Faithlife Sermons

4-12-2020 Easter

Holy Week 2020  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:15
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Text: 1 Cor 15.3-20, esp. vv. 14 and 19. Title: “Pitiful Men” Topic: The importance of the Resurrection Occasion: Sun AM, 4-12-2020, Duncanville FWB Church, Easter Sunday INTRODUCTION: From the very beginning of the church, the church has remembered and celebrated not only the death of Jesus, but also his Resurrection from the dead on Easter morning. Easter is for us the most important of all the dates on the church calendar. Indeed it is the pivotal moment not just on the church calendar, but of all history. Yet from the earliest days of the church even until today, there have been those who have downplayed, and yes even denied the resurrection. We are told that the resurrection is unimportant. That the essence of Christianity is not the resurrection, but the teachings of Jesus and as long as one follows the ethical teachings of Jesus one call himself a “Christian.” We are also told that the idea of a resurrection from the dead is a mythological belief that cannot have actually happened. And yes! We are told this, not only by those outside the church but also by those within! These claims go back as early as the first century. In Corinth Paul encountered those who were making these very claims. Read with me from 1 Cor. 15.3-20. READING OF TEXT: In the face of such accusations and claims I want you to notice what Paul had to say. Notice especially verses 14 and 19. Paul says that if there is no resurrection then our preaching and our faith are useless! If there is no resurrection then we are to be pitied above all men! Those are strong statements indicating that for Paul the Resurrection was central to everything else he believed. Brothers and sisters in the face of claims that the resurrection is unimportant or impossible, let us hold to the doctrine every bit as tenaciously as did the Apostle Paul – As Paul points out, this doctrine has been the central teaching of our ancient faith, taught by Paul himself and the other Apostles as well. The resurrection truly is the pivotal point in our theology as well as our calendars. In our few brief moments together this morning, I want to share with you five reasons why the Resurrection of Jesus is so important to our faith as Christians. I. THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH Jews have traditionally had a hard time accepting Jesus as the Messiah. Why is that the case? Well… They know that the term “Messiah” means “anointed one” and that this indicates a special role and a special blessing for the Messiah. But they also know that Jesus was crucified as a common criminal on a tree, and that the OT states “anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse” (Deut. 21.23). So how can you reconcile these two? Without the Resurrection we cannot. But when we remember that God blessed Jesus by raising him from the dead, we remember that Yes Jesus suffered the curse of God by dying on the cross for our sins. Isaiah told us that the Messiah would bear our iniquities. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…   We all, like sheep, have gone astray,        each of us has turned to his own way;        and the LORD has laid on him        the iniquity of us all. (Is 53.5a,6 NIV) But Isaiah also told us that the Messiah would live again! He was assigned a grave with the wicked,        and with the rich in his death,        though he had done no violence,        nor was any deceit in his mouth.   Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,        and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,        he will see his offspring and prolong his days,        and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life. (Is 53.9-11 NIV) The proof that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, God’s anointed one who brings salvation, is the fact that he has been raised from the dead. We would have no reason to place our faith in him or his teachings if it were not for the fact of the Resurrection. II. THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF THAT JESUS HAS BEEN GIVEN POWER In Matthew 28.18 Jesus claims that all Authority has been given to him in both heaven and on earth. We worship Jesus as the omnipotent, all-powerful God. We rely on him as the Almighty God to care for us, to protect us and provide for us. How do we know that this is true? How do we know that Jesus has power and authority? How do we know that he has the power to help in our time of need? We know because he, and only he, has been given power over death – the enemy of all mankind. We know he has power because he rose from the dead! III. THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF THAT OUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN Remember the verse that we read earlier. Paul said… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins 1 Cor 15.17 NIV Our hope for heaven rests not on us being perfect, but on our being forgiven of our sins. But, how do we know that our sins have been forgiven? You answer, “Christ forgave us” We are not trusting our good works will outweigh the bad, we are trusting that Christ pardons sinful men. How do we know that Christ has the ability to forgive sins? You answer, “He died for our sins. He is the sacrifice for our sins.” How do you know that sacrifice was sufficient for our sins? How do you know that God accepts that sacrifice? You Know Because God Raised Jesus From The Dead! If there was no resurrection, if Jesus is still a grave somewhere, then we’d have no reason to believe that his death paid the sacrifice of our sin. He’d be no different than anyone else, but HALLELUJAH! He is not in a grave somewhere! He is alive because he has risen! IV. THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF THAT OUR LIVES CAN BE CHANGED Writing to the Romans, Paul said 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. Rom 6.4 NIV In this verse Paul connects the Resurrection to Regeneration. How do we know that in Christ we become a creation, the old things have passed away and all things have become new? (cf. 2 Cor. 5.17) How do we know that we who were dead in our trespasses and sins can be made alive unto God once again? (cf. Eph 2.1-5) How do we know that the old corrupt fleshy life can be replace with the life of the spirit? (cf. Eph 4.22-24) We know because of the resurrection! By our faith in Christ, we have been joined to him in his death and his resurrection. In Christ the old sinful self has been crucified, and with Christ we are raised to a new spiritual life. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2.20 NIV V. THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF THAT WE WILL BE RAISED And finally, what reason do we have to believe that we will receive eternal life, that we will die but live again? We are confident of this hope precisely because Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first fruits, the first gleaning, of the harvest, but we are the harvest! (cf. 1 Cor. 15.20) If God had the power to raise Jesus from the dead, he certainly has the ability to raise you and I! So… yes! We have good reason to believe that we will live again, that we also will be raised from the dead! Our confidence is the resurrection of Christ! By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also 1 Cor 6.14 NIV CONCLUSION:
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