Sermon Notes for 3rd Sunday after Easter 12 May 2019 Anno Domini,

The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

 

The Third Sun day after Easter.

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. (John 16:16-23)

 

The Funeral Sermon of our Lord

 

Funeral sermons are often sad occasions. If the subject of the funeral is a true Christian, then the sorrow is unwarranted; however, the survivors will nonetheless mourn the loss of a friend or family member’s companionship for a time. The occasion for this sermon is unique – it precedes the death of its subject, and it is delivered by the One to be deceased.  Rather than a sermon to suggest sorrow and mourning, it is a sermon to encourage joy and faith. It is given on the night of the Lord’s betrayal, and spoken by the Lord Himself.  Rather than enumerating all of His kind acts and miracles, the Lord is already aware that His living testimony is sure and needs no restatement; however, He is also aware of the coming intense pain that His disciples will feel at His crucifixion. Their pain will be mingled with the dread and fear. There is no way that He can make them fully aware of that which is about to happen for such things had never happened before, nor will they ever happen again. So it might be understood that Christ will give present counsel upon which they may draw with future understanding.

That which is worthy of joy to the child of God will always be received with lamentation by the world. Contrariwise, that which is a matter of joy to the world will almost certainly be cause for dismay on the part of the committed Christian. Jesus clearly points this out in His words of the text.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. The Psalm offers comfort to the believer: “….weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalms 30:5) Jesus is explaining that He will be parted from the disciples this very night. He will be crucified and buried. In the interim of three days, they will not see Him, but then, they shall see Him. He will have been with the repentant thief of the cross in paradise as well as to conquer death and hell. He will see them again After His resurrection and before His ascension to the Father in Heaven. It should be noted that there is no record that Jesus ascended to Heaven before He had completed His earthly mission of life, death and resurrection.

We find compelling points of concurrence between the lectionary texts prescribed for today. The Psalter for the day points out many fascinating facets of that which Christ has explained. The Psalm for today is 68”1-20 in which these truths, consistent with New Testament Scripture, are revealed:

 

1)  Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. (Psalms 68:1) did this not happen on Resurrection Morning?

2) But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalms 68:3) Did Jesus not instruct that they would rejoice at seeing Him on that Day of His Rising?

3) O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. (Psalms 68:7-8) Did not Christ precede us in death so that we who take up our cross daily and follow Him may also follow in His resurrection? But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Cor 15:20-23) Did not the earth quake at the passing of Christ on the cross? Yes, indeed, according to Matthew 27:51, the earth did quake (shake) and the power of Heaven ripped the Temple Veil from Top to Bottom which no man could do. This opened the Holies of Holies to all who will throw themselves on the court of Mercy and Grace.

4)  The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever. (Psalms 68:15-16) The Mountain of Bashan is another name for Mount Hermon – the source of the tributary waters of the Jordan River (another type of Christ). But Christ was crucified on another hill – Mt Calvary. Just as the refreshing waters flow down the slopes of Mt Hermon and feet into the life-giving Jordan Waters, so does the life-giving blood of Christ flow from that abundant Fountain filled with Blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. Though loved by all denominations, this hymn is a particular favorite of our good Baptist brethren. It is composed by William Cowper:

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

 

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

 

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

 

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

 

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

 

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

 

 5) What work was it that our Lord was about for those times that He was separated in death from the disciples? Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalms 68:18) Did Christ not fulfill this prophecy during His time of the Tomb? Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (Eph 4:8-10) No matter how much we may desire to believe a sensational lie, we must believe the Lord first. “Let God be true, but every man a liar!” (Romans 3:4) Contrary to sensational and profit-making stories of people visiting Hell and Heaven and returning to tell of it, we must accept the undeniable Word of God:  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:13) It is a choice – to believe or not to believe. But to disbelieve the Word of God places our souls in peril.

We have confirmations of beauty also in 2 Corinthians 5: 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (2 Cor 5:1-7)  Christ, having gone on before and led the way for our resurrection into life eternal has prepared not only a place for us, but a home for our nakedness that we shall be covered. That same Jesus who died for our sins also rose for our sakes on the third day: 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2 Cor 5:14-15)

Jesus sealed His testimony and His Last Will and Testament with His own Blood. Dare any man add to that divine testimony by fictional books or claims? Hear the somber warning of Heaven against fictional works of man that make claims contrary to Scripture: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18-19) I pray that no reader of this Sermon Notes will place their souls in jeopardy by deliberate disregard of truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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