Faithlife Sermons

It Ought To Make A Difference

Easter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:24
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As you know, Christs crucifixion occured during Passover. Passover perhpas you may remember is the celebration of the event that marked the Jewish people coming out of slavery.
Briefly, God’s chosen people, the jews were held by Pharoah in captivity as slaves, for 400 years. God sent Moses to get them released. Now of course Pharoah would not let them go, so God sent ever increasing Plagues. The last and greatest plague was the plague of the angel of death. Jewish people were supposed to sacrifice a spotless lamb, and mark the doorpost of their house with the blood of the lamb.
Then, the angel of death was sent to kill every firstborn male. However, the angel would PASS OVER every household that had the blood on the door post. Those jewish people who followed God’s direction would be passed over from death.
Every years jews continued to celebrate the feast of passover. Jesus as you know was crucified during the feast of passover, symbolizing and conforming that He was the lamb of God.
Now, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and his body was in the tomb on Saturday or silent Saturday as it is called.
A very strange thing happened in Cairo Egypt on Saturday. In Cairo Egypt on Saturday the Egyptian government decided to move 22 mummies of Egyptian royalty and they paraded them through the streets of Cairo.
Let’s watch the clip.....
After clip is over Switch slides to title slide
The Lord God Almighty won the victory over the mighty Pharoah of Egypt-there bodies are still dead. The parade is nothing it is futile, it is a parade of defeat- Our God reigns, our God the Lord Jesus Christ walked out of the tomb. Jesus is risen!
Let us pray
Open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 14, through 20.
The question today is are Christians any different from the world? Are you different than your neighbors. Has your reaction to this years world events been noticeably different in your thoughts, in your personal life, or in your public life.
Are the conversations you are having different than the conversations going on around you at work ? Or with your family?
Do you process events differently than other people? Is this Church different than the neighbors, then people who do not go to church, than other churches?
Do we overcome grief better than the world? DO we mend fences and love one another better than anyone else? Do we appear to a better perspective on life than those around us? We ought to. We ought to because we should have a central core belief than is fundamentally different than the world.
If the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is true-than this is the single greatest even in Human History. There is NOTHING that has ever happened like it in all of human history, Never has anyone ever got up from the dead on their accord, willingly. Those bodies of the most powerful people in ancient history are still dead. You cannot believe the resurrection and live your life as if things are the same.
We ought to be different in every single way- Different in how we think about life, how we process grief-different in how we relate to one another-different in what we do and different in what we prioritize.
My fear is that when the world looks at the wider church- we are not different. Have churches simply become gathering places for the politically conservative who gather together to gripe about the changing political climate, or are they holding loosely to this life, looking toward eternal life? Are churches loving one another with a recklessness that only comes with looking to eternity, or are we holding tightly to what we have in this life? Are we sharing the Good News of Jesus with a sense that eternity depends on it?
I think to get to that place we have to have the right perspective on what the resurrection truly means.
I say this becasue of what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. That church had a lot of problems. There was immorality in the church, there was jealousy and rivalries, and there was in fighting. To make matters worse the world was not in a good place either. People were facing persecution for their beliefs.The political climate was troublesome. Economic conditions were bad, and sexual immorality was every where. SoPaul in order to get them back on track writes them a letter.
In this letter he is calling them out for not looking much different than the rest of the world. It is not just a buck up little camper speech. Or a pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and we can all pull together as team, so now let’s put on a show to save the church and we will have a fundraiser like no other.
NO- Paul just reminds them of the gospel. Let me remind you of the gospel I preached to you and on which you have taken your stand-and he tells them how important the resurrection is.
After 15 chapters Paul is essentially telling people-Hey becasue of the resurrection YOU HAVE A Hope-now live like it.
Now-if this problem occured ONLY 20 years after the resurrection of Jesus. While eye witnesses were still alive, Imagine the situation now---2000 years since the resurrection. We now more than ever NEED to act on this foundational belief in the resurrection of Jesus.
Last year was unprecedented, the pandemic, racial injustice, political upheaval. World economies, wars, natural disasters---- Now more than ever Christians must begin to live life consistant with the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was who claimed to be and verified it by rising from the dead. We need to have this solid foundation of a hope in the one who conquered death and defeated sin-and we must be living our lives CONSISTANT with this truth.
Think about this for a minute. What do you believe about the resurrection? Take a minute to really think about it.
What do You Believe?
1. No-it didn’t happen
2. Perhaps- I’m not sure (A metaphor?)
3. Yes
If you are in group 1, I am glad you are here today. I am not going to try and convince of the evidence of the resurrection. That takes time more time than we have here this morning and is best served in a discussion. We cannot do that in the 20 minutes we have with me just speaking facts at you. But my prayer is that I can convince you to investigate the facts. Or let me help you investigate the facts.
Look into it, discuss it-find the answers, look at the evidence. Becasue again-If this is true it is the single greatest event to have ever happened in Human history and you need to find out if this is true-becasue if it is- It changes everything
A man named Lee Strobel did this. Maybe you have heard of him. Lee Strobel was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. His wife, believed in the resurrection of Jesus, and he did not. He was an atheist. He spent over 2 years of his free time investigating the resurrection trying to prove that the resurrection did not happen, and Jesus was not who he claimed to be.
After 2 years of professional investigation he came to the conclusion that Jesus did rise from the dead. He wrote a book of his experience, called the Case for Christ, and if you do not believe in the resurrection I would invite you to check it out for yourself, weigh the evidence and see.
The next group is those who are in the maybe and not sure group. I’m glad you too are here today. Maybe you have never made the decision one way or the other-maybe you are looking at the resurrection as a metaphor-
Kind of like the memory of Jesus lives on in all we do. That type of thing. It is not that uncommon, actually.
Here is the thing- Metaphores are nice, and they can be helpful-they can help you grind it out --- but truthfully a metaphor is not enough to get you through the pandemic. a metaphors is not enough to stop strife with the walls of the church. A metaphors is not going to change your attitudes about race, or greed or any other problem you may have.
We have thousands of helpful stories and metaphors and yet the problems of life still plague mankind. Metaphores still cause a parade of dead bodies.
The resurrection was never a metaphor- People do not die, submit to torture or give up all they have for metaphores, they do so only for the truth.
Then, is the last group, you believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you are in that group this belief ought to make you different- Listen to how Paul tells it.
1 Corinthians 15:14 NIV
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
How important is the resurrection? It is everything. If Christ has not been raised our preaching is USELESS and SO IS YOUR FAITH. You have Nothing to stand on.
Wait just a minute here Are you saying that faith without the resurrection is nothing? Yes! That is exactly what I am saying.
Preaching is useless because preaching is based on the forgiveness of sins available to the sinner through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Preaching presents God’s offer of salvation to the sinner. If Christ has not been raised, than there is validation, no proof that the sacrifice has been accepted-NO PROOF that your sins have been forgiven.
Your faith in God is because without forgiveness of sins, without an assurance that Jesus is the God man you are walking out of here crossing your fingers. gritting your teeth.
Several times Jesus said he would rise again. God does what he says-Jesus’ resurrection Validates who He said he was. It validates the sacrifice has been accepted it shows us forgiveness is possible. And it is the gaurantee of life after death
1 Corinthians 15:15–16 NIV
15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
Life after death is the single biggest concern of life. Who hasn’t asked the question is this all there is? When the world is caving around you, when the the health report is bad, when you lose a loved one when you face life and death challenges, you need to know what happens after we die.Today, more than ever as people scroll the internet and look at the events in this world-we need to know what happens after death.
If there is no resurrection there is no life after death. If this is true then we are in dire straits indeed. This is all we have. This is as good as it gets. As Paul writes later-We might as well eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. The broken down bodies we live in. The fighting, the injustice, the desire for more but never satisfied- If there is no life after death, than this is as good as it gets.
and to make matters if this is case then...
1 Corinthians 15:17 NIV
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
You faith is futile, and you are-STILL IN YOUR SINS- If you do not believe in the resurrection of Christ you are still in your sins… Those wrongs that you committed-the greed, the hatred the anger the sexual immorality, the unkindness, the gossip all those sins, they are still with you and the wages of those sins is death.
And not even for us but for all those who have passed on before us.
1 Corinthians 15:18–19 NIV
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If our hope in Christ is only for this life that we are living now, then we have no future-We of ALL people should be pitied, if we have spent our short time in this world, in a church.... listening to useless preaching for a useless faith we should be pitied, Why pitied? Becasue if this is all useless then we have wasted the short time we do have-We have wasted time tilting after windmills-if Christ has not been raised then what we do has no eternal consequences! There are better ways to spend your time than church. A friend of mine always says -we should never say I’m too busy but rather- I just don;t think it is a priority---
But when you believe in the resurrection things are different-priorities are different.
1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Christ is the first to come back from the dead. Listen to me here- HE CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD. He was the only one to come back-He died and came back---
All of those Pharoah, with there tombs there bodies are on parade. They are still dead-Christ is still alive!
You may say wait there are lots of books about people who came back-yes there are-they are very nice, and interesting, but Christ was dead for a lot longer than 30 seconds while they charged the paddles, or even the three minutes it took to revive someone, or the 20 minutes spent drowning.
Jesus was dead for three days- and not just after a heart attack-After suffering a horrible EXCRUCIATING death, death on the cross, he was dead for three days IN A TOMB with a stone in front, and a Roman GURAD posted outside.
He came back! HE ROLLED THE STONE ASIDE! HE WALKED OUT OF THE GRAVE-DEATH did not win my friends.
1 Corinthians 15:21–22 NIV
21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Everyone here-the whole planet is heading toward death-It has been said that the minute we are born is the the same minute we are begin dying-But in Christ ---we are made alive- No more Death ---when we believe in Christ, the minute we believe in the resurrection is the minute we are no longer heading toward death, We are now heading toward life!
We are heading toward eternal life. And that ought to have a profound difference in how we live.
I am not saying living with a reckless abandon where we suddenly jump off a cliff without a parachute- But I am saying living and loving with a reckless abandon. We can love another more becasue we are free- free to have a loose grip on the earthly things- free from greed, jealousy and hatred. These things arise over a fear of losing what we have in this mortal temporary life.
Now, being made alive, we have all of eternity- We have peace with God, nothing else is as important in comparison.
As we look around and see the trouble in this world we have life. This world has trouble-Jesus came to give us peace. What can come against? Can the pandemic? Just an inconvenience- not a reason to forfeit your soul, becasue Christ is Alive! He conquered that and you are bing made alive!
The state of world? The world will fade as flowers fade, Governments will disolve-Pharoahs end up in tombs All of Heaven and earth may pass away but we have life, and we have it abundantly Life in Christ secured by the cross proven by the resurrection and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:31–37 NIV
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
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