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Easter Sunrise 2018

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Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

The Resurrection Account

It’s a pleasure to be with you all here on the Lord’s Day to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s fitting, I think, to celebrate his resurrection early in the morning as it was a similar scenario when our Lord’s tomb was first found to be empty by the women who had come to anoint his body. We read in starting in verse 1,

The Resurrection

16 vWhen the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

[SOME OF THE EARLIEST MANUSCRIPTS DO NOT INCLUDE 16:9–20.]

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

9 [[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

The Significance of the Resurrection

I want to begin by reading Romans chapter 3, verses 21-26,
What I want us to consider today is two things, 1) what is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection and 2) how ought the resurrection impact us. So in order to tackle the first question we’ll start by reading Romans chapter 3, verses 21-26,

the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Man has sinned against God, therefore, in mercy, Got put forth his Son as a propitiation for our sin. God's Son was an offering freely given to appease God's holy and righteous wrath against sinners. We all deserve eternal punishment in Hell, that's the uncomfortable truth. We have all turned away, and none of us seek after God, but God has had mercy on us, forgiving all of those who turn from their sin and trust in Christ for their salvation.
Man has sinned against God, therefore, in mercy, Got put forth his Son as a propitiation for our sin. God's Son was an offering freely given to appease God's holy and righteous wrath against sinners. We all deserve eternal punishment in Hell, that's the uncomfortable truth. We have all turned away, and none of us seek after God, but God has had mercy on us, forgiving all of those who turn from their sin and trust in Christ for their salvation.
And without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. In other words, God cannot forgive you or I, and maintain his own righteousness, without justly punishing unrighteousness. Therefore, God put forward his Son, as a perfect sacrifice to pay the debt of sin that we owe, for all of those who receive him by faith. Jesus is the perfect, eternal Son of God, and in him no sin is found. He is our scapegoat, He has made a way for us by his own sacrifice. And because of our living faith in Jesus we are justified in God's holy sight, our sin has been dealt with at the cross, it has been paid for. We now stand justified before God, clothed in the righteousness of his Son.
And without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. In other words, God cannot forgive you or I, and maintain his own righteousness, without justly punishing unrighteousness. Therefore, God put forward his Son, as a perfect sacrifice to pay the debt of sin that we owe, for all of those who receive him by faith. Jesus is the perfect, eternal Son of God, and in him no sin is found. He is our scapegoat, He has made a way for us by his own sacrifice. And because of our living faith in Jesus we are justified in God's holy sight, our sin has been dealt with at the cross, it has been paid for. We now stand justified before God, clothed in the righteousness of his Son.
But it's not only his death that is necessary. His death apart from his resurrection would render his work of salvation impotent. His resurrection is absolutely essential to our salvation. Without it there is no forgiveness of sin, without it there is not justification, without it there is no hope. The resurrection is the manifest affirmation that the promises of God are true, that they sure, that we can trust them, that we do in fact have hope. Our faith rests on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Not just his life, not just his death, but also his resurrection.
But it's not only his death that is necessary. His death apart from his resurrection would render his work of salvation impotent. His resurrection is absolutely essential to our salvation. Without it there is no forgiveness of sin, without it there is not justification, without it there is no hope. The resurrection is the manifest affirmation that the promises of God are true, that they sure, that we can trust them, that we do in fact have hope. Our faith rests on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Not just his life, not just his death, but also his resurrection.
If Jesus had not been the eternal Son of God and lived a sinless human life on earth he would not have been a sufficient sacrifice for our sin, if Jesus had not willingly given up his life there would be no payment for our sin, and if he had not risen again we would have no hope of salvation. It's why Paul writes, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. ()" Christ's resurrection is absolutely essential.
If Jesus had not been the eternal Son of God and lived a sinless human life on earth he would not have been a sufficient sacrifice for our sin, if Jesus had not willingly given up his life there would be no payment for our sin, and if he had not risen again we would have no hope of salvation. It's why Paul writes, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. ()" Christ's resurrection is absolutely essential.
You see, when Jesus died he made payment for our sin, and after he rose from the dead his disciples knew that the check had cleared. That his sacrifice was sufficient. That his promise of forgiveness and salvation was sure. Christ's resurrection is for the assurance of our salvation. It confirms to us that Jesus is who he says he is, that he is indeed the Son of God, and that he can be trusted, that the promise of salvation is real, that not only can we be saved from our sin, but that we have hope that one day, at his second coming, we too will be resurrected, that we too will be made new. The Apostle Paul writes,
You see, when Jesus died he made payment for our sin, and after he rose from the dead his disciples knew that the check had cleared. That his sacrifice was sufficient. That his promise of forgiveness and salvation was sure. Christ's resurrection is for the assurance of our salvation. It confirms to us that Jesus is who he says he is, that he is indeed the Son of God, and that he can be trusted, that the promise of salvation is real, that not only can we be saved from our sin, but that we have hope that one day, at his second coming, we too will be resurrected, that we too will be made new. The Apostle Paul writes,
"Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. ()"
The significance of the resurrection is 1) that our salvation rest upon it, and 2) the significance of the resurrection is that our own future resurrection depends upon it.
"Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. ()"

How Ought the Resurrection Impact Us

Now the question remains, “How ought the resurrection impact us?” If you’ll recall, on the outset this morning, we read . I want us to look back specifically starting in verse 9,

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

9 [[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples

12 After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

The Great Commission

14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.

The state of affairs for the disciples immediately after Christ’s death was pretty low. It says that they had been morning and weeping. You get the impression that there was a sense of hopelessness after the crucifixion of their Lord, and even when Mary, and later two other disciples, announce that Jesus is alive they remain steeped in hopelessness and refuse to believe them. It’s only when Jesus finally appears to them personally do they believe, and because of their unbelief Jesus rebukes them.
However, we’re given a completely difference picture of the disciples in the early chapters of Acts. At this point they’ve all seen the risen Lord along with more than 500 other men. Jesus has since ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father and we now see his disciples acting wholly difference. They’re no longer weeping, they’re no longer riddled with unbelief, they’re no longer in hiding.
Instead the disciples are emboldened by what has happened. They’ve become utterly fearless in the face of opposition. We read concerning the disciples in , starting in verse 24,

they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

These very same men we read about in the Gospel of Mark have changed. The resurrection of their Lord has emboldened them to continue speaking the word of God regardless of whether anyone tells them to stop. They now see that those who gathered against Jesus and put him to death had only done so in vain, because what they meant for evil God meant for good. Unwittingly, they had gathered together to do whatever God’s hand and plan had predestined to take place. There was no thwarting God’s hand, only playing into it for the salvation of his people

Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

In the same way we ought to be emboldened by the resurrection of our Lord. We ought to be fearless in the face of opposition to carry the good news of the Gospel to all people, because we have good news, Christ has risen, he is risen indeed!

Prayer

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