Why He Came Out Of The Grave
How many times do you think you have heard the Resurrection story in your life? When I was a kid, it was more about a confused bunny that delivered painted eggs to good little boys and girls. As an adult it became another time of year of buying copious amounts of candy and more presents for the kids after almost going bankrupt a little over three months before. Of course we would all be aware of the string of Jesus movies that would be playing on the various networks every year, but they seemed to be more like a backdrop than the main message surrounding this holiday.
But then came salvation, and (especially at the beginning) our whole line of thinking concerning the resurrection changes. Well, for some of us it does. See, what happens is that we find ourselves at odds with the culture we were raised in and the truth of God’s Word. We find ourselves having to make a choice to promote one idea over another: and who are we going to let down; God or our kids? Let’s face it; that’s how a lot of pressure works for adults: if you love your kids; you will do whatever makes them happy. Yet that is in stark contrast to the Scriptures God has given us to live our lives by. However, because many have raised their children apart from Godly wisdom we have a world filled with people that are always hungry for more, and never satisfied no matter how much they gain. Their hearts are empty, searching for a FEELING of wholeness, accomplishment, and even love.
Over 2000 years ago, the greatest event in the whole of human history took place, the Son of God died in our place as the final sacrifice for sin, and then emerged from that tomb having resurrected from the dead of His own power. But He didn’t do it so He could start His own brand of religion. He certainly didn’t do it so that we could argue over who best represents Him in our neighborhoods. But we will get to the why later.
He Really Came Out Of The Grave
He Really Came Out Of The Grave
Now we need to start with this friends; it has to be settled in your heart that Jesus really did get up out of that grave early that morning. If we don’t have that as our jumping off point, little else matters.
So ask yourself; do I really believe that Jesus chose to take my place, dying for the sins that I have committed so that I can one day stand before God completely forgiven and ready to enter into Heaven to live with Him?
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
How do you know that this is true? Is it how you feel about it? What proof do you have?
One scientist wrote an article concerning his faith in Christ after being questioned as to how he could believe in something so hard to prove scientifically.
Science is full of trust-like faith. We believe grand, counterintuitive things because we trust the accounts of trustworthy sources.
Jesus was a real person in history who died. Several manuscripts from multiple sources, including Jewish historians, describe a man named Jesus who lived and was executed. Specific details reported about His execution confirm.“Blood and water” spilled from a spear wound in His side. He really died and was not merely unconscious.
Accounts of the Resurrection include inconvenient and unflattering details, that make most sense as attempts to reliably record what had happened, free from embellishment. They do not fit expectations of a fabricated account. For example, women are the first witnesses of the Resurrection. In a culture that did not admit the testimony of a woman as valid evidence in court, this detail is surprising. Likewise, all the disciples, the leaders of the early Church, flee as cowards when Jesus is taken.
After Jesus’ violent death, His followers were frightened and scattered. Then, something happened that grew a strong, bold, and confident belief that resisted sustained, murderous opposition. Unlike other movements with executed leaders, once they came back together they did not replace Jesus with one of his family members. Their resistance was entirely non-violent and devoid of political power. Yet they were all suddenly willing to die for what they saw. What changed them? Why was there not evidence at the time to undermine their belief? What convinced them that Jesus was inconceivably greater than his family?
The question of the Resurrection is more like an opportunity to fall in love than a scientific inquiry. There is evidence, but the Resurrection cannot be studied dispassionately. If Jesus really rose from the dead, it reorders everything. Just like falling in love, in changes our view of the world.
Faith Or Feeling?
Faith Or Feeling?
You may be saying, “What if I just don’t feel the same way you do about it? Can’t we just agree that this just isn’t for everybody?”
The simple answer my friend is a resounding NO! If we have it settled that Jesus died and rose again, if we can even entertain the possibility of the resurrection being a historical fact then we must decide what we will do with that knowledge.
You see we are predominantly feelings driven by nature. We make most of our decisions based upon how we feel. Sometimes we discover how we felt at the time has unintended consequences that catch up to us later. Relationships are always a great example of this because there are few of us that have not been in a relationship that was less than great, and some that were outright toxic. In my years as a pastor I have had opportunity to counsel with people that were struggling in their relationships. Most people describe how the other person is making them feel; unloved, unwanted, miserable, etc. We equate getting what we want out of a relationship with love, yet that is only a very small part of the bigger picture.
Question: Based on your behavior, how do you think the Lord feels about you right now? If His assumption of love was based on that alone where would you stand in His sight?
You see He has faith in you. More accurately, He has faith in what you can accomplish through your faith in Him. He knows you can, the question is will you believe that He has created you for greater things? Many do not, even those that have sat in the church since their youth.
The difference between feeling and faith where love is concerned.
Most types of love have to do with feeling, AGAPE has to do with a conscious choice. People get divorced all the time because they felt like they loved each other and then the feelings faded for whatever reason. AGAPE stays regardless!
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Reason He Came Out Of The Grave
The Reason He Came Out Of The Grave
Well here we are; about to tie the ends of this together for some of you that are listening to me right now. Have you ever thought about the whole process of the resurrection? Jesus paid the price for your sin and my sin by dying in our place. He was the only acceptable sacrifice for the propitiation of our sins to God, or what we commonly refer to as the Atonement. Most of us know what it means to atone for one’s misdeeds. But this Atonement was on a whole other level, because death was the only acceptable punishment for our sin. Not only did Jesus die for our sin, the Bible says that He became our sin. Think of it as our sin came upon Jesus like this virus that has everyone locked away on this planet right now. But not just a little bit of it, ALL OF IT!
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We become the righteousness of God through Jesus!! He paid the price we could not pay; even if we did die for our own sin, the sacrifice had to be without spot, without wrinkle. You and I know that we have lots of spots and lots of wrinkles in our souls from our time living the way we want to instead of the way God designed us to. But Jesus takes all of that away through His substitutionary death for us.
But wait there’s more!
Jesus wasn’t content to just get the job done, He knew there was a life to be lived for God’s glory after we were reconciled to Him. So Jesus vacated the tomb, so He could come and fill our empty hearts. Let me explain
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
When Jesus talks about the house being swept and put in order He is talking about being clean from sin (right-standing with God).
What would happen if you left the front door to your house open long enough? Somebody or something is going to come in and occupy that space!
Jesus emptied the tomb that resurrection morning so that He could fill our empty hearts and minds. We will never as human beings reach our fullest potential without being filled with the Spirit of God.
This is why you find the writers of the New Testament talking about everything being in and through Christ.
for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”