Easter Series 2019 Sermon Notes

Easter Sunday 2019

“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (4/21/19)

John 21:1-19

Intro: “The Do-over”

Have you ever needed a “do-over”? A time when you need a moment for a re-set? Whether it’s when we first come to Christ in faith or in our daily walk of faith, there are times when we need God’s forgiveness and restoration. After the resurrection, Jesus chose a moment to restore Peter (after his denial of knowing Jesus). Today, I want to look at the process of “starting over”.

Read John 21: 1-14

First, we see the results of…

I. Our Way

(Example of Peter’s claim in John 13)

A. Our way is about our preferences (type of kingdom desired)

B. Our way is about our pride

  • Personal recognition
  • Over dependence on our ability

Read John 21:15-19

II. God’s Way

A. God’s way is about His direction

  • “Follow Me”
  • Throw-back to Matt. 4:19-20
  • Same words but different context

B. God’s way is about His Person – “Do you love Me?”

C. God’s way is about His priorities – “Feed My lambs.”

III. Our Brokenness

A. Sin grieves the heart of God

Luke 19:41 (weeping over Jerusalem’s resistance)

John 11:35 (weeping over the reality of sorrow and loss)

B. Sin grieves the heart of the repentant

  • Peter – Luke 22:62 and John 21:17
  • Realization of sin reveals our need for forgiveness

IV. God’s Response

A. Gracious forgiveness (kindness)

B. Warm acceptance (welcome to the fire)

C. Call to follow (“Follow Me” v.19)

V. Conclusion

Do you need a re-set?

Are you really following?


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (4/7/19)

John ch.13-17 (overview)

Intro: “The Ready Meeting”

Personal story of a sales “ready meeting” before “Black Friday” back in the 90s. In the middle of the chaos that was coming at 6:00 am, there were a few priorities to remember. In a similar way, Jesus wanted the disciples to remember a few key priorities as the coming days got chaotic. He taught them to:

I. Prioritize People

Read 13:31-35

A. By serving others with humility (13:12-17)

B. By speaking truth in love (13:36-38)

C. By speaking words of peace (13:36-38)

D. By praying for others (ch.17)

II. Prioritize Scripture

Read 14:19-24

A. Appropriation of His word (“has” v.21)

B. Obedience to His word (“keeps” v.21)

C. Revelation of Him to us through His word (“manifest” v.21)

III. Prioritize the Mission

A. Embrace the Holy Spirit-filled life (14:15-18 & Eph. 5:18)

B. Embrace the Holy Spirit’s work (v.8)

C. Embrace the Holy Spirit’s lead (v.13)

IV. Conclusion

Transition into observing the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-28)


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (4/7/19)

John 11:1-44

Intro: “Reminded of Reality”

At this time of year, I’m reminded of several life events in our family (2 birthdays and anniversary) that are always near the Easter season. Each brings a reminder of the reality attached to each one (bringing home our first child, age milestones, marriage journey, etc.). Regarding Easter, there are many realities attached to what happened but the most significant is that death was defeated. Today, we’re looking at four realities of what happened in the events of John chapter 11.

Read John 11:1-16

I. God’s Decisions can be Unsettling

The disciples (and Jesus) were “beyond the Jordan” which was a “safe” distance from Jerusalem.

A. Bethany was very close to the unsafe area of Jerusalem and logic would say to avoid it (threat of death)

B. His presence would “stir the pot”

C. We can easily misunderstand the “why” part of His decisions (Thomas thinking it was a call to die in rebellious glory v.12-16)

Read 17-27

II. God’s Timing can Seem Off

A. Disappointment isn’t the same as unbelief (v.21)

B. She believed in spite of disappointment (v.27)

C. True belief is in Jesus Himself, not the surrounding details (v.25-26)

Read v.28-37

III. God’s Love is Personal

A. He was overcome by the reality of sin’s destruction (not just the weeping but the “groaning”)

B. No one knows the consequences of sin better than Jesus

Read v.38-44

IV. God’s Methods can be Unconventional

A. The stone had to be moved first (threat of odor and ceremonial contamination)

B. Sometimes He uses our struggles to light the way for others (v.40-42)

V. Conclusion

Are there things in your life that are unsettling? Have there been moments when you felt disappointment toward God? If so, it’s best to admit it and talk honestly to Him about it.

Perhaps He’s working in an “unconventional” way in your life. Trust Him…He knows what He’s doing and He loves you very much!


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (3/31/19)

John 8:1-59

Intro: “The Book Story”

  • There was a Nobel Peace Prize winning book that received much acclaim and the author traveled the world to speak
  • The book told the story of an oppressed and persecuted group of communist rebels
  • Later, the book was proven to be false and based on exaggerated or fabricated stories
  • Many professors continued to assign the book for student reading even though it was proven to be false because they liked the way it framed capitalism and the American government
  • Even though the professors were enlightened to the truth regarding the book they set aside facts for preferences
  • In much the same way, the Temple leadership did the same regarding Jesus
  • Even though He proved in every way to match up to the prophecy of the Messiah, they set aside the evidence and chose to reject Him

Read John 8:1-11

Today, I want to consider four things truth exposes:

I. The Truth Exposes Hypocrisy

A. We often overlook our own faults

B. We often focus on the faults of others

C. We avoid admitting to doing either one

Read 31-36

II. The Truth Exposes our Need

A. Sin imprisons (slave/servant)

B. Circumstances do not change it (born into it)

C. Only re-birth breaks it (child of God like heir of the Master of the house)

Read v.37-41

III. The Truth Exposes Pride

A. They considered themselves better than others-whether it was racial or the practice of Judaism

B. They felt an entitlement to God’s favor

C. Their motive was to wound with their words (concerning Jesus’ birth)

Read v.42-47

IV. The Truth Exposes Unbelief

A. It forced a crisis

B. The response was rejection

C. The result was an attack

Read 48-59

V. Conclusion

What does the truth expose in you? Hypocrisy? Need? Pride? Unbelief?


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (3/24/19)

Matthew 14:22-33

Intro: “Storms are a natural part of life and nature.”

Read v.22-33

Six observations about the storms of life…

I. Storms Happen

A. It’s not necessarily someone’s fault

  • The natural question is “Why?”
  • Yes, there are “causes and effects”, but many things happen without “cause”

B. They (the disciples) were exactly where they were supposed to be (Jesus sent them)

II. Storms Often Come After Provision/Blessing

A. The multitude was a huge pressing issue (no ready solution)

B. The answer was unique and miraculous

The into the storm…

III. Storms Never Happen Outside of God’s Awareness

A. He saw them straining (for hours) (Mark)

B. He could have calmed the storm earlier from a distance

IV. Storms Can Produce Fear

A. The pressing reality of danger (tossed about, waves crashing)

B. The rescue was unexpected

  • Frightened of Him
  • Fear of the very solution that Jesus had planned (not unlike us when we fear the solution that He sends into our lives)

V. Storms Aren’t to be the Focus

A. Peter stepped out when He recognized Jesus

B. Peter struggled to stay focused

C. The answer was for Him to get into the boat (not be grand beside Him)

VI. Storms Aren’t Readily Understood

A. They were “thick-headed” (“hard-hearted” according to Mark)

B. It’s often years later before it makes sense

VII. Conclusion

Are you experiencing a type of storm? Have you in the past and are still trying to make sense of it all? Trust is the answer, not answers or explanations, but trust in the One “Who sees you”.


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (3/17/19)

John 4:1-42

Intro: “We are Made to be Relational”

  • From the earliest moments we relate to our mothers
  • We relate to our environment
  • We relate to people
  • We relate to things

One of the stops along the itinerary of the cross was a well in Samaria:

  • Jacob’s (Israel) well
  • Historical context was the Northern Kingdom
  • Legacy of idolatry and alternative worship
  • Demographic was racially mixed
  • Jewish leadership considered them impure and inferior

Read John 4:1-18

We are to have:

I. A Healthy Relationship with People

A. Sin creates barriers with others

  • People groups
  • Co-workers
  • Spouse/children
  • Extended family

B. Grace opens doors with others

  • Making the first move
  • No, they may not “deserve it”
  • It takes moving eyes off self (which can be tough)

Read 19-26

II. A Healthy Relationship with Scripture

A. Sin tries to use scripture

B. The truth sets us free (John 8:31-36)

Read v.27-30

III. A Healthy Relationship with God

A. Sin built/builds separation between us and God

B. Jesus broke/breaks the wall of separation (Ephesians 2:14-18)

Read v.31-42

IV. A Healthy Relationship with Work

A. Sin distorts purpose

B. Love produces a bountiful harvest

V. Conclusion

What is your health level with people? With scripture? With God? With work?


“The Itinerary of the Cross” – (3/11/19)

“An Appointment with Nicodemus”

John 3:1-21

Intro: Personal story – “The Boy and the Judge”

Read 3:1-21

3 observations from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus:

I. Jesus is Present

A. His demeanor is approachable

B. His nature is patient

C. His awareness is complete (He speaks our language)

II. Jesus is Gracious

Re-read 14-16

A. His motive was/is love

  • Wilderness forgiveness was because of love
  • The cross was because of love

B. He took on flesh

  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • The “only begotten” meant “first-born”, “heir”, “privileged” – not servant (but chose to be)

C. His attitude is redemption not condemnation (v.17)

III. Jesus is Truthful

A. He addresses “what is”

  • With Nicodemus
  • Word-picture of baptism with water represented repentance (“baptism of John” and when Gentiles become proselytes-children in the eyes of Jewish leaders)
  • With us it is much the same, a need to embrace Him in repentance, humility and acceptance of grace

B. He offers “what can be” (new full relationship with Him)

C. He warns of “what will be”

  • Condemned already (no need to add/pronounce condemnation)
  • Judgement

IV. Conclusion

  • There is a choice (v.20-21)
  • Nicodemus was curious, then a question asker, the voice of reason in chapter 7, then finally a bold disciple in chapter 19
  • How about you?


3/3/19 “The Itinerary of the Cross” – Part 1

Text: John 2:12-25

Intro: When something or somewhere is familiar to you, there are things you understand about it. Personal example is the Mall of Georgia:

  • Visited the first year it was open
  • Changes have occurred over the years with stores, food court etc.
  • There are things that need to be updated

The Temple Complex in Jerusalem was a central hub of social, religious, and economic activity. It would be like the Mall with a large church at one end, a court of law, and a place for government operations. Also, it was very familiar to all Jewish men because they were required by the law of Moses to come annually at Passover to make an offering.

Jesus would have had experience with visiting the Temple. We know He was presented at birth (according to the Law), and we also have a record of His teaching the scholars at the age of 12. He would have observed the corruption and greed each year with their visits. The Priests had developed a system to basically “shake-down” the annual pilgrims by forcing them to purchase specific animals (from the temple at inflated prices) and to convert their money into shekels (at high exchange rates) in order to pay the Temple tax (foreign currency wasn’t allowed).

Read John 2:13-17

3 observations from Jesus’ first “official” visit to Jerusalem:

I. Jesus was Secure in His Purposes

Insecurity breeds doubt, indecision, and compromise…but not with Jesus.

He came:

A. To clarify worship (v.16)

B. To declare authority (My Father’s house) (v.16)

C. To display passion for the right things (v.17)

Questions for us:

  • Do I worship authentically?
  • Do I submit to His authority?
  • Do I display the right kinds of passion?

II. Jesus was Secure in His Purposes

Re-read 18-22

A. He never tried to “sell” Himself (completely comfortable in His own skin)

B. He was Ok with being misunderstood

C. He relied on “settled truth” (some would recognize it and some would not)

III. Jesus was Secure in His Perceptions

Read 23-25

A. He presented authentication for those honestly looking

B. He was “measured” in His approach (v.24) (didn’t need a fan club)

C. His dependence was on the Father (v.25) (not people’s approval or endorsement)

IV. Conclusion


  • What are your purposes in life?
  • Are you comfortable in your own skin?
  • Do you rely on people’s endorsement or God’s?


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