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Funeral Sermon From Mark 4:41
Pastor Stephen Muncherian
July 6, 2007
In the Gospel of Mark - chapter 4 - there is an account of Jesus and the disciples sailing on the Sea of Galilee
After a long day of ministry - Jesus teaching a large crowd of people - Jesus and the disciples set out for what was supposed to be a peaceful cruise to the other side of the lake. Within minutes the sea was churning - the wind is roaring - the boat is taking on water.
Even though the disciples are experienced sailors - they knew this storm was really - really bad. Worse - its now dark out on the lake. They can’t see anything. The disciples are panicked - expecting to die - fearful. They’re rushing around trying to save the boat - bailing water - making things fast - throwing excess weight overboard.
In the stern of the boat - in the back of the boat on the cushion reserved for important passengers - Jesus is sleeping through it all. Panicked - fearful - the disciples wake Jesus - probably screaming at Him over the howling wind - “Don’t you care that we’re all going to die?”
Jesus - never fearful of the storm - Jesus calmly gets up - tells the wind and sea to knock it off - the wind goes away and the sea becomes perfectly still.
Weatherman can predict the path of a storm but they can’t take control of it. Weatherman will say, “There’s a 50% chance of rain tomorrow.” Which means they have no clue. 50% it may rain. 50% it may not.
“Wind. Knock it off. Sea. Be still.” And they do. That’s a God thing.
Mark records - Mark 4:41 - that the disciples witnessed all this and - quote - “They became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’”
That’s a very important question. Especially during the storms of our lives. Especially when we’re facing our mortality and thinking about what may or may not come next.
“Who is this Man?”
When Jesus was crucified - a Roman Centurion - the head security officer at Jesus’ crucifixion - who’d witnessed all of what went on - the torture - the sky going dark - Jesus’ death - the earthquake. When Jesus died the centurion said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Literally, “the son of a god.” (Matthew 27:54)
Its a good answer - actually. But incomplete. The Centurion saw only the death of a godly man.
It would be so easy for us to think about Jesus as a great man - a great moral leader - a philosopher - someone in tune with God - who could teach us so many things about God. And to think of Jesus as dead. To see death - to face our mortality - without hope.
The disciples had a different answer to the question: “Who is this Man?”
In 1 Corinthians 15 - Paul declares that Jesus was buried - and was raised on the third day - just as Jesus said He would be. Jesus’ death and resurrection didn’t come as a surprise to Jesus. God planned it.
Paul writes that the resurrected Jesus appeared - bodily - to the apostles. Then Jesus appeared to more than 500 people at one time. Paul writes, some of these people are alive today. If you doubt my word, ask them.
Paul writes, last, but not least Jesus appeared to me. Paul, the one who persecuted Christians for believing in the resurrection. Paul says, I have seen the bodily resurrected Jesus with my own two eyes and I proclaim His resurrection to you.
50 days after the resurrection - Peter preached the reality of Jesus’ resurrection to three thousand people who were in a position to know the facts. No one offered him a rebuttal. Historically not one shred of credible or proven evidence has ever been offered to disprove the resurrection of Jesus.
In that sermon Peter declared the disciples’ answer to the question, “Who is this Man?” Jesus - the One you crucified - whom God resurrected - Jesus is the Lord and Christ - the Savior (Acts 2:32,36)
Jesus said things like, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26)
“I an the Father are one.” (John 10:30) “I’m the God.”
If Jesus isn’t resurrected from the dead we might as well believe in UFO’s and little green men. Because Christianity - a relationship with God - forgiveness of sins - everything Jesus said about Himself - its all a bunch of wishful thinking and spiritual platitudes. Life is hopeless. Death is the end.
But the disciples declared the resurrected Jesus that they had personally seen and experienced. Jesus lives! His resurrection is a certain - historical - fact.
And, because Jesus has risen from the dead - conquered over Satan - his power and death - we know - with certainty - that the end of life is not death - life is not hopeless. There’s an eternity with God waiting for all those who are in Jesus. An eternity that begins the moment we place our lives in God’s hands - trusting in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.
That was _____’s hope. He had come to that moment in his life when he had trusted in Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. I would ask him, “Dick are you trusting in Jesus?” Without hesitation he would always answer. “Yes, Of course.”
_____ is with Jesus. Those of us who know Jesus personally know that one day we will see _____ again. Together we will live forever with God. Not because its wishful thinking. But because the resurrected Jesus said we would.
God - Jesus - can calm the storms of our lives. Especially on a morning like this when we face difficult realities. I want to encourage you - trust Jesus. He is the answer.