Probably one of the most interesting things about scripture as you read the story of Jesus is even though he was very explicit about everything and explained everything extremely. Well people often times just didn't get what he was saying. This could be no more true of his death. Because I think first of all even though he had told them that he was going to die. I think that his Believers his disciples those close to him. We're just absolutely freaked out by the whole experience we can see this isn't what they had planned for and this isn't what they had thought of they didn't think that the king of glory Did the Messiah? Would be a suffering savior. It was like they had not read parts of scripture. It's like they had turned off a part of the experience. And so they were totally blown away completely decimated incredibly scared in those days between Good Friday when he breathed his last and Sunday, in fact Sunday morning some of the ladies that loved him we're concerned about something they didn't feel like they had buried Jesus well enough That was they're concerned. They got up that morning that Sunday morning that day after Sabbath for them where they had been at rest, and that's why they had rushed the death. The the burial of Jesus is that they had to get them buried quick because the next day was the Sabbath and they weren't supposed to work on the Sabbath. They're supposed to rest. So after being Jesus and going to the Sabbath they came to the next day which in the Jewish calendar would be the third day which would be today and they got up early in the morning and they did what every good group of women should do they got stuff together because their goal was to bury Jesus better. That was their goal. That's what scripture tells us. It tells us that the ladies had a plan for a better burial. When the Sabbath was past Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices so they might go and anoint him.
And they must have been having a conversation about what they were going to do and that's kind of what it says and says and very early on the first day of the week when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb and they were saying to one another who will roll away the stone for us to the entrance to the tomb cuz I was and they realize okay. We want to bury Jesus better. But he's in a secure tomb and there's a big Stone in front of this tomb in and we got to see an example of this when we were over in Israel. And the way that it worked to make it secure is actually the stone was on the top of an incline and when they pushed the stone and they rolled it down this little incline in like a trough and they sealed it other scripture tells us that not only did they seal the tomb but they guarded the tomb
but when they got there and they were asking these questions there was a surprise. I'm looking it up. They saw the stone had been rolled back. It was very large. And entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side dress in a Wright robe and they were alarmed now only, you know, you've seen the movies where you're not supposed to go into a place cuz it's kind of scary and something's wrong. This is another example of that they went right in they're like, well, I guess somebody already opened it for us, you know, when Gathering their little bags and and their spices and everything they went in and when they got there there was someone sitting there. And it wasn't Jesus. Fact he said to them do not be alarmed if you'll notice and scripture. This is the first thing that Angels always say to people they always say do not be afraid. Do not be alarmed.
Then they said something amazing. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen he is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Scripture goes on and says this over 72, but go tell the disciples and Peter. That he's going before you to Galilee there. You will see him just as he told you if you read it first date. It says they were afraid they weren't even sure what to say. Now. This is something in this is a part of Jewish culture at the time. They didn't believe women in that time women couldn't even be Witnesses in court because they didn't believe them and I'm sure that these ladies understood that about themselves. So they were unsure what to even say all they knew is the Jesus wasn't there anymore? In another one of the Gospel it says this 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. It goes on and says remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee that the son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful people and be crucified and on the third day rise. And they remembered his words. This is something that we probably should underline in our own Bibles God help me remember your words. Have you ever read the Bible and then you walk away from it and you go now, what does that say? What what what what was I supposed to get there? But I'll listen in the spirit. I'll listen these words that Jesus has said I'll listen they came back and returning from the tomb. They told all these things to the 11 into the rest. So now all the sudden this reality has come these ladies have gone just to bury him better and found out that he wasn't there because he had been raised from the dead you see sin did not defeat Jesus. He rose up from the dead in scripture after scripture all the way through the New Testament. It says it over and over again that God raised his son that the son raised from the dead.
So the disciples investigate the reason they investigate if they could have just said well, that's great. We're on to the next thing. Let's start the book of Acts. No, they didn't say that they had to figure these things out for themselves and some of you have friends and and maybe your those kinds of people that other people can tell you that this is how it works for me and this is what's happening for me and your response immediately is well. I'm happy for you. But I'm going to need to investigate this myself. I can't go on your word. I'm glad that works for you, but I can't go anywhere. I got to figure this out for myself. So Peter went out with the other disciple and if you know the Book of John that means John and they were going to the tomb and both of them were running together.
But the other survival outran Peter and reach the tomb first and stooping looked in and he saw the linen clothes laying there, but he did not go in.
what theater did Then Simon came and following him and when did the to him and he saw the linen clothes laying there and the face clutch with Ben and on Jesus's head not laying with the lady claws, but folded in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple would reach the two numbers also went in and he saw and he bleed for as got they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. You see they didn't get it. For several days. They were in this place of unbelief of I can't believe this is happening. What it what is going on. Some of us are in that space in our old lives right now. We're in that space between some kind of tragedy or something that we don't understand in in trying to find Clarity and we're just kind of a little bit shaken and emotionally struggling because we don't know how to read the Tea Leaves. We have no idea what's going on. Some of us find ourselves in that or you know people that are like that. People that you love and care for that you would wish would understand the things that are important to you and the things that guide your life and you watch them and they are in a state of unbelief.
They they don't understand yet why it was important that Jesus Must Die. But the Jesus would rise.
Today is not about celebrating Christ's exemplary life. Today, we are celebrating his anointing sacrificial death and triumphal resurrection that brings salvation to our sinful lives.
Last couple weeks of had a lot of interesting conversations and when one of the conversations the person that I was talking to who I'm not sure where they're at with their belief explain that most of their friends really like the teachings of Jesus that they see him as a great model. They see him as an exemplary person and I think that every one of us has had that experience we speak of the exemplary nature of somebody's life. That's one of my jobs. Sometimes when people pass away or I have the privilege of standing in front of people to comfort them and encourage them is a say goodbye to a loved one.
I gather up facts and I try to speak to the things that we all appreciated about those people. But that's not what this is about. Today is in about a funeral celebration work. Once again, we're remembering just how great that person was. This isn't about remembering a president and setting up a library. This isn't about even our loved ones who we love so much and remember why they are important today is about celebrating the fact that the person that today is about is not dead but is very much alive and in his life and his sacrifice. We have the opportunity to be risen from the dead ourselves. That's the reality Paul put it in simple words when he said it this way for what I delivered to you as a person important is what I also received and he said this was all the things that I've learned. This was our first importance and he said this in 1st Corinthians chapter. I'm 15 verse 3 says that Christ died for our sins according with scripture Jesus and all the sudden freelance and decide how he was going to do this differently in his conversation with the Lord and in in the Garden of Gethsemane. He didn't say okay. I know we've been talking about this crucifixion thing, but I'd like to change it up a little bit. I think we might be able to accomplish the same kind of thing if we do this instead. He was honest with God that night and said God. I really don't want to do this, right? That's what he said. But not your will not my will but yours be done. Jesus Christ lives lines up completely with scripture. That's why there's this amazing thing that you can read Isaiah 53, which was written the hundreds of years before he ever died and the Very details of it. Line up with what happened. 3 days before this
he died for our sins according to scripture that he was buried and then he raised on the third day according. to the scriptures
See, this is somebody's idea. This is an imaginary tale. This was all lined up with what God already said in his work and would God continues to say in this world. In fact, if the resurrection is so important that Paul In this passage goes on and explain what would happen if he hadn't died. If you read on he says this without resurrection and 1st Corinthians chapter 15 verse 14. He says if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain other words, It wouldn't matter the word vanity is an interesting word in scripture because we're told not to take the lord's name in vain, which is mean turn it into nothing. What are you saying here is if Christ has been raised from the bed, then this all means nothing. I cannot imagine the today in some places and things that are called churches. There are people standing in front of people telling them that this is just a neat little Fable incredible little story ride along with Easter bunnies in the tooth fairy. Instead of this being facts and reality that not only did Christ die as recorded by over 500 people, but he raised from the dead. And that many people saw him.
Your faith doesn't matter if Jesus Christ in raised from the debt. If your God is dead your faith is dead. It's that simple goes on to say this without the resurrection and verse 17. It says if Christ had not been raised your faith is futile and you are still in here.
You haven't been saved from anything. Chris hadn't risen from the dead. You see the symbol of the Cross is important. It's the bridge it is where Christ took on the punishment for all of our sin, but the power of this isn't the cross the collar of this is a symbol that we don't have here. It's right here the power of this isn't empty tomb.
Where death is defeated the sting is gone? And we are changed. Resurrection is really really important. But I think that sometimes the way we even ask Christians liver like it's like it doesn't matter what let me explain this to you in a different way. I have to confess something to you.
Until just a couple days ago. I had never seen the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.
Now you're saying we'll why does that matter years ago when our kids were little we went to Niagara Falls? and we stood on the American side of the falls and we thought
that's too much work. Passports and all this kind of stuff we can see a good enough from here. Okay. Just a couple days ago as we were ending our vacation. We went to Niagara Falls and it said hey, let's go to the Canada side. We've never been there and I thought I'll be kind of fun. And we we we plants pay too much money for a hotel and and too much money for breakfast and too much money for dinner, but we went over to the Canada side and you know, I was going to be that big a deal because it was night. It was cold and it was Misty and you really couldn't see anything and in my mind. I thought this isn't that big a deal.
I already saw it yesterday when I was on the American side.
But then the dawn came. And out of our window of our 14 story hotel room. I saw the American Falls in the way. I'd never seen him before and I thought to myself.
It's a little better on the Canadian side.
And then she said do you want to drive down there? I said while we're here we might as well drive down because there was this big Casino in the way. So all you could really see was the American Falls. Okay. You couldn't see the Canadian Falls at all. So when we drove down and paid some people too much money and parked our car and we were parked so far over that we were beyond the Canadian Falls until your walking back and and everything and then all of sudden you come around the corner and you go
I never come to the Canadian side. This is so much more amazing. You see when I Didn't Know Better. I thought the American side was it. I thought it was incredible. But all the sudden when I came be on to the Canadian side. I saw the absolute beauty of even what was American?
for some of you in this room You never gone to the other side. You've seen the cross and you've heard the message of the Cross and you thought well, I'm glad that's working for some people, but you haven't seen the beauty of the cross.
You stayed on this side of the Cross and you haven't seen the beauty of the Cross because you don't have the perspective yet.
And when you feel those twinges in your spirit that something's not right and I've got to make something right and I I've got a lineup Karma better or whatever you call it. You you you seek to be a better person and you read that next self-help book and you try to become a better person because inside of you know, you know that something is a missed something's not right. It's something needs to change. I'm dead here somewhere and I want life. But you're on this side of the cross. And it's night and it's foggy. You don't see the beauty.
I want to tell you that the most important thing that all of history. Hinges on is that The God Who Made Us loved it so much that he wanted to connect to us, and he wanted to take away the emptiness that he knew was created by the poor choices that he allows us to me. And Christ died on the cross for that.
If you've never asked Jesus to be your personal savior. Let Easter be the day where you began experiencing Resurrection in your own life. Call puts it in other places that we were once old creatures and now we're new creatures and I encourage you to consider the message of the Cross and the fact that you cannot save yourself as much as you are trying to and that you need a savior. And that's why Jesus Christ died. But there's more to the story. Sometimes we end the story there. We just talked about Christ who died a guy who died, but we have a guy who Resurrected
Eddie is calling us in challenging us to live a life of Resurrection. In fact take a look at something and scripture that. I just find really interesting. Jesus Christ said this of himself.
first of all, he said that part of the reason we needed resurrection, and then he needed to die for us is because there is life beyond this Earth and now Did he created a new place for us to be with him? That kiwi would be in his presence and that he was leaving. He told his disciples to create that place you said in my father's house are many rooms if it were not so I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you to spend eternity. And he says that's only if I go and prepare a place for you. I will come again and will take you to be with me that where I am there. You may be also and so Resurrection is about this opportunity to live eternally with God. But it's more than that. I think that even sometimes those of people who are in church and going to church decided. That's what it's all about. They think it's about fire insurance. Don't want to go to the other place. I want to be where God is. Pray, the prayer get fire insurance. But it's more than that cuz that isn't the only thing that Jesus Christ said Jesus Christ himself said that he was a Resurrection Life sit. This is what he said. I am the resurrection and the life ever believes in me though. He die yet he will live.
And I think that what we've done without realizing is we relegated this idea to heaven and we've relegated Resurrection to heaven and Resurrection is a future thing.
But Jesus Christ didn't just say he was Resurrection. Jesus Christ said I am life. In fact in just the chapter before that. He said this the thief comes only to steal kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and they have it abundantly. You see I think some people realize that they need a quote cross over to Canada. Okay? They realize that they need a savior and so they make that decision to come over to Canada, but they never take the time. To experience all the Canada house for them.
They just live in the fog. like the disciples were like the ladies that love Jesus were when Jesus Christ that they were living in a fog where they couldn't believe this was happening. So all I can think of is the ladies thought about decorating. You know, what are the five which I do think I need to decorate. I know what I can decorate I can make juices death better. Got some spices here, but some we didn't make it nice enough. Want to give him a better death? You watch people do that all the time and are even just in our Cemetery here people die. And they don't understand that there's more than just death and they're so caught up in the sadness of death that what do they do? They take flowers out?
The visit the grave to think of ways of upgrading it. There's a whole industry based on this isn't there.
When my dad died, I remember that we were getting his gravestone and the guy said, you know.
You could get this inverting vase thing. So when you go to visit, you can push this little button this vase will turn over and you can put flowers in but then we need to mow we can get rid of the flowers and put the vase. I got so it's out of the way and that's okay. I was like why school advice? We need to upgrade.
God wants us to be upgraded by the fact that something amazing happens when we ask him to be your personal savior. We don't just get eternal life. But we become a whole live. Are you living Resurrection now?
Are you experiencing Resurrection now? I think that sometimes the reason the other people don't want to become Christian is because our lives don't look very alive. They're pretty unrestricted. They're going I don't think I wanted to come save me a dead person.
Cuz that's what it looks like to know.
But Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it to the full. He wants to take away the Mist so that we can see all the majesty and wonder.
on the Canadian side
but some of us who are saved are just going to wear saver saying I think I'm just going to stay over here on the American side. Tell me something.
I don't need any of its benefits. It's just too much work. You got to get your passport. You got to go across this bridge. They're going to ask you questions that you don't want to answer. It's kind of expensive to be on the other side. There's money exchange. If you've ever been to Canada on Montrose, I don't even speak our language excuses. Do not experience the resurrected life. The God has for us now. But the only way you're going to know what it is is if you read scripture and you understand what he say to you. Cuz he has life for us and he wants us to live it abundantly. So I end with two questions. First question is will you live eternally?
What are you doing with the Cross of Christ and his empty tomb? Have you accepted that messages your own? Have you decided that I need a savior or if you're still saying, you know, I'm okay. I'm going to make it I'll be okay. If I'm better than other people I know and you know, if you watch the television you are better than other people. But that's not how it works. Every one of us is rebelling against God and it's called sin. And so we need a savior. In fact, most of you know, there are times in your life that you need forgiveness and you're struggling for giving yourself in the system. Most amazing thing. God has the authority to forgive you even though you don't have the authority to forgive yourself. Christ died on the cross so that you could have that relationship with God. So for some of you your question today is will you live eternally? Have you made that decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you been willing to accept his sacrificial work for you on the practice to see it's not enough to just say he's a good man. It's not enough. Because of that is true than most of what he said is a lie because he didn't say he was a good man. He said he was God. You said he was away. He said he was a resurrection. He said he was at the door. He said he was the Living Water. You have to decide if you're going to believe who he is, but for the rest of us. Are you living resurrected now?
You know God's been talk to me about something to my life and he goes, you know, Jim you seem pretty willing to just compromise on that and then just ask my forgiveness you believe a lot in my work see but do you believe in my power? Do you understand that the power that I raised Jesus from the dead is available to you everyday and that you can live differently and victoriously and you don't have to muddle along.
Are you living? resurrected now cuz praise God our God is not dead. He is a lie. He is risen. He is risen indeed. Let's pray. Do God I thank you.