Well, as we come to God’s word this morning and consider the significance of the resurrection for us today, I want to direct your attention to a single verse in Luke’s gospel, which is Luke 19:10. Luke 19:10. You can turn there in your Bibles. And Luke 19:10 says, “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” If you’re visiting here to Grace Church, we’re so glad you’ve joined us on this Easter Sunday, this Resurrection Day we’re so grateful to have you join us and see what goes on here at Grace Church and also join us in this exposition of God’s word.
I feel like I need to kind of fill you in on where we’ve been. We’ve been in Luke’s gospel for a long time, a number of years. I, I’m kind of embarrassed to say how many years, so I’m not going to. But we’ve been there for a while and found our, find ourselves in the 19th chapter. We did finish up this section in Luke 19 on the salvation of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, chief tax collector of the City of Jericho. Very important ti, title, but a very depraved man who was saved.
We did finish up that section, but I felt I gave short shrift to Luke 19:10 and I don’t want to pass by or go any further until we unpack that just a little bit more because it is such an important verse. It really is a thematic verse in the life and ministry of our Lord because it really describes in a, in a single sentence the mission of the Messiah, the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ to come. He came to seek and to save the lost.
So there’s a sense in which we’re doing a little bit of unfinished business this morning to kind of wrap up this, this section and, and really give this verse it’s due time. And a, to give this verse its full import. Let’s read it in its context and once again starting back in Luke 19, verse 1 and read that section together as we begin.
It says, “He [Jesus] entered Jericho and he was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus and he was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead, climbed up into a Sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.
“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’
“Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I’ve defrauded anyone of anything I restored fourfold.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.’”
That final sentence, “The Son of man, came to seek and to save the lost,” in one sentence, Jesus has summarized the mission of the Christ. He’s boiled down the mission of the Messiah down to its bare essence. His whole life, his entire life’s work, everything he has said and done, every miracle he has performed, every demon he’s cast out, every sickness and disease that he has healed, every truth that he taught, proclaimed, preached, to all comes down to this: Jesus came to earth on a search and rescue operation. He came to seek lost sinners. He came to save them from the gravest danger known to man.
That is the faith that hovers over every single man, every single woman, every every boy, every girl, which is death. And not just physical death, the dying of the body, but a spiritual death, an eternal death, suffering the just wrath of a holy God for sins in hell, a due punishment for sinning against a holy and perfect God.
That’s what he came to do, is to seek and save. A rescue mission, to search out and rescue those who are under this condemnation, facing this grave danger. And that mission statement, Luke 19:10, we understand that that would be an utter failure if Jesus could not overcome his own death, would it not? In fact, in only one week after making this very statement, Jesus himself would be hanging on a cross, dying.
So such a grandiose mission statement about saving the lost, ring pretty hollow, wouldn’t it, had not Jesus risen from the dead? His, had his body remained in the tomb, his entire Messianic project would have been an object of total scorn, a cause of mockery, a cause of laughter. It’d become the running joke. Ultimately, the whole story would be relegated to dust, dustbin of history had he not risen from the dead.
But here we are 2000 years later and we’re still talking about it, aren’t we? Why is that? Because Jesus has risen from the dead. Because that tomb is empty. God robbed the grave. He raised his son from the dead and after Jesus appeared to his people, God took him up to heaven, forty days later. He had him sit down at his right hand. He is there awaiting his return. He’s interceding for his people. He is building his church. He is actively reigning, ruling from on high until God sends him back to claim what is his and to put the world to rights and distribute justice and recompense and reward.
So since the tomb is empty, and since Jesus Christ has risen from the grave, since he has conquered death, it would really serve us well to go back and pay close attention to what he has said, and listen very carefully to all that he has taught. And this sentence in Luke 19:10, “The Son of man came to seek and save the lost.” That is a summary of his entire life’s work. And so, because it’s a summary, there’s a lot that we’re going to do this morning that’s going to summarize the elements in that verse, in that mission statement.
You may notice in your Bibles that that sentence begins with a subordinate conjunction, which is the word “for.” So it’s not just “the Son of man came to seek and say the lost,” it’s “for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” In other words, the “for” provides an explanation of what Jesus has said previously.
We see in verse 9, namely this, “Today salvation has come to this House since he also is a son of Abraham.” And then it’s followed by the explanation. “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” To the many people who were listening in on this occasion, the explanation was entirely necessary. They need to understand this because what was happening in front of them didn’t make sense.
It wasn’t obvious to them that this deplorable character such as Zacchaeus, whom they all knew in Jericho, e’s the chief tax collector. He’s basically like the tax commissioner over the whole city in the region of Jericho. This man had betrayed his own people to get a chance from the Romans to get this tax franchise of the entire district. He got the chance to rob his own people, the Jews. And he hired subordinates to shake people down, take away their hardearned income, roughing some people up who didn’t participate or cooperate.
So it’s hard for everyone who’s listening into Jesus on this occasion to see how this Zacchaeus could be a “son of Abraham,” that is on his way to heaven. How can this be? It actually offended them, deeply offended them that Jesus would receive this man’s hospitality. Even worse, as we read in the passage that he’d seek it out.
So Jesus explains his actions here. He’s trying to help the people resolve the tension that they feel by telling them all about his mission. “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” That is really good news. It’s really good news for anyone kn, knows that he’s lost, right? For those who don’t see themselves as lost, well, the news is not so good for them. They don’t find it to be particularly good news at all. You might say it’s lost on them.
The scene before us is a bit familiar. We kind of remember going back to Luke chapter 5, you can turn there if you’d like to, Luke 5:27. But same kind of sentiment among the people when Jesus saved another tax collector and this one was named Levi. Levi, we know him as Matthew. He wrote a gospel, the Gospel of Matthew.
But in Luke 5:27, it says that “after this Jesus went out. He saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Leaving everything, he rose and followed him, and Levi made him a great feast in his house. There’s a large company of tax collectors and others.” Put that in air quotes, those are the sinners.
“And they’re reclining at the table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I’ve not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”
You can hear it’s the same kind of thing that’s going on in our text in Luke 19:10. It’s only those who know that they are sick. They are the ones who are glad to see the physician. If you don’t think you’re sick, you’re offended when the physician shows up and wants to examine you. It’s only those who know that they are lost. Only they await a seeking Savior, and it’s only they who welcome him with joy and with gratitude when he comes.
So since Jesus has risen from the dead, and since he has in fact overcome death, since he’s conquered the grave, it really does behoove us to consider very carefully what he has said, what he has taught. His mission statement is a really good place to start.
So what we’re going to do this morning is conduct a little bit of a, an investigation of this, of this text, sort of interrogate the text together. And what we’re going to do is engage our, our investigation with, you’ve probably heard of this form of investigating anything, called the five W’s and an H, right? Six questions you can ask: who, what, when, where, why and how. That’s what we’re going to do this morning. Who, what, when, where, why and how out of Luke 19:10.
We’ll combine the when and the where. That way we turn a six point outline into a five point outline. Five point sermon. I’m not sure why, but it just feels right to have five points, doesn’t it? So you might get that later. By the time we finish this morning, you will understand through this investigation, understand the mission of Christ. You’ll also understand how this mission, how this the success of this mission that Christ secured 2000 years ago, how Christ’s mission reaches you. How it applies to you.
So the first question we can ask this morning is he who question. Whom does Jesus seek and save? First question, whom does Jesus seek and save? You say? That’s easy. The answer’s right there in the text, the lost. The word, the word “lost” there is a verbal noun. Verbal noun is known as a participle. It’s from the verb apollymi, apollymi, which in the active voice means to destroy, to kill, to bring to ruin, or to bring to nothing. Apollymi. That’s the kind of lost we’re talking about here.
It’s far worse than remember as a child when you lost hold of your mom’s hand in the grocery store and you felt that terror stricken feeling of being lost. And sometimes you ran up to a complete stranger and hugged the leg and realized, “Oh, it’s not mom!” Far worse than that. This kind of a lost is to be given up to destruction. To see yourself on a conveyor belt of life heading into a mist, and you can’t get off the conveyor and you don’t know in the mist where that conveyor is going to fall off and you’re going to fall to destruction. That is the idea here.
The participle here is in the perfect tense, so it’s talking about one who’s in a state of lostness. It refers to the fallen condition of sinners. He is talking here about the condition of fallen humanity. Those who are under divine condemnation because of their sins, those who are in a state of destruction of ruination, who are being brought to nothing. And this condition of being lost is so severe, and so beyond any human remedy that people are hopelessly lost. They are about to be destroyed, completely ruined. Their fate is utter futility unless someone intervenes for them, unless someone interposes to save them.
Luke, in his gospel, he doesn’t generally describe the lost with abstract language. He actually puts these stories about lostness in concrete terms. He paints the story of lostness and lost sinners with vivid strokes of living color. It’s beautiful throughout this gospel to see how Luke narrates the story. So think about in your own mind’s eye, think about a person that you would consider to be lost. Come up with a person, whoever it is, whatever condition that they’re in. Maybe it’s someone you know. Maybe it’s someone you’ve seen as you’ve been driving by and you look and say, man, that person is lost. Maybe it’s yourself remembering yourself before Christ. Whatever comes to mind for you.
A lot of images like that came to the mind of Luke. In all of his study, in all of his investigation of the facts of the gospel as he compiled this gospel narrative, as he wrote this Scripture, he has illustrated the kind of person Jesus is talking about in a summary term like the lost, an abstract term like the lost, Luke puts it into living color.
I’m going to have you turn to a few passages in Luke’s gospel as we go through this this morning, but for the sake of time, I’m not going to read every single one thoroughly. But if you let through your eyes, scan the passage while I kind of describe it or summarize it, it’s going to help you imagine several categories of lost people whom Jesus came to seek and to save. This just helps to fill in the gaps of what does he mean here when he says he came to “seek and save the lost.”
Imagine for somebody who’s lost in a physical sense. Think about someone who is, seems to be so far gone physically, that that person is completely and utterly dependent. We’ve seen people like this who maybe through an accident, maybe through something that happened to them in the womb or happened to them through accident or disease that they have no real hope of living what we would call a normal life. Might consider someone who is a, in a paraplegic state or vegetative state to be lost in this kind of a physical sense.
Well Luke portrayed people just like that and he showed the power of Christ to do things like heal the paralytic. If you look at Luke chapter 5 verses 17 to 26, you can see that he’s done just that in healing a paralytic. May remember that the paralytic was only able to enter into the crowded house where Jesus was teaching because he had been lowered through the roof. They had to cut out a section of the roof and lower their friend on a pallet through the roof down onto the floor right in front of Jesus. And Jesus saved that man.
He saved him to such a degree that the man not only walked out of that house under his own power, which was absolutely stunning and a miracle, but he went further and forgave his sin. In fact, that’s where he started. He considered the man’s sin problem to be a deeper problem than any physical issue he had, and so he started there. He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” But he also healed the paralysis.
Luke portrayed also someone in, we might say, a vegetative state, it was worse than a vegetative state. He, in Luke 7:11 to 17, he portrayed someone there as being dead. Dead and on his way being carried to the funeral. That’s the widow’s son who was dead. He was lying on a funeral bier and he is at the city of Nain and he’s on his way to his own funeral. And Jesus stopped the funeral procession, touched the, the funeral bier and raised that man from the dead, gave him back to his mother.
Those of those who are lost pictured in Luke’s gospel is being lost and we can consider them as lost in a physical sense. Jesus’ power to seek and to save those is demonstrated clearly. He has the miraculous power of God to save that condition of person. Think about others in Luke’s gospel who are lost in maybe a social sense. You can go back to Luke 5 again and verses 12 to 14.
People who are lost in a social sense are in a condition, either intentionally or incidentally, that no one really wants these people around. That is, socially they are excluded. They’re lost in a social sense. They’re, they’re a social pariah, castaway, excluded from the community. And in Jesus’ day, the quintessential example of this kind of a lostness, this kind of a person was a leper, those who had leprosy, any kind of a skin condition. Maybe not the the condition that we know is leprosy, but that condition and many others besides.
“Jesus has risen from the dead. Because that tomb is empty. God robbed the grave. He raised his son from the dead and after Jesus appeared to his people, God took him up to heaven, forty days later.”Travis Allen
Jesus encounters this leper early on in his ministry, socially excluded due to a visible skin disease that was impossible to hide. They were required to live far away from everyone else, and thus, they were excluded from society, which was a huge blow. They were shoved to the outside, to the fringes and the margins of society, excluded from community, life and religious life.
They couldn’t come to the temple, couldn’t offer sacrifice, couldn’t go to synagogue, couldn’t hear the, the reading of the law, the reading of the prophets, the exposition of the Word. They couldn’t be in church. We all kind of felt some of that during brief time in COVID, didn’t we? Being cut out from the church, cut out. True grief to me to be cut out from the Lord’s Supper, to not be able to participate in that together. Well imagine having a skin disease and being shut out.
Jesus encountered this man in Luke 5:12 to 14. This man was “full of leprosy.” It says Jesus, with a touch, restored him completely. He sent him to the priests. They were the public health officials. Get a full medical examination so that he would be officially cleared. And so being officially cleared, he could be legitimately restored back into the community, restored back into fellowship and community and business and religious life, reenter society. So those are people who are lost in a social sense.
We can imagine people who are lost in moral terms in some cases. Moral terms referring to enslavement to sin enslaved to greed, corruption, depraved, calloused people. In other cases, we can see on the other end of the spectrum, moral lostness due to a blinding spiritual pride that they are bad to the core but they don’t know it because they think they’re great. Those who consider themselves religious, innately good, morally superior to everyone.
Moral lostness is at either end of that spectrum. It’s kind of ironic, but Luke in Luke, chapter 7, if you go to Luke 7:36 and following, he brings together two such people on either end of that spectrum. In one narrative, he brings them together. Both of them morally lost, but at two opposite ends of the social spectrum.
Jesus is there having lunch at the house of a Pharisee named Simon, and this is a man who thought so highly of himself that he failed to notice how significantly he, he had he had insulted Jesus. He just neglected to show common hospitality. And you may, may think that’s a small thing. Maybe in our day it is but in that First Century world, Mid E, Middle Eastern society, to neglect to show hospitality was actually a calculated insult.
So here’s Jesus insulted by this man. And Jesus noted the oversight says in verses 44 to 46, he uses the oversight of hospitality from Simon to Jesus, and he uses that to show Simon, by contrast, the evidence of true love in the woman who was kneeled before him. That notoriously sinful woman, she had crashed the party. She was known in town, probably because she’d made her living as a prostitute. That she’d been radically saved by the gospel at some point, and now she has come to worship Jesus.
She weeps over his feet. She, she realizes she has soaked his feet wet, so she wipes them, his feet with her hair and annoyances feet with perfume. She’s come to worship Jesus. We see here that it’s not her that’s really found the Savior. It’s the Savior who’s found her.
He’s revealed her, he’s drawn her out, he’s pulled her in. He sought her, he found her. And now he assures her at the end of that passage, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” One Sinner morally lost as the carnal and the irreligious, at the carnal and the irreligious end of the spectrum. Jesus saw it, found and saved her. And the other sinner, he’s at the socially acceptable end of the spectrum. The religious end of the spectrum. He’s, though, in the same state, morally lost. But he is blinded by religious pride that leaves him impolite, inconsiderate, insulting, even critical. Will the scales fall from his blind eyes? Will you see his corruption in time?
One more category we can mention. They’re probably more. I just want to summarize a few, though. One more is the one who is lost supernaturally, lost supernaturally, handed over to demonic power. You can turn to Luke 8:26 to 39 and you see this one who’s handed over to demonic power. He’s under complete total control of demons because of demonic possession. And Luke describes this man who is supernaturally lost. He is severely demonically oppressed and possessed.
It says, Luke says that for a long time he’d worn no clothes, hadn’t lived in the house but among the tombs. There’s a parallel count over in Mark. Mark is so descriptive in Mark chapter 5. It says that no one, he says that “no one could bind this man anymore, not even with a chain, for he’d often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, broke the shackles in pieces. And no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day, among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, cutting himself with stones.”
This guy is in a bad, bad way. He’s like a, a scene in Halloween or some, some haunted imagery. And when you look past the ghoulish aspects of this scene, you stop to remember, wait a minute, this is a fellow human being. It’s an image bearer of God who is displayed this way. And you realize how pitiful this man is, how hopeless his condition is it. It’s supposed to evoke our compassion for him, to see him as so terribly lost.
Jesus asked for this man’s name. Demons took over and they answered, “Legion. For we are many.” Legion is a Roman military unit, about 6000 soldiers. So the demons are using this name because thousands of them had flooded this man’s body. This guy’s about as lost as anyone could get. Physically, he’s torn apart. Socially, he’s excluded. Morally, he’s depraved. He is possessed by a legion of demons.
We can see people like that today, lying on the streets of our cities. They seem gone, don’t they? Hopelessly lost, enslaved to drug use and degraded by horrible sins to get the drugs that they crave that are destroying them. They give up caring for themselves. They care, they don’t care what anybody thinks of them. They’ve lost all sense of decency, propriety. What if all the homelessness we see in our time, great drug epidemic on our city streets, which sociologists and psychologists have judged to be either a social or a psychiatric problem. What if their diagnosis is way, way off?
What if these are cases, right in front of our eyes of demonic possession? No material solution to this, right? No amount of money you can throw at the problem. No kind of pharmaceutical that can deal with the immaterial or the supernatural. And that’s the case in dealing with demons. It’s true about dealing with the sin problem too, which is underlying every single one of these issues. Only Christ saves the lost.
It’s amazing to find out that Christ actually sought out this poor wretch, this demon possessed man. Turns out this man was the reason that Jesus and his disciples sailed across the sea of Galilee in the first place, so Jesus could find him and save him and then, amazingly, redeploy him as an evangelist to reach his own people.
So who did Christ come to seek and to save? The lost. No matter what category of lost, no matter how lost, no matter how far gone they are, no matter how far they have wandered, no matter how hopeless their condition seems, no matter how ruined they are, no matter what consequences they fall into, no matter how depraved they look, how degraded they become. He came seeking the lost, and he came in order to save the lost.
All the pictures of these people that I’ve just briefly surveyed here, those suffering physical maladies, those who are cast out, socially separated, ostracized. Those who are corrupted, morally degraded, and blind, those who are bound by malevolent supernatural powers. All of these are pictures, there just meant to drive us to a deeper reality of the effect of sin. Sin breaks people. Sin corrupts people. Sin puts them under a supernatural power, a delusion. It intoxicates them with lies and distracts them by things that will destroy them.
All these pictures of lostness are designed to illustrate the condition, true condition of every single lost sinner. No matter how well they dress up in public, no matter how good they look on the outside, no matter what the surface condition appears to be, sin has a hold of the human race.
That picture of lostness includes me, it includes you too. And if you’ll accept the diagnosis, no matter what the situation is, you will be ready to see the physician. You’ll be ready to see him when he comes. You’ll be ready to welcome the seeking Savior.
So that’s the who. Next question, number two: What does it mean for Jesus to seek and to save? What does it mean for Jesus to seek and to save? And to answer this question, I’d like to turn over to Luke 15 and just spend a few minutes there. Luke 15, a chapter that begins once again with a controversy. The controversy over Jesus spending time compassionately, mercifully spending time with the lost.
In Luke 15:1 to 2, we read this: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees in the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’” Familiar complaint once again, Jesus is here offending all propriety among the religious elites. Because as a famous rabbi, he ought to be acting differently. Shouldn’t be spending time with these people. He shouldn’t be engaging in table fellowship with these lost people, these deplorables.
So he’s hearing these complaints, this grumbling, this typical Israelite grumbling, complaining against God, complaining against, gainst God in his ways, God and his compassion. And so it says in verse 3 that “Jesus told them this parable.” We actually see in, in Luke 15, he tells three parables, but they’re really all one and the same, and that’s why it’s in the singular. He tells them “this parable,” he tells them about a shepherd who seeks and saves his lost sheep. He tells about a woman who seeks and finds her lost coin, and he tells about a father who seeks and saves his lost son.
The three are one and the same. They’re telling the same story. They’re making the same point to say this is God’s way, don’t get on the wrong side of God’s compassion. So what does Jesus mean in Luke 19:10 when he says that this is his mission, “to seek and to save them the lost”? Well, Luke has already prepared us for the answer in chapter 19 by telling us these stories in chapter 15.
Let’s read a couple of them, starting in verse 4. “What man of you,” Jesus asked. He’s starting into the parable. “What man of you having a hundred sheep, if he’s lost one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the one that is lost until he finds it. When he’s found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he comes home he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I’ve found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman having 10 silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and see diligently until she finds it. When she’s found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I’d lost.” Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
In the case of the lost sheep, listen, that sheep is wolf bait. If the shepherd does not go searching for it, doesn’t go find it, doesn’t carry it home on his shoulders. And in the same way the lost sinner is ravaged by sin and subdued by Satan and by other sinful abusers and victimizers in this cruel and wretched world.
That’s a picture of a lost sinner, like a helpless sheep lost in the wilderness, prey to every predator at the mercy of eating from a bad food source or drinking from a bad water source, subject to every pitfall, every ditch falling off every Cliff, victimized by every disease. Every parasite latching on to it take away its life.
In the same way, every lost sinner falls prey to sin, is controlled by degrading lusts, controlled, enslaved by desires and covetousness and greed. And only Christ, when he comes seeking, is able to save that lost sheep. Only he is able to find them, wherever they are, in whatever gully or alley or ditch they’ve fallen into, and reach down, lift them up, put them on his shoulders, clean them off, take ‘em home and heal them.
In the case of a lost coin, you think about a small, dirty little coin, perhaps tarnish silver. It’s not going to be easy to see in the dim light of a home, like especially a first century home only lit, lit by a lamp. As a small coin, easy to forget, its value is negligible. Its loss may have little impact in some homes, so if it falls between the floorboards or gets buried in the dirt floor of the home, that coin is gone. It’s forgotten forever, just like that inanimate object, a dirty, tarnished silver coin lost in the dust of a dirty floor.
Sinners, too, are like that. Covered in mire and filth of a fallen world, ignorant of their true condition, oblivious about the wretchedness, the hopelessness of their hearts and their condition, their situation. And unless Christ notices that lost coin, unless he comes searching for it, like this woman who comes and looks for her small, insignificant little coin of little value, but to her of great value, there that lost sinner is going to sit until Judgment Day, abandoned to a dreadful and inescapable fate.
But no coin of Christ’s is without value. No possession of his is insignificant. Each and everyone is remembered by him, known by him. He always comes looking, always comes seeking actively, searching diligently. And whatever he seeks, he is sure to find, eager to reclaim as his own. Oh, I know others may count it of little value, but he will polish it up, make it shine with resplendent beauty, and he will affix that little coin into the crown of his victory and display that coin forever, of his saving glory.
Safe in the arms of the shepherd, we’re like a coin held in his loving hands. This is what it means to be sought, found and saved by Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon says that in his incarnation, “Jesus came after the lost sheep. In his life he continued to seek it. In his death he laid it upon his shoulders. In his resurrection he bore it on its way, and in his ascension he brought it home rejoicing. Our Lord’s career,” says Spurgeon, “is a course of soul winning, a life laid out for his people, and in it you may trace the whole process of salvation.” End Quote.
So born upon Jesus’ shoulders, Christ’s sheep are under divine protection, held fast by strong loving arms. John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, they hear me, I speak, and there are a lot of people who hear but don’t hear. But my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” That is what it means to seek and to save the lost, to be eternally saved, forever saved, held fast by his power.
We’re in Luke 15. We can’t leave Luke 15 without reading the next parable, right. So let’s read in, starting in verse 11 about the parable, the prodigal son. “He said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of property that’s coming to me.”’”
Basically just to help you understand the significance of that in that day, this is basically saying, “Father, out, I wish you were dead so that I could get my inheritance. Now can we just pretend that that’s the case, that you’re dead, gone out of my life so I can have your money?” Basically what he’s saying.
Look at the father, “He divided his property between them.” He did it. It’s not a really a parable about parenting, by the way. It’s a parable about the father’s love for this guy. But look how wretched he is. “The father divided his property between them.” Had to hurt. “Not many days later, the younger son gathered all that he had took a journey to into a far country and there he squandered his property and reckless living.”
It’s his character. It’s predictable. A son who dishonors his father like that cares nothing for his father is going to do exactly this. It’s totally predictable, inevitable. Verse 14, “When he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need. And so he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields, fields to feed pigs.” Oh, that’s a low spot to fall for a Jewish boy. “He was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything.”
Heartless, ruthless, cruel world, isn’t it? “When he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread? But I perish here with hunger. I’ll rise and go to my father, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven, and before you, I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’” By the way, this is not repentance. This is yet another scheme for him to find a way to get what he wants. He’s not thinking of himself as a son. He’s still not thinking about a relationship with his father. He just wants to eat.
“So he arose,” verse 20, “came to his father. But [look at this] while he’s still a long way off, his father saw him, felt compassion.” Why, when he’s still a long way off? Why? Because the father has been searching for him, seeking him, looking for him. His father saw him while still a long way off, saw him, felt compassion and did what no Jewish, dignified man would ever do. He ran in public, embraced his son and kissed him.
The son coming back into town, he would be on, in danger of being publicly disgraced and banished from the community for the dishonor he showed his father. And so the father prevents that he takes a preemptive act of love and compassion to run and get there before the rest of the townspeople can get there and drive this kid away to give him what he deserves. He runs, embraces him, kisses him. This kid dirty, filthy. Unclean, having spent all this time with the pigs, the father brings him close.
The son said to him, here’s his prepared speech, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven, and before you, I’m no longer worried to be called your son.” The father cuts him off right there, said to his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, put it on him, bring a, bring a ring, put a ring on his hand and the shoes on his feet. Bring out the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found. They began to celebrate.”
It’s a picture there of sovereign initiative, the Father’s Sovereign initiative, running after his lost son. And it says there “He was dead and is alive.” So what has he done with his son? He’s caused him to be, it’s a picture of being born again. He’s brought back into the family. He’s adopted as a son. He’s a true heir. He’s wearing his father’s ring. He’s wearing his father’s cloak, his robe. He’s prepared by wearing shoes on his feet, ready to do the father’s work and the father’s business.
Listen, when Jesus says, “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost,” he’s talking about a grave condition, a mortal danger, and he is portraying a situation truly of resurrection. Resurrection is what’s required. Resurrection power to take the dead person, the dead lost person, and raise him to life. To give him new life, eternal life, real life, fruit-producing life.
That’s what he means when he says, “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus came to conduct a rescue operation. Search, find, rescue, save, deliver. He came for the purpose of seeking. And he’s going to continue seeking until he finds. The search is not over until the lost thing he’s looking for is found. And get this, the means that he employs, namely that of seeking the lost, it’s sufficient to the end for which he purposed it, namely that of saving the lost.
So what he seeks, he finds. What he finds he saves what he saves. He saves fully. He saves finally. He saves deeply, profoundly. He saves eternally so that the lost escape the grave. The mortal danger that threatened them of being lost and gone forever, Jesus says, “That’s gone. Think of it no more. I give them eternal life. They’ll never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
So we’ve got the who, we’ve got the what. Here’s the third and fourth question that I said would be combined into point, one point. Point three, hen and where does Jesus seek and save? When and where? Short answer, when and where does Jesus seek and save? Short answer is whenever and wherever they may be. Like a loving shepherd, he seeks the lost sheep all over the countryside, over hill and dale until he finds it.
Like a woman in her home, she lights a lamp, sweeps her house, diligently searches, and so, in the same way Christ searches for his own. However long it takes, wherever it takes him. We see in Luke’s gospel that Jesus sought and found Simon Peter, also, his brother Andrew, two sons of Zebedee, James and John. We know from John’s gospel that he found them first while they were with John the Baptist, but near the Jordan River while John was baptizing.
But the, later on, we see in Luke’s gospel, we see them back in Galilee and they’re fishing. They’re conducting their fishing business. And so Jesus seeks and finds them there on a fishing trip. He saved them. He saved them called them to lifelong discipleship and he called them to apostleship.
Jesus, as we already saw, he sought and found Levi. Where was he? He was sitting in a tax booth in the city. Saved him, called him to discipleship, then turned him into an apostle. As I said, this Levi is known to us as Matthew. He wrote a gospel you may have heard of.
We read about the sinful woman, came into Simon’s house. He sought and found her too, while having lunch in the home of Simon the Pharisee. The last place that you would ever expect to find someone like that, and there she is. She comes into a midst of a hostile crowd, “tractor beamed in,” finding her savior because he’s drawing her to himself. All those there, I mean, there’s no one more hostile is there, than, than those who are religiously minded, attentive, church going scribes and Pharisees, ready to condemn, ready to judge, ready to banish. Jesus brings her in, seeks or finds her, saves her.
““The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus came to conduct a rescue operation. Search, find, rescue, save, deliver. He came for the purpose of seeking. “Travis Allen
Many of the lost that Jesus sought and found. Kind of ironically, they were in synagogues, places of worship, attending worship services. That’s kind of worth keeping in mind, right, every time we go to church? That’s a good place to find lost people. And why wouldn’t? Why wouldn’t it be that way? It’s here where the truth is preached and proclaimed. This is the only place that lost people can find truth. To understand it, to see how the sin problem is dealt with. You should expect that every time you come to church, every every time you come to church, you’re looking for the lost people that Jesus may be drawing.
But we see all through Luke’s gospel it’s in the most unlikely of places, and times. At the most unlikely and inconvenient of times, in the most like, unlikely of circumstances that Jesus seeks, finds, saves his lost people. Story after story throughout the gospels, Jesus seeks the lost. He seeks them whenever they are, wherever they may be, in whatever condition they might be in. It does not matter. He goes and gets his own. He’s got 100% record of getting who he’s after.
When we get into Luke’s second volume, the Book of Acts, even though Christ has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, even from heaven, that doesn’t stop him from seeking and finding his own. Christ is doing the same thing he’s seeking and saving the lost. We see the young zealot Saul, who travels from Jerusalem. In fact, if you want to turn to Acts chapter 9. We’ll come back to Luke in a second, but in Acts chapter 9 we see the young zealot Saul, who we know then later as Paul.
He’s traveling from Jerusalem and he’s not yet saved. He’s not converted to this point, but he’s on the Damascus road, going to Damascus. And Luke tells us in Acts chapter 9 verse 1 that Saul “still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” Interesting picture, isn’t it? Him breathing, he’s breathing in and out threats and murder. That’s what, that’s what fills his lungs, that’s what gives him life, is to threaten and murder.
“He went to the high priest, asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way,” the way is the early Christians, men or women, “he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
“He said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise, enter the city, you’ll be told what you’re to do.’” There’s nothing can stop the Lord. “Saul, knock off this nonsense. Stop this foolishness. You’re persecuting me. You’re mine. I’m redeploying you. You got a new mission.” From that moment on that road, as he was on his way to engage in religious persecution, the jailing and the executing of the followers of Jesus Christ, Saul is radically saved. The world has never been the same.
He starts preaching the faith that he once tried to destroy, and he’s aggressive about it. He preaches the risen Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, the Lord of all. What explains that? How does that make sense? Only because of the power of Christ, the mission of Christ to seek and to save. It’s fueled by resurrection power, miraculous divine power.
Even from heaven, we know Christ seeks and saves the lost. We can see all through Acts this is the case. He deploys his Holy Spirit and by the Spirit working in and through the members of his church preaching his saving gospel, he keeps doing the same thing. He sends Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch, a high court official traveling by chariot. He sends Philip to seek and save him.
He sends Peter to Cesaria, to the House of Cornelius, to a Roman centurion, to preach the gospel. Cornelius is saved. His entire household is saved. He sends Paul and Barnabas, then Paul and Silas, to seek and save the lost, those whom the Father is given to the son, those who for whom Christ died all over the Roman Empire, all over in Asia Minor and into Europe, to the ends of the earth.
He sends Paul and Silas to a Philippian jail. Puts him in jail for a time. Why? Because there’s an evangelistic prospect there. A Philippian jailer, he’s about to kill himself. No need to live anymore after the earthquake happens, all the prisoners have escaped. He’s knows his life is over, so he’s about to kill himself. And on the brink of his own destruction, he’s saved. Jesus finds his own. He saves them, rescues them. In the case of this Philippian jailer, he saved his whole household too.
We can go on story after story. In the historical records of the Gospels, in the historical record of the Book of Acts, throughout the history of the Christian Church, down to this very day, Christ is seeking the lost. Wherever they are, whenever they are, to the uttermost parts of the earth and in whatever condition they may be; it does not matter. Christ is the risen Savior. He’s been resurrected by divine power. He has all power, all authority and heaven on Earth at his disposal. He’s conquered sin and death and demons and every foe. Nothing prevents him from seeking and saving his own. Never forget that.
We’ve seen the who, what, when and the where of Christ’s mission, so let’s ask the why question. Why does he do it? Why? What is the purpose in seeking and saving? Here’s a fourth question if you’ve taken notes: why does Jesus come to seek and save? Why does he come to seek and save?
Let’s go back over to Luke 19:10, because the answer is right there in the text in what Jesus said. It’s subtle, but it’s clearly there. “The Son of man came.” “The Son of man came,” and then we see, in order “to seek and to save the lost.” Those two infinitives showing purpose, to seek and to save. They tell us, yes, why Christ came. That’s the purpose of his coming. We’ve summarized that briefly already, but it’s that title, “the Son of man,” followed by the main verb in the sentence “he came,” the Son of man “came.”
We find here a greater and an ultimate purpose at work. I can only summarize this briefly, but that title “Son of man,” it points to the various roles of the Messiah prophesied all throughout the Old Testament, most particularly in places like Ezekiel and Daniel. But the title of the Son of man points to the various roles of the Messiah, the Christ, the, the one whom God ordained from before the foundation of the world to seek and save these people.
In an ultimate sense, Jesus came to seek and save because he is being obedient to an eternal calling. He is executing God’s decree of salvation. He is carrying out his perfect will. This is way bigger than any individual one of us. This is eternal. This is an infinite mind at work. He is executing an eternal decree.
As the Son of man, Jesus is the ideal man. He is the perfection of humanity. As the Son of man, he’s the one who represents man to God and God to man. As the Son of man, he is the mediator in perfect, righteous sympathy to the concerns of God and man alike, and bringing them into perfect unity and harmony. And as the Son of man, he is the one who wields absolute power and all divine authority. It says in Daniel 7:14, “The ancient of days gave the Son of man Dominion and glory and an everlasting indestructible Kingdom.”
The entire world, every human being without exception, belongs to him and will serve him. And so he has come, as we read here in the gospels, he has come first in mercy, offering salvation when he comes again. He will come in recompense. He will come to dispense justice.
Maybe we could just look at one text. Well might be a couple, but go back to Luke chapter 4, Luke chapter 4 and just mention this, this one here in Luke when we see here in Luke 4:16 and following Jesus’s revealing himself as Messiah, the Christ the prophesied Son of man, and when he did that, he did so first of all to the people of his hometown, a place where he grew up in Nazareth.
And it says in Luke 4, starting in verse 16, that “he came to Nazareth where he’d been brought up, and as it was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day he stood up to read. The scroll of Prophet Isaiah was given to him, and he unrolled the scroll, found the place where it was written. ‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” And it says, “He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant. And sat down.”
Sitting down in those days was the teaching position. “The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’” Remarkable. The words that he read from that scroll on that day, from Isaiah 61, described his mission to seek and to save. Described his rescue mission, described his mission of mercy. And what is so interesting about that is that he, in reading Isaiah 61: 1 and 2, he stopped short and did not read the entire passage.
In fact, where he stops, it’s an abrupt stop. He reads all of Isaiah 61:1 and starts in the verse 2 and then he cuts off reading abruptly right in the middle of the verse. Had he kept on reading, here’s what that would say. Isaiah 61:1 and 2. He says, “He’s anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.”
He didn’t read that part. Why not? Why did Jesus stop mid-verse? Why didn’t he read the rest of the verse and tell everybody about the day of vengeance of our God? Because at his first coming, he came for salvation. And we now are still living in this gospel age. It’s the same time. Now is the appointed time, the day of salvation. And it is the mission of Christ’s Church that he’s reigning on high. Building his church, he does it through us evangelizing, us preaching the gospel.
It is the mission, Matthew 28, for us to “make disciples,” to teach this gospel, to spread it around the earth and make disciples by amplifying God’s love and mercy in the gospel. But that doesn’t abrogate the rest of the verse. That’s coming, too. When Christ returns to earth, at his Second Coming, he will come for retribution.
Jesus taught about it, as did the apostles. There are many texts we could go to, but I’ll just give you one in 2 Thessalonians 1:6. You can just write that down. But 2 Thessalonians 1:6 and following. Paul writes this that “God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you.” He’s talking to believers here. “And to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
You think they’re gonna, the sinners of this world, the whether they’re in places of power, or in places without power, you think they’re getting away with anything, with their sin? Think again. Paul says, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might when he comes on that day, to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at among all who have believed.”
The day of the vengeance of our God, that’s coming. So the time is now to take advantage of the opportunity to repent and believe. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. Don’t waste another minute. We’re still living in the first part of the Messiah’s mission, which Jesus proclaimed in that Nazareth Synagogue 2000 years ago. Good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, sight to the blind, and liberty or freedom for all who are oppressed.
The poor, captives, blind and oppressed. Those are the lost that Jesus came to seek and to save, and everyone who sees himself in those terms, in that lost condition, which is, they’ll only see themselves outweigh by God’s mercy, by God giving grace to them to open their eyes to it. But by God’s grace in Jesus Christ and through faith in him, he will find them and he will save them. Why? Because Jesus loves his lost sheep.
It’s a mission of love right now. This is a, a time of love and mercy and compassion of salvation. Don’t neglect it. Don’t spurn the opportunity. Paul put this in personal terms and Galatians 2:20. He talks about the Son of God who “loved me,” who “gave himself for me.” He extends that same thinking to all believers in Ephesians 5:2 saying, “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” Later on in that same chapter, verse 25, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for the church.”
This is a time of love and mercy and compassion and kindness. It’s the mission of Jesus Christ to show love of God to lost sinners, to seek and to save those whom the Father has given to them, or given to him. So he comes to us. He demonstrates the father’s love by dying in our place, offering his own life up as a sacrifice for our sins. He brings us the father’s love by saving us from our sins so that when he comes, 2 Thessalonians 2:16, he will be marveled at by us. Second Thessalonians 2:16 says, “God our Father loved us and he gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace.”
Why does Jesus come to seek and to save? It’s to fulfill stage one in his mission, the rescue mission. This is the time to bring divine love and salvation to everyone who believes. Here’s a final question. Fifth point in your outline: how does Jesus seek and save? We’ve been through The who, what, when, where, why, and now the how. How does Jesus seek and save? The means by which Jesus saves him, his people, from their sins is by dying for their sins. He loved us. He gave himself for us.
He died as a substitutionary sacrifice. That means he took our place. He did so to satisfy the just wrath of a holy God, the wrath that’s due because of our sins against God. What has God done for us? He’s given us every good thing. He’s given us every opportunity. He’s given us breath to breathe. He’s given us a heartbeat. He’s given us bodies. He’s given us eyes to see. He’s given us families. He’s given us all good things to enjoy. And what have we done? Have we honored God as God? By obeying him and doing his will? No.
Have we given him thanks? No, we’ve been ungrateful, complaining, grumbling. We’ve sinned against God. So Jesus came to die for our sins. If you back up from Luke 19 and go to Luke 18:33, or 32 and 33, Jesus points to this substitutionary cross work that he will fulfill. He tells his disciples here, and this is again a, a week or so before the cross, so it’s, it’s on the horizon for him. “The Son of man will be delivered over to the Gentiles. He’ll be mocked, shamefully treated, and spit upon.”
Can you imagine something more unfitting than that? To show that kind of an insult to the precious savior, the Son of God? “After flogging him, they will kill him.” And then this: “On the third day he will rise.” Why would the sinless Son of man be mocked, treated with contempt, spatted upon, flogged, killed. Did he deserve it? No. Hebrews 4:15, “He is without sin.” He is completely without sin, Hebrews 4:15. And so he is the only innocent victim, whoever has been. He didn’t deserve to die. He didn’t deserve any of this. We did, though.
So Christ suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust, because he chose to offer himself as a subst, a substitute sacrifice for our sins. He died the death that we deserved so that God could give us the reward of life that Jesus earned and merited for us. The suffering of the Messiah for sins is detailed in the Old Testament. You can read like Psalm 22, Isaiah 53. Magnificent texts that are fulfilled completely and only in Jesus Christ, his death on the cross.
But we can summarize that in the passage that Paul wrote, 2 Corinthians 5:21, that “God made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” So here’s what that means: God placed on Jesus the sins of all lost sinners whom Christ came to save, punished him instead of us, poured out all of his wrath on Jesus when he was on the cross.
And then God took the righteousness of God in Christ, a perfect righteousness, a righteousness that fulfilled all righteousness and placed that righteousness on us. Like covering us with a garment, pure, spotless white. All those and only those who believe receive it. That’s how it happened. That’s the how question. It’s how he did it. An act of pure mercy, perfect justice coming together in the cross. Jesus satisfied both the mercy and the justice of God. Not one sin is ignored, dismissed, let go, overlooked. He finds them all, grabs them all, places them on Jesus Christ. So divine justice has been fully satisfied. He is just.
But he’s also merciful. He is the justifier of the one who puts faith in Jesus Christ. There’s not one ounce of saving mercy that’s wasted. All the mercy that he poured out on his people is effectual to save all those that he came looking for. Not one ounce of wasted mercy.
Today, Jesus is still seeking and still saving his people. And the one distinguishing characteristic trait of every lost sinner who is found and saved by the Lord is this. They believe this message. Those who don’t believe, who rejected, who turn away, or those who say they believe but then just go on living like they’ve never been changed, that’s the rest of the world. That’s unbelief.
It’s only those who believe this message, believe this truth, they believe, and therefore they show they prove evidence, show forth they belong to him. Believing is seeing. Believing is truly seeing things that are only perceived spiritually. Paul says it this way in saying in 2 Corinthians 4:18, that “we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient [temporal, passing away] but the things that are unseen, they’re eternal.” The things that are unseen, principled, those things last forever. Only faith the God grants, gives us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to receive, believe, and understand, and only those with eyes to see and faith to believe will see the Lord resurrected, risen in his salvation glory.
Remember what we read earlier in the service in John 20, who was the first one to see the resurrected Jesus? It’s Mary Magdalene, wasn’t it? Luke 8:2 says that she was rescued from a very severe case of demonic possession herself. Jesus cast seven demons out of this woman. She was one of the lost sheep that Jesus came to seek and save. And though Mary was once lost, supernaturally lost, which means it affected her physically, cast her out socially. She was affected morally, unclean, ceremonially and richly in all other ways.
Now she’s the first one to see the resurrected Lord. What an honor, what a privilege. She’s found. She’s rescued. She’s saved from her sins. Though she was once blind, she now sees. In fact, she’s first disciple to see the Lord Jesus Christ before any of the apostles. She’s the one reporting to the apostles. “I have seen the Lord.”
So whom does Jesus seek and save? Sinners like Mary Magdalene, broken, decrepit, morally corrupt and defiled, blind and proud, supernaturally bound and slaved by sin, oppressed by the devil, sinners just like me and just like you. What does it mean for Jesus to seek and save? It means that he comes for us. By the Holy Spirit, he opens our eyes to our sinful condition. He shows us our need for salvation, that we’re nothing more than spiritually poor captors of sin, blind of the truth, and possessed and oppressed by sin and Satan.
Then the Spirit draws us to Christ our Savior, takes us up in his arms as a loving shepherd carries his sheep. When and where does Jesus seek and save? Good news, whatever and wherever you are. He’ll come get you in whatever condition you’re in. He’s there, then and there to go and find you. He found all his people during his physical presence on earth. Not one of them was let go. He found every single one, hunted them down, all through Galilee and all through Judea, even into Perea, into the Decapolis. He found his people while he was on earth.
And now he finds them by his omniscient, omnipresent Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit whom he has deployed, given to his people, and all of his people go out sharing the gospel, spreading the gospel, preaching the truth to lost sinners who belong to Christ. And you know what they do? All of them respond, all of his people respond in faith. “My sheep hear my voice.”
Why does Jesus seek and save? For the sake of God’s glory In obedience to the divine mission that God gave him from before the foundation of the world, to love the people that the father gave him, to save them from their sins and bring them into the freedom of eternal life.
Finally, how does he do that? How does Christ seek and save? He died on the cross for all of us who believe to pay the just penalty, do our sins to deliver us from the wrath of God. And God showed his approval, his acceptance of that perfect sacrifice, by raising this Jesus from the dead, which is what we’re celebrating today.
Lost sinner, if you’re here and you realize that you’re lost, if any of this is kind of affecting you, striking you, man, listen, don’t turn away. If he’s calling you, don’t, don’t ignore that call. Will you come to him today? For your sake, he said this in John 20:29, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” That could be you. If you’ll believe in him who you cannot see right now, but believe in him, hearing the message, reading it on the pages of Scripture, you will one day rejoice with inexpressible, glorious joy. Even now as you obtained the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your soul.
All you saints, you who once were lost and now have been found, you who once were blind and now see, when he returns, one day, you know what? We’re going to see him as he is. He will be glorified in us, in his saints on that day. He will be marveled at. As we look at him and rejoice, we see him in whom we have believed, as we share eternally in his resurrection life. Amen.
Let’s pray. Our Father, we thank you so much for this glorious gospel. And we thank you for a day such as this to remember, as we do once a year on Easter and this Resurrection Sunday, to remember that Christ triumphed over the grave. We see the death of death and the death of Christ. We see the conquering of love, the triumph of your grace. We see your power over sin and corruption and death. And we are so grateful that you have been gracious to us.
For those who are here, who may still be in a lost condition, not yet found, we pray that you would show saving mercy and grace to them as well. For the sake of your glory, for the sake of your gospel, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.