It is The Lord!
3rd Sunday of Easter
Rev. S. D. Spencer - Pastor Messiah Lutheran Church
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Grace, peace and mercy from God our Father and our Lord Jesus the Christ, Amen!
It’s hard to believe that a week has already passed by since the Passion of our Lord. If you recall, the week started with Jesus riding victoriously into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey. That act fulfilled what the prophet Zechariah wrote about the Messiah some 550 years before the incident.
I. Palm Sunday
The people greeted Jesus that day with shouts of “Hosanna, blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna son of David.” They even said: "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel." These people knew who was entering Jerusalem. Hosanna is an interesting word. It means, “LORD SAVE US, NOW!” These people welcomed Jesus as the Lord, the one who would free Israel once again from bondage. Remember this was Passover Week, the week set aside, each year to remember Egypt and the captivity. The week set aside to relive God’s miracle of releasing His people from bondage. These people were welcoming their King, the one that would release them from the bondage of Rome. Do you; think possibly that the Roman rulers knew about Jesus and His entry into the city? You bet they did.
Passover was a time when Jerusalem grew in population by 10 to 20 times the typical population. Any able bodied Jewish person was required to attend Passover in Jerusalem each year. Rome would have had soldiers posted on every corner. Spies would have been lurking throughout the city gathering information about insurrection before it happened. Would they have known about and been concerned about Jesus? Oh yes, they were.
What about the religious authorities of Jesus day. Do you think they knew Jesus was there? Of course they knew of Jesus was there. They had been plotting His death for some time. It was right after Jesus raised Lazarus that the Chief priests plotted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus. You see Lazarus lived in Bethany and short walk from Jerusalem, right in their-own backyards. This was a miracle they couldn’t deny. So they plotted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus.
How do you think Peter was handling this warm welcome into Jerusalem? He was probably ecstatic. Remember just a short time before this Jesus told the twelve that “He must go to Jerusalem, must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Do you remember Peter’s reaction? He rebuked Jesus! MAY THIS NEVER BE! But then Jesus rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind me Satan.” What do think Peter was thinking now? My guess is he was thinking maybe seeing how all these people were behind Jesus, maybe Jesus would change His mind about dying. Maybe these adoring masses would shake some sense into Jesus.
II. Maundy Thursday
But a few short days later Jesus would remind them of why He came. It would be Maundy Thursday they would call the eve of the Passover. It would be during that meal commemorating how God set His people free, that Jesus would once again remind the disciple of why He came. He came to set them free from bondage. Except this time it wasn’t bondage to Egypt or even Rome, but to sin, death and the devil.
During the Passover Meal several cups of wine are offered to relieve the exodus from captivity. This was a Sacramental Meal where God’s promise was connected to the eating and drinking. The blood put upon the doorpost and lentil to allow death to Passover. Blood shed in a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. The lamb gave its life in place of theirs. This was a covenant meal. Blood was required for forgiveness. But during the Passover Meal Jesus made a change, during the offering of the cup of redemption Jesus changed the understanding of that cup to what we know today. Take eat, this is my body. Take drink, this is my blood. Jesus explained to the disciples that His own body and blood were given for them. He was now the Lamb of sacrifice for them. This was Jesus Last Will and Testament. He was giving Himself for them.
If Peter had wondered whether Jesus had changed His mind now he knew. Jesus was committed to go all the way.
III. The Betrayal and Good Friday
Later that evening Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus prayed if it were possible to have another way, let it be so, but Thy will be done. Jesus was beginning to suffer under the cup of God’s wrath. It was shortly thereafter that Judas came to Him and betrayed Him with a kiss. Judas has sold out Jesus to Caiaphas the High Priest for 30 pieces of silver. It’s interesting to note that Jesus had overturned the table of the money changers in the Temple courts calling them a den of thieves. They sold animals to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins taking the last nickel of even the poor. According to Jewish custom if traveled a distance they could purchase a sacrifice for sin.
By the way, the only priest that could offer a National atonement sacrifice, that is, a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin for a group of people, was the high priest. He could enter the Holies of Holies to make that sacrifice. So who was it that purchased Jesus? It was Caiaphas the high priest! It was also Caiaphas that had said, “It would be better for one man to die for many, rather than many to die for one man.” Little had he know that God used him to make such an incredible prophesy!
Jesus was tried 4 times before dawn, and was then crucified by 9am. By 3pm Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, My God, My God why has Thou forsaken me?” Jesus was cursed for our transgression and suffered under the full weight of our sin, and received God’s wrath that we deserved. A moment later he would utter His last words, IT IS FINISHED! Then He would give up His spirit. He might as well have said, paid in full!
Before it was all said and done Peter had denied the Lord 3 times, and now was nowhere to be seen.
IV. The Resurrection
On Easter morning we have the report that “Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Jesus at the tomb.” But instead they were greeted by an angel telling them to instruct the disciples to head to Galilee for Jesus will be there ahead of them. You would think the Resurrection the end of the story. But as we saw in our text last week the disciples decided to hide in a room, with the doors locked. Did they follow the instructions that the angel gave the ladies to tell them? No! But they would. And that brings us to our text today.
V. It is the Lord!
You would think that if the Lord told you something that you would do it. I love this picture of what is going on. Jesus via the women tell the men to head to Galilee where Jesus will join them. Where would you expect Jesus to show up? He’s the Lord; He’s God, so maybe a place of worship, right? So what does Peter say, “I’m going fishing!”
This is not a new picture for us. This is where Peter first met Jesus. Remember the account. Peter had no success fishing that night and Jesus told him to cast the nets again and his boat was so full that it nearly sunk. Do you remember Peter’s reaction? “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”(Luke 5:8). Peter wanted nothing to do with Jesus, for in the presence of Jesus Peter saw how sinful he was and Holy Jesus is. Peter was afraid of the wrath of God.
Jesus spoke to Peter and made him a fisher of men. Jesus removed Peter’s fear of wrath by taking away his sin.
Our text today is much like Peter’s first encounter with Jesus. “Throw the net on the other side.” It’s full, ready to burst, but holds. John says, “It is the Lord.” But unlike the first time where Peter says, depart from me, for I am a sinful man. Peter can’t wait to be in the presence of Jesus. Peter dives out of the boat and swims to be in the presence of the Lord.
Something’s changed! Fear has been replaced with faith!
And faith doesn’t disappoint. There on shore Jesus is cooking a meal for the disciples. Peter's faith is confirmed by the Lord's actions-for what is the Lord doing? He's making breakfast for His hungry disciples. Even though they know who He is, they dare not ask. Why? Because of whom He is. The hand that stokes the fire and turns the fish has a nail-print through it, for this is He who was crucified for them. This is the Christ who suffered their death and now has defeated the tomb. Here and now, He is not sitting on a throne to be worshiped. He's making them breakfast! He's not even speaking to make cooked food appear out of nowhere, but He's grilling fish on a fire.
Jesus is risen from the dead. His time of Humiliation is over, but not His humility. The Son of God appears to His disciples and provides them with daily bread, giving them breakfast. But that's not all. Although the Gospel lesson stops at verse 14, Jesus does not. He takes Peter aside, and restores him as an apostle. Peter denied Jesus three times; so three times, Jesus tells him once again to feed His sheep. In other words, Jesus doesn't just appear to give Peter fish. He appears to give Peter forgiveness, again and again.
After all, that is why He died. And that is why He is risen.
Jesus gives you forgiveness, again and again too. That’s why He died and that’s why He’s risen. But perhaps you have a sin in your life that you just can’t seem to deal with. Jesus is telling you today, that He died for that sin, and He has risen to forgive you for that sin. There’s no reason to stay in a locked room fearing that sin. Jesus has conquered sin and the effects of it! By His stripes you are healed. By His death you are forgiven! By His resurrection, God has shown you that the price was paid in full, you have been restored.
Will you please pray with me!
Lord Jesus, sometimes we are like Peter, we become frightened and lock ourselves into rooms when the world overwhelms us. We might even deny you if we feel our lives are at risk. Lord you know we have done things we are not proud of, things that are not pleasing to you or to those around us. Forgive us for not recognizing that you have died to free us from all our transgressions and the guilt brought about by our sin. We yield our lives to you. Use us as you desire. Fill us with you Holy Spirit, restore a right spirit within us. In Jesus name, Amen and amen.
And now, may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord, AMEN.