Hillside Methodist Community Church

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                            Hillside Methodist Community Church
                                        23rd March 2008
                                         8h00 and 9h30
                                   Easter Resurrection Sunday

Little Zachary was doing very badly in math.
His parents had tried everything... Tutors,Mentors, flash cards,
Special learning centers. In short, everything they could think of to help
his math.

Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him
in the local Catholic school.
After the first
day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He
didn't even kiss his mother Hello.

Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying. Books and papers
were spread out all over the room and little Zachary was hard at work.
His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner.

To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back
to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back
hitting the books as hard as before. This went on
for some time, day after day, while the mother
tried to understand what made all the difference.
Finally, little Zachary brought home his report
card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his
room and hit the books. With great trepidation,
his Mom looked at it and to her great surprise,
little Zachary got an "A" in math. She could no longer hold her

She went to his room and said, "Son, what was it?
Was it the nuns?" Little Zachary looked at her and
shook his head, no. "Well, then," she replied,
Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the
uniforms? "WHAT WAS IT ALREADY?"

Little Zachary looked at her and said, "Well, on
the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to
the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around."

For a lot of us Jesus death and resurrection means the possibility of life
change. This morning we will look at Key moments for Peter in Scripture
(recap in fast forward speed) (see if you can recognize your own and name
the moments) (What does a life well lived look like-some surprises) What does
following Jesus include?
Moments of decision, and for Christ:

MT 4:18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the
lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will
make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Now fast forward…

Moments of deep faith
MT 14:28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

MK 8:29 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
  Peter answered, "You are the Christ.n "

Moments of call and responsibility
MT 16:17 Jesus replied, "18 And I tell you that you are Peter,n and on this rock I
will build my church, and the gates of Hadesn will not overcome it.n

Moments of absolute ecstasy
MT 17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother
of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was
transfigured before them.
 MT 17:4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will
put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

Moments of disappointment
MK 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter.
"Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God,
but the things of men."

           (Must be rough going when Jesus himself calls you Satan)

Moments of learning forgiveness
MT 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I
forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Moments of pride
JN 13:6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to
wash my feet?"

Moments of greed
MT 19:27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What
then will there be for us?"

Moments of violence/revenge
JN 18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high
priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

Moments of ignorance
MT 26:40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could
you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch
and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the
body is weak."

Moments of living at a distance
MT 26:57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest,
where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter
followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He
entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Moments of despair
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the
word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will
disown me three times." 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Moments of not knowing what to believe
JN 20:3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were
running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He
bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6
Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He
saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been
around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside.
He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that
Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

(In original Greek term means rolled up, still in their folds. Not been ripped off
                 and thrown down. Still in their original state.)

Moments of return
JN 21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As
soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer
garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8

JN 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son
of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
  "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

MK 16:6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,
who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid
him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into
Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

Key verse for today
Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And
when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

Somehow Peter was always first, first to follow Jesus, first to recognize him as
Christ, first to disbelieve, to misunderstand, to lie and to betray. First to ask
Jesus what everybody else is thinking.

His life is much like mine and well maybe yours. (see graph slide)

1) I am beginning to realise that the spiritual life is not so much progress as
it is process. It is not the victories that matter so much as the
going on after the defeats. I realise a great truth, the up-and-down syndrome
of my Iife is the fingerprint of God on my soul.

But what I find interesting is that somehow his life managed to turn around.
Somehow he didn’t go the route of Judas. He became empowered to live
beyond his pain, failure and tears. Somehow he turned. Granted he still made
mistakes after Jesus resurrection (in book of Acts), but he seemed to turn his
failures around.

In Hebrew the word to turn is T’shuva-means to return/repent/change. (Rob
Bell) T’shuva, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. The meaning is to
Return to people we were originally meant to be.

The word in Greek is metarmorphoo-from which the English word comes
metamorphosis. A creepy caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly.

  ☺ 2) Resurrection means for Peter: There is Life beyond illness, grief,
    retrenchment, depression, divorce, personal failure. “It is a matter of
  ☺ 3) There is a resurrection love that seeks us, calls us by name to return.
    (Mark passage-“and Peter”-Jesus seeks to reassure those who fail him.
    God has an amazing high view of people (Rob Bell) . God actually
    believes in me.
       1. Process not progress
       2. Life beyond
       3. Resurrection love that calls us by name in reassurance

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