Resurrection Sunday 2014 April 20, 2014 Isaiah 25:6-9
“The Lord Almighty Meets our Deepest Needs and Desires”
Pastor Louis Prontnicki Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church
In 1961 J.B. Phillips wrote a provocative book entitled, “Your God is Too Small.” His idea was that our conception of God dwarfs the reality of His greatness, power, and grace, and therefore we must let the Word of God vastly expand our perception of the Almighty.
This morning I would like to propose a similar idea, namely, that “Your Easter Is Too Small.”
For the true meaning of the Resurrection is not only bigger than mere Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies; it is also exponentially larger than simply believing that Jesus rose from the dead… although that’s a good place to start!
We’ve already read a number of scripture passages from the gospels and Paul’s letters which document and explain the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. However, in keeping with our current sermon series on “Parables that Pack a Punch,” I invite you to come with me to a dramatic vision of how the Resurrection of Christ can play out in our hearts and lives, if we will surrender to Him and trust Him.
For here in Isa. 25:6-9, we get a taste for how the Lord Almighty meets our deepest needs and desires, in a resurrection that it bigger than you thought it was! There are four aspects:
1. The Lord Serves a Great Banquet of Salvation (v. 6)
“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines.”
The host and chef: The Lord Almighty, the Lord of Hosts
The location: Mt. Zion/ Jerusalem, that is, the place where God dwells with man
The menu: Only the best cuts of the tenderest meats, and the finest and most
The guest list: “for all peoples” (v. 1); people from every tribe, tongue and nation will attend. Luke 14:21 ‘Go out into the alleys of the town and bring in the poor,
the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
The invitation: Ps. 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”
The cost: Isa. 55:1 It’s absolutely free: Come, if you have no money and can’t pay!
The guarantee: Ps. 63:5 “Your soul will be satisfied, as with rich food”
The occasion: A meal to celebrate the Messiah’s victory over sin, Satan, and death.
It is a banquet of Christ’s triumph over the grave.
So… how many people are you having over for an Easter meal? What are you serving? Who will be your guests? What are you celebrating? How does it compare with this banquet?
This lavish banquet gives us a sense of the greatness of the Resurrection Victory in Christ!
So don’t settle for a small Easter party… set your eyes on the Banquet of Salvation!
In Christ, our deepest desires are met; He calls us to His banqueting table of love.
2. The Lord Swallows Up Death Forever (vv. 7-8a)
“On this mountain he will destroy (swallow up) the shroud (covering) that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever.”
Notice that the location for this act of God is the same: “On this mountain.”
And see that this redemptive act of the Lord is for the same universal audience: “all peoples” and “all nations” are included.
What’s the big deal here? It is that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the veil or covering of blindness is removed from our eyes, so that we can see spiritual realities; we can behold our beloved Lord with the eyes of faith; we can see clearly what God has done for us in Christ. Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 3:14-16 that normally, when the Bible is read, a veil covers the hearers, so that they do not grasp the truth of the gospel. This is because sin had hardened our hearts and made us deaf and blind to God’s truth. But when you turn to the Lord, in repentance and in faith, the veil is removed, and you can see and hear and behold the Lord!
But there’s more. In the resurrection of Jesus, our final enemy, death itself, is defeated, destroyed, and swallowed up! I Cor. 15:54 “Death is swallowed up in Victory.”
Hebrews 2:14-15 “Jesus shared in our humanity, so that by his death, he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Therefore this day, Resurrection Sunday, is a celebration of the day that death died! It is a remembrance of the Death of Death, in the Death of Christ!
Picture this: a funeral service for Death! Death is placed in a coffin and lowered into the grave, and we are all there, singing for joy! The tombstone reads: “Here lies death. Born of sin in the garden of Eden; died of a mortal wound suffered at the hands of Jesus Christ, in His death and resurrection in Jerusalem.”
Death entered the world as part of the curse of sin, but Christ defeated death at the cross, and the Father vindicated His victory by raising His Son from the dead! Rev. 21:4 “There will be no more death.”
In Christ, our deepest needs are met; death is conquered, and we no longer fear the grave!
3. The Lord Soaks Up our Tears and our Shame (v. 8b)
“The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.”
Once again, notice the global impact of the Resurrection: The Lord cares for “all faces” and He will deal with the disgrace of his people “from all the earth.”
He saves to the uttermost, and not one of his chosen ones is lost or forgotten, not even to the farthest corners of the map.
The world thinks of Easter and imagines getting your kids picture taken with a giant bunny at the mall, or having an Easter egg hunt, or outdoor activities associated with springtime. How pitifully miniscule! Look at the Biblical picture we have of Resurrection Sunday: The sovereign, all-powerful LORD comes to each one of our faces and wipes away our tears, tears caused by all the hurt and pain and bad news and loss and sorrows that we have absorbed.
He comes to each one of you both as a sympathetic high priest, who has felt all your pain and sorrow, and He comes to you as the Lamb of God who absorbs your sins and your guilt, like a big fluffy towel absorbing some water spills on the counter top. Rev. 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
But in His resurrection, Jesus does even more than that: He also takes away your shame and disgrace. In the context of Israel’s circumcision (like our baptism), we read in Joshua 5:9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And in the context of barren women and widows who are then honored and blessed abundantly by the Lord , we read in Isaiah 54:4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.”
In Christ, our deepest needs and desires are met; He will remove all our sorrows and pain, all our shame and disgrace. We are made new and clean in the resurrection of Jesus! He draws us to Himself, with Joy!
4. The Lord Saves Those Who Trust in Him. (v. 9)
“In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him (waited for him), and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
In vv. 6-8, the impact of the gospel and of Jesus’ resurrection are global; all peoples can experience this life-transforming power and joy! But here in v. 9, we have an important clarification: it is only those who trust in the Lord who will be saved. It is only those who wait upon the Lord in faith who will be able to rejoice and be glad in the Lord’s salvation.
Does that include you? Are you trusting yourself to Him?
In fact, if you look ahead to verses 10-12, The Lord gives you vivid contrast between those who trust in the Lord and those who trust in themselves:
10 “The hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain; but Moab (representing all those who trust in themselves) will be trampled under him as straw is trampled down in the manure.
11 They will spread out their hands in it, as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands.
12 He will bring down your high fortified walls and lay them low;
he will bring them down to the ground, to the very dust.”
Do you see the contrasting camps? Either you are one of the amazed guests at God’s banqueting table, with Jesus wiping away your tears and absorbing your sin and your shame… OR… you are one of those who is being trampled down, drowning in your own filthy guilt and pollution, and being brought down to dust and destruction.
Yes, the Lord will meet your deepest needs and deepest desires, in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ…. But you must die to yourself and your sins and your idols, and put your trust only in what God has already done for you, because you could never do it for yourself.
My friend, this morning, I need to ask you: Where is your trust? Who are you putting your faith in?
For all of us: Don’t let your Easter be too small. For the Lord Almighty can meet your deepest needs and desires, in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Our Savior, and our Great Joy and Treasure!