Sermon Text for 5th Week in Easter – Let not your hearts be troubled Jesus is here!


Easter 5A: Let not your hearts be troubled Jesus is here!

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Easter 5A: Let not your hearts be troubled Jesus is here!

  1. People are social creatures that is we find comfort in presence of others especially in times of distress, something that’s been reinforced for us over the past eight weeks.
    1. Think of some of the things that happen throughout our lives where we want the comfort of others.
      1. As a child when you had a bad dream or were scared by monsters, you’d go to your parents’ room.
      1. What did they say, “Don’t be afraid we’re here.”
      1. As adults when we are in distress we often seek solace in groups.
      1. That’s why we have gathering at times like funerals because there is comfort in knowledge that others share your grief, they are there.
    1. In our Gospel today we see the importance of Christ’s presence with us as a source of comfort and strength
      1. This scene takes place the night before Jesus was crucified, He knows His disciples are anxious.
      1. Jesus knows their need and promises them (and all of us too), “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
    1. God’s presence provides comfort in the midst of turmoil because we were made for, and completed in, a face to face relationship with Him
      1. Adam and Eve’s sin destroyed that original relationship
      1. But God immediately provided for restoration with the promise that in the future He would send a descendant who would right their wrong.
      1. There would be a savior born of a woman who would put end to separation caused by their disobedience and restore the relationship with God by destroying the one who came between man and God – Satan.
    1. But story doesn’t end there with the broken relationship in the Garden, the OT is the account of God’s continued presence with His people Israel.
      1. God chose Abraham and His descendants, the nation of Israel, through whom He would bring the promised Messiah to restore that relationship and bring peace.
      1. When God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt He promised to be with them in the Tabernacle throughout their desert wanderings – God’s visible presence among them.
      1. Then before entering Promised Land Moses told people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
      1. Later when Joshua took over leadership after Moses God told him, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.  Be strong and courageous,”
      1. God continued to be AMONG Israel after they were established and the Temple was built to replace the tabernacle.
  2. But the OT promises of God dwelling with His people looked forward to the Messiah; in Christ God became man in order to fully dwell with us
    1. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jesus’ birth fulfilled the OT prophecy from Isaiah, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” which means “GOD WITH US.”
      1. Christ’s presence among His disciples brought them peace throughout His ministry, that night before His crucifixion He assured them (us) about their eternal presence with him in the place that He has prepared for all of His believers.
      1. That final hope is pictured for us in Revelation 21, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.”
    1. God’s presence calms and reassures us in a world turned upside down by uncertainty and fear, whether that was the apostles the night before the crucifixion or us locked away in our homes today.
      1. We live in time between John 14 (Jesus’ earthly ministry) and Revelation 21 (New Heaven) yet Christ still promises to be with us as the closing words of Matthew’s Gospel promise, “behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
      1. In our baptisms He washes us clean of sin in action that unites us with Him.  Paul tells us that in baptism, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
      1. When we get to celebrate communion together again, “This is my body given for you…This is my blood…” The most personal presence this side of heaven as He unites with us to strengthen and renew faith and calm fears.
      1. Later in this chapter of John our Lord promises, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    1. Over and over God promises His faithful people that He is not a God who is far away but One who is very near to us to comfort and strengthen us.
      1. The God who continually dwelt among His people from Adam and Eve, down through Abraham, Moses and the nation of Israel still lives among you today!
      1. So, my friends do not let your hearts be troubled! Christ has prepared a place for you with Him, and He will come for you that where He is you also will be and He will wipe away every tear from your eyes!
      1. And even more, as you were once comforted by your mother and father when they chased away terrors in the night by their presence believe in Christ’s sure word that He is also with You here in this life to be your strength and shield, a very present help in times of trouble.