Reframing Security | John 20:19-23
Topic: New Testament Passage: John 20:19–20:23
Christopher Rich – August 4, 2019
Reframing Jesus | Week 37
Reframing Security | John 20:19-23
Introduction | Recap Resurrection
Good Morning! Welcome to where we are Saved by Jesus Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace,
and Living on Jesus’s Mission. Today we are continuing the walk through John’s Gospel that
you have been on for the past several months trying to see Jesus not as we think he should, be
but as gloriously and accurately as possible from a the eye witness account of a disciple.
Last week was Easter Sunday, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Specifically, early in
John 20 we see Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb early on Sunday morning, finding it empty,
going back to the disciples (Peter and John) who rush back to investigate (John got their first)
and they find no body, but the burial clothes left and face covering neatly folded in a “I’m not
going to need this anymore” fashion. John believes, Peter marvels (he’s in process) they both
go home but Mary remains still distraught even after encountering angels who try to comfort and
correct her. That is until she is met face-to-face by the Risen Jesus and her despair turns to
delight as she called by name and commissioned to go tell others what she’s seen and heard.
John 20:17-18 | 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the
Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen
the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Mary has moved from wallowing in grief to beholding the Glory of Jesus. This is the
moment that will define her life, she never wants this moment to end. When we’ve been met by
Jesus, and believe in Him, our first inclination is to want to say where we are with Jesus. But we
aren’t saved to say with Jesus but be sent by Him.
We don’t stay at the tomb. Our life with Jesus is not one where we’re stuck just outside of the
tomb clinging to Jesus, holding on for dear life hoping He never leaves, or worried that we’ll be
without Him. No! Later we’re told by Jesus “behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
in the Holy Spirit empowered to live a new life. We don’t have to tremble in fear of losing Jesus if
we don’t hold on tight enough. We walk in boldness with purpose, comforted knowing we’re held
by Jesus. We don’t stay stuck at the turning point we move on and move outward. Mary is
the first evangelist… Go tell ….. Don’t think Jesus is yours to keep to yourself. But to go and tell
“I have seen the Lord” and “In Christ” we are God’s children.
Jesus is telling her (and us) the nature of who He is and who we are. Jesus is God’s Son
that is who He is by nature. We call God our Father through adoption. Having our faith in the
resurrected Jesus is our adoption day where we’re are welcomed into a new family, not defined
by our sin and death, but by His sacrifice and resurrected life. Because Jesus is alive we can
trust Him for eternal life because He has shown He is who He says He is (Christ, Savior-King,
Son of God) and He can do what He has said he can do (forgive sin that leads to death and give
us life everlasting) because Has conquered death. He’s alive, He’s ruling in Heaven right now…
He’s coming back and He’s told us to tell everyone…. Joy of resurrected Jesus moves us away
from a place of death to a purposeful life… Purposeful not perfect life… Following Jesus…Our
lives now need to be encourage by the foundational truth of the resurrection. Mary responded to
Jesus call and commission with obedience to “announce” the Good News and they all started on
PART I | Fear to Peace | John 20:19-20
John 20:19-20 | 19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked
where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to
them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
It’s still the first Easter Sunday…. Jesus is alive, Mary’s done her job, John already believes,
you’d think the disciples would be celebrating and telling anyone and every one about the empty
tomb and risen Jesus. Not quite. The disciples have been on a bit of a roller coaster you can
forgive them for not processing all the implications of the resurrection of Jesus over the course
of one day. It’s dark and they’re hiding.
Why is the door locked? Why do we lock doors? Fear. We know the world isn’t perfect. There
is sin and brokenness that can and does harm us so we respond with self-protection. What can
we do to keep ourselves from experiencing pain? How can we prevent harm from happening?
Jesus’ disciples are called to be out preaching the Gospel (telling people about Jesus) but
instead they’re paralyzed with fear.
Fear of man…(specifically the religious leaders) If the religious leaders were so opposed to
Jesus they were willing to have him crucified by the Romans, what might they do to Jesus
followers? This is a legitimate fear.
This is more than concern people might not like them; this is a terrifying fear of attack and
ultimately, it’s a fear of death. Because sin and death are real, we are used to having fear be a
powerful motivator and driver away from harm and towards safety and security. We want to be
protected from external threats. So they have gathered together (safety in numbers) and
sequestered themselves for safety.
What doors do we lock out of fear? What keep us from engaging with the world around
us with the message and mission of the Gospel? We are fragile people. Most of us
experience some fear of others what we think other people might do to us, or say about us, or
how they will respond to us. We don’t want to be rejected or ridiculed, we want to be received
and respected. This causes us to seek places of perceived protection. We find “our people” and
we wall ourselves off from that which is different, difficult, or challenging. So who have you
latched on to in order to feel safe? What (or who) have you closed yourself off too out of fear for
what might happen if you engage? External fear is powerful but there is a deeper fear inside us.
Fear…. There is an internal fear driven by the shame of sin. When we look ourselves in the
mirror of our soul we know that what is there isn’t always that great. The answer for our fear
cannot be us simply overcoming our fears with boldness as if we can simply will ourselves from
cowards to courageous. They’ve all failed Jesus in some point or some way, we have all have
sinned. Sin separates us from others, ourselves, and God. Now put yourselves in their place,
they’ve heard Jesus is alive and He knows and remembers all the way’s we’ve failed to be
faithful. How, if we’re confronted by Him, is He going to respond to us? Each of these disciples
have had their personal courage tested in the past few days by the trial and execution of Jesus
and they’ve all be found wanting. We doubt, we despair, we disobey and Jesus shows up, now
Jesus is present, no longer bound by earthly limitations. Jesus being who he says He is, means
they’re accountable…. Jesus answer when meeting them is to let them know there is “Peace”
with them. This is a greeting but it’s also a status they now possess. Peace, is not simply the
absence of conflict but the concept Shalom wholeness with God. Sin has separate us from God
placing us in conflict. Jesus here, in their midst to offer them reconciliation and restored
relationship, not counting their failures and betrayal against them.
How does Jesus bring peace? How can the conflict between a holy and just God and sinners
in rebellion from God? Did (does) Jesus just wink at sin or say “no big deal” No! God takes sin
seriously. They were comforted. How? By being shown his hands and his side (Both pierced)
This both proved this was the crucified savior AND showed Jesus has paid for their (our) sin by
His sacrifice on the Cross. In Christ, your conflict with God is resolved because Jesus took the
defeat (you deserve) for sin and you received the victory (you don’t deserve) of His resurrection.
More than being moved to even you’re given His righteousness so when God see you He sees
His perfect Son Jesus in your place. By His stripes we are healed. We are made whole with God
by His broken Body and shed blood. How did they respond? It says They were glad… I am glad
when I find another fry in the bag at Chick-Fil-A They were “overjoyed” Sorrow of Jesus death is
turned to Joy. They’ve heard about the risen Jesus now they’re seeing him. They have been
concerned about how God would deal with their sin and failure and now they’re confident in the
work of Jesus in their place. By Jesus presence they’ve been moved from fear to peace.
PART II | Peace to Mission | John 20:21-22
John 20:21-22| 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to
them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Peace with God drives us to the mission of God. Jesus comes into our places of perceived
protection in order to meet us with His presence and propel us on His mission. There is freedom
and confidence knowing in the presence of the risen Jesus we’re not condemned for our failures
but commissioned for His mission. You thought the best place for your survival was hiding
together trying to protecting yourselves, I am here to… call you not to say in comfort but
go in confidence. If you have been saved by Jesus you’ve been sent by Jesus. To leave
places of safety to be sent, Sent like Jesus is sent… What Jesus sent to do? In John we’ve
seen Him sent to:
Do God’s will – To carry out God’s purpose in the world to bring Glory to God and flourishing
Speak God’s words – The Gospel truth of calling sinners to repentance and faith with clarity
Carry out God’s works – Serve people as agents of peace bringing healing and provision,
while seeking mercy and freedom for those enslaved in bondage spiritually, emotionally, or
Most clear part of Jesus mission is to call people into the kingdom of God… Win souls
for salvation… Seek and save the lost. The purpose of being sent into the world is not as an
agitator (although being counter cultural has that effect often) is true worship of God through
Jesus Christ would in fact lead to Joy. Joy is found in Jesus, so the mission of God’s people to
the world is one of not turning the world upside down as violent revolutionaries, but restoring it
right side up, leading to joy fulfilled. If we truly believe the Gospel is Peace meaning our
restoration of relationship with God and this relationship is where ultimate joy is found we should
want to eagerly dwell with Him in in a world with no brokenness and no more tears. Yet, that is
not Jesus immediate purpose for His people. We are sons and daughters of the King; let’s live in
the perfect kingdom already!! But, we are not called to retreat from the world but to advance the
impact and presence of God’s kingdom in this world. To be in Christ, by the work of the Spirit, is
to embrace our identity as ambassadors. Good luck doing this all on our own. Yet this is what
we try to do all the time. We have a “I’ll take it from Here Jesus.” Attitude so we charge off on
the a spiritual mission equipped only with our fleshly means and abilities forgetting our frailty,
finiteness, and flawed nature. To attempt to do this on our own is not only foolish but it will fail. It
Means all the pressure is on us to get it right and win people for the Lord, you better be really
good. Means all the power used is ours, that is exhausting…. We need more than a powerful
experience, positive enthusiasm, or personal endurance to drive the mission we need to
be empowered by the Holy Spirit. He’s not a nice addition but a necessary agent.
If we’re going to be “Sent like Jesus” for His mission we need to first receive… When
Jesus began His public ministry (being baptized) it says the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a
dove. To paraphrase
“If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit for the mission, so do we.” - Jeff Vanderstelt
The Holy Spirit’s Power is Necessary - Jesus “breathed” this is like God in Gen 2:7 breathing
life into people, without it there is no life. Later in Ezekiel 37, the same language is used in this
prophetic imagery of the Valley of Dry bones (people who are spiritually dead) Breathed life on
them, they became an Army (not of wrath and vengeance but) of life. Filled with the Holy
Spirit, they are part of a Covenant of Peace, They are experiencing God’s Presence And
God’s witness to the nations that God is with His people.
The Holy Spirit’s power is necessary to be Effective – Because without The Spirits work to
move someone from spiritual death to spiritual life, the best we can do “on mission” preaching
the Gospel is shouting at a cemetery telling corpses to walk and wondering why nothing is
happening. Otherwise are relying our intellect, ability to communicate or manipulate emotions to
get people to respond to the Gospel. What we are doing is not trying drive people to a decision
but to announce and proclaim what God has done for them.
The Holy Spirit’s power is necessary for our Endurance – There is and will be great
Difficulty living as a disciple of Jesus. There will be seasons of persecution and opposition, each
of the disciples present ended up facing persecution, many were martyred the mission (and life
as a disciple of Jesus) is a marathon. Without relying on the Spirit’s power when we have fear
we will seek more control and experience anger.
The Holy Spirit’s power in mission is necessary for our Encouragement – Being sent
means being on a journey through many seasons of wilderness, where there isn’t always direct
opposition but dryness or lack of fruitfulness. If we’re relying on our own enthusiasm it will wain
during long periods of discouragement. We will begin to think it’s our own effort and energy that
will sustain His mission. Knowing it’s the Spirit is empowering the mission gives us so much
peace and assurance that the mission will be as effective (dare successful) as the third member
of the trinity grants. We have freedom of knowing It’s the Spirit that does the work so we can
preach with Boldness and confidence knowing Jesus is the one who saves.
PART III | Jesus Saves |John 20:23
John 20:23 | 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness
from any, it is withheld.”
What we’re doing when on mission empowered by the Spirit is bringing a message of
forgiveness and freedom. What is at stake is nothing less than the eternal destiny of individual
souls. What we all need is forgiveness… This is the gospel.. Belief in Jesus is tied to
forgiveness of sin…. This is the only place in John’s Gospel where forgiveness of sin is explicitly
taught…. Non belief = No forgiveness…. Belief = Forgiveness. This is the great effect of this
mission is people freed and forgiven. Through accepting the message of Jesus from people on
the mission of Jesus. You are saved by Jesus and you are saved for Jesus to be on His
mission. This has happened… Someone told you about Jesus … Someone called you to
believe in Jesus… So you could be sent to tell other about Jesus. Withholding forgiveness is
what happens when we don’t tell people about Jesus. We have life and we don’t tell people
where it is. This isn’t to guilt but to encourage you. You’re sent but it’s God who ultimately
forgives sin… So we can work, run, live on mission and rest well knowing we’re not what is
necessary but God has chosen to use us to tell everyone and anyone to simply Trust Jesus.