Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pardon Me! (Easter 2013)

[Slide #1] Acts 3:14-16 (CEV)
14 You rejected Jesus, who was holy and good. You asked for a murderer to be set free, 15 and you killed the one who leads people to life. But God raised him from death, and all of us can tell you what he has done. 16 You see this man, and you know him. He put his faith in the name of Jesus and was made strong. Faith in Jesus made this man completely well while everyone was watching.

  • Jesus’ resurrection is a HUGE deal. Apostles preached it!
  • It, along with Creative, were documentable proofs of God’s power and splendor
  • Resurrection underscores Jesus’ ability to pardon us

Resurrection should be an occasion for reflection, assessment & decision for action.

[Slide #2] Message Title: Pardon Me!
Message Text: Micah 7:17-19
Message Goal: Motivate us to demonstrate the resurrection with our lives

[Slide #3] What is a Pardon?
A pardon is a method through which an executive authority legally forgives someone for a crime, and reinstates rights lost post-conviction. 
Clemency is the term for the action taken by the president in a pardon.  Acts of clemency include the president's power to pardon, commute (reduce sentence) and give respite (short term action of delaying sentencing to buy time.) and remission (act of releasing from a legal obligation to pay something back).

Many leaders pardon on their way out to avoid the backlash of public opinion. Jesus pardons as he ascends to the throne so that he can have fellowship with us...
Famous Presidential Pardons
Bill Clinton pardoned Patty Hearst. George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, a man convicted for an illegal arms sale with Iran. Gerald Ford's pardon of President Nixon for the Watergate scandal. Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers. 
  • A Pardoning Official does not pay any cost, serve any sentence or accept any culpability of the individual being pardoned. It’s usually a political move.
  • Jesus fully satisfies the Father’s justice; demonstrates the Father’s love; Model’s the Father’s wisdom; Extends power to those being pardoned; Fully reinstates individuals granting them the right to be called free, redeemed, blameless & heirs.
[Slide #4] We were (Romans 3): Sinners (Lacking fortitude to obey God); Ungodly (Lacking character to be like God); Enemies (Lacking peace with God); Powerless (Lacking power to save ourselves)

Jesus’ resurrection was a reversal of everything laid on Jesus and on us!

Jesus was finished judicially, politically, spiritually, physically. He was done!

Religion, law, God, man and death had all seemed to have their way with him. He was wiped away!!

No power on Earth could rescue or reinstate him...

  • Accused of blasphemy...God raised him and called him Son.
  • Accused of sedition...God raised him as King (Savior & Lord)
  • Hanged as a curse...God raised his as the savior of the cursed

[Slide #5] Resurrection is determined forever. It is a historic reality! What is in question is what will you do in light of it?
Robben Island:

[Slide #6] Challenges/Next Steps: Evaluate
  • Evaluate God’s gift of love to you: The cost of the giver and the unworthiness of recipient
  • Evaluate to the state of your spiritual life and where you need to be right now
  • Evaluate the status of your Pardon and ask yourself if you know liberty
  • Decide today to pray with someone for your pardon or for a reinstatement of your rights since your pardon

“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities.You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:17-19)

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