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Challenge of the Resurrected Life

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The Resurrection gives us meaning and power to live our lives.

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Ephesians 2:1 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
See also
2 Corinthians 5:14–17 ESV
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Crossing over from death to life

John 5:24–26 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
He IS RISEN! (Response: He is risen indeed)

Believers continue to live by the power of the risen Christ

Today we celebrate the greatest event not only in all of Christendom but in the history of mankind. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The secular world tries to isolate this event as something that is important only to Christians.
To the world Jesus is a mere historical figure, the founder of a great religion and was crucified when He was about 30 years old. To the world, Jesus was just another founder of a world religion.
But where are the founders of the other world religions now?
a) The body of Mohammed, the founder of Islam is enshrined in the Mosque of the prophet in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The tomb of Muhammad lies within the confines of what used to be his wife Aisha's and his house
b) the body of Confucius, founder of Confucianism lies buried in his hometown in China. His grave is located in a large cemetery where more than 100,000 of his descendants are also buried.
b) the body of Confucius,
He IS RISEN! (Response: He is risen indeed)
c) Buddha's body was burned. There is a monument that was built over a portion of Buddha's ashes on the spot where he was cremated.
, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. People flock to churches to celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen.
You see, the founders of these world religions are dead, and we know even now where their bodies are buried.
Christianity is unique in that it is the only faith where the body of its founder is not enshrined anywhere, not buried under a grave somewhere.
In fact, what is enshrined is not a body in a grave but an empty tomb.
THIS IS NOT A MYSTERY TO US CHRISTIANS BECAUSE ON THAT FIRST EASTER MORNING WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND HE IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE.
This is the greatest comeback story folks.
We all love comeback stories. When the NFL season starts… the Denver Broncos may just win the Superbowl this year. When they lose their first biggest test against a good team, they can still win the conference, they lose some more games, they still have a chance to win the division, looking like they’ll lose the division, oh there’s that wildcard, remember the 1997 Broncos? When they get eliminated... we are like life goes on, that Monday morning after a disappointing loss.. we move on, but at the back of our minds, they’ll be back next year. You’re probably wondering why I am talking about the Broncos, it’s not even football season. Well this is the safest time to talk about them right?
The point is we all love a great comeback story.
, we are like life goes on, that Monday morning after a disappointing loss.. we move on, but at the back of our minds, there is still that glimmer of hope.. maybe they can sweep the next three games, maybe they
There is no greater defeat to come back from than death.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, death no longer means defeat. Death has become synonymous with victory.
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IS THE GREATEST COMEBACK STORY OF ALL TIME!
Jesus did it for you and for me. We all know that Jesus died for our sins. But don’t forget that Jesus rose from the dead to give us life.
First lesson from the resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus demonstrated that the grave is not our bodies’ final destination.
1 Corinthians 15:16–19 ESV
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:16
How far out are we planning for our lives?
Benjamin Franklin said:
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin)
This is a brainy quote and it is true. Planning for the future is wise, but is foolish not to plan far enough. People plan for the future but not for eternity.
I had a Christian friend who passed away this week, I had regrets because she was in Denver in December and messaged me because she wanted to connect of all days, on Christmas day, busy day for a pastor. I told her, sure I could pick you up from the airport and you can stay the night with my family but before that we have to take you with us to this Christmas gathering, and you will have to tag along with us when we go here and do that. In other words, what I may have conveyed was: “I really have no time for you!”
I had a friend who I knew back at the church where I became a Christian several years ago. Although we served together at that church I did not consider myself particularly close to her. Last December, she messaged me that she was going to be in Denver -of all days- on Christmas day. She wanted to meet up, for me and Guia to pick her up at the airport and to spend the night at our house with my family. I was like, she knows I am now a pastor and Christmas is a busy day so with reluctance I replied ok, sure we can pick you up at the airport but there are so many things going on I have to take you with me to this Christmas gathering, and you will have to tag along with us when we go here and I do that. In other words, what I was really saying was: “I really have no time for you!”
She did not reply to me after that, so I figured, well, probably she found a hotel to stay at. So, cool, problem solved, there will be other opportunities to meet up with her.
Last time I saw her on Facebook was last week, boarded on a plane to the Philippines for a vacation. She posted funny comments about asking the stewardess for kimchi because she was on Korean airlines. She was happily posting along on her long journey to the Philippines until she finally got there.
Last Thursday, I received news that she flew to the Philippines for a vacation, didn’t feel well and was rushed to a hospital. She didn’t make it out of that hospital. She passed away on Wednesday evening our time.
My heart was filled with regret, how I could have connected with her on Christmas day and I could have had the opportunity to be with her before she went home to be with the Lord.
Her death reminded me of the brevity of life and that we have to take every opportunity to be a true friend to someone.
After hearing about her death, I looked at her Facebook wall and it was filled with tributes to her from people who loved her. Friends posting stories and pictures of happy moments with her, I kept scrolling until I got to her own final postings when she was still alive and I got to that post of her long journey to the Philippines. Then I saw her post when the plane finally landed. She posted these words:
I’m home!!! Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!!! I’m home!!!
To Christians who believe in the resurrection of Jesus, the words “I am home” takes on a totally different meaning, this life is not all there is. We are not alive now just to someday remain 6 feet under the ground.
In the resurrection, Jesus rendered death powerless.
There is promise of a glorious life after death and someday there will be a resurrection of the godly and the dead in Christ will rise in glorified bodies and thus will we ever be with the Lord.
This is great news to those who lost love ones who died in Christ. There is a promise that you will be with them again in the future.
2. The resurrection of Jesus gives meaning to our lives.
2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV
15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
What are we living for?
We need to provide for our ourselves and our family, nothing wrong with doing that. We pursue our dreams. But if your ultimate pursuit in life is an earthly dream then you are not working on something that will last. Even the stock market will have a major correction, cryptocurrency will not hold up, the almighty dollar will someday lose its worth.
Let me tell you one thing, pun intended here.
“The buck stops at the grave.”
The grave is our money’s final destination, but not ours. While we continue on to eternity, there is not a single precious metal, gold or silver, or any currency, dollar, bitcoin, ethereum, titanium or uranium you will take with you. (I made up the last two)
There is wisdom in what Jesus said, do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Read Matthew 6:19-20.
The Bible also says that “we brought nothing into this world, we can take nothing out of it.”
Read
The question is not what should we live for but Who should we live for?
The question is not what should we live for but Who should we live for?
Jesus’ resurrection is not only a truth to be embraced but a challenge to be taken up.
Live no longer for ourselves but for the One Who died for our sake and was raised from the dead.
The challenge is to live for Jesus, get to know Him. Receive Him into your life. You see that as He takes residence in You He will change you. Your appetite for wordly things will be gone, they will be replaced by an appetite for spiritual things and the kingdom of God. You will also see that you will start loving on people more than you love yourself.
That is the heart of Christ, He died for you because He loves you and He rose again so that He can be forever alive for and in you.
3. The resurrection of Jesus gives us power to live our lives.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Who is the Master of Your life?
Invictus or “undefeated” in Latin is a poem written by William Ernest Henley. He proudly declared while fighting the dreaded disease back then which is tuberculosis: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.
This is human pride. Pride makes you think you don't need anyone, that you can do everything on your own. It leads you to see people as resources to leverage and use to achieve your own ends.
It takes the power of God to transform to break down our pride and admit that our life is not our own, who else to better run your life than the one who loved you enough to die for you.
Today, 15 men, women and children will be baptized. They are doing it because they are publicly surrendering to Jesus as their master and Lord, obeying the Lord’s command to follow Him, to repent of their sins and to live in newness of life.
You see, we have heard of the word repent so many times. You’ve seen street preachers holding placards with the word, “repent!”.
In reality, Repentance is meaningless without the power of God behind it!
The Greek word for repent in the Bible is metanoia.
Μετανοήσατε⸃, (Metanoia)
A transformative change of heart.
When Jesus was nailed on the cross, our old self and our sins have been nailed with Him and were buried in the grave.
There is transforming power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We saw the movie “I can only imagine” and it is the story of a song of the same title written by the lead singer of the band “Mercy Me”, Bart Millard in memory of his abusive father.
Why would someone even write a song for a father who physically and verbally abused him all his life?
The reason was that when Bart’s father became terminally ill, he cared for a totally different man. You see Bart’s dad gave his life to Jesus Christ.
For the many years that his father abused him, Bart no longer remembers his father as the monster. But he better remembers the changed man that he cared for in the few months before his death.
Bart said in his story about his father, “If God can change that dude, He can certainly change anyone.
That is the Transforming power of Jesus!
When Jesus was nailed on the cross, our old self and our sins have been nailed with Him and were buried in the grave.
When Jesus rose again, we are also raised into a new life. (that is the picture of baptism)
If anyone is in Christ He is a new creation, the old has passed away (our ungodly mindset and appetite for the flesh) the new has come (now we have the mind of Christ, we desire the things of God and His Kingdom and we now have love in our hearts for others).
We are a new creation because of the the power of the risen Christ.
Anecdote and stats on church attendance on this day.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
These facts and figures tell a lot about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus in the hearts and minds of Christians.
Churches prepare with all sorts of programs and strategies to entice the CEO’s and COO’s to come to Easter Sunday and return to church.
Examples of ideas and gimmicks here:
If churches have to come up with all these ideas to entice people to come to church on Easter Sunday then we are speaking to a generation that had completely lost the meaning and purpose of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Much of what has been taught to this generation is what it can gain from the resurrection.
Having that kind of understanding of the resurrection does not serve its true purpose when faced with these realities in our time.
Put statistics of rise of depravity here:
Divorce rates
Teen pregnancy
Violence in our schools
the shootings and even the bullying.
But here is what the resurrection should be to the Christian..

The Resurrection is a challenge to live the resurrected life!

2 Corinthians 5:14–15 ESV
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
See also ; ;
the love of God controls (word study)..
“one died for all, therefore all have died”
“ a new creation” according to Paul...

Resurrection Life is the answer to the deadness of our generation.

Resurrection Life is the answer to a permissive society that seeks all sorts of pleasure but no responsibility
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We are a new creation, our carnal nature has been replaced by spiritual desires.

Spiritual desires

Colossians 3:1–2 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Resurrection life gives hope to a generation that had lost in its future by giving you a new spiritual assurance. Walking aimlessly into oblivion believing that life her on earth is all there is

Spiritual assurance

Colossians 3:3–4 ESV
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
The new creation takes on new spiritual appetite for the things of God. By that we can speak to a generation that had descended into a pursuit of worldly pleasures that last for a short while but bring harmful consequences of a lifetime.
Resurrection life gives us a new spiritual appetite.

Spiritual appetite

Spiritual appetite
1 Peter 2:1–3 ESV
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The new creation makes a commitment to live the holy life.

Commitment to God

Romans 6:13 ESV
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Resurrection Life is the answer to this loveless generation...

Love for fellow believers

1 John 3:14 ESV
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

The Resurrection is not just a truth to be heard but a power to be experienced.

Romans 7:4 ESV
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
“having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...”
Christian, the resurrection is for you, you have been raised with Christ.
See also
Live the life of Christ and not the life of this world system.
Illustration:
Before the resurrection came death. We died to our old life and our sins. Now we live in the power of the Christ’s resurrected life.
To the follower of Christ, death is no longer defeat. It is synonymous with victory.
That is the power of the resurrected life.
Someday we will have glorified bodies, no more sickness, no imperfections..
Like the apostles we can say with boldness:
1 Corinthians 15:54–55 ESV
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:
God loves you!
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