Have you ever felt helpless –hopeless?
• Was it about a relationship – marriage –child
• A job—career
• A sickness or disease (for yourself or a loved one)
• An addiction
• Our country
When you felt that way what did you do?
• Hide in shame
• Run away in fear?
• Take control in anger?
• Try to numb it?
• Try to self-destruct?
The disciples….2000 years ago
• The injustice – the government –Herod –Pilate –the law enforcement corruption
• Spiritually —The religious establishment is corrupted – collusion
• Couldn’t pray –why – false teachers –said Jesus was the Messiah
• Or the devil won – death is not escapable –evil can’t be thwarted
• Couldn’t go back to their towns and jobs – they could be found there – mocked as gullible or false teachers –their personal economy shattered
• Relationships–Had put their friends and family in danger –facing his wife – family (Mother in law)
• For them personally – I was fooled – I am so stupid – I can’t even trust myself
What does this leave them with? –hopeless and helpless
• Stuck in Jerusalem –together –
• Utterly defeated –hopeless—helpless
• But then….
John 20:1–21 (NLT)
What did the crucifixion mean then? The resurrection changed everything
It meant that what looked like the greatest defeat to the greatest foes was actually the greatest victory
1. It meant God accepted the offer of Jesus for our sins –Isaiah 53
2. It meant that God had been fighting a different enemy than they understood but in His defeat of that enemy He destroyed all the others
• The devil –via sin had control of death
• The devil –and human understanding had been faulty –they had been fooled
• It meant that what it looked like – it wasn’t – it was a win rather than a loss
• Walking by faith means seeing with different eyes
• Even death isn’t what it seems
• When the world-the enemies of God –the devil seems to win –it doesn’t mean he did
• It didn’t mean there was no physical danger or consequences but God is able
3. It meant that Death wasn’t the end
• Evil doesn’t have the final say
• That God has power to turn the worst things into eternal things
It wasn’t a victory for everyone though – Judas –the other thief on the cross – the religious leaders – Pilate – people who seemed to have won
Matthew 27:5 (NLT) — 5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
Luke 23:39–43 (NLT)
1. For unbelievers – Jesus is Gods offer of truth – His desire for a relationship with you
Your response – faith – I believe – what?
• I am guilty – we all are
• I need forgiveness
• I need the King to be my King
• Faith –(baptism next week)
2. For believers – in a world of brokenness – hopelessness is still possible but…
• We are His victorious people
• So, when I feel defeated – I bring hope and victory back into the story
• This next year – when things are not what I want they often are not what they seem
Romans 8:18–28 (NLT)
So –this next year when I/we….
1. The world is broken – enemies of God seem to be winning ….
2. There seems no hope in our economy…
3. Or in our relationships….
4. We walk in faith – confidence –hope – and with us is the light for others to see
5. We walk with others – we are victorious
2 Corinthians 5:6–10 (NLT)
For Small Group Discussion:
• Tell about a time when you won or lost (i.e. a game, competition, in life, career, etc.)?
Main Point: Victory belongs to the Lord, but we get to play a part. God calls us to both action and dependence on Him and others.
Primary Scripture: Exodus 17:8-16 (Aaron and Hur Lifting Moses’ Hands)
1. Who are the different people in this story and what roles did they play?
2. Which role do you think was the most important?
3. Who do you relate to the most? And why?
4. How do you think God has designed and gifted you to play a part in His victory?
5. How would you describe victory? What does victory look like in your life now?
6. Who would you choose (or have chosen) to go into battle with you? Why?
7. How do you keep the victory we have in Jesus in perspective when you are going through the battles of life?
Additional Scripture to Consider: 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 Romans 8:1-2
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