*This transcript was auto-generated by a transcription service and may differ from the originally spoken content*Amazing. I didn't want it to end. Ah, so good. Jerry, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that when it got good way before then man. It was good the whole time as soon as all he started singing, Oh, praise God, I mean it. Jerry, I don't know, he mentioned how many times they've seen that or may not even know, but it just is one of those things that doesn't seem to get old, right? It just doesn't seem to get old because partly because they're such incredible singers and they're gifted in that way. But even more so because of what they're singing about. Because of the message. They're singing about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I mean, the most important and central event in all of human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it was the culmination of God's rescue plan to redeem humanity ever since sin entered the world. It was even a rescue plan that he put in motion after he watched his very creation, the people that he had created himself and breathed life into turn their backs on him. They're the ones who brought sin into his perfect world. And he had to watch as it began to unravel in some way and break in some way he had to watch this the relationship, the intimate union that he shared with them was was severed because sin was brought into this world, he had to watch us that separation occurred and sin now being present in the world as things like jealousy and envy and rage and deceit and bitterness all began to set in, he watched his sin began to take a hold of their lives and have such a grip and a hold on them, that they had to compete with each other, they had to take advantage of each other, they had to fight and crawl and kick and scream, to be able to try to earn back the life that they had lost in their separation from Him in the garden. And of course, this mean, it's just sad, and God so much grieved him because he, he loved them so much. The pinnacle of his creation, the ones that were meant to be in a lifelong eternal union with Him and that was broken, and he loved them so much is the kind of love that only really a perfect father could love his kids. And thank goodness for that love, because it was that love, even though they had treated him with such discontent, that he set that rescue plan in motion, the one that had been revealed all the way back in Genesis three, even in the garden when first and first entered into the world, and he allowed at just the right time for his one and only Son to leave the glory and the riches and the comfort of heaven, and to come here to be fully born fully man and and fully God to be able to pay the penalty for all of our sins, which of course was death and, and he was willing to pay it. Even though the cost was high, he was willing to pay it because of his love for us. And so he he did, he took all the sins of humanity for all time, past, present and future and he took them upon itself because he didn't have any sin to pay for. And he allowed his creation, the very people that he had created to take his hands and his feet and put nails through them and crucify Him on a cross. And He hung there for hours in pain and being mocked and humiliated in front of the entire world to see. After hours of being on the cross and suffering greatly in pain. He cried out in his final breath, of course it is finished. All of the work that was necessary to redeem humanity from the sin and the bondage that they were in had been accomplished. And having subjected himself to the curse of death, the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, subjecting himself to the curse of death that was brought on by of course sin. People took his dead, lifeless body and they placed it in the tomb. But death of course, could not hold him and three days later, he was risen from the grave he came back to life defeating the power of sin and death forever and making it possible for all of humanity to be forgiven and reconciled back into that relationship that we were all meant to have with him as our Creator. And so the resurrection makes it possible for you and I to have a new life to be able to experience the life that we were always created to have the one that was in the garden with him, with him being our source and dwelling in us and with us and through us. And so yeah, the resurrection really is the single most important and central event in all of history. It's what makes it possible for all of humanity to be forgiven, and to fix what was broken, it set the wheels in motion to bring an end to all evil in this world today. And it provides the opportunity to feast at a great banquet with Jesus for all of eternity. And through Jesus's death and resurrection through this central event that happened in history, the most important and central event in all of history and invitation was sent out in that moment through that event, an invitation that extended to all of humanity to sit at this banquet table and enjoy this banquet with him forever. The question becomes, Have you accepted his invitation to the banquet? And if you haven't, are you willing to accept his invitation to the banquet this morning. Jesus, of course, knew as good of an invitation as it was as much as this invitation had to offer that, unfortunately, some people would refuse. And he talked about this in one of the parables that he told during His earthly ministry, we're going to look at it today. It's found in Luke chapter 14, we're going to start in verse 15, in just a moment, but let me set the scene for you here. We're told, at the beginning of the chapter, that Jesus had been invited to have dinner at one of the Pharisees houses, and he had accepted that invitation to have dinner at his house. And it was during this dinner party, that Jesus began to notice that they were fighting and arguing and competing over what seat they were going to have at the table. This was a big deal in their culture, if you had the seat right next to the host, you were considered the most important person there. And if you were considered the most important, then this could do you a lot of favors, people would have to owe you some things and they would be reaching out to you to be able to get into your good graces, because if they can be seen with you, then that would do them some good and society and all the above. And so Jesus saw these kinds of things going on. And he used that opportunity to share with them a parable about humility to teach them about humility. And as Jesus was teaching on this parable of humility, he mentioned the resurrection of the righteous. And as soon as he mentioned the resurrection of the righteous one of those sitting at the table, his ears kind of opened up a little bit more perked up a little bit more. And he began to jump in and join the conversation at that point, and we see this happen. In verse 15. Luke 14, verse 15, says when one of those at the table with him heard this when he heard the comment Jesus made about the resurrection of the righteous. He said to Jesus bless it is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. There's the banquet image that we just referred to just a second ago. The eternal fellowship with God, according to Scripture is like a banquet. It's like a dinner party. It's like a great feast that we see. We see this all throughout Scripture, we see it in the Old Testament. A couple of places. I'll just highlight as a chapter 25 Verse six says, On this mountain, the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples notice, all peoples are invited a banquet of aged wine, the best of meats, in the finest of wines, that sounds like a pretty good banquet to be a part of right. rich food, the finest of meats, the finest of wines, and we see it in places like Psalm 22, verse 26, where it says, the poor will eat and be satisfied. Those who seek the Lord will praise Him that your hearts live forever. Again, we see God painting this picture that fellowship with Him is fulfilling, that it's satisfying in the same way that a good meal is fulfilling and satisfying. So is fellowship with The Lord. A few months ago, I was invited to a birthday party for one of my friends. We just got together to eat dinner with a few other guys and we went to Texas De Brazil. You might have ever been to Texas De Brazil. See somebody's trying to clap over here. It makes me want to stand up and shout hallelujah. You know, I mean, if you've never been to Texas De Brazil, I mean, listen, it's all about the meat. I mean, it is an all you can eat meat buffet, I mean the finest and choices of meat. We're talking filet mignon with like bacon wrapped around it. We're talking about different cuts of steak and some garlic spices, and some of it's hot and spicy. And we've got prime rib, and we've got beef, ribs, and pork, ribs, and, and pork loin. And I mean, all kinds of meats. And you've got these guys just carrying these, these trays with these skewers of meat, I mean, just mounds of it piled on and they they just walk over to your plate, and they're like filet mignon with bacon, and you're like, please, thank you, you know, and they just shave it off. And then I'm no kidding, like, 15 seconds later, a new guy appears, you've got one bite of this one, and they're going, Hey, would you like some of this and you're going, of course, and they're shaving it off more. And then 30 seconds later. And then I mean, it's just a constant hour of guy showing up at your table and continuing to replace what it is that you're finishing it it's so delicious. And it's so good. And you're just like, oh, man, this makes me want to scream, right. But at some point, as good as it was as good as the conversation was as good as the meat was. And as much as we were enjoying it. Every single one of us who were there. You know what happened? There came a time when we had to push back from the table or saying I'm done, right? I mean, I'm I am full. I am satisfied at this point, not at another byte I don't need to write. This is the image that the Lord is giving us of what eternal fellowship with him is like, like a rich fine dinner party where you're able to have the choicest and finest of foods in you, you eat until you're satisfied. And even the better thing about this is, you don't ever get hungry again. So good. This was the picture that was painted in the Old Testament. But then Jesus shows up on the scene hundreds of years after some of these things were written about. And you know what kind of statements Jesus started making during His earthly ministry, when he showed up on the scene. He'd said things like this in John 635, I am the bread of life. He said, Whoever comes to me will never go hungry. And whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Do you see any similarities there? Course, all throughout Old Testament, we're going to keep those guys like a banquet, you're gonna eat, you're gonna feel and be satisfied. And Jesus shows up and says, I'm the bread of life. And if you come to me, you'll be filled, and you'll be satisfied. So what we see is that Jesus is the kingdom, Jesus is the feast, he is the one that you will find the ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment. Yeah, you and I can continue to chase after fulfillment and satisfaction and all of the things that we try to find it in our job and our identity and our possessions and alcohol or drugs, or through social media, or whatever it is that we try to chase it in. But it's always going to leave us hungry for more, but Jesus says I satisfy eternally. Jesus says, fellowship with me is like a constant dinner party, where you have my friendship and fellowship, and you're eating the finest of real foods, and it satisfies all of your deepest needs. This is what Jesus had been trying to communicate what he had been trying to help them see, but they were missing it. The Pharisees that he was having dinner with in this moment, they were missing it and there was this, there was this assumption among them. I mean, the guy that yells out, bless it is the one who will will eat and feast in the kingdom of God. There was an assumption of him saying that of we're going to be there, like, bless it are all of us. He's saying, who's going to get to feast at the kingdom of God. And this is what leads Jesus to tell this parable that we're looking at verse 16, Jesus replied, A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet. He sent his servant to tell those who had been invited calm, for everything is now ready. This would have been a typical way that a banquet would have gone or invitations would have been sent out. In this day and age, there had been a first invitation sent out well before the day of the party to announce that we were going to have a banquet and it's Someone would have gotten that and they would have RSVP in some way to say that they were coming. But then on the day of the banquet, when the food was finally ready when the plates were all set out when it was time to come in, dive in and enjoy the fellowship and the meal, someone would go announce, it's already it's time to come and eat. They're ringing the dinner bell right? In here they come. So Jesus is saying, now the second invitation has been sent out, but But look what happens now that it's ready. And it's officially time to come verse 18. But they all alike began to make excuses. The first set, I have just bought a field and I must go and see it, please. Excuse me. Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxygen of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please. Excuse me. Still another said, I just got married, so I can't come. I got might be the only one who had a legitimate excuse. In here, right? The men if your wife says you ain't going then you ain't going right. I mean, these are lame excuses, right? I mean, the guy that that bought a field could could he have not go see it the next day? Right? I mean, the guy that had to try the oxen out, which I'm not real sure how that happens, whatever you got to do with that, but I mean, he could have waited till the next day, probably the guy that got married. Seriously. I mean, these are all pretty lame excuses. Here. They did not see this banquet that they had been invited to that they had already RSVP to and said, Yes, I'm coming that on the day of the guy who went to all the trouble to prepare the food. Said, I'm not going it's not really that important to me. You may have already picked up on this. But the banquet here that Jesus is talking about in this parable represents the eternal banquet that the Pharisee brought up when he said bless it as he who will eat and feast in the kingdom of God. And and the people making excuses in the parable that Jesus just told represent the Pharisees. Jesus was inviting them to a banquet, inviting them to him. Remember, he was the banquet, he was the feast. He is the resurrection and the life, the way the truth and the life and not only had he been saying these kinds of things, he had been healing people. He had been doing miracles, hidden fulfilling prophecy and teaching with authority was standing right in front of them. But they were missing it. They were making excuses. They were saying what we're doing right now is more important than what you Jesus have to offer us. Let's see what happens. Verse 21. Says the servant came back and reported to his master this to his master, then the owner of the house, became angry and ordered his servant go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled the blind and the lame. Sir, the servant said what you ordered has been done. But there is still room, verse 23, than the master told his servant go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet. Wow. The Pharisees, the Israelites, had received their first invitation. You remember you sent out one invitation to announce that the party's coming the banquet is coming all throughout the Old Testament, they were told that a Messiah was coming that he would inaugurate a new kingdom but again, the Messiah was now here. In other words, the second invitation was now sent out the food is ready. The bread of life is here. Now's the time to come feast and fulfill and be satisfied. But every single one of them were coming up with excuses, thinking again, their stuff was more important. And Jesus says guys, I'm not rescheduling. He said this is your chance. And if you're going to come up with lame excuses not to come to me to have real rest and have real meaning and real life and real purpose, then you will not taste of my banquet. You think that you're in because of your pedigree you think that you're in because you have status or what it is that you're doing to try to follow the laws that I've given you but that's not how it works. Jesus says, which is highlighted in who the master in the parable ended up inviting, he invited the poor and the crippled and the blind and the lame. And all of those in the country, those who are on the outside those who weren't on the inside those who weren't invited the first time around. See, Jesus's invitation extends to anyone and everyone who will humble themselves before him and receive what it is that he is offering. The master invited all of those who had already been humbled through society, the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame, and so on, and so on. In get none of these people could pay the master back, they were invited. But listen, this was the kind of thing that was expected in this culture, this was a culture of reciprocity. You didn't just have a banquet and invite people to share your food with them and your home with them, and hope that they had a nice time you did that in order to get something out of them, you did that in order to get invited to something they were doing so that you could increase your prestige and your status and have more coming your way. And this was how their society worked. And yet he was inviting the poor, the crippled, the blind, and Lane, and all of these people who could not reciprocate the invitation and bless him back in some way. Jesus is saying, You don't have to pay me back in my kingdom. My invitation comes with no strings attached. It's a gift that I'm offering for you. Of course, Jesus went to the cross to do all the work necessary to forgive our sins and to bring us real meaning and life through His death and resurrection. And he says, again, all you have to do is accept my gift. It's Grace. This is the entire message of the Bible. This is what Easter weekend is all about. And it's all made possible through this single most important and central event in all of history, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we of course, are celebrating today. And so I asked you again. Have you accepted his invitation to the banquet? Have you accepted his invitation? Have you admitted that you are a center and that you can't do anything to make up for your mistakes? Have you believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior that God sent to rescue you from your sins and who died on the cross for them and rose from the dead three days later, just as all of the Old Testament Scriptures prophesied and said, and foretold about that would happen? Have you accepted his free invitation of salvation to feast at an eternal banquet with him, it is available to you as an invitation that is extended to you, no matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what it is that you've done Jesus's viding you to this eternal banquet, and we are not talking about a banquet that you have to wait to enjoy. We're talking about the fact that when the moment you put your faith and trust in Him, the moment you receive His invitation, Jesus comes to dwell in you in that moment, you enter into an eternal relationship with him right then and there in every single day with him is like sitting at a dinner party at a table and having the choicest and finest foods, and because you're gonna feast on him, and always be fulfilled, and always be satisfied, regardless of your situations and circumstances. And all this is available to you, again, no matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what you've done. His invitation is extended to you. But you have to accept his invitation. You can't show up at a party without having been invited an RSVP. You got to accept the invitation that he's making for you. We saw the guys in the parable, making all kinds of excuses on why they couldn't come to the party. And quite honestly, maybe that's where even some of you are today. For example, maybe you're a kid or a teenager in the room today. And your excuse has been man isn't all this stuff, mainly just for adults anyway. I mean, I'm just a kid. I'm just a teenager. Listen, I've got video games to play. I've got an identity to establish through social media. I've got relationships to worry about here. This is something that I'll take care of whenever I become an adult. But listen, this invitation is not for adults. I mean it is but it's for anyone who will accept the invitation those who understand who Jesus is and what it is that he came to offer, and he wants to be a part of your life, whether you're seven or eight years old, or you're 17 years old, or you're 97 years Old, He created you, He loves you. And he wants to be in a relationship with you giving you his abundant life over and above whatever it is that you're experiencing in some minor way through video games, or social media or relationship or anything like that all of those things are good. Jesus doesn't even necessarily want to take those things away from you, but you're gonna find more ultimate fulfillment in him, because those things aren't going to last. And that's why you're always gonna have to get new video games and more likes on social media, and another boyfriend or girlfriend at some point, because they never last. But Jesus will always last. And his invitation is for you. Would you accept it today? There may be some of you who aren't a kid, you're a teenager, but you're a young adult, and you're gonna listen, I got my whole life ahead of me. I really want to join my life. I've got a career, I've got a lot of things I want to accomplish things that I want to do. And isn't this whole Christianity thing, just a bunch of rules to restrict me and my behavior? And make sure that I don't have any fun in my life? No. Do you really think that Jesus left the glory and the riches of heaven, the comfort to go through what he went through on the cross, just so on the other side of it, he could boss you around and make your life miserable. You think that's really what he was up to his whole goal in life, his creation, the one that he loves so much, and went to the cross for that the whole point of that was just to go, I really want to restrict you and make your life miserable. That's what this is all about that government now fall in line? No. It's about abundant life with him, the one who knows you and created you and wants to experience all of life with you. His example was fellowship with him is like being in the military and him being the drill sergeant. Right? And then when we read about of the parable, no, it's about a banquet food conversation. And enjoy it with how maybe some of you this morning have been using the excuse of your situations or your circumstances. And I don't say that lightly. I know that some of you have been through some really difficult and hard things. And some of you may be wondering this morning, okay, if God is such a good God this morning, then I'll accept his invitation to come to his banquet when my life starts to become more good, right? Because if he's so good, why is my life so bad. And I get that, life can be really hard for a lot of us because of a lot of different things that we have to go through. But listen to sin is in this world. Sin does corrupt things. And our situations and our circumstances will constantly change throughout this world. And the invitation that Jesus is extending to you is so that you will have ultimate peace, even in the middle of the hard situations and circumstances that you are in. He is life, you're never going to find Ultimate Life in your situations and circumstances when they get better one day, he is the abundant life, the resurrection and the life. And you can experience that in him in spite of your situations and circumstances. And so you're invited to begin to fellowship with him today. If that's what you've been holding out on. Maybe there's some of you who are just walking down a really dark path right now. And you you see Jesus's invitation is good. And you you would love to be a part of that. But you don't really feel worthy of that. You your excuse has been let me clean myself up. Let me get my act together. Because this offer that Jesus is making is really good. And I want to be a part of it. But I need to get some things in order before I say yes to him. So it's it's done the right way. But listen to me, that can never happen without Jesus. All of those things that you're into right now are a result of sin in your life. And you'll never be able to clean yourself up enough for Jesus to be impressed guys. It's hard to impress someone who's perfect. But his invitation comes to you in spite of your imperfections. He loves you and he wants to take you in just as you are and he wants to clean you up himself. And he wants to begin to be your guide and direct you and empower you to live in a new direction and to experience the abundant life that He came to give you and only He can give you I'm gonna ask Andrew to come back up or whoever is going to come lead us in our final song during this time I could go on and on with the excuses but in a moment we're going to enter into singing our final song together and this is an invitation. This is this type of response. What's more exciting than an invitation to have an eternal dinner with the One who created you, Who knows you best, and who left the glory and riches of heaven, because of how much he loves you, so that he could be with you forever. I can't think of a better offer than that. And maybe there are some of you who are here today. And you would say, I am tired of making excuses. I really have no more excuses to offer at this point. I mean, that's as good as it gets complete forgiveness, a union with the guy who created me, abundant life, peace in the middle of my situation and circumstances in eternal life on the other side of this one that I'm living right now. Maybe you're ready, maybe you're ready to finally say yes to him. Whether you're seven years old today, and the lights are being turned on to you, and you're going, Oh, I've never personally received this invitation. Or whether you're 47 years old, about who you are, where you've been, what it is that you've done, this invitation is for you. And I want to give you a chance right now to accept it. By praying a simple prayer of faith. Would you join me in prayer? If you close your eyes and bow your heads if you're here today, younger old, you've never said yes to Jesus, you never accepted his invitation to eternal fellowship with Him and you're tired of the excuses. You're, you're ready right now, in this moment. You receive the invitation through a simple prayer of faith, you can just say something like this right now, in the quietness of your own heart. You don't even have to say it out loud. Just say something like this to him, Dear God, I recognize that there is sin in my life. And then my sin separates me from you. Thank you for leaving the glory and riches of heaven, Jesus, for coming here to die in my place, and for my sins. I'm tired of making excuses for why I have not accepted your invitation. And so right now, in this moment, I receive it. I say yes to your invitation. By putting my faith and trust in You, Jesus, to be my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me. Come dwell inside of me. Give me that abundant life begin to be my guide and give me power and strength to live out the life that you created me to live. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for giving me your life. In Jesus name. Amen.