Intro to the Week
We believe that worship doesn’t just happen when we sing songs. It
also happens when we join the heart of God. This week we are going to join with God’s heart for those that are the last and the least.
The last and the least of these are the 27 million people on planet earth that are currently in slavery. We believe that God’s heart
From the film shown: “Slavery is still happening. What will we do to stop it? … Raise your voice. Do something now.”
That is what we are going to do. We are going to raise our voice in a tangible way by partnering with 6 organizations
that will offer rescue or restoration for those in slavery or just out of slavery. Our pledge to those organizations is that we would raise 1 million dollars this week – over the next four days. I believer you have come here to do something pretty special. You can be part of raising your voice for f
This year we are taking “Do something now” out into the plaza. Something is going to happen over the course of 4 days, you will be able to take part in something that is going to make a statement to the city and the world. These organizations have the dream and the te
am and they just need the resources. You can be part of that.
I just have a que
stion tonight, “I there anybody here who feels like there is something inside of you that needs to be brought back to life again?” A lot of talk has been going on about the dome. For us at Passion, we have been thinking about The Dome PLUS The Dorm. I know that all of you don’t live in a dorm, but you know what I mean. Of course being in the Dome is incredible. But if something doesn’t happen in us at the Dome that trickles back to the Dorm, then what was the point? The goal is not a lot of people in a space. The goal is that real change would take place at home, in our city, in our relationships.
Some of you may be asking what all the 268 is about? It stands for Isaiah 26:8. It is our core. Passion started with the thought that a generation would arise that would be about making one name known around the earth. Not our name. Not the name of Passion or a personality, but one name – the name of Jesus.
Is the name of Jesus going to echo? Is it going to reverberate back to the nations? Is it going to echo back to your dorm? Isaiah says, “For your name and your renown are the desire of our soul.” When the news of Jesus spreads throughout the country, then we will know that something has happened.
How does that happen?
There is a story that could have gone either way. Jesus comes to a town where they are carrying out a dead boy. He sees the mom of the boy and says, “Don’t cry.” This woman was already a widow and now her son was being carried away on a stretcher and he says, “Don’t cry”?
This boy’s body was about to go down into the ground. If Jesus had show up 30 minutes late, he might have missed the stretcher. If he had shown up 1 day later, he might have missed it. But Jesus showed up at just the right time.
God has come to intersect our lives in our funeral march. This conference is happening right now in this moment. Right now Jesus is walking into what is going on with us. Jesus is here at just the right time. He is not too late.
Some of you are in a funeral march being carried out to your death. There are many things that are carrying you away. From some its:
- Relationships. Your relationship is taking your away from the purpose of God. It is killing you.
- Your understanding of God. You’ve misunderstood the reality of a risen Lord and haven’t surrendered to Him. You are not following Him with real faith. Your misunderstanding is leading you to death.
- For some, the stretcher is sin. Up until this point you’ve tried to control it, but the reality is clear – it is leading you out to death.
- The stretcher could be a wound. Something has happened to you and you haven’t let Jesus heal you. That thing is festering and causing bitterness and hate inside of you. You haven’t received his healing and restoration.
- It could be failure.
I don’t know what stretcher you are on but I know many feel like there is a funeral procession going on and you are being carried away.
The enemy has a plan and it is to bury you.
Based on the authority of who Jesus is and what he has come here to do, there aren’t going to be any burials here tonight! Jesus has the willingness and the power to raise the dead!
This story tells us something about Jesus. In this day, Rabbi’s would not have touched a dead body. But when Jesus shows up as a Rabbi and teacher, he walks up and puts his hand on the stretcher. He has no problem walking into a funeral procession and saying, “Stop right there.”
Don’t let the enemy convince you that this is for everybody else except for you. This is for you. Jesus steps up to our death and touches the very thing that is carrying us out to our grave. Jesus says, “I say to you, ‘Get up!”
This text declares the gospel. Jesus raises the dead. The gospel, at its heart, is a resurrection from the dead. (See Ephesians 2:1-9) This story is just a foreshadowing of what he will do on the cross. Jesus was telling the gospel. What the law is powerless to do, God can do. Jesus will step into the funeral, put his hand on the stretcher, speak to the boy and say, “Rise up!” That is the beauty of the gospel. We are convinced that sin made us dead but Christ made us alive. Christ did what we could never do. When we put our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, it births new life in us.
The gospel is not about what you did when you were 10, 11, or 15. It is about who you are trusting. Some people filled out a card as a teen, but they are being carried out to death.
In Ephesians Paul says, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine in you.”
Jesus said to the boy, “Arise.” It could have been translated “rise up.”
It is time to rise up! It is time to know that there is not going to be a funeral here tonight! Jesus is here at the right time. There is a hand that can stop the madness. There is a voice that is calling you back to life again.
At the end of the story, the news of Jesus spreads throughout the country! God had never left, but he had been very quiet. There had been no word for the people for centuries. But when Jesus raised the boy from the dead they said, “God is back! God is here!”
The news of Jesus — not the boy — spread throughout the nation.
There is more at stake during these days than your life. God wants to raise up hope in this country. There are no funerals tonight. Rise up!
Louie is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, which includes the collegiate gatherings of Passion Conferences, Atlanta based Passion City Church and EMI CMG label partner sixstepsrecords. Connecting with students across the globe, Louie longs to see a generation living for the fame of Jesus. Louie lives in Atlanta with his wife, Shelley. Website: http://www.268generation.com/