Christ Is Risen
CHRIST IS RISEN
6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact. All early extra-Biblical sources agree that the tomb was empty. Rome admitted that the tomb was empty. The Jewish high court of the Sanhedrin admitted the tomb was empty. A cover-up story was issued. But nothing could change the fact that Jesus is alive.
· Abraham, the father Judaism, lived 19 centuries before Christ – he has not risen.
· Buddha lived five centuries before Christ and died at age 80 – he has not risen.
· Mohammed lived six centuries after Christ and died in A.D. 632. He is buried in Mecca – he has not risen.
· But when we visit the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, it is empty. The tomb still speaks: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5, 6).
I. THE RESURRECTION MEANS A VITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.
A. Easter is not the celebration of history; it is the celebration of experience.
B. Jesus wanted His disciples to know His presence. Then He returned to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit, who abides with us, giving us the experience of the presence of Christ
1. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:8)
2. Jesus promises us His living presence (Matthew 18:18-20; 28:20; Mark 16:20.
3. The great invitation of the risen Christ is found in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (NKJV).
C. Paul asks, “Shall we go on sinning?” (Romans 6:1). Sin, here in this passage, refers to the sin nature within us all. Shall we go on habitually dominated by the old nature of sin? Absolutely not! Why? Because we have a relationship with the risen Christ. His will is our will. We want to live in such a way to allow nothing to break our relationship with Him.
D. Philippians 3:10, 11 “10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
1. What would the cross be without the empty tomb? Just another death of a martyr. But the empty tomb completes His redemptive work on the cross.
2. Jesus did not die as martyr. He died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
3. He rose again and is Lord of all.
II. THE RESURRECTION MEANS POWER FOR LIVING.
Paul makes two important statements about the power of the risen Christ in us who believe.
A. We are dead to sin (Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”; 6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”, 11, 12 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”). Again, sin means the sin nature, the old self. Paul uses the imagery of baptism.
1. The early Christians, like the Jews, practiced baptism by immersion.
2. To be dead to sin means to be unresponsive to its temptations and influences.
B. We are alive to God (Romans 6:4, 11, 13). The new life is illustrated in the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11). Lazarus typifies every person who is dead to sin (Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” But Jesus walked up to the tomb and called for Lazarus.
1. First, salvation is personal. He called him by name. Second, salvation comes through the Word of God.
2. Then, Jesus called for the removal of the grave clothes; a picture of spiritual growth.
3. The next time we see Lazarus in the Gospel of John, he is seated with Jesus at a banquet. You are now seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus :) and in eternity. He promises that we will sit with Him on His throne (Revelation 3:21).
C. We are to consider what God says to be true (Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”)
1. The word reckon calls for us to believe what God says about us.
2. What you believe about yourself is important
III. THE RESURRECTION GIVES MEANING TO THE MOMENT Romans 6:13 “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
A. To offer yourself to God means to place yourself at His disposal, to present yourself as a sacrifice (12:1 “Now I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”)
1. This is a conscious act of the will to live your life for the glory of the risen Christ.
2. It takes all that I am and all that I have, not out of fear, but out of love.
B. His resurrection gives meaning to your life and to mine.
1. Today people are living at breakneck speed to enjoy the moment, but they live without spiritual purpose. Death is inevitable for us all
2. The resurrection of Christ assures us who trust Him that we shall share in His resurrection.