Acts 4: 32-37
JOHN 20: 19-29

Church … another day and another hour but what matters to me … what matters to my future … what should matter to you and your future … the only truth I want to know … HE IS RISEN <<HE IS RISEN INDEED>>

We are the EASTER people … we are coming out of Holy Week … and if in your post morning cup of coffee moments; you see I do need that coffee or that shower to get my mind entirely in gear … what matters to me most; what should matter to you most is that the God of Creation gave us a Savior!  That the God of Abraham and Moses … the God of David and of Isaiah … Yes, the God of Peter, James, John and Paul … THAT GOD … has given us hope.

God told Jeremiah,

“Do not be afraid of them … for I am with you and will rescue you.”    The same God who said, “I know the plans for you … plans for peace … to give you a future with hope.”

We heard the early Christians … Luke recorded the history …

those early believers were one in heart and mind … they shared everything that they had!!” 

So, on this Sunday after Easter …. I am so excited to declare to the world … to share again with this church … that HE IS RISEN <<HE IS RISEN INDEED>> MY SAVIOR LIVES … MY GOD LOVES … I have HOPE in my future not just here on this planet but I have knowledge of where I am going when my time is done here.

So, church … I only want to know; do you?

In this mixed up world where the leader of an alleged Christian college threatens to arrest two world renown Christian leaders from our area, one a friend of mine, if they dare step onto his campus to lead students in prayer and share in the Lord’s Table … in this world when far too many church going people never give an after thought to God’s Holy Word until their next planned church attendance moment occurs …

DO YOU KNOW this Jesus?  Do you have a personal relationship with Him.  Are you excited to again be going to the TABLE of LOVE the TABLE of FORGIVENESS … the Table of our Lord and Savior? And, does that personal relationship provide you with the peace and hope God has provided to those who do believe?

Faith is all too often associated with church attendance but faith is belief and belief has to do with change and when we change then our works become God focused … Christ centered and we want more not less … we want to know how to live that belief out in the material world.

Last Sunday night the nation was treated to what I thought was an incredible spectacular version of the musical JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.   If you missed it you can see it ON DEMAND by the way … you truly missed powerful singing and acting from Broadway star, Brandon Victor Dixon, in the role of Judas, John Legend’s wonderful singing as Jesus and even an appearance by Alice Cooper as King Herod.   For those of you who remember Mr. Cooper from your younger days what you should know about this legend from the rock and roll era is the power of his faith in Jesus Christ.

The 70 year old performer was interviewed by the NY Daily News last week on Easter and firmly stated that his wife and he are both Christians.  That he had almost died from his former lifestyle but then he came back to Jesus.   Friends,   God told Jeremiah,

“Do not be afraid of them … for I am with you and will rescue you.”   The same God who said, “I know the plans for you … plans for peace … to give you a future with hope.”

And, there was this rock and roll performer finding hope in God … finding love in Jesus Christ … and God’s healing power was there.  And, what did Alive Cooper say in that interview in the NY Daily News … It’s all about a “one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.” He studies his Bible every day … He leads a Bible study on Wednesday’s …

Andrew Lloyd Webber who along with Tim Rice wrote Jesus Christ Superstar was recently asked by Parade magazine that amidst his busy schedule that has him flying around the world what is his favorite place … his answer BEING IN CHURCH at home in ENGLAND.

In SUPERSTAR, we get Judas perspective on that last week of Jesus; our Holy Week … He asks the rhetorical question …

“Why’d you choose such a backward time in such a strange land.  If you came today you could have reached a whole nation.  Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication … don’t get me wrong Judas sings.  I only want to know.”

Friends … God didn’t need mass communication to change the world through His Son Jesus the Christ.  The truth of Jesus provides the answer to Judas in that song … the Light of Christ shines in every corner of the world … God’s plan was to have each one who believes … not just each one who goes into church but each one who believes … who lives out his or her life in faith … God’s plan was to fulfill the prophecy to Jeremiah,

“When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you.  When you search for me, yes, search for me with ALL of your heart … you will find me.  I will be present for you.”

God’s plan … requires God’s people … the people, like you and me, who can declare with joy and hope this morning HE IS RISEN <<He is Risen Indeed>> to share the joy.  To tell others how God has been there for us.  You and I and those on FACEBOOK this morning … those of us who right here … deep in our hearts … have received the message … we can fully grasp what Jesus was telling Thomas after Thomas realized his folly in insisting that he put his hands in the wounds.  Jesus said,

“Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”

You see faith is not a sad thing; faith brings joy … believing is not giving up it is gaining … but church I ONLY WANT TO KNOW … this week who did you share your happiness with in Jesus Christ?  With whom did you lift up the happiness you have because you have been changed. Who saw the joy of Easter resurrection on your face?

We don’t get NY Daily News opportunities … we don’t get to sing and dance on national television to share the message of Jesus Christ … we don’t get to lead prayer vigils on college campuses for hundreds or thousands of young people and then share Holy Communion with them like my friend Shane Claiborne … we only get our worlds but that should be enough because God has blessed us with talents and gifts and given us His love and the Light of Christ.

But, church I only want to know your plans … I want to know is Jesus Christ part of your walk … actually I don’t need to know but God needs to know.  You see … you and God need to be in balance with each other.   Since Jesus began walking those dusty roads there have been many who figured out that He was more than just a man … but they have been afraid of authorities, of friends’ opinions, or even of having to change who they were.  Jesus the Son of God calls all of us to much more.

We know the women were out proclaiming HE IS RISEN <<He is Risen Indeed>> while His disciples hid afraid behind closed and locked doors because they were afraid that they were next … that the authorities were coming for them.  But then Jesus came and stood amongst them …


… Jesus brought peace not anxiety … God provides hope not worry …

When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy!”  And, again there was Jesus “PEACE BE WITH YOU.”

So, as we head to the TABLE … do you have that peace?  Have you experienced that joy?  I Only Want to Know … has Jesus Christ reached you here <<POINTING TO HEART>> and I know if He has then you just like His disciples have received the Holy Spirit.  And, as we eat the bread and drink from the cup once again we will know that our sins are forgiven if we forgive the sins of others.

So, the EASTER message is alive … JESUS IS RISEN … and we each should be ready to ask those crossing our paths, I ONLY WANT TO KNOW … have you heard of my Lord, my Savior, the Son of God Jesus the Christ and is He in your heart like He is in mine?

If any of you sense the need to talk more about Jesus … if any of you have felt moved towards God during this Holy season but don’t know what to do please talk with me after church I am always around and willing to sit and chat.

Prepare your hearts church …. Close out the world let Jesus Peace; the peace He shared behind closed doors with His disciples that gave them the courage to go out into the world with the GOOD NEWS fill your hearts this morning.  AMEN

Watch a video of today’s worship service:

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