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Jesus shows us God Introduction 9.00 Sept 4 2016

Exodus 33:17-23; 34 4b-8;   John 1:14-18

That Gospel reading is one of my favourite New Testament passages, and it’s a great introduction to a series of sermons over the next two months. We will be looking at John’s Gospel, and particularly about the signs in John’s Gospel.

I don’t know how you feel about computers. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with them. They are a great help when they are working. But they are forever updating them. Just when you think you know what to do with them they bring out a new feature or a new way of doing things. I am fine with ordinary text stuff but when it comes to tables or spreadsheets I often need help. I don’t know if you have ever asked a computer geek to explain something to you. There are all these words coming out but you just don’t get it. It seems like all the words are there – but not necessarily in the right order!

So what do I say then …. Don’t tell me, show me. It’s so much better to be shown something than to be told about it. Don’t tell me, show me!

That’s what this passage from John is about. Don’t tell me, show me!

The Jewish people had been told about God for centuries. They had scrolls full of words telling them about God.

In our OT reading today, Moses heard words about God – The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Moses sees only God’s back, but not his face. And he hears words about God. As one of my favourite writers says Moses does not see who God is, but he hears who God is.

Jesus on the other hand, who is at the Father’s side has gazed into the father’s face. And Jesus does not only tell us what God is like, he shows us what God is like.

John says that in Jesus, the Word has become flesh. Instead of just telling the first disciples what God is like, Jesus shows them what God is like. And John says we have seen his glory, full of grace and truth. (Those words are very much like those words Moses heard – compassionate, gracious, love, faithfulness. Truth in the Hebrew understanding, by the way, is much more about faithfulness than about accuracy. A person being true in the sense of being faithful rather than a fact being true in the sense of being accurate.)

Now when I first really studied this passage nearly 20 years ago, I discovered that John only uses the word grace four times in his whole gospel, and those four occasions are in these few verses in John 1. He never defines what grace is. Instead he tells us stories from the life of Jesus. And he calls these stories signs. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at these signs, starting next week with the turning of water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Here are some stories which show his glory, grace and truth. No-one has seen the Father except the Son (Jesus), and he has made God known  – chiefly not by telling us, but by showing us.

So in Jesus words about God are replaced by a person who embodies God and shows us God. As we look at these stories over the next few weeks look out for what they tell us about God. They are mostly about a generous, gracious, compassionate, forgiving and welcoming God. And in those things lies God’s glory.

God didn’t just tell us – he has showed us. We see what God is like when we look at Jesus. We can do that when we look at the stories and signs in the Gospel.

A generous, gracious, compassionate, forgiving and welcoming God. A loving God. That is wonderfully good news that we have to share.

We know that good news from the stories of Jesus in the Gospels. But what about people outside the church? They do not know the stories about Jesus. And if we try talking to them about God, they will probably say ‘don’t tell us, show us’.

Two thousand years ago, the Word became flesh, and those who saw him saw God’s glory, full of grace and truth.

The Word still needs to become flesh – in you and me. The Word still needs to be embodied in human form. What does the New Testament say – we are the body of Christ. The grace and truth that was seen in Jesus needs to be seen in us as individuals and us as a community. As we look at these signs over the next few weeks think about this :- if this sign says this about God, how can we embody that?

A generous, gracious, compassionate, forgiving and welcoming God is demonstrated by a generous, gracious, compassionate, forgiving and welcoming church. Two examples of that:-

On Wednesday mornings the Men’s Fellaship is I think particularly a sign of the welcoming God. The guys who come feel welcomed and accepted.

Later this morning we have the Brunch service. A service to which many on the edges of the church community come and feel welcomed. And the generosity and grace of God is embodied by the fact that we don’t make a charge – it’s free!

Don’t tell us, show us.

In Jesus God shows us what he is really like. I him the Word became flesh.

Don’t tell us, show us.

As a church we are called to show the world what God is really like. In us the Word can become flesh today
.

Psalm 37  Hope for a broken world

As well as writing this sermon this week, I have (with Viv) been doing our Christmas letter. (I concentrate on the words, Viv does the pictures and makes it look good!). As we write Christmas letters and Christmas cards, as well as celebrating Christmas, we wish people a happy New Year. So last year, we wished everyone a happy 2016. Well, that didn’t work very well, did it?

We have had the abominations perpetrated by ISIS, and the indiscriminate bombing and destruction of Syrian cities and civilians under the excuse of fighting against terrorism. Many of those affected are our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as Muslims who have no allegiance whatever to the hate-filled teachings of ISIS and Al Queada. Clearly, many victims have been children, many of whom are still trying to find safe pasture, risking their lives to do so.

Western democracy hasn’t had a good year either. Whatever you think about the results of the referendum and the American election, both these campaigns were terrible examples of democracy in action, full on all sides of lying and hatred. So what can be said about hope in such a broken world? Where can we find in (the imagery of Psalm 37) safe pasture.

It is astonishing to read Psalm 37 at a time like this. A psalm written at least 2,500 years ago in a world probably as dangerous if not more dangerous than ours. The message of the Psalm is this:-

Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of those who do wrong. Why not?

The psalmist answers this question with imagery taken from a world where land and farming are important First, he compares those who threaten our safety with the grass that withers away. Like the grass they will fade away, like the green herb they will wither. One of the only bits of poetry I remember from my school days is this (obviously written on stone tablets). It’s by Shelley , and it’s about a traveller who finds in the desert two ruined pillars of stone. Written on them is this – ‘my name is Ozymandias, king of kings, look on my works ye mighty and despair.’

Tyrants and tyrannical regimes carry within themselves the seeds of their own destruction, and they do not last for ever. Thirty years ago the world contained the tyrannical regime of the Soviet Union, and the racist regime of Apartheid in South Africa. Both looked as though they would last forever, and people fretted about them. Both are gone (though not replaced by perfection in either case). Open Doors (explain) called in about 1983 for 7 years of prayer for the Soviet Union. Seven years later the Berlin wall came down. At university nearly 50 years ago I was part of a group that prayed for southern Africa.

A friend of mine in New Zealand tweeted after the American election. His tweet ended with ~Don’t worry, pray. Waste of time? I don’t think so.

Do not fret because of evildoers, or be envious of those who do wrong

Secondly, because it leads only to evil (v 7). A news story appeared this week about fret-ful decisions taken by the CIA 30 years ago to arm the Muslim groups such as the Taliban against the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Yes, it dealt with one danger, but look at the long-term results that we struggle with today.

At a personal level, fretting because of evildoers can be destructive to our own peace and well-being. So what should we do? How can we find safe pasture?

Just sit back and trust God, because he will sort it out in the long term? Just go with verse 11 (the meek shall inherit the earth) and hope for the best?

Actually, this Psalm does not say that.  Look at verses 3 to 4. Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness/ feed on truthfulness/ find safe pasture.* Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

*The translation here is difficult. As I have said there are different translations in our English Bibles– find safe pasture/ feed on truthfulness/ befriend faithfulness. The meaning is best expressed by combining those possibilities. Feed on, depend on, not the grass of the evildoers which withers away, and the safe pasture of God’s faithfulness and truthfulness on which you can depend.

And the Psalmist says not just ‘trust in the Lord’ but ‘Trust in the Lord and do good’. In the Bible, God’s faithfulness is shown by action. And God’s faithfulness calls us to be faithful to one another. For the Bible, faith results in faithful action.

Delight yourself in the Lord – actually also leads to action. If we delight in someone, we want to please them. Jesus said if you love me, keep my commandments and love one another. We obey the first commandment to love God with all of our heart and mind and strength by trusting him and by doing good. We obey the first commandment by obeying the second  - loving our neighbours as ourselves. If everyone did do that, or even aimed for it, the world would be a much better and safer place and the meek would inherit the earth.

So back to our theme of hope. At Christmas hope is born. The birth of Jesus is a sign of hope. It’s a sign of God’s good purposes for the world. No-one today follows Herod. Billions follow Jesus.

Two key things about Christian hope :- the first is that it is something that God gives to us, not something we manufacture for ourselves. Listen to the verse that we have chosen for Advent:-

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s the work of God to fill us with hope. Ask him to fill you with hope.

The second is that it is not about sitting back and waiting for God to do something. We are to overflow with hope. How do we do that? By trusting God and doing good. By delighting in him (which includes doing what he says!), and letting him change the desires of our hearts to match his desires for righteousness and justice so that they shine out from us.

We tend to see hope as what we do when we have run out of ideas. ‘All we can do is hope for the best’. Actually, that is not how Christian hope should work. 1 Corinthians 15 is a wonderful chapter about the resurrection. It ends with this verse (verse 58) Therefore…stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour is not in vain.

Because we have hope in the good future that Jesus came to bring in, we can work with God to make the present better. Our future hope gives us confidence to work to make the world a better place in 2017.

But what difference can we make in a broken world? Well, in the long term the obedience of the disciples to the great commission of making disciples of all peoples has made the world a better place. Of course the church has done some evil things when it has been seduced by being involved in power, but Christianity has made the world a better place in terms of hospitals, schools, just laws. Actually even the rise of science came about because of the recognition that a faithful God created a universe governed by faithful laws.

But what about us? I was introduced to a great idea by someone called Ann Morisy. We are all familiar with vicious circles which spiral forever downward, getting worse and worse. Ann  Morisy says we should believe in virtuous circles. If we put in a word of hope, a word of encouragement, a word of forgiveness, an action that brings grace, we can help to make the circle go upwards instead of downwards. Morisy argues that when we are obedient to God and do what is right we release cascades of grace which lead to virtuous circles. Instead of going with the grain of a hope-less world which leads to vicious circles, we should go with the grain of our gospel which is full of hope and grace. I know someone here has had a picture of a waterfall. I wonder if that is about cascades of grace. Jesus said in John 7 ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink – and out of his heart will flow streams of living water – cascades of grace.

[Example work with the homeless in Hackney  by opening up Church Halls to the homeless over Christmas– getting to know homeless people by name and hearing their stories led to the inclination to blame homeless people for their plight to begin to fall away. Those washing the bed-linen started to pray for those who will be sleeping in it; people started to think about the sinful systems that are involved and started campaigning about them . And the churches that volunteered were usually the ones with scruffy church halls. After two or three years off doing this they accessed grants and did them up! And their churches grew in numbers through the people who started helping.]With the birth of Jesus hope is born. In 2017 let’s not fret over the world, but find safe pasture in the faithfulness of God and pray for our world. Let us trust God and do good. Let’s overflow with hope in what we say and in what we do, so that we may release cascades of grace that lead to virtuous circles, so helping to make our world more like God wants it to be, and a safe pasture for ourselves and for others.

Jesus shows us God The Man Born Blind Sept 25 2016

John 9:1:11; 24-25

Joke about retired vicar and the hereafter.

The healing of the man born blind is a long story, and we have read just some of it. Let me give you an outline of the story. There are several stages to it

Jesus and the disciples meet a blind man, which makes the disciples ask if his blindness was caused by his own sin or by his parents’ sin
Jesus says it was not caused by their sin and heals his blindness, a sign that he has come to bring light to the world. (Incidentally, the best thing to do about the problem of suffering is not to theologise about why it happens, but to seek to do something to reduce it). The healing involves Jesus making mud with his saliva and putting it on the man’s eyes, and then telling the man to go away and wash the mud off. When he does this, he comes home seeing.
When he comes home there is great rejoicing…….actually, no there isn’t. He gets asked a lot of questions. First from his neighbours and then from the Pharisees.
The Pharisees did not rejoice with the man when he tells them what Jesus did to heal him. It happened on the Sabbath, and making a ball of mud is work which shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath. In their eyes no-one from God would break the Sabbath in that way.
So when they question the healed man further he says that whether he broke the Sabbath or not he is a prophet to be followed – because once I was blind, and now I can see. Do you want to follow him too? So rather than rejoicing with him they threw him out.
I will read what happens next (vv 35-38). Notice that Jesus found him, and the blind man responds with worship. Not only his physical eyes have been opened, but his spiritual eyes have been opened.
The story ends with a contrast between the blind beggar who now sees physically and spiritually, and the Pharisees who can see physically, but who remain spiritually blind.

So how is this story a sign, and what does it have to say to us?

At the start of this series I said ‘don’t tell me, show me’. What is Jesus showing us about God in this sign?

Everybody in this story except Jesus sees the blind beggar as a case, rather than as a person. The disciples want to use his case to debate the problem of suffering and its origins. What it his fault or someone else’s? Jesus doesn’t see him as a case, he sees him as a person who needs to see, and so out of his compassion he restores his sight. [On holiday I have been reading some books about the way that the universe seems fine-tuned for life, and how this might be explained scientifically or theologically. One of the contributors said that the trouble was that the argument was about God as an impersonal explanation for the universe rather than as someone who wants a personal relationship with us]. Jesus wanted to relate to this man as a person – so he helped him. And in the second part of the story when Jesus hears that the man has been thrown out he goes to find him, because he does not just want to help him physically, he wants to help him to become a person who is loved by God and part of a community.

Everyone else sees the man as a case – so they ask him questions rather than rejoicing with him, and throw him out of the community.

So the first thing about this story is that it is a sign of the God who wants to have a relationship with us as people, and who doesn’t view us as ‘cases’

The second thing in the story is about the response to the light of the world.

First, the blind man’s response. The relationship is two-way – the man wants at first to be his disciple, but then he goes further and worships him. Remember how we started this series in John 1 – the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory full of grace and truth. This man saw the glory of Jesus, full of grace and truth, and he worshipped him.

He saw him with his newly-opened physical eyes, and he saw him with his newly-opened spiritual eyes; the light of the world had shone into his life and changed it for ever!

But there were others there who saw the same things physically, but whose spiritual eyes were not opened. They did not see glory, grace and truth, they only saw a threat. A threat to their own world-view and therefore a threat to their equilibrium. And of course a threat to their own power as religious leaders. The story is an illustration of the words in John 3:19-21.

So what has this story to say to us?

Firstly, that God is interested in us as people, not as cases. He wants to have a growing relationship with us.

Secondly, we may need to ask ourselves what in ourselves is preventing us from seeing the grace, glory and truth of God in Jesus? Are there perhaps times when we see the light of Jesus as a threat to our equilibrium or our position?

This sign may also be a challenge to us as to how much we are a sign to others of God’s grace, glory and truth. Do we view people as people, or do we sometimes view them as cases, or as labels – labels like ‘beggar’, or, as in the dreadful tabloids people at our hotel were reading ‘migrants’
.

How can we more faithfully be a sign to the God who cares for people and doesn’t treat them as cases or labels? Well, we could start by not spending all day drinking in the bile spread by our dreadful tabloids and letting it colour our attitudes.

In John 1 Jesus is described as being close to the father’s heart, and therefore able to show the world what God is like. In this story we see something of the heart of God. Another book I was reading ofn holiday on John’s Gospel says that at the heart of John’s Gospel is the figure known as the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ . In the account of the last supper he is reclining next to Jesus – he is close to the heart of Jesus. And at the end of the Gospel it is said that he is the one who wrote down all of these signs and stories. He shows us Jesus because he was close to Jesus’ heart, and Jesus shows us God because he is close to the Father’s heart.

I told a joke at the beginning of this about an elderly priest. In the traditions of the early church it was held that John the beloved disciple lived to an old age at Ephesus, and had to be carried to the Christian meetings, where he didn’t say ‘what am I here after’ – instead he said over and over again ‘little children, love one another’.

John was close to the heart of Jesus. He pondered all of his years on these stories and signs of Jesus who loved people rather than seeing them as cases. As we ponder these stories, may we grow closer to the heart of Jesus and therefore to the heart of God, and may he open our eyes to the things in us that prevent us from seeing the full glory of his light and reflecting it to others.

 

 

Small Group Questions The man born blind (John 9)

1)      What are the things that prevent us from seeing the glory and grace of Jesus?

2)      How do we sometimes view people as ‘cases’? Why do we do this? How can we counter those things ourselves, and how can God help us?

3)      How can we as a church be a sign that God sees people not ‘cases’?

4)      How can we (with God’s help!) grow closer to the heart of
God?

John 4:43-54  The healing of the royal official’s son

This story is the sign we nearly forgot when we were putting this series together. We thought of the obvious ones – water into wine, stilling the storm, feeding of the five thousand, walking on water, raising of Lazarus. But we were one sign short of a series, and reading through the Gospel we saw this one. You wouldn’t normally think of this one as a sign, but it’s one of the few stories where the gospel writer John himself calls it a sign.

So what is it a sign of? I suppose to the people who saw it, it was a sign of the healing power of God through Jesus. It was a sign of the kingdom of God in action.

Jesus himself seems very ambivalent about signs. Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe. (The ‘you’ is plural. So maybe it was addressed to the people in general flocking him rather than being addressed to this particular man in his desire to see his son healed.)

For us, this may be a sign of the sort of response Jesus was looking for. In the last two signs we have looked at, Jesus takes the initiative – with the man born blind, with the feeding of the five thousand. The man doesn’t ask for his sight restored; the five thousand don’t ask for food to be miraculously provided. In this case, the man simply asks Jesus for help. And he is not just a bystander. He had heard that Jesus was in Cana, so he travelled from his home in Capernaum to Cana – about 10 to 15 miles away. His initiative. Or maybe God had put the thought into his heart.

When anyone approaches the church – to have their child christened, to book a wedding or just turning up on a Sunday – always remember that God is at work in bringing them. So welcome them well! And if you have just turned up today – what has God called you here for today? Is there something you need to ask him for, or perhaps something you need to sort out with him.

Jesus welcomes that sort of approach. And as we know, Jesus shows us God, so God welcomes us approaching him.

The official has heard about Jesus, but probably had not seen him before. He asks Jesus to come to his house to heal his son. Jesus responds to him very simply. Our translations mostly say ‘Go, your son will live’. Actually it is in the present tense. ‘Go. Your son lives!’ It has the authority of what is called a ‘speech-act’. It not just promises it, it makes it happen. Like the pronouncement in a marriage service – ‘I declare that you are husband and wife’.

The official’s response is a great response of trust. ‘The man took Jesus at his word and departed’. No ‘are you sure?’ No ‘  well come anyway, just in case’. He takes Jesus at his word and departs.

And when he gets home his son is well, and the fever left him just at the time when Jesus says ‘Your son lives’.

God looks for us to take him at his word. One of the main areas we need to do that is in the area of forgiveness and eternal life. God’s word says ‘God so loves the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life’. It says ‘if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins’. It says ‘I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’. For me, one of the important things I say as a priest is what we call the absolution. After confession I pronounce in God’s name ‘God forgives you.’  Take God at his word by forgiving others and by forgiving yourself.

So this sign is a sign of the sort of trust that God wants as our response. A response that comes from a relationship of trust, not a response driven by signs and results. A trust dependent on who God is, rather than what God does.

I said earlier that this sign was a sign of the kingdom of God. It’s a sign of what happens in the immediate presence of the King. It’s a sign of what the Kingdom of God will be like when it arrives in all of its fullness.

One of the hard things we have to face as Christians is that the kingdom of God is present among us today, but it is not yet fully present. In the jargon we say that it is ‘now, but not yet’. This sign is not a sign that everyone will be healed now in just the way that we want. But it is a sign that God will finally bring in his kingdom when there will be no more sickness, crying, pain or death.

Sometimes we see that healing now. Then we thank and praise God. But sometimes we don’t. That’s when it is hard to keep our trust in God. The deepest trust in God depends on our relationship with him, not on whether all our prayers have been answered today in the way that we want. Ask God to deepen that sort of trust in you. Trust comes not from following a prescribed recipe for prayer, but from a deepening personal relationship with God.

Finally, I want to return to the phrase that Jesus uses ‘Your son lives’. It is used by Jesus to the official. But it is also said by the official’s servants to the official when he gets home ‘Your son lives’. The Gospel writer wants us to join in with that phrase by the end of his gospel. Because his gospel and all of its signs are pointing to the thing we should be saying to the Father about his son Jesus:-

Father, your Son lives!

 John 4:43-54  The healing of the royal official’s son

This story is the sign we nearly forgot when we were putting this series together. We thought of the obvious ones – water into wine, stilling the storm, feeding of the five thousand, walking on water, raising of Lazarus. But we were one sign short of a series, and reading through the Gospel we saw this one. You wouldn’t normally think of this one as a sign, but it’s one of the few stories where the gospel writer John himself calls it a sign.

So what is it a sign of? I suppose to the people who saw it, it was a sign of the healing power of God through Jesus. It was a sign of the kingdom of God in action.

Jesus himself seems very ambivalent about signs. Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe. (The ‘you’ is plural. So maybe it was addressed to the people in general flocking him rather than being addressed to this particular man in his desire to see his son healed.)

For us, this may be a sign of the sort of response Jesus was looking for. In the last two signs we have looked at, Jesus takes the initiative – with the man born blind, with the feeding of the five thousand. The man doesn’t ask for his sight restored; the five thousand don’t ask for food to be miraculously provided. In this case, the man simply asks Jesus for help. And he is not just a bystander. He had heard that Jesus was in Cana, so he travelled from his home in Capernaum to Cana – about 10 to 15 miles away. His initiative. Or maybe God had put the thought into his heart.

When anyone approaches the church – to have their child christened, to book a wedding or just turning up on a Sunday – always remember that God is at work in bringing them. So welcome them well! And if you have just turned up today – what has God called you here for today? Is there something you need to ask him for, or perhaps something you need to sort out with him.

Jesus welcomes that sort of approach. And as we know, Jesus shows us God, so God welcomes us approaching him.

The official has heard about Jesus, but probably had not seen him before. He asks Jesus to come to his house to heal his son. Jesus responds to him very simply. Our translations mostly say ‘Go, your son will live’. Actually it is in the present tense. ‘Go. Your son lives!’ It has the authority of what is called a ‘speech-act’. It not just promises it, it makes it happen. Like the pronouncement in a marriage service – ‘I declare that you are husband and wife’.

The official’s response is a great response of trust. ‘The man took Jesus at his word and departed’. No ‘are you sure?’ No ‘  well come anyway, just in case’. He takes Jesus at his word and departs.

And when he gets home his son is well, and the fever left him just at the time when Jesus says ‘Your son lives’.

God looks for us to take him at his word. One of the main areas we need to do that is in the area of forgiveness and eternal life. God’s word says ‘God so loves the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life’. It says ‘if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins’. It says ‘I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’. For me, one of the important things I say as a priest is what we call the absolution. After confession I pronounce in God’s name ‘God forgives you.’  Take God at his word by forgiving others and by forgiving yourself.

So this sign is a sign of the sort of trust that God wants as our response. A response that comes from a relationship of trust, not a response driven by signs and results. A trust dependent on who God is, rather than what God does.

I said earlier that this sign was a sign of the kingdom of God. It’s a sign of what happens in the immediate presence of the King. It’s a sign of what the Kingdom of God will be like when it arrives in all of its fullness.

One of the hard things we have to face as Christians is that the kingdom of God is present among us today, but it is not yet fully present. In the jargon we say that it is ‘now, but not yet’. This sign is not a sign that everyone will be healed now in just the way that we want. But it is a sign that God will finally bring in his kingdom when there will be no more sickness, crying, pain or death.

Sometimes we see that healing now. Then we thank and praise God. But sometimes we don’t. That’s when it is hard to keep our trust in God. The deepest trust in God depends on our relationship with him, not on whether all our prayers have been answered today in the way that we want. Ask God to deepen that sort of trust in you. Trust comes not from following a prescribed recipe for prayer, but from a deepening personal relationship with God.

Finally, I want to return to the phrase that Jesus uses ‘Your son lives’. It is used by Jesus to the official. But it is also said by the official’s servants to the official when he gets home ‘Your son lives’. The Gospel writer wants us to join in with that phrase by the end of his gospel. Because his gospel and all of its signs are pointing to the thing we should be saying to the Father about his son Jesus:-

Father, your Son lives!