Christ Unbound: Lord of All““I truly understand that God shows nopartiality, but in every nation anyone who fearshim and does what is right is acceptable to him. …Jesus Christ_he is Lord of all.” Acts 10:34-36(portions)Main Point: The Spirit is calling believers out ofthe bondage of religion into the new life of JesusChrist.Easter Sunday April 24, 2011 Acts 10:34-36, Psalm 118:20-24,Matthew 28:1-10Congregational Church of South HempsteadI. IntroductionWhy it is that in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, now Libya, andeven rumblings in China; people are rising up againstdictatorships?I think it’s more like the cab driver I met when Iparticipated on an educational tour of Cuba two years agowith a delegation of clergy, lawyers and academics…50 blankety-blank years… enough already!!!!
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11There’s something in the air _I believe it is the same thingthat moved people to break out of the mold of politics-as- Page | 2usual to elect President Barack Obama _ there is anenergy, a shared yearning in the hearts of people all overthe world to be free from the bondage of old, stanky ideas;to be loosed from the tyranny of tired, unproductive,unimaginative leadership.All over the world… people are tired of the same old stuffand they are hearing a call to something new…II. What Does That Have to Do with Easter?When Jesus got up… he performed the greatest miracle ofall time. Somebody said “well what about Lazarus?” Yes,raising Lazarus from the dead was, for a few weeks, untilEaster, perhaps the greatest miracle Jesus ever performed.But, 1 Kings 17, Elijah and the Zarephath widow’s son 2 Kings 4, Elisha and the Shunamite woman’s son
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11Nowhere else in the Bible does anyone get up from thedead on their own…. Page | 3Now there was a time when I would use my precious fewEaster moments to try to convince the 1-2 nonbelievers inthe room that resurrection is real; that God can do theimpossible act of making a dead body alive again ….Suffice it to say that there is NO definitive evidenceanywhere proving that Jesus did NOT get up from death;no grave for Jesus has ever been found; no document, noconspiracy theory; no secret book; no Da Vinci codeHollywood movie…The only evidence of what happened after Jesus’ death isbiblical evidence, and the evidence of a survivingmovement that’s over 2000 years old….So I’m not going to try to prove to you that Jesus was born,Jesus lived, Jesus taught, preached and healed, Jesus died,
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11and Jesus rose from the dead. The Bible says that ithappened. Page | 4But beyond that, beyond the evidence of biblical witnesses; beyond the stories of his eating and drinking with the disciples beyond the testimony of some 500 hundred witnesses beyond the Gospel accounts of Mary, and Mary Magdalene and the other women at the tomb beyond all of that something deep within my soul; something within me something within me I cannot explain somethin’, something within Psalm 42:7 says of it “deep calleth to deep” In the deepest part of my soul I can say with confidence , like Job said “I know that My Redeemer lives”
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11III. A New Day for the ChurchWhat I believe God wants us to see today, in the spirit of Page | 5the Resurrection, is what the Holy Spirit is saying to us inthe Acts 10 tradition about Peter, the disciple of Jesus andfantastic preacher, and the Roman Centurian Corneliusand his household, the first Gentiles, the first non-Jews tobecome Christians... [TELL THE STORY]If it was left up to Peter, Cornelius (a more religious manthan a lot of Christians) would have never met Jesus. ForPeter, Jesus was not supposed to save Gentiles.The first verse of the first Gospel refers to Jesus as the sonof David. This is a direct reference to 2 Sam 7:13 when theLord promises King David that throne of his descendantwill endure forever… All of Israel, all Jews, all of thedisciples believed that the Messiah would be a return to aKing like David… Jesus was not the Israelite idea ofsecond King David.
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11The Scribes, Pharisees, religious leaders were looking for aMessiah who was ritually pure and doctrinally exact… Page | 6Jesus healed the blind man, fed the hungry, and did allkinds of “works” on the Sabbath! Jesus was not thereligious leaders’ idea of Messiah.The disciples were expecting Jesus to use his God-powersto lead a hostile takeover of the kingdoms of this world.But Jesus surrendered to the temple guards knowing thathe was going to be crucified. Jesus was not thedisciples’ idea of a warrior-king.Peter was content to preach the Gospel to the people ofIsrael and to lead the growing Messiah movementexclusively within the global community of Jews. Jesuswas not Peter’s idea of a Savior for anyone but hisown people.The Catholic Church once taught that the bible was theonly source of revelation and that the pope was the head of
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11the church. But in the 16th century Martin Luther said thatneither of these things was so, and started the Protestant Page | 7Reformation. For the Catholic church before MartinLuther, Jesus was not supposed to revealanything directly to lay people.The Lutherans thought that their way was the right way todo baptisms and serve the Lord’s Supper. But then camethe Anabaptists, and then the Methodists, and then theAnglicans, and then the Episcopalians, and thePresbyterians, and the Pentecostals, and the Evangelicals,and the Congregationalists, and over 100 different kinds ofBaptists, and the Reformed Church, and the OrthodoxChurch, the Church of God, the Church of Christ, theChurch of God in Christ, the United Church of Christ, theDisciples of Christ, and…. I can go on and on with this list,and then I can go to another country… But excuse me if Iuse Ebonics to say this: Jesus ain’t studyin’ any o y’alldenominations….
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11What am I saying today, Beloved? Page | 8 Jesus was not bound by the Israelites’ hopes for a Second David Jesus was not bound by the regulations of the lawyers, the Scribes, or the Pharisees Jesus was not bound by the disciples hope for a warrior king When he went before the high priests in that mock trial that would lead to his death, Jesus was not bound to answer their questions. When he forgave the crowd before he died on the cross, Jesus was not bound by our ideas about forgiveness And when he got up…. got up…. got up from the dead, Jesus was not bound by the laws of nature. There’s not enough extra-biblical “evidence” to prove the resurrection one way or the other, but Jesus is not bound by our belief or our unbelief
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11 Whether Peter got the vision or not, Jesus was not bound by Peter’s ethnocentrism and Peter’s prejudice Page | 9 against Gentiles Jesus is not bound by what the Catholics say he is Jesus is not bound by what the Protestants say he is He’s not bound by whether you claim to be Congregationalist Nor is he bound because you belong to the UCC Jesus could care less that you believe God is still speaking Jesus is not bound by your belief that God can only speak through the bible Jesus is not bound by your hatred of Muslims or your love for certain hymns Jesus has never voted Democrat Jesus has never been to a Tea Party Jesus can go to any church he wants to. Or Jesus can go to a synagogue, a temple, a mosque, a bar, a jail house, a storefront church, a cathedral, a crack house, a park bench, a homeless shelter, the White
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11 House, the Kremlin, Jesus can even go to one of those caves that bin Laden is hiding in… Page | 10What the HS was saying to Peter is the same thing thatJesus is saying to the church today. GET WITH THEPROGRAM PEOPLE!!!! NOT EVEN THE GRAVE CANKEEP ME BOUND. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CANKEEP ME BOUND UP IN THAT LITTLE, TINY BOXCALLED YOUR IDEA OF CHURCH OR YOUR IDEA OFWHO I CAN SAVE?The Spirit is calling believers out of the bondage ofreligion into the new life of Jesus Christ.The message of the resurrection is that Jesus Christ cannotbe bound. Jesus Christ is Lord of all.There’s something in the air … There is an energy, a sharedyearning in the hearts of people all over the world to befree from the bondage of old, stanky ideas; to be loosed
Christ Unbound, Lord of All4/24/11from the tyranny of tired, unproductive, unimaginativeleadership. All over the world… people are tired of the Page | 11same old stuff and they are hearing a call to somethingnew… They’re primed for some church folk to show up inthe name of Jesus….The Spirit is calling believers out of the bondage ofreligion into the new life of Jesus Christ.The message of the resurrection is that Jesus Christ cannotbe bound. Jesus Christ is Lord of all.Christ is unbound. Jesus Christ is Lord of All!!!