David Peterson / General
Church; Holy Spirit; Resurrection; Easter / John 20:19–31
1. He Lives! But what does it mean?
I. He Lives! And there is Peace! (John 20:19, 21, 26)
1. The events of the past week.
2. Their failure.
II. He Lives! And there is Power! (John 20:22)
1. It’s in the encounter with Christ that the Spirit is given.
2. Faith causes us to be united to Christ and in him we are given the Spirit.
III. He Lives! And there is Purpose! (John 20:21b, 23)
1. We are sent in the same manner as Jesus
2. We proclaim and embody the forgiveness of sins, unconditionally love
“O, Love That Will Not Let Me Go” was written by the Rev. George Matheson, seventy-five years ago, in 1882. His eyesight was defective from childhood and grew worse until by the time he entered Glasgow University he was quite blind.
For the first eighteen years of his ministry he was minister of Inellan in Argyleshire, and came to be known as “Matheson of Inellan.” The church where he served is now known as Matheson Church. He used to memorize the whole service and preached with great power.
He says that he composed the hymn in the manse of Inellan on the evening of June 6, 1882, when he was alone. He writes, “Something had happened to me which was known only to myself and which caused me the most severe mental sufferings. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression rather of having it dictated to me by some inward voice, than of working it out myself.”
Stott, J. (2018). The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott (M. Meynell, Ed.). Lexham Press.
George Matheson, engaged to be married, learned he would soon be totally blind. His fiancee said, “I cannot marry a blind man.” He left her with his dreams shattered. He thought of taking his life, but instead took hold of himself as he wrote the moving hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.”
Elizabeth Folkes the martyr, embracing the stake, said: “Farewell, all the world! Farewell, faith; farewell, hope; and welcome, love!
Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 787). Bible Communications, Inc.
The early Latin writer, Tertullian of Carthage, declared that the one thing that converted him to Christianity was not the arguments they gave him, because he could find a counterpoint for every argument they would present. “But they demonstrated something I didn’t have. The thing that converted me to Christianity was the way they loved each other.”
Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 220). Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Oh love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be