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    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Old Skool Jesus #6

    Last week, we talked about one of my favorite subjects: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

    I opened the night with a great little video I'm sure most of you have seen called: "Jesus is my Friend" (below) and got them laughing to begin.

    Then I went back to a couple of my earlier talks about Jesus being God and a quick recap of the cross. I shared that the people who doubted (i.e. Jesus' family and disciples) that he was in fact God, no longer doubted after the resurrection!

    The Main text I went to was 1 Corinthians 15 and delved into the discussion with them about how Jesus showed up to more than 500 people at one time. I asked them if we took the whole room (about 62 of them) put them all in the same "dream center" when they woke if they'd all had the same dream.

    They said it would be impossible for all of them to have the same dream. I shared how some people have tried to say that all 500 people that Paul is referring to (some who are still alive at the point of the writing) were high and all tripping at the same time and somehow all had the same hallucination. It just can't happen!

    There were tons of other things sprinkled into prove that he really did rise, but I ended with the one that is most convincing to me...that of Paul seeing the resurrected Christ!

    Saul before he became Paul, hated Jesus. He despised his followers and felt that it was his mission to watch as many of them die for their stupid belief in Jesus. He would stand by and gladly watch Christian after Christian die, until Jesus came to him.

    Jesus stopped him on the road (a route he was taking to slaughter upwards of 150 Christians) in bodily form and declared his deity as well as resurrection to Saul. From that moment on, Saul believed and was renamed Paul.

    I told the teens; the only explanation for such a change in Saul is that Jesus really is alive. All of the nay-sayers who have their theories have weak explanations that are ignorant of the facts at best and plain idiocy at worst.

    JESUS IS ALIVE! It's the base of our faith, without it the cross, Jesus birth and Christianity would be worthless...but He indeed did rise and our faith is the one true faith because JESUS IS THE Way!

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Old Skool Jesus #5

    This week was pretty freakin' sweet! We went to the deep level of walking through the crucifixion, step by gory step.

    I started by telling the students that we don't remember or even know the true depth of pain, humiliation and torture that Jesus went through on the cross. In Jesus' day, the word "cross" was equivalent to a swear word, because it was so gory, so nasty that it wasn't even spoken in normal conversation.

    We have trivialized the cross to a common saying similar to: "Oh, Jesus died on the cross, yea, cool".

    It's not that easy to just flippantly say, because when we go to the cross with Jesus and discover the radical depth of what happened there, we should no longer be able to say "Jesus died on the cross" sans emotion.

    I started in the Garden in Matthew 26, talked about Jesus' apparent stress over his impending death. He was so stressed that he sweat blood. Then came the emotional stress of being betrayed by one of his closest friends, Judas.

    I next moved to his time with Pilate, then the walk from there to Herod's, then the walk back to Pilate's, all the while mentioning the beatings that he took at each place. Jesus by the second time he was in front of Pilate was a tired, emotionally spent and all together done physically.

    That's when the cat of 9-tails came out and the crown of thorns was beat into Jesus head. The whip which Jesus was beat with had 9 long leather straps, each laced with: bones, metal balls, glass shards, metal shards and metal hooks.

    He was tried By Pilate and the Sanhedrin, where everyone screamed for his death by crucifixion, except for Pilate who thought beating Jesus to the brink of death would satisfy the Jews. So, Pilate washed his hands of Jesus and allowed Him to be crucified.

    Then 9inch Spikes went deep into Jesus wrists and feet wrists, in which they struck 4 gigantic nerves that drove electric shock waves of pain all through the Body of Jesus. They then hung him on the rugged cross, where he eventually died of asphyxiation.

    This of course was a synopsis of the talk, but even in that tiny bit of it, we can see the cross was no easy task. In fact 99% of people who were recorded as having been whipped 40 times with the Roman cat of 9tails died. Jesus was whipped 39 times...

    I shared my favorite verse (Which is also tattooed to my arm) 1 Peter 2:24: "(A) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we(B) might die to sin and(C) live to righteousness.(D) By his wounds you have been healed."

    I then jumped into the topic of what the cross does for us, in which I defined the Doctrine of Justification. I know you're thinking: You talked about a Doctrine to Middle Schoolers? Yes...I did.

    I broke it down in Middle School terms. I said imagine a Jelly Donut. Now, realize that that Jelly Donut is you and due to Romans 3:23, we know we have junk in our lives. So your jelly donut, instead of filled with good jelly (or custard, whichever your preference is) it is filled with a big, fat pile of steaming cat poop, that poop is the sin in your heart and life.

    When Jesus died on the cross, he was dying for the sin in that donut of your life. That's why 1 Peter 2:24 says: "He Himself BORE OUR SINS...". Jesus had us in mind when He was on the cross, saying: "I Love you, that is why I am enduring this pain".

    When we believe in this truth and accept Jesus as our God and Savior, He wipes all the poop out of our donuts, so we are now made right before God. However, he doesn't leave it an empty shell of a donut, he fills it with the best jelly/custard in the universe...The Righteousness of Jesus!

    Not only are you made right before God, but He now sees Jesus in you and He forgets and forgives the sins (cleaning out the donut) and sees only Jesus!!!

    After this last part of the talk, I broke them up into small groups to talk about the horrific death of Jesus and made it a bit more comfortable for them if they wanted to make a decision for Jesus. They really got it and understood not only the doctrine of Justification, but the truth and importance of the cross! It was a great night.

    The Discussion questions can be downloaded for the entire series here:

    Also, here is the video I showed this week to "lighten things up":

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Old Skool Jesus #4

    This week, we came back to our theme: "Old Skool Jesus" with a talk on "Why Did Jesus Come?"
    One of the leaders in the Middle School Ministry (Pete) spoke to the teens on Tuesday night and I spoke to them Wednesday Night.
    Pete had a great opening (which I stole) where he placed around the room pictures of people who needed help. Some were hilarious pictures of people getting hurt and others were more serious in nature where people were fleeing from armies for their very lives.
    We had a piece of paper next to each picture and we asked the teens to go around the room and write out what they thought these people needed in this moment of crisis.
    Some kids of course wrote sill things, others were serious. The overall idea was that some people need help and "earthly" things just won't do.
    We asked the Big Question: "Why Did Jesus Come?" (Pete took a different tack than I did, so I will share what I did)
    Jesus in John 6:38-40 says this: "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
    Jesus came to do the will of His Father and His Father's will is that people would look to Jesus for eternal Salvation.
    Jesus also said that he came to seek and save the lost(Luke 19:10: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.") and he came to be a doctor to the sick (Luke 5:31-32: "And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.")
    Finally, I shared with the students that Jesus came to fulfill the Law, because He had to, we needed Him to. He fulfilled the roles of: Prophet, Priest and King. I gave some funny stories of Kings, like where David cuts Saul's robes while he's pooping (1 Samuel 24:1-4). I also gave some funny stories of Prophets, like Ezekiel cooking food over poop (Ezekiel 4:12-14), as well as making a "Lego version" of Jerusalem and destroying it (Ezekiel 4:1-3).
    Lastly I was very serious about Priests and described that Jesus came not only to offer sacrifice for our sins, but he was THE Sacrifice for our sins! I shared that in Hebrews it says that without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22), so Jesus had to come and he had to die. Jesus is our Prophet who came and preached the truth of God (just like the prophets of old), he is also our King, for He talked about His Kingdom (John 18:36-37) and claimed to be God (which He is!). He will one day come back with a sword in his hand and a tattoo on His leg and take down those who oppose Him (Revelation 19:11-21). Finally, He is our Priest who offered Himself as our sacrifice!
    Here is the video we showed as a "funny intro"