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The Resurrection Gives Us Hope

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When Jesus was crucified in 33 AD, there were only about 120 followers. today, there are over 2 billion followers of Jesus… or about 1/3 of the planet. so despite what our culture tries to say, Christianity is the largest movement on the planet. There are more people who are Christian than there are in China and Europe combined. Nothing comes close.
How did that happen? How did 12 fishermen expand to 1 out of three people on the planet?
How did 12 fishermen expand Christianity to 1 out of every three people?
How did 12 fishermen expand Christianity to 1 out of every three people? The Resurrection!
The resurrection is the most significant event in history. Nothing comes close. It split history into AD and BC. Every other event in history is dated either before Christ or after Christ. Even your birthday is dated after Christ.
Jesus was not resuscitated, he was resurrected. He was dead, buried and in the ground for 3 days. Only Jesus has done this. It’s the resurrection and it changed everything forever.
During this time of trial we are in… the Covid-19 Virus with all the sickness, death, loss of work worldwide, the resurrection gives us hope.
That’s what it did to the 120 or so followers of Jesus at the time. It turned them from a depressed, disillusioned, and defeated group into courageous and contagious people filled with hope who told people everywhere about Jesus. They had seen him come back to life after he was dead and buried so they spread that all over.

The same resurrection power gives us hope today on this Easter even in the middle of the Corona virus.
The Resurrection gives us hope because

We have been completely forgiven

Jesus said many times that his death on the cross would pay of our sins. He also said that he would come back to life to prove he was who he said he was. If he hadn’t done the second part, the first part would not really matter. The crucifixion and the resurrection go together.
Here is the good news.
Ephesians 1:7 NCV
7 In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace,
All of us sin… none of us are perfect. We all have regrets, remorse and guilt. we all have things we wish we had done differently. We all have things in our lives we are ashamed of and God does not want you living with the weight of shame on you.
Guilt and shame waste your energy and steals your peace. Jesus died so we don’t have to feel that way. Jesus died to forgive you and me for our sin.
People argue about who killed Jesus… I did… You did… because of our sin, Jesus died.
Isaiah 53:6–10 NLT
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. 10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
Isa 53
This was God’s plan all along. This was written 700 years before Jesus was on earth and it predicts what happens to Jesus and what it accomplished.
That’s why Jesus came, but it was our sin that he came to forgive.
Romans 4:25 NLT
25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
That’s what Easter is about… it brings us hope because we are not perfect, but we are forgiven!
The Resurrection gives us hope because

2. We no longer have to be afraid to die

One of the things Jesus did on the cross was to destroy the power of death and with that he broke the fear of death. People fear death because of the unknown…
John 14:2–3 NLT
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
John 14:
Jesus came back to life and proved there is life after death. If the resurrection had not occured, we would not know.
John 11:
John 11:25 NLT
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
Without the resurrection, we would have no hope at all, but because of the resurrection, we can be filled with hope.
When Jesus died, they put him in a tomb and it was sealed with a Roman guard put there to guard the tomb so no one could come and steal Jesus body. All of the disciples run and hide. They are afraid they are next.
On Easter Sunday morning, one of the women who was traveling with Jesus, Mary Magdelene, went to the tomb and finds that the seal was broken, the guards were gone and the stone was rolled away. It’s empty and the grave clothes Jesus was wrapped up in were neatly folded.
Then she hears his voice when he calls out her name… at that moment, she knew it was Jesus and that he was alive. he told HER to go tell his disciples that he was alive.
When she tells them, they think she is seeing things. The told her that they had to see for themselves!
Let me ask you a question.
What would you think if you saw someone you just buried walking down the street?
confused… scared… excited...
One of the proofs of the resurrection is the change in the disciples.
Before the resurrection the disciples were fearful and running for their lives. After the resurrection they were excited and bold and telling everyone about Jesus. They were defying Nero and the entire Roman government.
Here is what Peter said…
2 Peter 1:16 NLT
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes
In addition to the change in the disciples, Jesus stayed and hung out for 40 days, walking around jerusalem for 40 days.
Acts 1:3 GNB
3 For 40 days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God.
Can you imagine being one of the Roman soldiers who executed him, and then they see him walking around.
Look at this…
1 Corinthians 15:3–8 NLT
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.
He was seen by Peter, the 12 disciples, 500 hundred followers at one time, then James, then Paul. Over 900 eye witnesses. That would be proof in a court of law.
This is why the church exploded and within a few years there were over 30,000 members in Jerusalem, then it grew to over half a million, then to over 2.3 billion now.
The Resurrection gives us hope because

3. Jesus put’s His Holy Spirit inside us

Before he went to the cross, Jesus told his disciples that he would send one just like him to with with them and inside them.
At the end of 40 days, Jesus ascends back up to heaven. But before he did, he told his followers to wait for him to send them His Spirit.
Acts 1:8 NLT
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Ten days later, 50 days after the resurrection, God sent the Holy Spirit into the World to live in every believer.
This power to witness is another reason Christianity exploded.
God never intended for you to life the Christian life by your own power. God wants you to be plugged into his power and until you are plugged into that power, you cannot do what God is asking you to do.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available for you.
Ephesians 1:19–20 The Living Bible
19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven,
This power is available for you.
If god’s spirit can raise Jesus from the dead, it can help you overcome fear of this pandemic, it can heal your relationships, it can provide for you during this time. That same power will help you overcome hurts and addictions in your life.
The resurrection gives us hope because it gives us the power of the HS in our lives.
The Resurrection gives us hope because

4. God will always love us

God says I love you and there is nothing you can do about it. God will never stop loving you.
Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
That’s forever! God will never stop loving you.
God doesn’t wait for you to love him before he loves you. He loved you first.
John 3:16–17 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God wants you to know his love… his saving love. It transforms you and then gives you the power to share with everyone.
I’ve seen God change horrible people into godly people. He will change you and how you react to people.
John 13:34–35 NLT
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:
Jesus gives us the job of loving other people. When we do that, it shows the world that we are his followers. When we are judgemental or rigid or hateful, it shows the world something different.
Years later, John reaffirmed this…
1 John 3:10–11 NCV
10 So we can see who God’s children are and who the devil’s children are: Those who do not do what is right are not God’s children, and those who do not love their brothers and sisters are not God’s children. 11 This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other.
1 John
That’s the kind of love that changes your life.
The Resurrection gives us hope because

5. God has plans for you and me

You have a purpose for being here… you may not know that, but God has a plan for your life. God wants you to fulfill that purpose.
Psalm 138:8 ESV
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
God has wonderful plans for you because he loves you. You were made for a purpose and God will help you fulfill that purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God’s plan for you is a good one. He wants good things in your life.
John 10:10 NLT
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
How may of you want a rich and satisfying life? That’s what Jesus wants for you as well.
Romans 8:28 NLT
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
When you love God, everything that happens to you of for your good.
Mark 8:35–36 The Living Bible
35 If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live. 36 “And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process?
Mark 8:35-
You are really living when you are doing what God wants you to do… fulfilling your mission. Your way will lead to frustration, God’s way leads to fulfillment.
Paul …
Phil 1
Philippians 1:21 NLT
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.
The Resurrection gives us hope because

6. We will have a home in heaven waiting for us!

You will spend more time in heaven than you will here.
1 Peter
1 Peter 1:4 GW
4 We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that can’t be destroyed or corrupted and can’t fade away. That inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
Heaven is going to be great… better than we can imagine.
1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
We can’t even imagine all the good things God has for us.
Ephesians 1:18 NLT
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
Don’t wait. Begin your relationship with God today. Paul said…
Romans 10:9 NLT
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Salvation Prayer
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