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What the Resurrection Let's You Live Without

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God, today we gather to celebrate the resurrection of Your Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We open the Scriptures now to learn more of this, the greatest event in history. Open our eyes to the wonder of the resurrection. Open our ears to hear this glorious good news. Open our hearts to receive the risen Christ as our God and King. We pray it for His glory, Amen. Turn in your Bible with me to . Once you have found it, please stand for the reading of God’s Holy Word.
We all have things we could live without. Things like: taxes and root canals. But at the end of the day those things are just uncomfortable and inconvenient. But, what if you could live without despair? What if you could live without fear? What if you could live without doubt? Today, I want to show you in God’s Word that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can in fact live without despair. You can live without fear. You can live without doubt.
Jesus was crucified on a Friday morning. Very early that Sunday morning Mary Magdalene went to His tomb to finish preparing His body for burial. But when she got there the stone was rolled away from the opening of the tomb. The Lord’s body was gone. She ran and told the disciples. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. And they found it just as Mary had said. Stone rolled away. Jesus’ body gone. And verse 9 says, they didn’t yet understand that Jesus had risen form the dead. As we’re going to see, even those who were closest to Jesus were feeling despair, fear, and doubt. But that changed when they realized Jesus had risen from the dead.
If you’re living with despair, fear, or doubt, I hope that that will end today as you come to believe and know that Jesus is indeed alive.

I. You can live without despair. (Vv 11-18)

I’m not saying you can live your life without any sadness or sorrow. But I am saying you can live your life without the kind of deep sorrow that makes you feel hope is lost. That’s despair. And that’s what Mary Magdalene and the other disciples felt early Sunday morning. Mary was weeping because Jesus was dead. She was weeping because His body was missing. But it’s more than just that. You have to understand that for those first followers of Jesus all their hopes were wrapped up in Him. Now that He was dead they felt that hope was lost.
Luke 24:17–21 NASB95
And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.
Did you catch that? We were hoping. Jesus’ missing body just compounded the deep grief Mary was already feeling. This is more than just sorrow. This is despair. But watch what happens as Mary turns to leave the empty tomb. Jesus speaks to her. “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” But Mary didn’t recognize Jesus. Why would she? She thought He was dead. But then, He spoke her name. “Mary.” Can’t you just see it. She turns to Him, “It’s You! It’s really You!” And she reaches out to embrace Him. She doesn’t want to let Him go. And Jesus has to tell her not to hold on to Him. He then tells her to go tell the other disciples. And that’s exactly what she does. The despair she had moments ago was now gone forever. Because Jesus was alive! Hope was renewed!
Parents, imagine getting a phone call that one of your children has been in a car accident. What’s your first question? “Is she okay?” Right? As long as she is okay, I can deal with anything else. If she is safe I can handle any other issues. There may be some loss. There may be some pain. But if she is okay I can deal with all of that.
Listen! There is going to be loss in life. There is going to be pain and difficulty in life. But as long as Jesus is alive there is no reason to despair. I can deal with the loss as long as Jesus is alive. I can deal with the pain as long as Jesus is alive. If Jesus is alive my hope and my future and eternally secure. I have no reason to despair.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 NASB95
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
Sure you’re going to have grief in life. But because Jesus is alive, the believer’s grief is never a hopeless grief. It’s sorrow but it isn’t despair. It’s only when your hope is wrapped up in something other than Jesus that you have reason to despair. But for those who believe, as long as Jesus is alive, hope is alive! Because Jesus is alive you can live without despair. Oh, but that’s not all.
Because Jesus is alive you can live without despair.

II. You can live without fear. (Vv 19-23)

Obviously I’m not talking about living without the fear of God. I’m not saying if you believe in Jesus you won’t be afraid of spiders anymore. What I am saying is that because Jesus is alive those who believe in Him can live without fear for their lives, their future, or their well-being. Mary had told them Jesus had risen, but they didn’t believe her.
Luke 24:10–11 NASB95
Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
The same day that Jesus rose from the dead, that evening, the disciples were together in a room, with the door locked. In verse 19 we are told the door was locked for fear of the Jews. Those who had followed Jesus were afraid the Jewish religious leaders who had crucified Jesus might come after them as well. They were afraid for their lives. Then suddenly, miraculously, Jesus appears in the room. “Peace be with you.”
Then immediately He shows them the wounds in HIs hands and side. Why? So they would know it was really Him. It wasn’t a ghost. He was really, physically alive. In verse 20 the ESV has the word “then.” “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” The word “then” is the same word that is often translated “therefore.” What is means is, because the disciples saw it really was Jesus and He really was alive, therefore they were glad. I actually like the NIV translation better. They were overjoyed. Then Jesus says once more, “Peace be with you.”
In just a matter of moments the disciples go from fear to joy, from panic to peace. How? Because Jesus was alive. When Jesus died they thought hope died with Him. But Jesus was alive. And because He was alive hope was alive.
It’s like a child who jumps in a swimming pool. He is frantically splashing and kicking certain that he is drowning. Just then mom’s voice rings in his ears. “Just stand up. The water is only three feet deep.” And once he figures out he’s not going to drown, his fear is gone. He can play and swim and splash without fear.
Because Jesus is alive death is no longer a threat for those who believe.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 NASB95
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 NASB95
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God gives us victory over what? Death! In rising from the dead Jesus took the sting out of death. If even death can’t take away my hope, if even death is no threat to my life and well-being, what do I have to be afraid of? What sense does it make for me to live in fear? It makes no sense. Because Jesus is alive you really can live without despair. You really can live without fear. And now notice this with me.

III. You can live without doubt. (Vv 24-29)

III. You can live without doubt. (Vv 24-29)

By that I mean you don’t have to go through life in doubt about God or your relationship with Him.
One of the disciples was missing when Jesus first appeared to them. It was Thomas. The other disciples were telling him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas refused to believe them. Read verse 25. But eight days later Jesus once again appeared to the disciples. This time Thomas was in the room. Jesus, was clearly aware of Thomas’ doubt. Notice His words in verse 27. “You wanted to touch my wounds. Well, go ahead.” But Thomas didn’t have to. The only words he could get out were, “My Lord and my God!” All doubt, erased. The point? His doubt was unfounded and unnecessary. The absolute definition of a skeptic, Thomas was absolutely convinced Jesus was alive.
When you embrace the reality that Jesus is alive, it removes any reason to live in doubt. Jesus’ death is proof of God’s love for you. His resurrection is proof that He truly is the Son of God. His resurrection is also proof of His power to save you. How absolutely freeing to be able to go through life with confidence about God and my relationship to Him.

Big Idea: Because Jesus is alive those who believe can live without despair, fear, and doubt.

You may be thinking, “Well, it was easy for Mary, and the disciples, and Thomas to believe. They got to see Jesus.” That’s true, but I want you to think about something. We have the eyewitness testimony of those who saw Him die and then saw Him alive from the dead. The Scripture we are looking at is nothing less than eyewitness testimony of the resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:3–6 NASB95
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
And notice verse 29. The evidence is clear. Jesus is alive! And you don’t have to live in doubt.

Big Idea: Because Jesus is alive those who believe can live without despair, fear, and doubt.

Just think for a minute. Because Jesus is alive, there is absolutely no reason to despair. Because Jesus is alive, there is absolutely no reason to fear. Because Jesus is alive, there is absolutely no reason to doubt. You can live without despair, fear, and doubt. If…If…If…you believe. Believer, maybe you have allowed fear and doubt to exist in your life. I hope you will realize today that you don’t have to live that way. If you have not surrendered your life to Christ, I hope that today you will believe. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Believe that He died for your sin on the cross. Believe that He rose from the dead and is alive today. Turn to Christ in faith and be rid of despair. Be rid of fear. Be rid of despair. Those are all things you can live without. If you believe.
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