Easter 2021 – Is Jesus alive? So what?
(1 Corinthians 15:14) And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
Did the resurrection of Jesus really happen?
What difference does it make?
You can’t really separate these questions. The meaning of it―the effect it has had on us―is part of the reason we believe it is true, and the truth of it is part of the reason it has such great meaning.
1. His Claim
It’s hard to honor Jesus as an honest and good man, or a psychologically healthy man, if we reject him as the risen Son of God.
2. The Empty Tomb
The tomb where he was buried was empty on the third day.
The enemies of Jesus never could produce the body, even though that would have ended the new movement of Christianity overnight if they could have.
3. The Change
Something must account for the dramatic change in the disciples after Good Friday.
They were hiding in a secluded room and were unwilling to believe the first reports of Jesus’ appearance. But in a few weeks these same men were overflowing with joy and courage. They were ready to die for Christ. Why? What had happened? Their own explanation was that they had seen the Lord alive.
(1 Corinthians 15:4-6) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
The early church was growing not in a fanatical flush of gullibility, but in the presence of eyewitnesses to the resurrection.
When I read the writers of the New Testament, my conscience is won over. Their insights into human nature are profound. Their personal commitment is sober and carefully stated. Their teachings are coherent and do not look like the invention of unstable men. The moral and spiritual standard is high. And the life of these men, as it comes through their writings, is totally devoted to the truth and to the honor of God. You shouldn’t just take my word for it. You should read them yourself. Test whether the witnesses are less credible than those that witness against them today.
5. The Life-Changing Today
The changes that he has made in us are an undeniable evidence that he is alive and real.
The Meaning of the Resurrection
So let me move to the meaning that the resurrection has for us.
– God Is Not Served, but serves
(Isaiah 64:4) From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
This sets the God of the Bible off from all other gods. No one ever dreamed that God was like this. He had to reveal Himself to us.
God’s heart is to work for people, not to have them work for him.
In other words the Christian gospel is not a “Help Wanted” sign. God is not looking for labor.
(Acts 17:24-25) The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he
served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
God can’t be served because he has no deficiencies that need serving. Instead we have the deficiencies and he is infinite in wisdom and power and readiness to serve us.
Why Jesus came to Earth?
That is the essence of Christianity.
(Mark 10:45) For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He came to work for us. He came to serve us. Jesus didn’t come to recruit you to meet God’s needs. God has no needs. Jesus came to bring you the resources of God to meet your needs. He died to meet your needs. He rose to meet your needs.
We know what our most pressing needs are. But will we let the risen Christ come into our lives to meet those needs? Will we let Him be our servant?
Financial needs or health needs or vocational needs or family needs. Jesus stands ready in His living power to help you with them. But the most pressing needs you and I have are:
– the need to have our sin taken away. To have a right relationship with God.
The two great enemies of our lives are sin and death.
The reason God raised Jesus from the dead was to put His divine seal and validation on the saving, sin- defeating death of Jesus for sinners.
(1 Peter 3:18 –AMP) For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to
the need to overcome death.
(1 Corinthians 15:17) And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
His death had been an awesome success. The debt had been paid, the penalty had been borne, the curse had been lifted. Our Servant from heaven had done for us the work that we could never do for ourselves―take away our sin and make us right with God.
And shall we, then, try to work for this gift? Shall we try to switch roles with our Omnipotent Servant and earn our way out of sin and into heaven?
(Ephesians 2:8-9) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The forgiveness of your sins no matter how terrible and no matter how long, is not your work; it is God’s work.
Jesus did it on the cross, and God sealed it with the resurrection.
3,358,814 Americans died of all causes in 2020 Covid-19, heart disease , Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
I personally lost dear friends last year and even this year. Death is an enemy. We were made to live. I want to live forever! But I cannot save myself from death. Nor can any scientist in the world. That’s why the resurrection of Jesus is so precious.
(Romans 8:11) If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
(John 11:25)Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
Do you believe this?
(John 11:26)and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
(Romans 10:9).because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
If you put your faith in Jesus Christ this morning as the living Lord and Savior,
- – all your sins will be blotted out,
- – you will receive the Spirit of Christ as a free gift in your heart,
- – God will give you the assurance of everlasting life, and
- – He himself will become your Servant to glorify his grace and his power
- – He will work everything together for your good forever and ever.