Remix: Relay

Categories: Remix

This is the final week of our Remix series. In this series, we have been exploring Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. And specifically, we’ve been talking about the difference that the resurrection makes in our lives. The resurrection remixes everything about us. It really does change everything.

This entire series is based in 1 Corinthians 15, which some people call “the resurrection chapter.” In this chapter, the Apostle Paul just hammers on the significance of the resurrection.

And the central verse in the chapter is verse 17, which says, “Unless Christ was raised to life, your faith is useless, and you are still living in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, CEV)

Everything hangs on the resurrection. Our entire faith, everything we believe, everything we are about, hinges on the resurrection. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then it’s all useless. But if Jesus did walk out of that tomb, if He is alive, then it remixes everything. It changes everything.

We’ve walked through some pretty incredible stuff in this series. This series has been very emotional. It has hit really hard. And it has been a source of healing for us.

Today, as we wrap up the series, we’re going to talk about what we do with everything we’ve covered in this series. We’ve seen the transforming power of the resurrection…now what do we do with it?

The answer is we relay it. Let’s pray and we’ll get things rolling.

Let’s go back to a couple of verses from the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15. We’ve read them over and over again in this series, but we’re going to go back to them one more time.

In verses 3-4, Paul wrote, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NIV)

Paul received the truth about Jesus. He received the gospel, the good news, of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus died to pay the price for all our sin. He took our punishment so we wouldn’t have to.

And then He rose from the dead three days later. He conquered death. He rose to a new life, and His resurrection gives us a new life.

It’s such a simple truth, but it’s the greatest news that Paul could ever receive. In fact, it’s so good that he couldn’t keep it to himself. Instead, look what Paul said.

“What I received, I passed on to you.”

He didn’t stay quiet. It was too good to keep to himself. Instead, he relayed the truth of Jesus to the people who lived in Corinth. And not only did he relay it, but he did it with a sense of urgency.

“What I received, I passed on to you AS OF FIRST IMPORTANCE.”

Nothing else was as important as this. Nothing else mattered as much as this. He had to relay the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and he had to do it now. There was a sense of urgency in the mission. He had received the truth. He had experienced the unbelievable freedom and grace that Jesus offers. It transformed him from a murderer to a missionary, like we talked about earlier in this series. And because he had been so completely transformed by the resurrected Christ, he had to relay it to others.

In Matthew 28, we can read about the actual account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A couple of ladies had gone to Jesus’ tomb. There was a huge earthquake as an angel descended from heaven and rolled away the huge stone at the entrance to the tomb. The angel was an extraordinary sight. He was as bright as lightning and his clothes were as white as snow. This angel told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead. After this encounter, the women were hurrying back to the province of Galilee.

Look at what Matthew wrote in verses 9-10. “Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:9-10, NIV)

Let’s key in on what Jesus said here. These women were the first ones to experience the resurrected Christ. And there is great significance to Jesus’ first instructions after his resurrection.

Jesus said, “Go and tell.”

It’s the very first command that He gave after His resurrection. He had risen, and He told these ladies to relay that message. Go and tell.

The story of Jesus is meant to be told. These ladies were the first storytellers, but they were far from the last.

You are a storyteller. It’s the story of Jesus. It’s the story of His death and His resurrection. And it’s the story of the difference that He has made in your life.

Some of us think we don’t have a compelling story. When we buy that lie, we play right into Satan’s hand. If we don’t believe our story is compelling, then we won’t tell it. And that’s exactly what our enemy wants. If you are a Christian who is not telling your story to people outside of Christ, you are really no threat to Satan. Sure, he may have lost you. But he’s not losing others because of you. As long as he can keep you quiet, then he’s good. You may be going to heaven, but you’re not helping anyone else get there…and the devil is just fine with that.

Let me cut through the lie and tell you the truth. If Jesus has changed you, then your story is incredibly compelling. It is a story that has to be told.

What is different about you because of Jesus’ death and resurrection? How has He changed you? Who were you before you met Jesus? Who are you now?

Whatever the answer is, that is the story you need to tell when the opportunity arises.

In Colossians 4, Paul wrote, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5, NIV)

First of all, Paul assumes that we’re going to be constantly rubbing shoulders with outsiders…people outside of Christ. People who don’t know Jesus. Living in a holy huddle where all your interactions are with people who are already Christians never even enters Paul’s mind. He just assumes that we will have relationships with people who don’t know Christ.

And he says that we are to be wise. When an opportunity presents itself, we make the most of it. You can’t always create opportunities. Sometimes you have to be wise and wait for and opportunity to arise. But when that opportunity does present itself, you grab it. You don’t miss it.

Let me make you a promise. If you are serious about your role as a storyteller, God will give you opportunities to tell your story. I promise. You will be given opportunities to invite someone to church. You will be given opportunities to share the difference Jesus has made in your life. You will be given opportunities to tell your story.

The question then becomes will you make the most of the opportunities that God gives you?

The first command that Jesus gave after His resurrection was to relay the story. To go and tell. And that baton has been passed down to believers ever since. We are still His witnesses. We are still His storytellers.

That is the driving truth behind the moves that our church is making. Everything we do as a church is designed to reach lost people for Jesus. Every move we make is because of this one truth…we have a story to tell.

Our church is right on the brink of some very bold moves. Honestly, we are making some bold moves that a lot of other churches wish they could make, but they just don’t follow through on. I love being part of a church that doesn’t just claim to believe something. We act on it. We take the step of faith. We do it.

Next Sunday is going to be a huge day in the life of our church. We’re going to share some big news next week regarding our relocation to the Eastgate Holiday Inn. This move has created an unbelievable amount of buzz and conversation in our community. There have been so many people who have said, “Wow. This is a bold move of faith, and God is going to honor it. I can’t wait to see what He does through this.”

We can’t wait, either. We know He is going to bless it because we know why we’re going. We’re going because we have a story to tell.

Go back to what Jesus told the women after His resurrection in Matthew 28. “Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:10, NIV)

Our job is to tell the story so we can help people see Jesus. This is the lifeblood of our church. It’s the driving force behind everything we do.

For example, every single service we have is designed to do one thing…help people see Jesus. The barometer of success is simple. Did people see Jesus or not? That’s how we measure success or failure. Did people see Jesus or not?

Now, you wouldn’t believe how much effort and attention to detail goes into every service we have. We work all week, breaking it down into the smallest detail. And then on Monday, we review every detail of the service that just happened. But the question is never, “Did they think our band was awesome? Did they think the message was creative and cool?”

The question is, “Did people see Jesus?”

It’s interesting that I’m talking about this on Super Bowl Sunday. There is a saying that is repeated all the time behind the scenes here at church. Every Sunday is the Super Bowl. We say it all the time. Every Sunday is the Super Bowl.

We treat every Sunday like it’s the Super Bowl because we know that every Sunday, we have the chance to help people see Jesus. And it may be a person that has never darkened the door of a church. Or maybe they walked away from the church years ago. We have one chance with them. One opportunity to connect with them. One opportunity to help them see Jesus. And we are going to make the most of that opportunity.

This is what drives us. This is what motivates us. This is what keeps us coming back, week after week. This is why we’re never satisfied with good enough. This is why we make no apologies about striving for excellence. Because we are going to make the most of every opportunity that God gives us. Every Sunday is the Super Bowl.

But this isn’t just true for our gatherings as a church. It’s true for every one of us on an individual level.

Think of it in terms of a relay race. When you walk in on a Sunday, you are passing the baton to us. You hand us the baton and say, “Go for it!”

And we do. Our band brings their best. I bring the message that I’ve poured my heart into. We bring a worship experience that we have worked so hard on and prayed intensely over. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. Mistakes happen. Things do go wrong. But every Sunday, without fail, you can come, hand us the baton, say, “Go for it!,” and then know that we will.

But then, after church, there is another passing of the baton. We hand it off to you and say, “Go for it!” When you walk out each week, we are handing you the baton. You leave to run a leg of the race that we can’t run.

I read a study a few years ago that found that the average person has 68 people in their circle of influence. Those are people I don’t have access to. None of us on stage has any influence with them. But you do.

We’re each responsible for our own circle of influence–neighbors, colleagues, friends, family members, etc. When you leave today, just picture us handing the baton off to you and shouting, “Go for it!”

Now, if you’ve ever watched a relay race…maybe you watched it the Olympics or something like that…or maybe you used to run a relay race in high school…you know that these races are usually won or lost on the handoff. If the baton isn’t transferred well, the race falls apart.

We are determined to be a church that hands off the baton with precision. When you come in and hand us the baton, we will grab it and we’ll run with all we’ve got.

And when you leave, we will hand you the baton, trusting that you’re ready to run the race that week. That you will go and be the storyteller that God has called you to be. That you’ll make the most of the opportunities you a have with people that we have never met.

We call it evangelism. That sounds really intimidating, but I love the way Mark Batterson defines it.

He said, “Worship is bragging about God to God. Evangelism is bragging about God to others. In other words, evangelism is a form of worship. We start bragging about who God is and what God has done as we worship Him. And we don’t stop.”

We come together as a church to worship. We come together to brag about God to God. But the worship doesn’t stop when we leave. We keep bragging about God. We just start bragging about God to others. It’s really just one more way that worship stops being a Sunday morning thing and becomes an everyday thing.

You have something to brag about it. You have a story to tell. And the reason you tell that story is simple. To show people Jesus.

Saved people show people. Everybody say that out loud with me. Saved people show people. One more time. Saved people show people.

Jesus told the women to go and tell the disciples. And the reason they were to go and tell was so the disciples would see Jesus.

The mission of your life to help people see Jesus. To show them the difference that Jesus is made in your life. Jesus died and then rose to a new life. And He has given you a new life. And your job is to tell that story. To show people Jesus.

In Luke 8, we see an incredible interaction between Jesus and a man that was possessed by demons. Let’s just read how Luke describes this event. It’s a little long, but totally worth it.

“They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.

When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man.

Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.” (Luke 8:26-37, NIV)

Let’s pause right there. Jesus had just performed this amazing miracle. Jesus met a man possessed by many demons. We don’t know how many, but the demons claim that there were so many of them that their name was Legion. In this time period, the word legion usually referred to a battalion of 6,000 Roman soldiers. Jesus was very possibly taking on thousands of demons here.

The demons’ great power was demonstrated in what they did to this man. They kept him removed from society, living in the tombs. He was unclothed and could not be chained.

But even an entire legion of Satan’s best warriors are no match for the Son of God. Jesus says a word and this legion of demons leave this man and enter a herd of pigs. The destructive power of the demons is shown again because the pigs immediately run down a steep bank into the lake where they drowned.

But this is when the story just blows my mind. All the people of this region heard what had happened. They came and saw this guy. It was immediately obvious that he had been cured. He’s sitting there, dressed and in his right mind. It was an unbelievably obvious display of the power of Jesus to change a life.

And the people of that area begged Jesus to leave. It was too much for them. They were afraid. They couldn’t process what had happened. They couldn’t understand Jesus. They couldn’t handle the change that Jesus brings with Him. So they asked him to leave.

And one thing that we see clearly in this story. If you invite Jesus to leave, He will leave. These people asked Jesus to leave, and Luke said He got in a boat and left.

But what about the man who had been healed. What about the guy who had been forever changed by Jesus? Look at the next verse.

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39, NIV)

The man begged Jesus to go with Him, but Jesus had a more important mission for him. He told this man, “Go and tell your story. Go and show people what God has done for you.” Saved people show people.

This story really illustrates the choice that we have. We can ask Jesus to leave, or we can go tell His story.

It’s scary how many churches beg Jesus to leave because of the change He brings. To reach people today, the church has to change its methods. Not it’s message, but its methods. And when a church starts reaching people outside of Christ, things get messy. And the more people you reach, the more change is required.

So a lot of churches have decided that it’s just easier to ask Jesus to leave. Now they may not use those words, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.

The people in this story asked Jesus to leave because of the powerful changes He made in this man’s life. It scared them. When Jesus starts making powerful changes in a church, it’s scary. And a lot of churches want no part of it.

But then, there are other churches who embrace the changes that Jesus brings because they know those changes bring healing. Those churches become storytellers. Those churches grab onto the truth that saved people show people.

That’s the kind of church that we are. And it’s the kind of church that we will always be.

The man in this story simply couldn’t keep quiet about it. The healing was so powerful, it was so complete, that he had to tell that story. He had to show people what Jesus had done for Him.

Our church is filled with people who have been healed. The death and resurrection of Jesus has brought us from death to life. And we’re going to show people. We’re going to tell that story.

That’s why our church is relocating. Because it gives us a bigger and better platform to tell the story. That’s why we are embracing so many huge changes. Because Jesus has healed us, and we desperately want to see Him heal others.

And that’s also why we don’t look at the people of our church as members. We see them as missionaries. It’s why we hand you the baton every week and say, “Go for it! Go show people! Go tell your story!” Saved people show people.

Go back to where we started today. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NIV)

The story is so compelling. The healing is so complete. The change is so far-reaching. We have to tell the story. We have to help people see Jesus. We have to show them what He was done for us, because we so desperately want Him to do it for them.

Saved people show people.

Author: Mike Edmisten

Senior Pastor