Faithlife Sermons

Rising Hope

Easter 2018  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus Christ’s resurrection represents a demonstration of the power of God, the confirmation of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the grounds of hope for Christian believers.

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Scripture Reading:
Luke 24:1–12 ESV
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

I. The Resurrection demonstrated God’s power

The power of God the Father

Ephesians 1:18–20 ESV
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Galatians 1:1 ESV
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
Colossians 2:12 ESV
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Acts 10:40 ESV
but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
Acts 2:24 ESV
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Acts 3:15 ESV
and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

The power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 1:4 ESV
and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
1 Timothy 3:16 ESV
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
1 Peter 3:18 ESV
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

II. The Resurrection confirmed Jesus as the Son of God

In the Apostle John’s writings, he calls Christ’s miracles “signs” and his resurrection is the climax “sign”, confirming his identity beyond all doubt; this is why he ends his Gospel with:
Romans 1:4 ESV
and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
John 20:30–31 ESV
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
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III. The Resurrection is central to genuine Christianity

As the basis of faith

1 Corinthians 15:14–15 ESV
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
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As the basis of believers’ justification

The Apostle Paul has much to say about this:
Romans 4:25 ESV
who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Romans 8:34 ESV
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

As the basis of Christian hope

Again Paul says in
Acts 24:15 ESV
having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
We have a hope that the other so-called religions cannot have.

As the basis of believers’ resurrection

Our Lord conquered death and proved that this life is not all we have
1 Corinthians 15:20–23 ESV
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
John 14:19 ESV
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Acts 26:23 ESV
that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Romans 8:11 ESV
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.
Physical death is not an end for those who believe, but a beginning of eternity with our Savior!
As you can see, faith in the promises found in the Bible is not only reasonable, but rewarding! And perhaps the most rewarding promise is the promise of an empty tomb--which translates to the promise of eternal life. There is much to rejoice about on this coming Easter as we remember Christ’s victory over sin and death!
I will leave you with one phrase. It is a phrase that the church has used for centuries; that phrase is: “He is risen!”—to which you traditionally respond, “He has risen indeed!” So I proclaim boldly before you: He is risen!
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