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New Creation Unleashed

March 31, 2024 | by Pastor Peter

The world distorted by sin will be made new when God renews creation. The resurrection of Jesus on Easter represents the power of new creation breaking into the present age. So we live in the old age, but now the power of the new creation is breaking in and calling us to live in it’s power.

Sermon Notes


  • Easter celebrates resurrection of Jesus. – 
  • It’s not just a bible story but the climax of Bible & human history
    • Today we’re going to look at the resurrection in big picture of the Bible story and ask what it means for us

Creation Corrupted

Phase 1: Creation

  • God is love, God creates world to receive his love, and he proclaims it to be very good
    • We experience world as sometimes good, but often cruel. This isn’t its intended design
    • In Adam and Eve story God sets one rule: don’t eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    • This means don’t decide for yourself what right & wrong are
    • Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, declaring independence from God. This breaks creation.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:6-7)

Phase 2: Fallen

Effects of human sin radiate out into all relationships. Paul reflects on it’s universal effect:

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (Romans 5:12, NIV)

  • Old Testament shows stories of how God’s good creation spirals out of control
    • Noah – All people are bad, starting over with the best person still produces the same result
    • Egyptian Slavery – Pharaoh decides what is right in his own eyes.  He enslaves Israelite and tries to wipe them out as a people.
    • Israel – Israel can’t faithfully keep God’s law and they are banished into exile in Babylon
    • Jesus – God’s own incarnate Son represents God perfectly. He is murdered
      • Good Friday is a low point: If we can do this to Jesus, is there any hope for humanity?

New Creation Promised

  • In spite of this despair God’s promise brings hope: God will act to set things right where humans are unable
    • Starts with promise that God will strike the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15)
    • As Israel lives with God, they learn more about how God will fix the world 
    • Isaiah talks about how God will bring about a New Creation

“See, I will create

    new heavens and a new earth.

The former things will not be remembered,

    nor will they come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever

    in what I will create,

for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight

    and its people a joy.

I will rejoice over Jerusalem

    and take delight in my people;

the sound of weeping and of crying

    will be heard in it no more. (Isaiah 65:19 NIV)

  • The specifics become clearer thanks to Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom of God. He tells us what it looks like when God is back in charge in people’s lives
    • Flourishing, peace, abundance, reconciliation, justice, joy
  • Good Friday is so tragic because God’s kingdom seems right on the cusp when Jesus is killed, and then it seems impossible.
    • To understand glory of Easter, we must first see Good Friday from disciples pre-easter perspective:

Imagine the horror you would feel as one of Jesus’ followers

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. (Luke 23:33-48 NIV)

  • What Sorrow/abandonment they must have felt – BUT everything changed on Sunday

New Creation Inaugurated

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:1-8 NIV)

Phase 3: Redemption

  • Easter Changed the World
  • Jesus’ resurrection conflicts with everyone’s world view: Gentiles don’t believe in resurrection of the dead. Jews believe all the righteous dead will raise at the same time.
    • Death is a permanent reality in our experience – Jesus’ resurrection means that’s not true
    • Many Jews believed in Day of the Lord: God would judge present age, raise the righteous to new life with him
      • Jesus acts as preview of the resurrection, but God allows old age to keep going – because God loves us & wants to reconcile
  • Resurrection of Jesus is the first stroke in the painting of God’s new creation: But he has more in store
    • If only Jesus is saved, why would God create world to begin with? – The son was already with the Father
    • God raised Jesus to save the world through him – Power of Spirit (that raised Jesus) is available to all through faith
  • Jesus points to a connection between God & people that allows his power to work through them:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8 NIV)

  • Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here” (2 Co. 5:17 NIV)

Now & Not Yet

  • If Jesus has won the battle, Why is this world still messed up? Even the church has caused harm to people
  • Kingdom of God is present Now and Not Yet: Jesus inaugurated the new age, but God mercifully has not ended old age yet
  • Like a war whose conclusion is a strategic certainty – but many people still die (eg. WWII after D-Day)
  • We inhabit both ages to varying degrees –
    • The Spirit has started to make us new, but our wills, impaired by sin, still can’t fully chose God
  • And we experience world of violence, injustice, exclusion, oppression, pain & impurity BUT we have hope

But we [apostles] have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIV)

  • In our patient suffering & hope in the face of evil, we act as a message from God to the world he loves
  • We do this by living as Jesus-shaped people in a world, especially when it is hostile to Jesus
    • Forgiving – as a sign of God’s desire to reconcile with the world
    • Including – As a sign of God’s boundary-breaking inclusivity
    • Mutually Submitting – As a sign of the God’s self-sacrificing love for others
    • Rejoicing – As a sign of God’s faithfulness – for we know he has already overcome
  • If we live this way, we reveal the presence of New Creation in the midst of the old and we draw people to Jesus

New Creation Consummated

  • We bear with each other and injustice in the world w/hope b/c God will consummate the new creation
    • The window is open, but one day it will close and the old creation will pass away

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5 NIV)

  • The resurrection has guaranteed the outcome we are waiting for.
  • God unleashed new creation into this world. It’s only a matter of time before it is everywhere

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