The Risen King – Selected Scriptures

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 9, 2023

The Risen King – Selected Scriputres


Today is most often referred to as Easter Sunday. Webster defines “Easter” as “A feast that commemorates Christ’s resurrection.” The name became tied to Jesus’ resurrection due to the KJV translators substituting “Easter” for “Passover” in Acts 12:4 as a time reference to early Spring that would have had greater recognition among the English. Easter was a cultural celebration of the arrival of Spring and Passover occurs at about the same time of the year. For Christians, the death of Jesus on Passover and His resurrection three days later connected time references to Passover to Jesus’ resurrection.

Common cultural aspects of the celebration of Easter in our culture include things such as wearing a new dress or suit to church, having a family get-together, a ham dinner with all the fixins, putting out Easter baskets for the children that are filled with eggs – often chocolate – and other candy. It includes the celebration of the arrival of Spring with lots of flowers, and decorations of cute fuzzy little chicks and cuddly rabbits.

I am not going to make many statements about all the traditions that have developed over the years that now go into the celebration of Easter, but I will make a few general comments about a primary figure in our increasingly secular society that may have a greater recognition in association with Easter than Jesus. That figure is of course the Easter Bunny. While the Easter Bunny was not developed as an attack on Christianity, and while many good Christian families have had fun with the Easter Bunny mythology, that does not mean that the Easter bunny is a good thing. Now it will remain between you and the Lord whether you want to include this mythical character in your celebration since it is not my purpose today to tell you whether the Easter Bunny is right or wrong. However, I would like to deflate him some today and challenge your thinking

Diane and I chose to exclude the mythical rabbit in our home. That was not from trying to be super spiritual, but simply because this bunny competes to become the reason for Easter, and we did not want our sons confused in any way about the reason for Easter. It is also why we are careful to refer to it as Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter. The focus is to be the true joy of celebrating the resurrection of Christ from the dead and giving praise to Him instead of giving praise or thanks to a mythical rabbit that carries around a basket of eggs and candy.

Am I over-reacting? I don’t believe so. Consider the following. 1. Most public school systems around our nation no longer have an “Easter Break,” as they did when I was in school. Instead, it is “Spring Break” which may or may not have any connection to the timing of Easter. 2) Fewer and fewer Public Schools will explain the reason for “Easter” even if only from an historical standpoint. Yet, I can guarantee that most public schools will have decorations that include our little bunny friend. 3) The general response of our society now rarely acknowledges Easter as a religious holiday. Have any of you who have been shopping this last week seen any signs or banners saying, “Hallelujah, He is Risen?” Perhaps at Hobby Lobby or a small shop run by Christians. Yet you will commonly find the Easter Bunny used in advertising to peddle a lot of candy, toys and flowers. 4) Even “Easter Greeting Cards” carry the theme of how wonderful it is that spring is here instead how wonderful it is that Jesus conquered death! Even the supposedly religious cards can be weak on this point.

My point is simple. The reason for the celebration of Easter – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – just like the reason for the celebration of Christmas, becomes concealed by all the extra paraphernalia our secular society has generated in its false celebration. In the spirit of fun we join in, and soon we find ourselves missing the point of the holiday too. I do not want something to come between me and the Lord that will hinder my praise to Him. I do not want to confuse children with something that obscures their understanding of God and His work among men. That is especially true with crucial truths such as the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus.

Now just because I have said this does not mean that I want you to go home and throw away all the bunny decorations, but it does mean that when you go home, you should remember and focus your celebration today on the joy and wonder of Jesus’ resurrection and not the Easter Bunny and the traditions of our secular society.

The question now arises, “why is today so important and why should it be celebrated?” The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the pivotal event of all of human history. It is the focal point of all human hope. To understand this we must understand who Jesus is and why He came.

The Jews of that time were anxiously awaiting the coming of the Messiah – the Anointed One. They believed Messiah would throw off the yoke of bondage of Rome and lead Israel back into world prominence as it had in the days of kings David and Solomon. They knew the prophecies, such as in 2 Samuel 7:12-13 that God would raise up a descendant of David and establish his kingdom forever, so they were looking for a king that would conquer their enemies. Instead, Jesus came as the Suffering Servant.

The Suffering Servant – Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 best describes the reason and the nature of Jesus’ coming as the Suffering Servant. Turn with me there and follow along as I read from the LSB starting in Isaiah 52:13

52:13 “Behold, My Servant will prosper; He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were appalled at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.”

53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should desire Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our peace fell upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But Yahweh has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living, That for the transgression of my people, striking was due to Him? 9 So His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But Yahweh was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If You would place His soul as a guilt offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of Yahweh will succeed in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will divide for Him a portion with the many, And He will divide the spoil with the strong; Because He poured out His soul to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.”

When Jesus Christ came the first time, He did not come as a conquering monarch, but as a suffering servant. Jesus did not look like a king for He had no stately appearance (52:14; 53:2). He did not act like a king for He was like a lamb led to the slaughter (53:7). He was not treated as a king for He was despised, forsaken, pierced, crushed, oppressed and afflicted (53:3,5,7). He did not die like a king for He was smitten by God and died with the wicked (53:4, 9). When Jesus came the first time, He did not come as a conquering monarch, a king who would physically vanquish His foes. He came as a suffering servant. This is one reason why He was rejected by the Jewish religious leaders and that generation (Lk 9:22; 17:25). Jesus was the “stone which the builders rejected” (Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7). The culmination of that rejection is recorded in Luke 23:13-25

“And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. I will therefore punish Him and release Him.’ Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner. But they cried out all together, saying, ‘Away with this man, and release for us Barabbaas!’ (He was one who had been thrown into prison for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) And Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, ‘Crucify, crucify Him!’ And he said to them the third time, ‘Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; I will therefore punish Him and release Him.’ But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified, and their voices began to prevail.”

Even though Pilate had been warned by His wife who had a dream concerning Jesus and his own investigation proved Jesus to be innocent, Pilate pronounced a sentence that granted the demand of the mob that had gathered. He released the insurrectionist and murderer Barabbas and he delivered Jesus to be crucified. The guilty was freed and the innocent was condemned to die.

The culmination of the rejection of the suffering servant was the crucifixion of Jesus as the Suffering Servant, and yet in that rejection Jesus was able to accomplish the purpose for which He came. The passage we read in Isaiah states that Messiah would come to justify men by bearing their iniquity, their sin in Himself (53:6 – All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him). Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus came to save mankind from condemnation to the penalty of sin which is death/eternal separation from God (Rev 20:14-15), and he accomplished that by paying that penalty Himself as a substitution for us. Even Barabbas being set free and Jesus being condemned to die is a beautiful picture of Christ’s work for us. The guilty is set free because the innocent has taken his place.

He came to be the Suffering Servant and to suffer and die bearing our sins on himself. But that is not the end of the story. If all Jesus came to do was to die, then we would have no hope. The apostle Paul says this clearly and forcefully in 1 Cor. 15. If Jesus is still dead, we are, as Paul puts it in 1 Cor 15:19, “are of all men most to be pitied.” Why? Because it is as he stated in vs 17- 18, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” and “those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” Jesus did not come just to be the Suffering Servant, He came to become the Risen King!

The Risen King

It is vital that Jesus was resurrected and He came back to physical life from the dead because it is the resurrection that gives us both the assurance that Jesus did conquer death and also the hope that because He was victorious over death, then we can also be victorious over death through Him. This is why Paul can cry out in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?” Our hope is solidly based in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 expresses that, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Do you recognize that our hope comes “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?”

This hope is radical! Imagine going to a funeral. The people gather together and the music is playing. The preacher gets up and starts the service and then in the middle of the eulogy, the guy in the coffin opens the lid and sits up and says, “hey look! I’m alive again!” Now that would be a shock! Dead people do not get out of their coffins. But that is exactly our hope because that is what Christ did and has promised for us. One day there are going to be a lot of graves that will suddenly open and the decayed bodies of those who have died in Christ are going to be changed in the twinkling of an eye into glorified resurrection bodies and the soul will be rejoined to it. The dead will be alive again! That is radical, but it is true. And though we do not know what that body will be like, we do know that it will be like Christ’s as stated in 1 John 3:2.

When Jesus came out of that Tomb, He came out with a physical body that was radically changed. He was without the limitations that He had placed upon Himself prior to the resurrection. While His humanness was still seen in that he could be seen and touched (Luke 24:39), yet he was not recognizable as Jesus except as He opened the eyes of those He was with to reveal His identity. That happened to both to Mary in John 20:15-18 and to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-31. His physical humanity was also demonstrated in eating broiled fish (Luke 24:42-43), yet Jesus could also suddenly appear in a room which had its doors shut (John 20:19), and He could also suddenly vanish while others were looking at Him (Luke 24:31, 36). Our hope includes this radical promise of such a resurrection body of our own.

For Jesus, not only was His body different, but so was His relationship to men. Before he was despised and rejected by men. Now He was to be worshiped as their Savior and their king.

The concept of a king is not something that is understood well by us in American society because we do not really have anything that parallels it. Even though we have had Presidents and Governors that try to act dictatorial, their power is limited by both restrictions on the length of time they can be in that office and having to share authority with two other branches of government. Not so with a king. A king is the absolute ruler of the area he controls. He may get advice and he may delegate some of his authority to others that will serve him, but the king holds the power. The final decision is always his, and if he wants to change his mind, that is his prerogative. The president is often treated with insolence, shown disrespect, castigated, even laughed at. That would be very dangerous to do to a king for the ancient kings had power of life and death over every subject and he could take the life of his subjects at his own whim. The book of Esther tells that Ahasuarus had the right to sentence someone to death even if all they did was disturb him when he did not want to be bothered. The king was held in reverence and treated with dignity, and a righteous king is the great joy to all the people.

Jesus rose from the dead as the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14). Since Jesus conquered the grave, He now has the keys of death and hades (Rev. 1:18). Jesus is no longer the suffering servant, a meek and mild lamb led to the slaughter. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah. The crowds will no longer mock Him as they had done at his trial and crucifixion. All who saw Him after the resurrection were astounded. When the women who had come to the tomb early that morning saw Jesus, they “took hold of His feet and worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:9). The Apostles were frightened when they first saw Him and then rejoiced (Luke 24:37). Thomas just exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28), When Jesus appeared to Saul the Pharisee while he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, he fell to the ground, went blind and was radically changed to become Paul the apostle. (Acts 9:4,8). The Lord Jesus Christ is now at the right hand of the God the Father making intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25; 10:12) and preparing a place in heaven for us (John 14:2). In addition, He is preparing to come again as the Returning Sovereign.

The Returning Sovereign

The pivotal point of the work of Christ was His resurrection from the dead. The next major event in the work of Christ is His return as sovereign. C.H. Spurgeon, that great English preacher of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s said,

The Lord shall come, but not the same
As once in lowliness he came
A humble man before His foes
A weary man and full of woes

Jesus will be the same in nature, but not in condition. Revelation 19:11-16 records His condition upon His return. 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “king of kings, and lord of lords.”

Will Christ return in a different condition? YES! Prophecy has declared from the early books of the Hebrew Scriptures forward that one day Messiah will come and set up an earthly kingdom. That day is still to come, and when it does, Jesus will return as sovereign King and not as a suffering servant.

The only question remaining is – are you ready for it?

The Responses of His Subjects

Jesus will return as the sovereign, the absolute ruler over His kingdom which encompass the universe. That means that every human will be His subjects. What will be the responses of His subjects?

Some of His subjects will be rebellious. They will seek to make war against Him. They will curse His name. They may or may not be aware that they are making war against God, but their immoral lifestyles, sinful behavior and selfishness is exactly that. Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Numerous Scriptures make it clear that the unredeemed unrighteous will be eternally damned to the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 16:21; 19:19; 20:15).

Some of His subjects will not be so actively rebellious. They will simply seek to ignore Him. These are those who claim that He does not exist (atheists), or that they cannot know Him (agnostics). In Romans 1 Paul says the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness, including those that do “not see fit to acknowledge God any longer” (1:28). In this group will also be those who might quietly recognize that He exists, but they choose to forget about Him, ignore Him, and hope that He won’t bother them. Paul says the wrath of God is also against this people because “they [do] not honor Him as God or give thanks” (1:21). Their end is the same as the rebellious – eternal damnation in the lake of fire (Psalm 14:1-2, Rom 1:20, Rev. 20:15). You cannot ignore God.

Some of His subjects will not only acknowledge His existence, they will seek to serve Him, but only according to their own thoughts and wishes. They do not follow what He has revealed to the world about Himself and what His will is. These are those that are caught up in false religions. They have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (1:25). The creature they serve may be some idol or great moral teacher (Hinduism & related eastern religions), or it may be the teachings of the creature, man, rather than the doctrines of God. That would include false religions and the cults that twist the Bible or add their own teachings resulting in a different Jesus and / or salvation by human works instead of God’s grace. This would include the various cult groups such as Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Science, Catholicism, etc. Their end too will be eternal damnation in the lake of fire (Romans 2, Rev. 20:15)

Then there are some of His subjects which are within what we define as Christianity, but they are also false. They claim to follow Scripture and may even do great things in Jesus’ name including casting out demons, but they are those Jesus described in Matthew 7:21-23, 26-27. They have not been regenerated to do the Lord’s will. They are those that hear Jesus’ words but do not do them. They are those who practice lawlessness. Their end is also eternal damnation in the lake of fire (Matt 7:15-23; 25:41-46; Rev 20:15).

Finally there are a few of Jesus’ subjects who truly know Him. They understand their own sin and have repented to place their faith in what He did for them on the cross to redeem them so that they are forgiven by God’s grace and are made righteous on the basis of faith. They know that they have been bought with His sacrifice and their lives belong to Him. They trust Him to keep all of His promises, and they respond to His love by loving Him and others unconditionally.

Yes, true Christians will struggle and waver, but their desire is to truly please the Lord who created and saved them. They strive to stay on the narrow road and separate themselves from worldliness. They have hope, a confident assurance of the future, because Jesus’ resurrection proves all of His claims and promises are true including that He will return for them. Their names are written in the book of life and their end will be to inherit the kingdom prepared for them and spend eternity with God (Matt 25:31-39; Rev 21).

I hope you are one of His subjects that is in that last category. If you are not, then you need to talk with me or one of the other church leaders and get your life right with God today because you do not know if you will have tomorrow.

If you are in the last category, I hope you fully realize whom you serve. Amy Carmichal did when she wrote these words?

“What is your work? To help sick people or little people or tiresome people? To cook and clean, to make and mend, to work in an office or factory? To do the hundreds of odds and ends that every day brings? Does the whisper ever come to you, “What’s the use?” If it does, let these words answer it:

For the quiet joy of beauty          Praise, Praise I sing.

For the common place and lowly

Set with pleasure high and holy

In each unromantic thing            Praise, Praise to Thee my King.

Jesus came as the Suffering Servant. He conquered death and sin as The Risen King. He will return as Sovereign Lord of lords. You are His subject. What is your response? Do you know Him? Do you serve Him – Jesus the Christ – THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. I pray that you do.

Sermon Notes – April 9, 2023
The Risen King – Selected Scriptures


The origin of Easter

Cultural Aspects of “Easter”

Dealing with the Easter Bunny


Do not let _____________traditions conceal or confuse what God has done or hinder worship of Him

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is he _______event of human history & focal point of human hope

The Suffering Servant – Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Jesus’ first coming was as a suffering ___________instead of a conquering monarch

Jesus was __________by the Jewish religious leaders, that generation, and the Roman Governor – Luke 23:13-25

Pilate was a ________ man that yielded to the mob instead of doing what he knew was right

It was in Jesus’ rejection by man that He was able to accomplish the __________ for which He came

Jesus’ death as the payment for sin was critical, but without the ______________it would not have given hope

The Risen King

Jesus’ _________resurrection confirms His sacrifice for sin was accepted and gives hope for our own resurrection

Resurrection is a ___________hope

Jesus’ resurrection body was physical yet radically _____________

Jesus’ relationship to _______ was also changed by His resurrection

Jesus rose from the dead as the _______of kings and ________of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14)

The Returning Sovereign

____________will be the same in nature, but not in condition – Revelation 19:11-16

Hebrew prophecy has declared from early on that one day Messiah will come and set up an __________kingdom

The Responses of His Subjects

Jesus will return as sovereign over the universe – so all humanity will be His ___________

Some will be __________ rebellious – their end is eternal damnation in the lake of fire (Matt. 25; Rev. 20)

Some will be __________rebellious seeking to ignore Him – their end is also the eternal lake of fire

Some will acknowledge God, but it will be false religions & ________- their end is also the eternal lake of fire

Some will claim to be part of Christianity, but they are _________- their end is also the eternal lake of fire

A few will repent from their sin & have _________in the person & work of Jesus – their end is heaven

True Christians ________against sin but their direction is the narrow road to life, not the broad way to destruction

_________came as the Suffering Servant and became the Risen King who returns as Sovereign over the universe

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the words “servant” and “king” are used. 2) Discuss with your parents the differences between Jesus in His first coming and what He will be like when He returns.

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the origin of the term “Easter”? What does it refer to within Christianity? What does it refer to culturally? How should Christians respond to the “Easter Bunny”? Explain your reasoning. What did the Jews of Jesus’ time expect of the coming Messiah? Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Who is described in this prophecy? Explain. How does this prophecy demonstrate that the Messiah would not be coming initially as a conquering monarch? Why did the Jewish religious leaders want Jesus executed? What was Pilate’s conclusion about Jesus? Why then didn’t He release Jesus? What was God’s purpose in Jesus’ crucifixion? What did Jesus’ crucifixion accomplish? Why is Jesus’ physical resurrection necessary? How do we know that Jesus physically rose from the dead? In what ways was Jesus’ resurrection body different from His earlier body? How did people respond to Jesus after His resurrection? What will Jesus nature and condition be when He returns from Heaven? What will He do after He returns? What are the four common responses to Jesus by humans? Which ones will be condemned to the eternal lake of fire? Which will be welcomed into heaven? Are you heading to heaven or hell? If heaven, what is your assurance that will be your ultimate destination? If hell, what needs to change in your life so that your ultimate destination will also change?

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