In the Middle!

March 10, 2024   /   Brad Myers   /   Cross Pointe Church

EASTER RESCUE! Through The Eyes of Easter People. Pastor Brad Myers In The Middle! March 10, 2024

Today: In The Middle!

Thought: Our Easter series is looking at some different people who were impacted by the Resurrection as we realize it’s also our story. We too are people impacted by the Resurrection. We are Easter People!

Q) What impact did the Resurrection have on Jesus’ closest friends.

John 20:19-22 (NLT) Jesus Appears to His Disciples

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Disciples hiding: Fearing the Jews.
  • Jesus appears: Shows His hands & side. Disciples glad!
  • Breathed on them: Empowerment of the Spirit

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Q) What kind of person likes being in the middle? NO ONE!

  • Why? Because we feel stuck!

Thought: The beginning is exciting, and the ending is a celebration. It’s the middle where you get bogged down.

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Starting Business:

  • Beginning: All the cool stuff: brainstorming, vision, projections (money) etc.
  • Middle: Challenging!
    • Everything we dreamed about now we actually have to do.
    • Not just do it but make it work!
    • In the middle is where it all happens!

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Nehemiah Wall

  • Maybe the greatest instance of a project undertaken by a people.
  • 52 days, we’re going to build this wall.

Nehemiah 4:6 (NLT)

At last, the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.

  • Done halfway! In the Middle!!!

Nehemiah 4:10 (NLT)

Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

What happened?

  • They hit the slump in the middle.
  • Where we’ve gone from, this is the best idea ever to this is so hard there’s no way we’re going to finish, right?
  • Morale is just crushing in the middle.

Thought: It’s in the middle that our fears can also overtake us.

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Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 14:24 (NKJV)

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

  • Where they gave up hope, lost heart, lost focus, thought they were going to die!

Same during Jesus’ Earthly Ministry & Resurrection!

  • Disciples see signs and wonders!
  • Resurrection: They’re in the middle of it. They were afraid. They felt stuck.
  • In their homes with the doors locked! Greek translation says “barred”

John 20:19 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!”

  • Which Disciples? Judas is dead, Thomas not there.
  • In the Middle Jesus Shows up!
  • Says: “PEACE”: in the middle of the disciples in the middle of their circumstances!

Thought: We don’t see peace in the middle because we’re looking at our situation instead of Jesus.

  • Jesus came into the middle of the room!

Thought: Comfort was the outcome of Jesus inserting Himself right in the middle.

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Bible says that Jesus showed up right in the middle and there were five outcomes.

First, They were calmed by His presence!

In Book of Acts

  • Peter & John standing up boldly proclaiming the name of Jesus!
  • Far cry what it was a short time earlier!

Thought: Peter and John stand with perfect posture, completely unafraid, unfazed.

  • Earlie Peter denied Jesus.
  • Earlier disciples hiding in a house.

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Q) What’s the difference now? The difference is they were calmed by His presence!

  • Jesus’ presence unlocks peace. Prince of Peace

Ephesians 2:14 (NIV)
For he himself is our peace,….

Thought: We tend to feel peace is the absence of trouble, but the Bible says peace is found in the presence of God!

Thought: Since Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He is present in the middle of your situation, even in trouble, you can have peace, because He is peace.

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Second, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His words.

Thought: His presence changed their demeanor, changed their situation and they were also calmed by his words.

John 14:27 (NIV)

Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  • Peace, I leave with you: First thing addressed when he would later be gone.
  • “my peace I give you”: Identified a different kind of peace.
  • They feared and rightfully so. All died miserable death except for John.

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World’s Peace:

  • Hopefully things don’t go bad for you.
  • Maybe a victory in over trial
  • Absence of challenging circumstances.

Shalom: Jesus tapping into this.

  • Deeply rooted in middle eastern culture and found in the OT, Jewish faith
  • Spoke of a wholeness, well-being that came from God giving you every good gift.
  • Jesus saying, may God give you every good gift, may God give you every good thing.
  • In every way may you receive God’s wellness.
  • Jesus stood there and said, “Here it is” Right in the middle of your most difficult situation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

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Third, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His wounds.

Proving starts

  • Just like we want in the middle of our terrible situation; Jesus to show up!
  • Proves he has risen from the dead.

Luke 24:37-42 (NIV)

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 ate it as they watched.

  • Jesus continues to prove through a process…
  • False Peace shows up every election year…

Thought: The more they believed the more Jesus would prove Himself.

Thought: In the middle of your situation, you must start believing for peace to get it!

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My Thought: In the middle of our situations, we do the exact opposite.

  • Do you see what I’m going through?
  • Do you understand the pain I’m suffering?
  • We itemize our suffering and say “Won’t you do something?”

Quote: When we finally experience Heaven, it will work backwards. It will take all the heart sickness and all the grief and all the despair we ever felt on earth and cause something glorious to burst forth from it. C.S. Lewis

Thought: Jesus’ focus is always on what He has done for us and not on what we need to do for Him

Thought: What Jesus has done for us always comes before what He calls us to do for Him.

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Fourth, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His mission!

Thought: So, after the disciples were anchored by presence and peace and anchored by His payment He made for them on the cross with His wounds in his side, his hands, his feet, He then gave them a mission.

Thought: So, after you were anchored by presence and peace and anchored by His payment He made for you on the cross with His wounds in his side, his hands, his feet, He then gave you a mission.

  • The Easter Rescue right in the middle of your situation.
  • Now there’s an assignment, a mission!
  • Mary Magdelene: “Go tell the disciples”

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The Mission!

John 20:21 (NLT) Jesus Appears to His Disciples

21 …….As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you

Thought:

  • The Father sent me, so I also send you!
  • Not an errand.
  • Send out with an official mission on behalf of the embassy.

Thought: Your kingdom is heaven, and you now have diplomatic immunity even from the ways this world operates. You now get to live on a higher level. But you only get the immunity if you are working on for the kingdom of heaven on its official mission!

Romans 10:14 (NLT)

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

  • You are now on a mission from the Kingdom of Heaven!

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Before He sent them He offers Peace again!

John 20:21 (NLT)

Again, he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

  • “Peace be with you.” Jesus is Peace he’s going with you!

Thought: There’s not only peace in the gathering but there’s also peace for the scattering.

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Fifth, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His Spirit!

John 20:21-22 (NLT)

21Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV)

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,…. it will also give life to your mortal bodies…..

Thought: The same power that raised Jesus from the dead has been given to His followers to do all that we’ve been called to do, as we’re sent out into this world to our homes and to our situations.

  • “followers” not “fans”

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Same spirit from Genesis 2:27

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

  • Giving physical and spiritual Life!
  • John 20:21-22: Jesus breathed and gave new spiritual life

Thought: Jesus started His Easter Rescue, resurrection journey, in the middle.

John 19:18

There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

  • Two robbers on both sides.
  • Both mocked Jesus
  • One thief responded to His offer to be saved.
  • He died in the middle of one who accepted him and one who received him.
  • Jesus is always right in the middle.

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