in you.
Come Lord Jesus to meet us, to talk with us, to change our lives. Because we are discouraged, disappointed and despair for the troubles and works the flesh and woks of this world and works of devil. With your help the world may discover that you are the messiah. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.