Holy Communion CW – Sermon 318

23rd December 2019 Off By Derek
  • Holy Communion CW
  • 3rd Sunday before Advent
  • Thursday 10.45am

14th November 2019

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ.



Horatio Nelson – England’s most famous Naval Commander is remembered for many things-

One of the best known incidents in his life was when he was leading a siege at Copenhagen in 1801.

He was told of a signal telling him to withdraw – which he didn’t want to do

He had lost his right eye in battle several years earlier and so placing his telescope – to this eye – he declared – “I see no signal!”

and promptly carried on with what he was a doing

blind to the wider truth – which he chose not to admit to-

Sadly such actions are not just confined to brilliant headstrong Naval Officers – in times of war –

Many people choose to create a web of lies around themselves – and then continue to believe in the false world they have created-

First Point             The Gospel reference

Jesus was discussing the truth of the resurrection with some Sadducees

They didn’t believe in the resurrection – they were the guardians of the temple – and followed the writing of the Torah – the first five books of the bible – which they were sure didn’t contain any reference to an afterlife –

they tried to ridicule Jesus’ beliefs – by using a far-fetched example to make their argument- 

But their error was in assuming – that life after death – would be the same as life on earth –

Jesus bypasses the detail and answers their question very clearly –

He makes two basic points- first that resurrection life will not be the same as the present one – death will have been abolished – and there would be no need for procreation or marriage – so the question they raise – will not arise –

Those who have been judged worthy of a place in heaven – will live as children of the living God – and judged equal to angels – and their relationships – like all other relationships – will be transformed into something better –

Secondly – he also shoots down the Sadduccees interpretation of the Torah – reminding them that Moses himself – at the burning bush – called the Lord – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob –

And since – as they believe – God is a God of the living – then – the biblical texts they profess to trust – also points to the resurrection – the Patriarchs who have died – are in Moses words also alive to God –

This would have pleased the other sect of religious leaders – the Pharisees – who were the teachers of the Law – and in favour of both angels and the resurrection

They believed that all from Abraham (or even Adam) up to the present time – and into the future would be raised when God raises all Israel from the dead and creates a new world for them to live in

Politics and religion make strange bedfellows – and sometimes people of opposite beliefs and practices will join forces against a common enemy

the Saduccees and Pharisees were doing just that when it came to opposing Jesus’ teachings

 – but they themselves were in a constant struggle over whether the resurrection was true or not – there would have been open arguments in public – each trying to convince their hearers that they were right – making it very confusing – for the people –

The disciples and followers of Jesus on the other hand were given a huge boost after the resurrection of Jesus – both about their belief in Jesus – and about their own resurrection –

so much so – that they went on telling this story about the dispute with the Saduccees – for years afterwards –

it showed that the great guardians of the temple had been proved wrong – and with the evidence of their own eyes – Jesus had been proved right –

Point 2        References in Job

In our reading from Job – we also have references to the resurrection – we have him proclaiming that – ‘I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last He will stand upon the earth – and after my skin has been destroyed … I shall see God’

The book of Job is written – almost like a court room drama – with the storyline squeezed into the first two chapters and the last chapter – and in between – a series of – speeches – first from one side and then from the other –

For most of the book – Job sits in his defender’s chair – listening to his friends explanation about what he should or shouldn’t do – to settle his problems –

But there are key moments – and this – was one of them – when his faith leads him on to a new hope –   

Job realizes that he has a vindicator – a redeemer – to champion his cause – and that this redeemer witness – is none other than God Himself –

But what Job never imagined – was that God would provide – this kinsman from within His own Trinity – His only Son – Jesus Christ – who will come at the last – and be the means of reconciling generations to come – to God –

Point 3        What does it mean for us

So what does all this mean for us?

Well first and foremost – for Christians – it means that death is not the end – but a step in the direction towards a greater life to come –

Today – we rarely talk of death – except at funerals – but in Jesus’ time – death was an everyday reality – and experience –  

Death has come into the world because of sin – but Jesus has conquered death – through His death on the cross and His resurrection – and whoever believes in Jesus will never die – and they too will rise and follow Him –

But Jesus’ teachings also tell us – that the resurrection will not only affect us after we die – but will also affect us while we are still physically alive –

because we know that Jesus’ presence within us will change our end – we live this life in a different way – and so for us – the resurrection becomes a new beginning here on earth –

In other words – those – who live in Jesus – have already risen from the dead – and have started to live as citizens of heaven –

Because of Jesus and His resurrection – we have started to live as Jesus wants us to live – and through His death and resurrection – He has given us an entirely new direction in this life – and in the next – 


So when it’s our turn – to go to heaven – and we look back – to what people – might best remember us by –

Let’s pray that there is only one answer –

that we live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ –