Hi thank you for joining us on the Fall For Christ Series, if you would like to receive a FREE PDF copy of the entire series as well as other notes please email Starting With Jesus before the 20th February 2019 with the subject line #FFCF and you should hopefully receive the online #FFCF pack sometime in March.
We have finally reached the end of the Fall For Christ February series into the Book of John and it has been a true blessing within my own life. Perhaps more so than coming to terms with being the disciple in whom Jesus loves, I have come to appreciate and understand Jesus more as someone far more important than my initial perspective. I have come to understand that Christ took such a big step for us to show that He loves and knows us and now it is my turn to get to know Him too. I don’t know what your experience has been through this series but I pray that it has changed and altered your understanding of Christ and has strengthed you greatly.
Our faith as Christians is rooted within the last chapters found in the Book of John, that Jesus Christ died on the cross, buried and rose after 3 days. Even in death, Christ saw His Earthly mother and made provisions to ensure her well-being and only when He saw ‘that everything was now accomplished’ (John 19:28) did he relinquish His Spirit from His physical body, all things that had connected Him to the Father was given up as He descended to hell to reclaim the keys to death so that the devil would have no hold over death concerning our lives, in this act He had to put His full trust in the Holy Spirit that the Holy Spirit would raise Him up again once he had completed His mission. Not only had he given up His position in heaven but also His relations on Earth.
When Jesus died on the cross His body was taken down and placed in a new tomb covered with spices. Now having risen from the dead, the stone that covered the tomb had been rolled aside not to allow Jesus’ resurrected body out, as from John 19:19 we know that His resurrected body was not restricted to man-made borders as he appeared to the disciples who had locked themselves in a room. However, the stone had been rolled aside as evidence that He had risen, even the linen cloth that had wrapped His dead mortal body were put aside and the ‘wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded in a separate place by itself’ (John 20:7), an indication that Christ’s body had not been stolen or taken in haste, for mere thieves would not have spent such effort removing the linen nor would they have bothered to fold the cloths neatly in a haste.
As a new man Jesus was no longer restricted, before His ministry was restricted because He could only be in one place at a time however, having ‘breathed’ on the disciples in order that they ‘receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22) in the same manner that God ‘breathed the breath of life’ (Genesis 2:7) into Adams nostril so that ‘man became a living being’ (Genesis 2:7), so was Christ breathing into the disciples earthly body so that they could begin operating as a new living being, one in whom carried Christ’s spirit. His resurrection not only confirmed His deity but to the disciples, it brought about peace, for when Christ ‘said to them “peace be with you”‘ (John 19:19)His words were not hollow greetings but meant much more to their fearful and sorrowful souls. Why Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene first, I am not certain of, but what is known is that her crying stopped. In John 16:20-22, Jesus having anticipated the sadness His disciples experienced, described their sorrow like that of a woman wailing in labour pains but soon having given birth ( having seen a resurrected Christ and having received the new breath of life that Christ breathed to the disciples), her suffering would turn to joy.
There are many other miracles and signs that Christ performed that are not recorded in either John or the other books, but what is recorded is there to show or tell us something important so that we may believe, this was essentially the purpose of John writing His gospel. However, it seems strange that after having explained all, John continues His book with Chapter 21, why is this?
In Chapter 21, the disciples seemingly return back to their profession before they followed Christ, however, as new men in Christ all their efforts were pointless without Christ. Having spent the entire night trying to catch fish, they were met the following morning by Jesus Christ who was waiting on shore for them having prepared them *fish and bread for breakfast, separate food to what the disciples had miraculously caught through Christ’s intervention ( please read John 21:1-14). After what they had experienced within the previous days, this was certainly a strange day to be eating with the resurrected Christ. Once they had finished eating, Christ then spoke and addressed Peter who had previously in Chapter 18 denied Christ 3 times but now in Chapter 21 He was restored by accepting Christ as His love. In Aramaic ( the language which these disciples who were from Galilee would have spoken in), the word for love ‘Hooba’ which is taken from the root word that means ‘to set on fire’would have mostly been used when Christ asked Peter ‘Do you love me more than these?’ (John 21:15) which we can understand as ‘ Do you burn in love for me more than these?’, ‘these’ probably in reference to the other disciples whom Peter had claimed to be more righteous and devoted then them in chapter 13. However, by the third time Christ had asked this question, Peter was ‘grieved’ (John 21:17) and humbled by His actions in John 18: 15-18 where He denied Christ despite His self-righteousness in Chapter 13. Peter was grieved and nearly in tears confessing his burning love for Jesus, His self-righteousness now removed.
Following Christ is not about how long you pray, or how great you are than someone else, it is about appreciating and lavishing in Christ’s presence. When we focus our attention on ourselves, we forget who Christ is , the whole series was designed to encoruage us to turn our attention on to Christ Jesus and not on our own self-proclaimed abilities and righteousness, in so doing may we fall deeper in love with Him.
*A reminder of the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fish which can be found in Chapter 6 of the Book of John