Faithlife Sermons

Why Does the Resurrection Matter?

Easter 2020  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:40
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As we celebrate the resurrection this Easter, we seek to answer the question, "Why does the resurrection matter?"

This morning, we are excited to celebrate the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead!
It is a very different Easter, as I am preaching to an empty room, and you are watching from your house.
Some might wonder why we would even go through the lengths of still trying to have church right now.
Why not just stay home and ride this pandemic out?
Here’s why: because the resurrection changes everything.
This event is the defining moment of human history to this point.
That is a big statement, isn’t it? Let’s try to back it up from the Bible this morning.
We are going to spend some time in the Bible this morning, so go ahead and open up to .
Go ahead and open up to .
My hope is that as we look at the resurrection again this morning, God will use this time to remind you of just how different life is because Jesus is raised from the dead. I hope that changes the way you look at the uncertainty, the frustrations, and the disappointments of what is happening around us.
The Bible tells us that on the Friday of Passover, somewhere around AD 33, Jesus of Nazareth was put to death on a cross.
There are those who question the events that the Bible records, saying they are at best a tragic overstatement of what happened.
However, we believe what the Bible says, and historical evidence backs up the fact that Jesus really did die on a cross. We don’t have time today to get into all the historical proofs of the events of Scripture, but if you want to talk about it, give me a call or an email and I will gladly go through it with yo.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus died on a cross for our sins.
We saw from Scripture that Jesus’ death on the cross is what paid the price for our sin.
You see, the Bible says none of us are perfect. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and we all deserve to die because of it.
Jesus died to take that penalty for us. He died in our place, taking our punishment.
But the events God used to save us don’t end there.
You see, there had to be more to the story.
If Jesus simply died, then he would have been just like everyone else.
If you live long enough, everyone you know will die.
If Jesus simply died, then He succumbed to the same fate that the rest of us will, and He didn’t really save us from anything.
That’s why we celebrate on Sunday, because the Bible says that Jesus didn’t stay dead!
We aren’t going to look at the actual accounts of what happened after He was raised, but when He rose from the dead, the stone was rolled away from the door of the tomb. The battle-hardened, tough Roman guards passed out. Angels showed up and talked with some of Jesus’ disciples who came to the tomb, both men and women.
In fact, Jesus Himself appeared to some of the women.
The apostle Paul, who came to follow Jesus several years after His resurrection, condensed the events in .
Let’s read those together.
After Jesus was raised from the dead, He was seen by over 500 people! Isn’t that awesome?
Okay, so it is cool that Jesus died for sins, and it is a neat trick that He came back to life, but you may be asking this morning, “What does it matter to me?”
The Bible answers that question for us here in .
We are going to talk about the nuances of this for a while this morning, but if you remember nothing else about this message, I want to give you the big-picture answer to the question: Why does the resurrection matter? Because it is the only thing that gives us hope.
We are going to divide this message into two major sections. First, we are going to talk about what happens if the resurrection isn’t true.
After that, we are going to deal with what gives us hope because it is true.
Before we do, let’s make one distinction: remember that the Bible talks about hope differently than we do. We say, “I hope that it doesn’t rain today” or “I hope the line isn’t too long at the restaurant” or “I hope the preacher doesn’t take too long today”, but those are all things that may or may not happen. We are simply wishing they will.
Biblical hope, on the other hand, is a certain trust that something will happen because God said it will. When we say the resurrection gives us hope, that means that it gives us a picture of what God is going to do, and we are anxiously anticipating what He is going to do.
As we will see, that’s what the resurrection gives us: a certain trust and expectation of something amazing God is going to do.
But what if the resurrection didn’t happen? How big a deal is it?
There are lots of people in this world who don’t think it is important to believe in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus.
They think that we can just take the ethics of Jesus and apply them and that all that miraculous stuff doesn’t matter.
Paul and the rest of the Bible disagree with that, and pretty strongly, I might add.
Let’s look at it:

If Jesus isn’t raised:

We see at least five painful truths if Jesus isn’t raised.

1) We are wasting our time.

If Jesus hasn’t been raised, God tells us in verse 14 that you and I are wasting our time as Christians.
We should quit right now. All those years I spent in college and seminary learning to preach are worthless, and all the faith you have in Jesus is worthless.
If Jesus isn’t raised, there is no point in us continuing this service.
Not only that, but

2) We are lying about God.

Look back at verse 15.
I have shared this truth in both public and private conversations for years. There is no telling how many times I have had the privilege of telling someone about the resurrection of Christ.
If God didn’t raise Jesus from the dead, then every single one of those conversations was a lie.
Not only that, but this also dispels the popular American concept that you can sincerely believe whatever you want and get to heaven.
If Buddhism is correct, or Islam, or any other religion is correct, then I am lying against who God is and what He has done if He didn’t raise Jesus from the dead.
Islam doesn’t believe that Jesus rose as God in the flesh. Buddhists don’t believe it. Judaism doesn’t believe it. Hindus don’t believe it.
If any of those are valid ways to get to God, then I am a liar, and I am falsely representing who God is.
It gets worse. If Jesus isn’t raised:

3) We are still separated from God.

Look at verse 17.
The ultimate impact of sin is that is kills us spiritually, and that is even manifested by the fact that when sin entered the world, it brought physical death with it.
That’s why God says in :
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (, NASB95)
Romans 6:23 CSB
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
One of the main ideas of death is separation. When we die physically, we are separated from our bodies as well as from life in this world.
Sin causes us to die spiritually as well, so we are separated from God.
If Jesus isn’t raised from the dead, then He didn’t conquer the ultimate consequence of sin.
He died just like the rest of humanity, and if He just died like everyone else, then He couldn’t save us from our sins, because He would have been no greater than the rest of us.
Because of that, we also:

4) We have no hope after death.

That’s what it is talking about in verse 18.
“Fallen asleep” is a pretty way of saying that they died.
If Jesus isn’t raised, then there is no hope for them.
If He died like everyone else, then He didn’t save anyone else, and there is no hope for anyone else.
That leads to the final point of this:

5) We are pathetic.

Ultimately, if Jesus isn’t raised, then we are liars who are wasting our time and have no hope whatsoever.
That righteous life you are living? It’s pointless.
All the sacrifices you have made to honor God with your time and your talents and your treasures?
It’s all in vain.
You and I are a pitiful lot of Jesus isn’t raised.
Boy, aren’t you glad it doesn’t stop there?
Look at verse 20.

Since Christ is raised:

Since Jesus did rise from the grave, we know that at least three things are true:

1) We know our sins are paid for.

Read with me .
Remember how we said the wages of sin is death?
The Bible teaches us that all our problems with sin go back to the very first man God created, and his name was Adam. When Adam sinned, death came into the world, both physically and spiritually.
However, when Jesus rose from the dead, He proved that the price had been paid and that now, the wages of sin had been paid.
Romans 5:18–19 CSB
So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone. For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (, NASB95)
Jesus’ resurrection proves that He can make us spiritually alive again.
Jesus’ resurrection proves that He can make us spiritually alive again.
He doesn’t do this by helping us be better people; instead, Jesus gives us His righteousness and His life so that He is living through us!
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (, NASB95)
Galatians 2:20 CSB
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved that the price had been paid, and now He lives in us.
His life equips us to be who He has created us to be. His life gives us the same standing with God that He Himself enjoys!
What an incredible thing to celebrate; that God would take my sin upon Himself, die my death, and then give me His life!
If that were all the resurrection accomplished, that would be enough for us to celebrate for all eternity.
However, there is more!

2) We know Jesus is in control.

Read .
We talked about this at length last Sunday, but remember: Jesus is in control. He always has been, and always will be.
Just like he knew where to find the donkey that he would ride into Jerusalem on, he
When Jesus rose from the grave, He showed that He has all the authority over all creation.
Paul would elsewhere describe it this way:
<<<<not on screen>>>>He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (, NASB95)
God the Father saw fit that God the Son, Jesus, would reconcile the world to Himself through His blood.
Although God has always been in control of creation, many refuse to surrender to His leadership.
Both people and fallen angels have rejected Him, and Jesus’ resurrection shows that He is slowly in the process of reasserting His control.
By overcoming death itself, Jesus showed that there is nothing in all creation, whether in heaven or on earth, that He does not have lordship over.
One day, He is coming again, and all His enemies will be finally and fully defeated.
There has been some talk recently about whether or not the coronavirus is an indication that Jesus is coming back soon.
Truthfully, I don’t know whether it is or it isn’t. I would be careful anytime that someone makes a strong assertion that this is or isn’t a sign of his coming.
Ever wonder why He hasn’t come back yet? Why didn’t He just assert His lordship from the moment He rose from the grave?
Either way, do you ever wonder why He hasn’t come back yet?
Better yet, do you wonder why didn’t He just assert His lordship from the moment He rose from the grave?
Christians were asking that question less than 50 years after Jesus died.
Here was the apostle Peter’s response:
2 Peter 3:9 CSB
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
Jesus has not come back to assert His dominion over all creation and finish rolling back the effects of sin because He is giving an opportunity for you to turn to Him.
Jesus has not come back to assert His dominion over all creation and finish rolling back the effects of sin because He is giving an opportunity for you to turn to Him.
However, that day is coming. Jesus will return, and on that day that He finally defeats every enemy, we will see Him defeat one last foe: Look at verse 26.
Because He will ultimately defeat it, we see…

3) We don’t fear death.

As Jesus exercises His authority on earth, He will one day abolish even death itself.
We have already said that death is one of the major effects of the curse of sin, and Jesus is able to abolish the effects of sin completely, even killing death itself!
Isn’t our world constantly afraid of death? That’s what drives us to dye our hair to cover the grey and use creams and makeups to cover the wrinkles. It is what drives the fear and panic that has gripped people as this virus has spread.
We want to stay as far away from death as possible.
Listen: you cannot avoid it, you cannot run from it, you are going to die.
Hebrews 9:27 CSB
And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment—
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (, NASB95)
For those of us who know Christ, there is no fear in death, because we know Jesus has overcome it!
Sure, we still wrestle with a fear of the often painful process of dying. We still worry about our families and friends, but we have no true cause to fear death.
Why? Because Jesus has already defeated death, having died in my place and having been raised, so I know with certainty that I will join Him!
That’s why Paul would go on to say some incredible things. Look at .
That’s why the resurrection matters! Jesus has defeated death, and it no longer has the sting for believers that it would without it.
We have a certain, unshakeable hope that no matter what comes, even death itself cannot separate us from God!
Is the resurrection important this morning? Absolutely.
Without it, you and I have no hope.
But, because that tomb is empty, those of us who have trusted in Christ have a certain, unwavering expectation that we really have been cleansed of sin, we are currently enjoying Him leading and reigning over us, and one day, we will see Him abolish every single enemy, even death itself!
He is risen!
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