The Message of Resurrection!
Today the world is celebrating the resurrection Sunday. The resurrection of Christ is the greatest event in history. Resurrection is the cornerstone and foundation of the gospel. Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Christian message is that Jesus Christ rose from the grave; and that we one day will receive a body like unto His glorified body, and we will live in bodily resurrected form through all eternity. Christianity promises a physical resurrection. The model for that is the glorified resurrection body of the Lord Jesus. A body that could walk, eat, and talk
The message that God has delivered to sinners throughout all of Scripture is that death does not end our existence. Death is merely the doorway into eternity. And everyone goes through that doorway and everyone lives forever, some to the resurrection of life, and some to the resurrection of damnation according to John 5. Every human being ever born will live forever, fully conscious either in everlasting joy or everlasting suffering.
The hope and the message of resurrection has always been at the heart of believers’ faith. It was the hope of Abraham, Isaiah, Daniel, and Job. Job said, “Though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Jesus said in John 14:19 Because I live, you also will live. Jesus said in John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.
1. Infallible evidences of a real resurrection.
The testimony of Jesus before his death.
Mark 9:31 Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
- The empty tomb.
Luke 24:1-3 1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
- The angelic testimony.
Luke 24:4-6 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In 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? 6He is not here; he has risen!
John 20:11-12 11Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
- The testimony of Jesus post resurrection.
John 20:14-17 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”(which means “Teacher”). 17Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
- The testimony of the women.
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”
Luke 24:9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
- The testimony of the guards.
Matthew 28:2-4 2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
Matthew 28:11-15 11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The resurrection of Jesus is proved beyond doubt.
Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
- So what is the message of resurrection?
All four gospels record the resurrection. Jesus in the gospels spoke about the resurrection. The book of Acts records the history of the preaching of the resurrection, that He arose from the dead in physical form, and so shall those who put their trust in Him. The epistles give us the explanation and the implications of the resurrection. The book of Revelation tells us where we’re going to be in our risen form in the glories of the New Heaven and the New Earth that will be established by the risen Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Here Apostle Paul is talking about the negative of not having a resurrection. He is constantly telling us what if Christ had not raised from the dead? Paul is driving the point that everything we Christians do would be futile if Christ did not raise from the dead. However, since Christ has raised from the dead, all these negatives become positive for us.
So what is the message of resurrection?
- Our sins are forgiven.
1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
Forgiveness of sin is the basic need of every human. We are born in sin and the wages of sin is death. You may say that Jesus took our sins on the cross and by his death, yes. But forgiveness would not be complete had Jesus not raised from the dead. Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Everyone in this room needs forgiveness, every person in the world needs forgiveness. That forgiveness is possible when we ask because Jesus is alive and he rose from the dead.
- Our faith is fruitful.
1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
Because of the resurrection our faith if fruitful or useful. There is somebody we can trust absolutely.
Every person deep within has a longing for someone that you can count on, trust on through thick and thin of life. Someone who is absolutely trustworthy. Someone who, if you put your faith in him, it won’t be in vain.
Jesus will not let you down. He will always be there. The death of Jesus proves his love for us, and the resurrection proves his power over every enemy of life. And so there is someone you can count on. Someone absolutely trustworthy. Someone who will never let you down. Jesus is alive. to be trusted. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- Believes are the only true witnesses of God.
1 Corinthians 15:15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
The resurrection proved that the apostles are not false witnesses. The message of resurrection is that we who believe in Jesus are the true witness of God.
The world we are living in is teaching that there is no absolute truth. The world says, “Do what is right in your eyes.” But we who believe in Jesus say there are absolute truths in the Bible. The truth like homosexuality is wrong, pre-maritial sex is wrong. The divine truth that Jesus is God. The only way to heaven is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Truth is the need of every human soul even if people deny it. The resurrection proves that the believes are the only true witnesses of God.
- Believers are to be envied.
1 Corinthians 15:19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
We can very positively say that because of the resurrection, we are to be the most envied. Believer’s life, in spite of the trouble, struggles, nothingness is still the best life. Our life is meaningful, valuable, and significant.
We are not fools leaving behind the pleasures of the world and living for Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Everyone is looking for a fruitful life, a life well spent. “Living for Jesus is a life well spent.” That is why he said in 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Our Christian life, our labour in the Lord is not in vain. Christian life is meaningful because of the resurrection. This is the best life we can life and we are to be envied.
- The dead in Christ will live forever.
1 Corinthians 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
Dead in Christ will live forever. We will have a glorified body like that of Jesus Christ. We will live with him triumphant victory. Heaven is going to be real for us. We will live the way Christ lives.
Conclusion: Therefore, when God raised Christ from the dead. In raising him from the dead, God confirmed his forgiveness to mankind that Jesus is alive and he is ready and willing to forgive us if we ask him. The message of the resurrection is that we have a friend to count on, to trust at all times of life.
With the resurrection our life, our faith, our proclamation, and our gospel became the only truth in the world. Because of the resurrection, believers are to be envied. We may have problems, we may have trials but this is the best life in this world. Finally, the message of resurrection is that we will live with Christ forever. The moment I die, I will be with Jesus. Therefore, we will see our loved once in heaven and have fellowship with them. What a glorious hope. Let’s pray.
- Be realistic.
The Christian life can be an emotional roller coaster.
For the disciples it was exactly that. For them, Palm Sunday was a mountain-top experience. Then came Friday & the cross. And then Sunday & the resurrection. Up & down, up & down, & up again.
There are some who believe that once we become a Christian our troubles will be over, & everything will be wonderful from then on. But as we mature in the faith, as we learn to be realistic about our lives, we can say with the apostle Paul,
- God’s plan may be better than all of our plans.
ILL. Becky Pepper tells the familiar children’s story: “Once Upon A Mountaintop.” It’s about 3 little trees growing on the top of a mountain.
These trees were talking together one day. (In children’s stories trees can talk with one another.) One tree said to the others, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
One answered, “Well, when I look up at the heavens & see the stars sparkling in the sky, I think to myself, ‘I’d like to be a treasure chest that holds diamonds & precious stones.’”
The other one said, “Well, when I grow up, I want to be part of a giant ship that sails across the sea carrying kings & queens to important destinations.”
Then the one who asked the question in the first place said, “When I grow up I just want to stay right here. I want to grow tall & straight, pointing to the heavens so that everyone who comes up on the mountain will look at me & think of God.”
Over the years the trees grew & grew. Finally, men came & cut the trees & took them down from the mountain.
The first one was delighted to find that he was being taken to a carpenter’s shop. But he was devastated when he discovered that he was not going to be made into a treasure chest, but rather, into a feeding trough.
And instead of holding precious stones, he would hold hay & feed for animals. And animals would come & slobber over him.
The second one was delighted to find that he was being taken to the seaside. But then he was devastated to discover that he was not going to be part of a giant ship, but just a tiny fishing boat. And his cargo would not be kings & queens taken to important places, but dead, smelly fish.
The third tree was disappointed that he was cut down at all. He had just wanted to stay on top of the mountain. He was even more disappointed when he was cut into beams that were placed in a stack of lumber & forgotten.
One day 2 people came into the stable where the young feeding trough had now grown old & worn through years of use.
The old feeding trough watched as the woman gave birth to a baby. And he thought to himself, “I am a treasure chest, because now I hold the most precious One.”
More years passed, & one day the second tree was sailing across the Sea of Galilee. On board were strangers, mostly fishermen.
Suddenly the winds came up & blew fiercely, & the waves began to beat against the little ship. Then one of the men stood up & said, “Peace, be still.” And the little ship suddenly realized that his task was not to carry kings, but the King of Kings & Lord of Lords.
Two more years passed & one day the third tree was yanked from the lumber pile, & placed on the shoulders of a man who had to carry it through jeering crowds toward a hill called Calvary.
When they got there the beam was tossed to the ground, & the man was placed upon it. Then it felt the penetration of the nails driven through the man’s hands, & into its wood.
And as the people gathered around cursing & mocking the man, the poor tree felt ugly & hated, too.
But then the man was taken down & buried in a tomb, & on the third day raised from the dead. And the tree said, “Now I know that every time men look at me they’ll think of God.”
ILL. James Stuart, the writer, says that the most pathetic sentence in human literature is that of Pilate to the priests, “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
Stuart asks, “What would you say to a man who stands in the gray of dawn & says to the rising sun, ‘Stop! You cannot soar into the heavens today’?
“Or what would you say to a man who stands on the beach & draws a line in the sand & says to the tide, ‘Halt! You cannot cross this line’? You would say to each of them, ‘You are mad!’
So what do you say to Roman soldiers who stand with spears in hand, guarding the tomb which holds the Lord of Life, trying to keep Him from rising from the dead?“
ILL. A hymn writer wrote:
See the tomb where death had laid Him, Empty now, its mouth declares;
“Death & I could not contain Him, For the Throne of Life He shares.”
Come & worship, come & worship, Worship Christ, the Risen King!
ILL. That reminds me of the little boy who had adopted a stray dog. Someone asked, “What kind of dog is that?” He answered, “He’s a police dog.” The man said, “He doesn’t look like a police dog.” The boy answered, “That’s because he’s in the secret service.”
There are some Christians who seem to be in the secret service.