Have you ever experienced a miracle before? A real miracle?
When you experience a miracle, it changes your life.
Illustration: A miracle I experienced on the beach in California
- A girl in our youth group was carried down to the beach and set on a blanket near the campfire.
- This girl was wheelchair bound, unable to walk.
- The students were hopeful that she could be healed and be able to walk
- I was sad for the students because I knew that the miracle wasn’t going to happen.
- But, I saw it. She got up and walked. She was healed!
- I saw it and it changed my life. It was a miracle.
- The resurrection of Jesus was powerful to the disciples as well.
The disciples saw Jesus crucified. And then they saw him resurrected. This changed their lives. A few weeks after the resurrection, Peter stood up in Jerusalem to share with them exactly what had happened.
Acts 2:22-24, 32, 37-39, 41
“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
For us, this can seem like a story that happened a long time ago.
For the disciples, it was a miracle they witnessed and it changed their lives. They knew it was true.
John began his first letter by emphasizing that he experienced this miracle. For the disciples, it was an undeniable reality that Jesus had come back to live.
Picture this: Peter standing in Jerusalem
- Talking about the miracles
- “Maybe you were one of the 5,000 fed
- “Maybe you knew some of those who were healed.”
- “He died, but he’s alive today!”
- Certainly there were people who didn’t believe that, thinking the tomb was sealed. But it wasn’t!
- There would be no church today if Jesus didn’t defeat death
Nobody in history has refused Jesus’ death.
The more we learn about history, the details confirm this.
There was a “blood moon” that night and scientists can confirm it. April 3, 33 A.D. which coincides with the Passover.
It’s amazing that science can help prove this.
Picture: An ankle bone with a 7 inch metal spike nailed through it. The ankle bone of a man who was crucified. After a crucifixion, the bones were collected in an Ossuary. In this picture, the spike was bent probably because of a knot in the wood. So the wood remained attached. Over history, people have claimed that criminals were not nailed to the cross but tied to the cross. Well, we have evidence that people were in fact nailed.
So why is this important? Does it really matter that Jesus came back to life?
It’s significant to me because it validates and verifies every claim he made about himself. Jesus said he was God and that he had always been in existence. Anyone can make those claims, but how would people believe them?
Jesus said that nobody could take his life. He said that he would take our punishment and allow us to come back into relationship with God. But how would we know?
Jesus said that you are created to be eternal. That your body will die but your spirit will live and you can live in heaven. But how would we know this is true?
“Okay, Jesus, you say that you’ve always existed and that you’ve been to heaven and will come back again. Prove it. Die and then come back to live, okay? Prove it, and then I will believe…”
Jesus says, “Deal.”
That is exactly what Jesus did. And because he did what was impossible he verified the claims he made as true.
But it doesn’t end 2,000 years ago. The same power that Jesus used to come back to life is available to us today:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God is saying that the amazing power is so great, it’s greater than you could imagine or ask for. The power is in the followers of Jesus. This power is available to us today.
Because of this, God may want us to do three things:
1 – Believe More
I know it can be hard to believe what Jesus did and that he’s alive. But it’s true.
It’s also hard to believe that Jesus died for you. And it’s tough to believe that Jesus took your place for the wrongs you’ve done.
Maybe today, this truth is grabbing hold of you. Maybe right now you want to say to God, “I can’t imagine you saved me from all the stuff of my life. But if you did, I want to accept you as Savior.”
2 – Pray More
Jesus said, “You don’t have because you don’t ask.”
We need to come in faith, great faith, to ask God. This doesn’t mean that we always get what we want.
Illustration: The book, Please say Please. Saying please doesn’t mean you’re going to get what you want, but big people do like to hear please. Similar to God, he’s not going to do a miracle every time but he is pleased when we ask.
Most of my life, I have prayed little prayers. I’ve prayed inches and God has provided miles.
Video: The Luck Family
3 – Dare More
Peter dared to stand up to the people who wanted Jesus dead to tell them that Jesus was alive.
Have the courage to share about Jesus.
Jesus dared to go to the cross for us, even though not everyone would believe.
Jesus is alive!