Call to Worship
Call to Worship
Today as many of you know is Resurrection Sunday.
It is the day when the Lord Jesus Christ who for the last three days laid in the tomb after his crucifixion dead and covered in linen sheets, came back to life.
This Sunday is thought to be the day that the Lord triumphed over death and arose victorious from the grave.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I don’t pay attention to dates, calendars or holidays.
It is just not something I am up to date with.
However, this day is a day that will forever be remembered.
It is the day when the sting of death no longer holds Christians captive.
Instead it is a day of rejoicing.
And because of that, we as Christians do not merely celebrate the resurrection once a year on Easter Sunday.
Instead, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ daily in our own lives and at least once a week corporally.
Yet that does not mean that we cannot set aside a day which focuses solely upon the resurrection.
Granted the resurrection of Jesus is so vitally important that it should be spoken of every Lord’s day, yet it is also okay to have a specific day where that is all that we talk about.
So with all that in mind, today we’re going to examine the resurrection of Christ as found in .
So if you have your Bible which I would strongly encourage you to bring it with you, please turn with me to the Gospel according to St. Luke chapter 24.
Read and pray.
Today as we begin to examine the Resurrection of Christ, I am going to have three points which will be the focus of our text for the day.
The first point is that the resurrection of Jesus is historically accurate.
The first point
The second is that the resurrection of Christ has tremendous theological implications.
The third and final point is that Christ’ resurrection has application in every persons life.
So let’s begin by looking at the first point.
The resurrection of Jesus is historically accurate.
Since the inception of the Christian Church some 2000 years ago, there has been many different reasons given for the resurrection of Jesus.
From the disciples stealing Jesus’ body to Christ only existed in a holographic manner.
There is no shortage of answers given by the skepticist and the unbeliever.
One of the earliest responses given is that the disciples had set in motion a plan to steal the body of Jesus after His crucifixion.
In fact you can find that in
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Here you have the Pharisees going before Pilate, warning that Jesus had said that he would raise after three days and asking Pilate to place guards in front of the tomb of Jesus.
But they didn’t only place guards to watch over tomb, they also took and sealed the tomb in such a way that they would know if it had been tampered with.
It’s kinda ironic that the Pharisees did this though as they ended up being witness to one of the most unique events in history.
And they also will end up giving credibility as to authenticity of the resurrection.
All this by merely trying to keep Jesus in the tomb and the disciples out.
So I want you to get this picture into your head for a moment.
Picture with me if you will, a tomb carved into the side of the hill.
The body of Jesus laid on a stone and wrapped in a cloth linen.
Outside the tomb, you have a massive stone which would have taken at least four guards to move.
And this stone is rolled in front of the opening of the tomb and is sealed by a wax Roman seal.
This seal was there as a way to attest that the tomb had not been messed with.
Inside this wax seal on the stone was a stamp authenticating the Roman authorities as being the only ones to open and to close the tomb.
This whole thing kinda makes you think the Jews were a little bit nervous about what was to happen don’t you think.
Well, as the Scripture tells us a little later in that account in , on the first day of the week, after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
Yet on her way there, there was a great earthquake and an angel of the Lord rolled back the stone and sat on it.
As you can imagine, the guards who were in charge of guarding the tomb were a little shaken up.
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute.
Here you are, a guard set to keep anyone from getting to the body of this religious figure and in the wee hours of the morning, you’re awoken to the ground shaking like crazy and an angel sitting on the stone.
Verse 4 says that for fear of the angel of the Lord, the guards trembled and became like dead men.
Now listen, these guards were expecting to face opposition.
Why else would they be assigned to this task if they didn’t expect to see some opposition.
Yet they had no idea that what they would be encountering would be beyond their imagination.
Here before them, sitting on the stone that once guarded the tomb of Jesus was an angelic being.
And what they saw terrified them in such a way that they really should have been the ones in tomb.
I mean we have the expression of being scared to half to death, yet these guards would have passed for dead men.
They were so terrified that they didn’t have the ability to move.
And after everything was done and over with, and the women went to tell of the resurrection of Jesus, some of the guards ran into the city to tell the chief priests everything that had happened.
Yet none of this was expected by the women who were there.
They had planned to go and to place oils and aromas around the body of Jesus to keep the smell down.
They had not intended to get there and see an angel telling them that the Jesus whom they sought has arisen.
And when the women got there that morning they
The chief priests was a group of people made
And here’s where the story gets really interesting.
The Pharisees and the Sadduccees, those appointed to serve as the chief priests and the like were a people who knew the Old Testament in ways which would put most of us to shame today.
There are times that I wonder how
They had the ability to read through and see the coming of the Messiah.
They had the ability to see the death burial and resurrection of the Messiah in the Old Testament.
Yet instead of believing that God had finally sent the long anticipated Messiah and looking unto Jesus to be made right.
The chief priest immediately gave a large sum of money to the soldiers and told them to lie.
They told them to say that in the night, the disciples came while the guards were asleep and stole the body of Jesus.
This is what they were supposed to tell the people.
Anyone who asked them about the resurrection of Jesus was to be lied to by order of the highest religious office in the land.
Can you imagine that for a moment?
But here’s where the stupidity of the lie comes in.
Their story doesn’t match the evidence.
First off, no Roman guard would admit to sleeping on the job.
That was grounds for the person to have to stand before the Emperor for failing at their task and that was not something that a Roman guard would want.
Do you realize that the first century Roman soldier didn’t join the military for the paycheck.
In fact, many soldiers until a certain point basically had to pay to be in the Roman army.
This was a job of honor.
It was taken serious in the highest of degrees and for a soldier to admit that they were derelict of duty would bring upon them a shame that could put in jeopardy all they had worked for.
So long story short, no guard is going to sleep on the clock.
At least not in a way where they couldn’t defend the post in the way they were called to.
On top of that, Scripture also recounts for us that the clothes which wrapped the body of Jesus were left in the tomb.
Neatly taken care of and folded up nice and neat.
Let me ask you a question and it is going to be one that is gruesome but it none-the-less needs to be asked.
How badly beaten and destroyed was the body of Jesus?
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
Did you catch that first part?
Isaiah foreshadows what the body of Jesus will look like and it states that his appearance was so marred that He almost didn’t even look human anymore.
Jesus wasn’t merely some man who had a heart attack and killed over all in one piece.
Instead Scripture states that Jesus was beaten in such a way that His muscles and flesh would have been open wide in many different areas.
Now let me ask you another question, if you were going to move a body which was wrapped up in cloth and that would help to keep your hands from going into the wounds of another human being, wouldn’t you leave the cloth on them?
If the disciples showed up to steal the body, why in the world would they have unwrapped Him?
Considering the landscape and climate, they would have needed all the help they could get in order to remove the smell from the hot daytime hours.
Is this making sense to y’all?
It is seriously lunacy to claim and argue that the Disciples stole the body of Jesus to fake his resurrection.
Not only would they have to then deal with the body of Jesus before the odor got to strong, but several of them didn’t even believe in the resurrection at all.
Think about Thomas for a minute.
What was his response to hearing that Jesus had rose from the dead?
Thomas didn’t believe that Christ had rose from the dead and his response proves it.
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
The disciples all told Thomas of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead and even after hearing their testimony, his response was that unless he see the marks on his hands and places his finger into the holes, he wouldn’t believe.
Just look at the very last words here, I will never believe.
It took the Lord Himself showing up and Thomas seeing and feeling the wounds from the crucifixion to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
Yet, here in Scripture, a claim that is widespread tries to give evidence that the disciples stole the body of Jesus to prove the resurrection.
Yet it’s not just Scripture that discounts this idea that the disciples stole the body of Jesus and lied about the resurrection.
History also reveals the types of death that these disciples encountered.
Can you imagine for a moment the group of the Apostles stealing the body of Jesus, making up the resurrection and then going on to die in the most horrendous ways imaginable.
Peter was crucified upside down.
Andrew was crucified.
Thomas was killed by a soldiers spear.
Phillip preached the death, burial and resurrection of Christ to a Proconsul’s wife and in retaliation, the Proconsul had him executed.
Matthew was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
Bartholomew was a flayed to death with a whip.
James was beheaded by King Herod as stated in .
John was boiled in a huge basin of oil but was delivered from death and sentenced to banishment.
Matthias was stoned and beheaded.
Each of the disciples went on to preach Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sin, buried and resurrected three days later.
That’s what cost them all their lives.
Had Christ been stolen by them and buried, surely at least one of them would have recanted to spare their life.
Yet each of the disciples were not only willing to give up their life but stood tall in the face of adversity and remained steadfast that Christ had been raised from the dead.
People will not willingly die for what they know to be a lie.
Yet each of these men laid down their lives to preach Christ as the resurrected Messiah.
So to think that this claim still exist in the world today is preposterous.
Instead, what we as Christians can look at today, almost 2000 years later is that we have a historically accurate record of the events that transpired.
And because we have a historically accurate account of the resurrection, we need to understand what it means.
Here is point 2.
Christ’ resurrection is theologically significant.
In the whole world of theology or the study of God, often times the resurrection of Jesus is overlooked as just another event transpiring in the life of Jesus.
Yet there is so much more to this.
To begin with, the resurrection of Jesus is the stronghold of our faith!
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
Listen, many men have made a great number of claims.
Even during the life and time of Jesus, there were those who claimed to be the long awaited messiah.
Athrongias would be a great example of this.
He was a Jewish shepherd who claimed himself to be the messiah.
He believed that he was the one who would usher the Jews into the world to come.
Himself and his four brothers were extremely well versed in the skill of battle and Athrongias established himself as the king-to-be.
Athrongias truly was a mighty man.
Mighty in battle and even led them against the Romans for over two years.
Yet, at the end of it all, Athrongias wound up in a tomb.
He proved himself to be just another man.
And many men have since claimed the very same title.
Yet each of them has the exact same fate.
Each of them have went into their eternal rest and have remained there.
Yet Jesus did not!
The reason why we preach Christ resurrected from the dead is His resurrection this proves something.
It proves that Jesus was not just some crazy guy with visions of grandeur.
It shows that the one who has power over both life and death was here on earth with us in the person of Jesus.
This is not some mere excercize of ideas.
Instead the one who was with God in the beginning when all of creation was made, came here in the person of Jesus and walked among men.
No longer did man need to be removed from the presence of God and hide themselves in the cleft of the Rock like Moses.
Instead, we see that Jesus has power over life and death and reveals Scripture’s claims of His being God to be true.
And because His resurrection is proof that Jesus is God, it also reveals that Jesus truly is the giver of eternal life.
Those things Jesus said in weren’t mere formalities.
Instead, all those believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ receive eternal life.
It’s not merely some good idea but is instead a factual occurence.
The very same God who dwelt among men in this world, also promised to give eternal life to those who call upon His name and His resurrection from the dead shows us that He meant it.
Eternal life is no longer a speculation.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead shows that Christ’ work was accepted by the Father.
Jesus actually accomplished salvation.
When He said on the cross that “It is Finished,” that wasn’t merely an idea.
Jesus paid our sin-debt in full and the resurrection is proof of this.
who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Jesus, who on the cross of calvary, had the punishment that we deserve poured our upon Him and God shows us our justification in Jesus’ resurrection.
We have been made right with God as Christians and the resurrection reveals this to us.
Lastly on this point, Christ resurrection is proof of His victory over death.
If you took and read Paul’s letter to the Romans, you would see him lay out this argument which speaks about sin and death.
Sin is what came into the world and with it brought death as well.
We can try all day long to not sin but at the very end, each of us will die.
Every human being has had to fight this battle.
It is the ultimate statistic that 10 out of 10 people die.
There is no question that death has haunted all of us.
We know that it is not natural and yet it is our final reward of the time spent in this life.
One last moment of sorrow that we all will face.
Yet in the resurrection of Jesus, we see death defeated.
We see that one has went to the grave that death could not hold back.
There is no victory for death in Christ.
There is no sting.
Instead, all those who call upon the name of the Lord will enter into an eternal glory.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
That leads us into our last point for the day.
The resurrection of Jesus is personally applicable to each and everyone of us today.
Whether we are unbelievers, new Christians or we’ve been Christians for many years, The resurrection of Christ is applicable in our lives.
Let’s look first at the basic elements.
The resurrection of Christ is applicable in our lives.
What normally happens when we talk about the resurrection of Jesus is that the whole theme turns into nothing more than a unique idea.
Yet the problem is that this isn’t hypothetical.
The resurrection of Jesus truly means something.
Because we know that the resurrection is historically accurate and that it has theological significance, we cannot now say that there is no purpose.
Yet that’s how we treat the resurrection.
We don’t generally embrace and apply Christ’ resurrection in our own life and instead we merely sift over what it means for us.
Listen to me for a second, because the resurrection of Christ actually happened, we cannot ignore the implications this has on our own lives.
This proves that He is truly the Lord and He is worthy to be praised.
We don’t sing hymns to president.
We sing them to Christ because He is worthy.
And I feel like all across the land, this is the only day that the resurrection of Jesus will truly be heard.
Pastors will prep sermons to preach on Christ’ resurrection for Easter and yet the rest of the year they’ll leave it on the back burner.
As a Church, the resurrection proves that Jesus is worthy to be praised and loved.
For the individual Christian, the resurrection of Christ proves what is in store for us.
When we die we will not be left to side and have unsurety over what’s to come.
Instead, we can enter into our rest knowing that God Himself has accepted you through Christ.
That one day you will undergo a very similar transformation.
In the instant that you die, death is proven to be conquered because you are ushered into the Kingdom of God.
And you can be absolutely sure of this because Jesus, the Son of God has made you right before the Father.
Because of Christ’ resurrection, He has overcome death so that He might share with us His righteousness won by His death.
No, instead we have a redeemer who proved Himself to sinful men as the blessed redeemer.
This isn’t merely good news for the unbeliever.
Instead, it counts to all men.
Even the Christian who has been converted for 40-50 years ought to look at the resurrection and embrace it daily.
This should bring you comfort beyond imagination.
John Flavel said it like this, “A grave with Christ is a comfortable place.”
This gives us hope of what is to come.
But it’s not all good news.
You see, the truth is that today, there are quite literally millions of people out in the world who don’t know any of this stuff.
They might have heard about the resurrection but to them its nothing more than a fairytale.
That or they’ve no need to care more than once or twice a year.
But here is the truth, since the resurrection proves that Jesus is God and that He offers forgiveness to sinners, those who don’t know Him or who only focus on Him once a year, you are commanded to repent.
You are commanded to embrace Him as your Lord.
You are commanded to turn this day from your wickedness and seek out forgiveness in Christ Jesus.
So let me ask you this question today if this is you.
As a human being you know that you’re going to die.
And you also know that Jesus is God and He expects obedience from you.