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The Revealing Of The Savior

by Julius Hovan

Hovans(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

We welcome you to this broadcast of Words of Life. We are glad you are with us and maybe you are a regular listener. We put forth the effort to prepare these broadcasts and to send them all around the world and we are so glad that you take the time regularly to listen to us. But maybe you are one of those that just happened on this program as you were flipping through the stations. However you have come to listen, we pray that the broadcast will be a blessing to you today as we come to worship the Lord.
There is a week in most Christian churches that is referred to as passion week. Some churches don’t make a big to do of passion week and some have a whole lot of ceremony and things that they do during this time. This is the final week of the life of Jesus, his temptation, his crucifixion and all of the events, including Gethsemane. It is passion week and certainly that is an appropriate name for it. It seems to me that some hurry through the events in order to get to resurrection Sunday or, as many people call it, Easter Sunday. But these events, this holy week, must be addressed more than just one week of the year.

When we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus we fail to realize how far reaching are the effects. This message of a resurrected Savior has gone out to the entire world, to the major cities of the nations of the world. It has gone into the depths of Africa. It has gone into South America and Australia. Every continent has been touched with the gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We want to talk about the Savior revealed this morning. And we want him to be revealed to you. I don’t know who you are, my friends. I would surely imagine that some listening to this broadest are not Christians. You may believe some other God, even. You may be of some other religion than Christianity. Well, we would want you to come and learn about this Jesus and his marvelous life. And we will talk about him this morning. We want to go to the gospel of John chapter 20 and there we want to reveal this wonderful Savior. We hope if you have a Bible and you are where you can do that, you will open it with us and we will be able to read the Word of God together and then be able to talk about it and see what God is saying to us.

Beginning in the 20th chapter of the gospel of John and verse 19 we read these words. When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, the doors were shut where the disciples were—and they were there shut up for fear of the Jews—Jesus came and stood in the midst of them said unto them: Peace be unto you. And when he said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples there were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to them, again: Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so send I you. And when he said this, he breathed on them and said unto them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whosoever’s sins you forgive they are forgiven and whosoever’s sins you retain, they are retained.

We, first of all, in this passage see our Savior personally identified. The statement is made very simply: And Jesus came and stood in the midst of them. Who is this Jesus and how do we know who he is and what he is? He is the Christ of Calvary. He showed them his hands, his side, those hands that had been nailed to cross, that side that had been pierced with a Roman spear and out of which came water and blood.

When John describes Jesus in Revelation the fifth chapter and verse six he refers to him as the Lamb that has been slain. Here is the Christ of Calvary. We have no doubt as to who he is and what he has accomplished. He has gone through Gethsemane and sweated great drops of blood. He has carried the load of the great and terrible scourging and then the cross on his very bare torn up back. He has gone to that cross and been nailed there. And just a very short time has died, pouring out his last drop of blood and gave up his life willingly, laid in a tomb and now raised on the third day.

This Christ of Calvary is the Christ of victory. He is now alive. He has defeated Satan and he has defeated death and the grave and he comes to offer peace. My friends, he wants to do that for you today. Jesus cancelled the guilt of the disciples. These are the ones who had deserted him, some of them very strongly having done that. But he comes to cancel that guilt and to give them peace. He comes to calm their fears for they are very fearful of the Jews who crucified Jesus with the help of the Roman government, of course. But they were fearful that the Jews would come and have them locked up or killed as well. And so Jesus cancelled their guilt and calmed their fears and he cleared their doubts.

There can now be absolutely no doubt as to who Jesus is. He is that promised Messiah. He is the one the woman at the well said: Oh, we have heard the Messiah is coming. Well here he is. And so he stands before them in this story. And, my friend, he stands before us today. This Jesus is standing before you by way of this radio broadcast. He is victoriously alive. He wants to cancel the guilt of your sin. He wants to calm the fears that are plaguing your life, whatever they might be. He wants to clear from you any doubts.

And what follows this story is that following the resurrection Jesus spent 40 days with these disciples teaching them and preparing them for his departure. Oh, the Savior’s personal identity is clearly shown in this text.

 

And how precious it is, secondly, to see the Savior’s powerful authority. It would be one thing for me to come into a crowd of people and say: Peace be to you. I have no authority to give anybody peace. I don’t have any power to do such a thing as that. That is something that Jesus alone can do. I can guarantee you that today in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria and Israel they would wish that someone could come into the midst of all of that and say: Peace be unto you. Oh, but only God can provide that peace of God that passes all understanding.
The peace that comes is followed, quite often, by opportunity. For now he says to them: I want you to be of service to me. Having showed them his scars, having shown them where he had gone to Calvary he now says: You are under my authority. Listen to what he says: As I put myself under the Father’s authority, so you are under my authority. Do you see these hands, these scarred hands? Do you see this side that has been pierced? This shows that I love you. I have the right to be Lord and Savior. I have a right to command you.

The young child looked at its mother. The mother’s hands were gnarled and ugly looking, but they were the hands that had reached into the fire and pulled this child out when she fell in and caught on fire. And the mother reached in with no thought of her pain, no thought of her loss, no thought of her suffering, simply because she loved the child she would do anything for that child. So it is the love of Christ motivated him to die in our place. And when we become followers of him, we are conditioned for service. We are prepared. And the same love that sent him to Calvary now becomes a part of us. We receive, as the apostle Peter says, a measure of the divine nature. And this love moves us to service.

He conditions them for service and then he commissions them. What does he say? As the Father has sent me, so send I you. Jesus has finished only one part of his mission. Now he will continue this mission through his people. He will go back to heaven. There he will sit at the right hand of the Father. There he will be our intercessor to hear our prayer and to provide answers, but now he is commissioning these people, these few men to go into all the world with the gospel message.

I would suggest to you if you are a Christian, he likewise has conditioned you and commissioned you for service in his kingdom. Has he not cancelled your guilt, removed your sin? Has he not been with you to calm your fears and to clear any doubts that you might have? Oh, my friends, is it not proper that you would allow, then, him to send you into his service. He does not give us all of those blessings for our selfish good alone, but so that we might share it with others. If you could discover a cure for cancer or the terrible heart disease that takes so many lives, would you even consider not sharing it with others? Of course not. You would want others to have that same blessing. And so now that we have seen the Savior identified, we know who he is, we have been introduced to his powerful authority and he conditions us and commissions us for service, we, as Christians, must go. Maybe you would like to put yourself under this authority and become a Christian. And you can take this good news to others.

Now there is another very important point in this story that we have read in your hearing. From the Savior’s personal identity and his powerful authority we are faced with his plentiful sufficiency. Notice what he does. He breathes upon them and they receive the Holy Ghost. Here he commands that his resurrection life be put into them. We can read later on in the second chapter of the book of Acts about the experience on the day of Pentecost, that Jewish feast, that time after Jesus had spent the 40 days with the disciples and gone back to heaven, that time when he did, indeed, as he promised to do, send the Holy Spirit and the marvelous things that happened. Peter preached the first gospel sermon. Three thousand people were convicted of sin and responded in repentance and were baptized that very day in the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And so Jesus gives this Holy Spirit to them and he provides the sufficiency for holy living.

Oh how hard it is in our world today to be effective without holy living. We cannot effectively serve unless we are trying to live close to God, unless we are trying to live as he would have us to live. We are called saints before we are called servants. Oh, we want to be servants.

Oh, my friends, a good man who has had a great influence in my life and teaching me his prayer was: God, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be. Right living, holy living, living life unto God himself will help our service be more effective and we will have an effect upon the world that the world cannot begin to understand.

What is happening as we look at this story? We have been introduced to a Savior? He is clearly identified to us as the Christ, the Messiah, this Jesus. We have seen him exert his powerful authority in offering peace, in preparing them for the call to service and sending them forth at his command. We have seen him as he breathes upon them to provide for them the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He gives them the authority and the Word to themselves go out and share this news. And when you share this gospel, Jesus says, those people who receive it, they will receive what you have received. They will have their guilt removed. They will have their fears dealt with. They will have their doubts dealt with as well.

Holy living, my friends, we receive the sufficiency. I cannot live a holy life by myself. I am a sinner. I have a sinful nature that plagues me every day of my life. My guess is you recognize the same problem. Since we cannot do it on our own, we need the indwelling of this Holy Spirit to do the job.

 

Ah, but the sufficiency to live a holy life is also a sufficiency for mighty preaching. It is these very same men, the scaredy cats that ran and hid, the one who vehemently denied even knowing Jesus and he denied him with cursing and bitterness—we know him as the apostle Peter—these ones who were so fearful when they came in the garden to take Jesus from there, what a change comes into their life to see and to touch and to witness and to hear the resurrected living Savior. They became fearless. They became men who could speak with great power. They became men with a message that was clear, the message that changed their lives and that empowered them and commissioned them to share the same message with others.

When Peter spoke, when Stephen spoke, when Paul wrote, when Peter addressed that in his epistles, others that wrote in the New Testament, those that have preached the gospel message down through the years. What has happened? People have been convicted of their sin. Has that every happened to you? Are you aware that you are walking in sin, that you have a sin nature over which you have little if any control, that unless you change that direction of your life you will spend eternity apart from God in a very terrible, terrible place? To be convicted of sin and to turn from that sin and to be converted, then, it is the Word of God if you will get the Bible and read it, it will help bring that conviction. And the Holy Spirit will work through the Word, for the gospel is the power of God. It has that power within it, not in my words, but in the message of the gospel, that Jesus came, lived the perfect life, died a sacrificial death, raised on the third day victoriously over sin and death and hell and the devil himself. And the Spirit inspired message comes from changed men, changed people and changes those who hear the message.

Are you ready for meeting this Savior? Where will you spend eternity? There is a hymn that has that as its title. Where will you spend eternity? The song goes on to offer the hope that comes with those who accept this Savior whom we have identified this morning from this passage in the 20th chapter of the gospel of John. He is the Christ. He is the Christ of Calvary. He is the Christ of victory who gained victory over so very much. We are allowed to come to him and put ourselves under his authority. We are conditioned and commissioned for service.

Oh, those who have been called into service for our country—I had five brothers, all of whom served in the armed services of the United States of America. They considered it a privilege as do many to serve our great nation. And so it may be in the nation where you live as well. They were glad to be able to do it. Are we glad to put ourselves under the call, to answer the call of Jesus to come to him for salvation, to put ourselves under his authority as we humble ourselves and then to go forth to do what we can do in his service? Remember, we do not go forth under our own sufficiency, our own power, but rather he provides a life that we cannot live on our own. We are allowed to live better, holy, saintly, righteous lives. It will entice us to then be able to speak more boldly and to preach the mighty message of the peace of God for sinners. You need not carry that load of guilt any longer, my friends. Jesus loves you. God sent him for you. He has come in your place. Do you know him? It is our payer that you will come to know him.

May I close this message this morning in prayer asking God to bring a special blessing to you? Holy Father, we are glad that we have been introduced to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. And, Lord, some listening to this program this morning may not be Christians, may be carrying all the load of guilt and sin that has been in their life forever. Let them know what you will do with it, that you will cast that into the depths of the sea as far as the East is from the West. And, Lord, you will raise them up to be new people and new creatures and give them the hope of everlasting life. If there is one hearing this broadcast today who needs to make that decision, may they search out a good, Bible believing Church. Or maybe they will contact us by mail and we can send material to help them make that decision. Lord, lead the listeners to this broadcast today. Suit a blessing to them. Those who are Christians already, give them hope and joy and courage to share the message, for we ask it in Jesus’ name and amen.

 

Julius Hovan is minster of the Bohon Church of Christ, Bohon, KY.




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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10