JesusWORKS aims to introduce you to the Jesus of history by looking at his life, teaching and work. Primarily, it is for the person who wants to check out the claims of Jesus or the claims about Jesus – so that they can make up their own minds about him.
Yet, it is also for any Christian who wants to be prepared to give a reasoned answer for the hope that they have in the gospel of Jesus (1 Pet 3:15).
Jesus calls people to himself, yet he gives everyone the opportunity to examine him and his message before making that decision.
In this talk, we consider the frequently muttered expression ‘If I am good enough, then things will be fine!’. There was a reason why Jesus had to go to the cross – why?
Foundational to belief of Christianity, is the historical reality of the person of Jesus and with that comes his well-documented life, teaching, death and resurrection.
Whilst it is true that belief in the existence of Jesus may be a no brainer and acknowledging his death traditional – to allow his teachings to shape the way we live, or to hold to the idea of a resurrection – for some is a step too far.
There are a chorus of Atheist voices who have spoken loudly against religion. That is not new, every age in history since and including the time of Jesus has seen opposition to organized religion – and at times, sadly, the opposition has been well placed.
In a series of short talks, we look at what the ‘new atheists’ say about the resurrection, before examine the resurrection for ourselves. The hope that we might be able the weigh up what is said and reordered in scripture and history and make our own decisions about faith.
Easter is a special time for many around the world – a time to reflect, to be thankful, to lift our minds and hearts above the day to day and to appreciate the world we live in.
Arguably, more than any other event in history, Easter has shaped our world. The coming of the man Jesus and then his arrest, trial, crucifixion and then resurrection stunned the world. What Jesus taught about life, love, good works, sin, justice, forgiveness, hope has shaped cultures, governments, legislation, education, tradition and so much more. Yet his death and resurrection transformed people’s lives and gave a personal hope beyond the grave. Love him or loath him, he has left his mark for the benefit of generations across history.
In this trilogy of Easter talks, we walk with Jesus through the pages of John’s Gospel from his arrest to his resurrection.
‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him.’ (Luke 17:3b-4)
I have always found this verse to be a bit rich and pastorally insensitive. In fact this whole idea of what appears to be unconditional forgiveness seems to be a big ask – and it is not only mentioned here in Luke.
In the gospel of Matthew the disciple Peter asks Jesus ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ and Jesus answers ‘not seven times, but seventy-seven times’!