Sunday, July 13, 2008

40 Days with Jesus - The Days After

The Great Commission

Part 27 – 40 Days with Jesus


Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

July 13th – Walker Spriggs

July 20th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

July 27th – Grace Steadman

August 3rd – Lori Ulman

August 10th – Lynnette Higgins


Jesus Curses the Fig Tree – Warning to followers to produce fruit

Jesus Teaches the parable of the Marriage Feast – Calling all good and bad

The Last Supper – Accepting the covenant the Lord

The Crucifixion – Sealing of the covenant, atonement for separation

The Resurrection – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry


Luke 24:1 – 12 The Resurrection

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

I. Resurrection Day

The story of the Lord’s atoning death on the cross and resurrection has been told many times, both in and outside of the Church.

But what we do not often discuss, is the 40 days the Lord spent with us AFTER His resurrection, where the Lord was with us in His resurrected body before His ascension into heaven.

The resurrection is the most important part of our faith.

Without the Cross, we would not be meeting here today.

Without the Cross, we would not have an opportunity to have a right relationship with our God and Creator.

Without the Cross, all we would have to look forward to, is an eternity of separation from God.

a. The Crucifixion

Jesus’ life did not end at Calvary.

He is living, and alive!

The final stage of His atoning span on earth, as flesh and blood, ended at the Cross.

But He would be the first to receive the resurrected body, the fulfillment of our Father’s plan, and lead, just as a shepherd, all of us down that narrow path that He traveled first, so that we too may be with the Father in Heaven.

John 14 Jesus tells us that He is going to the Father to prepare a place for us, and that He will return for us.

This chapter was to comfort the Disciples before the crucifixion.

b. The resurrection

Our scripture reading today tells us that the women were traveling to the tomb.

This was the custom to place spices on the corpse of the deceased.

But when they arrived, Jesus was not there.

c. The Facts

We have, at the least, 15 accounts of Jesus appearing before His ascension into heaven, within these 40 days after the resurrection.

Why 40 days?

The flood came by 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

Noah waited another 40 days before opening a window of the ark.

Moses was on the mountain with God twice, for 40 days.

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness.

Goliath stood before the Israelites taunting for 40 days before David killed him.

Jonah warned Nineveh they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city. But the people repented and fasted for 40 days, and the city was spared.

Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness.

A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.

Why 40 days?

Because when Jesus was resurrected, He sent the women to tell the Apostles.

(Which shows God does use women in Ministry)

And said for them to tell the apostles to meet with Him in the Mountain. (Matthew 28:10)

Upon hearing this, the scriptures tell us that the Disciples did not believe them…

We read that Peter ran to the tomb and saw it was empty, and the scripture says, “…and he wondered what happened.”

Why did they need 40 days with the resurrected Jesus?

Because they needed to be restored, and Jesus needed to jump start His ministry, otherwise those who were with Him in life, would not have begun the great work in which we continue today.

So they doubted…not just Thomas, it says all of them.

So they went to the place the women told them Jesus would meet with them.

Matthew 28:16 – 17

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

40 days, because although they knew Jesus, and walked with Him and talked with Him…and even though they had received Salvation, they did not have the Holy Spirit yet.

This 40 days was a period of revival to restore them to ministry, and a period of renewal, especially for Peter.

And at the end of this 40 days, they would be restored, renewed and ready to receive the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Spirit.

And they would receive the Holy Spirit, 10 days after Jesus’ ascension.

II. Are you looking for the living among the dead?

One of the things the angel said to the women at the tomb, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?”

a. The separation in our hearts

The separation from God has caused a void within each and every one of us.

A void that causes us to lack true love, for the Bible says “God IS love”, therefore if you do not have God, you can not truly love.

The scriptures also say that we are to love our neighbor (the unsaved) as ourselves, and that anyone who says he loves God but hates his brother (another Christ follower) is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.

What is the truth that is not in him if He does not love? Christ…for Jesus Himself told us, “I am the way and Truth and the life. And no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”

b. Filling the void

This void causes us to seek the Lord, the truth, the way, the life, love.

We seek, sometimes without even knowing what we are looking for.

And if Christ followers of this age do not fulfill what God has called and commanded us to do, these seekers will unwittingly try to fill that void with the things of this world.

Just as the devil plans it.

Convincing seekers that the desires are for things of the flesh, and have nothing to do with the spirit of a man.

Life and death, God says He lays both before you.

This is evidence of our free will to choose.

But if you do not know which to choose, He tells us in the next verse “Choose Life!”

This world offers nothing but sin, which leads only to death.

So we look for the living among the dead.

We turn to the 3 stooges of sin…sex, drugs & rock n roll

Trying to fill that void that only the Love of God can fill.

c. Where to look

Seekers look among the dead, because we as Christ followers have failed.

We have failed to show them the way to life.

Not to judge them and their sin, pushing them away from Christ, but recognizing they are lost, (by their fruits they will be known) and loving them into the kingdom.

There are those who claim to be followers of Christ, yet continue to live for the world…

The Bible refers to those people as tears among the wheat, and they will be dealt with by God.

Remember, the King has commanded us, His servants, to invite ALL to the feast! Good and Bad.

And He will judge them accordingly.

If they are true followers of Christ, then God will see Jesus’ righteousness when He looks upon them.

If they are tears among the wheat, then God will see their self-indulgent, living like the world, claiming to be a follower but lie, He will see their garments, not His, He will see their self-righteousness…

Instead of Christ’ righteousness.

And as the parable Jesus tells us reveals, they will be cast out into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You may be able to fool those around you, you may even fool yourself,

The scriptures say, “Be doers of the Word, not just hearers, and thus deceiving yourselves…”

But you can not fool God the Creator into believing you are a flower of Christ, while you live like the world.

So seekers look to the world for answers, because we as true followers have failed to provide the answers for them.

If you say to yourself…

Well, I’m going and that’s all that matters…

Then you are in trouble. Because that’s NOT all that matters, and that statement alone has revealed that your heart is selfish, caring only for yourself and putting yourself before others, which is not love.

That is self-righteousness…

And we know what the scripture says, if you do not love others before yourself, then the truth is not in you.

We have failed the lost.

We have failed the Church.

But most of all we have failed Christ Jesus.


If we show the lost the way to love by loving them, and they see that the way to fill that void is a path to Christ, then we are doing what the Lord has called us to do.

And we do this by first recognizing that someone is lost and they are a seeker.

We can tell this because of their fruit…the way they live their life reveals whether they are Christ followers or not.

Then we share our life with them, and what the Lord has done for us in our lives, and how we came to the Lord and discovered what living is really about.

Is God everything to you? If He is, then share Him with others.


God did not call us to be silent. But to share the invitation with all, good and bad.

He did not give us the Holy Spirit to do nothing, but to serve the Kingdom by building up others, strengthening them, and using your gifts for the service of the church.

God does not dwell within you to hide from the world, but to be shown to the world by the way you live, for you are the temple of God, and an example of God to the world.

It’s not newspaper ads, signs, community events and church cook outs that are going to bring people to Christ, but the sharing of the Truth, the invitation that we share to have a relationship with Christ Jesus.

That is what Jesus commanded us to do”If you love me, you will obey all I command…”

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