JESUS | Year 3
Jesus' third year of ministry with his disciples
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 9
Jesus' Sacrifice • May 26, 2019 • Aaron Young
What was the final domino in the chain of events leading to Jesus' crucifixion? The reality is Jesus laying down his life as God's "Passover lamb", paying our debt for sin, was God's will, God's plan from the beginning of time. This was the only way that we could be saved, rescued, redeemed from death to life. Like Dr. Strange in Avengers: Infinity War seeing 14,000,605 possible outcomes, potential futures, and only one resulting in the Avengers being victorious and defeating Thanos, so Jesus saw all of the possible outcomes, all potential futures, and knew there was only one way for us to be saved. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Ultimately the final domino in the chain of events leading to Jesus' crucifixion is you! Your future was on the line, and Jesus was willing to complete God's plan for your salvation!
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 8
Jesus Gets Mad • May 19, 2019 • Aaron Young
Are you and I "hypocrites"? Are we actors playing a part? Are we seeking the approval and applause of men, or the approval and applause of God? Are we putting on a mask trying to impress others with our righteousness? Domino #3 in the chain of events leading to Jesus' arrest, mock of a trial, and crucifixion was Jesus challenging the religious authorities of his day. He knew their hearts. He knew their motives. They were more interested in protecting their power and position, then they were with preserving the truth. Their hearts were hard. Their eyes were blind. Their ears were shut. What about you and I? Are we willing to see Jesus for who he really was? Are we willing to listen to Jesus' words, even if they challenge us? Are our hearts open to receiving him?
Jesus | Year 3 | Part 7
Lazarus • May 12, 2019 • Aaron Young
If giving sight to a man born blind was not convincing enough proof that Jesus was far more than just an ordinary man, but the prophesied Messiah, then would raising a man who had been dead in the grave for 4 days be convincing? Is Jesus truly the Resurrection and the Life as he claimed to be? Would this miracle and sign open the eyes of the spiritually blind? And how exactly does God respond to our brokenness, to our struggles, to our weaknesses? What does he do when we question him like both Martha and Mary did, "Lord, if you had been here, this would not have happened!". What does he do when we are in pain, hurting, even when we lash out at him in confusion or anger? The answer is Jesus has compassion. Jesus has empathy. As it says so succinctly in John 11:35, "Jesus wept". This is ultimately why Jesus came to save, rescue and redeem. He didn't come to hand-out band-aids and Advil, temporary relief from the repercussions of sin and death. He came to provide us permanent relief from the everlasting repercussions of sin and death. He came to bring salvation. He came to deliver us into God's kingdom, where there will be no more weeping, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death.
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 5
Easter • April 21, 2019 • Aaron Young
Because of Jesus, we should be celebrating every day of the week, and every day of the year, that our future is no longer ash, it is resurrection! Because of Jesus, we have a hope and a future which cannot be taken away from us. Our End Game is resurrection when he will lead us out of the grave, out of captivity, and lead us to the Promised Land of heaven in a massive exodus! This is the hope we profess as followers of Jesus. This is the hope which gets us through our darkest days. Our story ends in victory over sin and death.
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 3
Caesarea Philippi • March 24, 2019 • Aaron Young
If Jesus were to personally ask you the question, "Who do you say I am?", what would your response be? Jesus took his disciples on a 25-30 mile field trip north to a specific place called Caesarea Philippi, pretty much just to ask them that question. In a world that has all kinds of different responses to the question "who do people say Jesus is?", the real question is "who do you say Jesus is?" Have you and I fallen victim to the modern mind-set that all roads, all paths lead to God? Do we feast at the table of modern-day pantheism, religious pluralism, picking and choosing from the various entrees and side-dishes offered on the buffet line of religion? Is Jesus one of many options to choose from? OR is Jesus and Jesus alone the way, the truth and the life? Is Jesus and Jesus alone our source? Is Jesus the only water that will truly satisfy? These are some deep questions that we all need to wrestle with. At the end of the day, at the end of days, it won't matter what people say, it will only matter what you say about Jesus. So what do you say? Who do you say Jesus is?
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 2
March 10, 2019 • Aaron Young
Long before the Great Commission, Jesus sent his disciples out on what I call a pre-Great Commission commissioning, or "short-term mission trip", in order to test the waters of ministry and prepare them for what lie ahead. Jesus knew that the lecture phase of their education in the safety of the classroom wouldn't be enough to prepare them for the difficult task which lie ahead, so he sent them out into the field for some much needed practical hands-on experience & training in ministry. Before they would be ready to take the message of Jesus to the world, he started them off where they were at, sending them out into "their" world. Jesus has a mission he is preparing us for as well. Jesus is our coach, our teacher, our rabbi, our guide. He accepts us where we are at, but beckons us into a deeper and more vibrant relationship with himself. He wants to use us to build his kingdom by preaching the gospel and healing the sick. He is sending us out into a hurting and dying world to shine his light. As we prepare for a weekend of doing just that with "From Hunger to Hope", let's be mindful of the mission God is sending us out on. Where is he calling us to go? Who is he calling us to love? Will we follow Jesus and leave the crowd or will we follow the crowd and leave Jesus? Our prayer is that RISING would be a church that is willing to follow and obey his call on our lives!
JESUS | Year 3 | Part 1
March 3, 2019 • Aaron Young
This past Sunday we began our Jesus Year 3 series as Jesus begins focusing more and more of his time and energy on his few remaining disciples. Time is limited and Jesus needs his true disciples to begin thinking differently. He needs them to change their minds, and to change the way they view non-Jews. He needs them to stop being so "dull". So what does Jesus do? He says "follow me" and he leads them down the Roman-build road from Galilee to Tyre & Sidon. He takes them out of their comfort zones and leads them someplace none of them, including himself, have probably ever been. And while in the region of Tyre & Sidon, Jesus attempts to teach them an important lesson about how he, the Messiah, is here to save all people, regardless of color, ethnicity, background, language, socioeconomic status, etc. The reality is Jesus accepts us where we are at, but he loves us too much to leave us there. He is always calling us deeper. He is always calling us into foreign, unknown territory. He is always leading us beyond the borders of safe, known, comfortable, as he calls us into a deeper and more vibrant relationship with himself. It took a long time, but the disciples eventually understood Jesus' heart for the lost, for all lost sheep, not just the lost sheep of Israel. What about us? Will we leave the crowd and follow Jesus into the unknown or will we leave Jesus, follow the crowd, and stay where we are?