The Importance of the Resurrection
* June 6, 1944, D-day setup VE Day and VJ Day in June and August of 1945. For me, had we not been successful at Normandy beach, we would have lost the war. That one day, those hundreds of brave lives, and the determination of right ruled the day. That one day made the difference.
* Today we celebrate our D-day. It is Easter, Resurrection day. The Resurrection of Jesus is the hub around which all of Christianity turns. It is the very heart, the center of all we are & believe.
* Sometimes it seems we forget the real excitement of Easter is not the bunny, but rather the truth that is “Jesus is Alive!!” Death has been defeated and empty tomb stands as a monument to who Jesus was and is.
* Although the resurrection has been challenged, time and again it has withstood the challenge because of the historical evidence which demands consideration.
* History gives the evidence. Tacitus, Josephus, and most of the first century secular historians give evidence to it truth.
* For us, consider the change in cowardly disciples who were afraid to be seen at the crucifixion, locked away in a house, and were afraid. Consider the record of Fox’s book of martyrs as it chronicles the death of many of disciples who gave their lives based on the belief that Jesus rose from the grave. Then it was on the mind the rest of lives.
* Think of all the New Testament writers who mention this; Acts, Rom, I Cor, 2 Cor, Eph, Phil, Col, I Thess, & Rev.First Century Christian were obsessed with the resurrection. It literally turned “laid-back” Baptist into shouting, launching out, and aggressive believers. If we ever catch the glimpse of this (Jesus coming back from the dead) the same thing will happen to us.
* Let me submit at least 3 truths from the resurrection:
1: Proves the Deity of Christ
• Without the resurrection of Christ, His deity could be debated, the doctrine of salvation could be destroyed, and the Bible could even be denied. Had Jesus just died and stayed dead, He would be like all the other religious leaders. The world could say there is “no difference”.
• Adrian Rogers said, “without the resurrection Christianity topples like a house of cards”
• He would be just like Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, and Joseph Smith (just to name a few). But the graves of these leaders are all occupied!! We don’t worship a grave of bones but rather an empty tomb of blessing. Why?
• Jesus of Calvary is the Jesus of the empty tomb and He is the giver, the creator, the Lord of life, and as such has defeated death. He has put “death to death.” “O Death where is your sting, Grave where is your victory?”/
• You see, for human being death generally brings with it a sense of finality. The grave is where we leave our remains. Death seems to always get us. (Story Of Harry Hodini)
• The greatest risk a person can take is predicting his own future. Yet, Jesus FULFILLED His own words as in Matthew, at least 4 times predicted His resurrection. 16:21/ 17:21-22/ 20:18-19/ 26:31-32
• Be clear about this, the resurrection is singular event that stands believers apart from all others religions. That is why all of Satan’s guns aimed at discounting this event. Consider all the lies theories which have been propagated; the swoon theory, the wrong tomb theory, the stolen body theory, are but a few.
• One side note; this was indeed a bodily resurrection. We know this because He ate food at least once & offered His hands to be touched.
• Truth is that Old Testament prophesied it, Jesus Himself predicted it, God performed it, and the entire history of mankind is built around it.
2: Provides a Way of Salvation
v While it is true that Jesus died for our sins, it is equally true that He was “raised for our Justification, to make us right.
v 1 Peter 3:18-9, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”
v Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
v Our lives have earned punishment of death. The Bible says, our compensation, wages, payment for sin is death
v Had he stayed in ground death would have won. If he were there today, there would be no salvation, justification, no hope, no life.
v In the 1979 Motion picture Star Trek, the “Wrath of Khon”, the Vulcan Spock dies. In the next movie, he comes back to life. Three movies later, “The Undiscovered Country”, in the midst of a crisis one of the officers say, “if that’s true then we’re dead”. It was a statement of finality. Spock’s response, “I’ve been dead before.”
v If it is true (and it is) that the wages of sin is death. Then we’re dead! But listen, Jesus has been dead before. Because He died, we do have to die in our sins. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, fear is gone, and life is worth the living. This is All because He lives.
v Here is where it gets personal. Now that we understand that Jesus IS God and that in His resurrection we find the way of being saved from hell and to eternal life. How does this happen?
3: Previews the Future
* The Resurrection frees us from the fear of death and helps us focus on the future. What lies ahead for us?
* Could it be that the Angel heard in Matthew 27 is the same one heard in Acts 1. Did the same one say, “why seek you the living among the dead” as said “why stand ye Here? This same Jesus will come again.” Jesus’ resurrection is a demonstration of His second coming.
* In John 11, Jesus said, “Lazarus Come Forth” and Lazarus begin to move. Combine 1 Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 1 and, I believe it will be that same voice that IS the trumpet call of God. Not Gabriel. Not a trumpet.
* Up from the Grave He arose” and “Up from the Earth we will rise, we will fly with our Lord through the skies. We will fly through the sky, up beyond the stars, past Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. We will rise in the skies, because Jesus is ALIVE!!”
We’ve talked about the resurrection and what it does, but we have not talked about ALL it does. Our time won’t permit. We could talk about the plan, the person, or the power of the resurrection.
Why is the resurrection so important?
It proves the deity of Christ, it provides a way of salvation, it previews the future. What will you do with this important event?
Sermon shared by Jerry Watts