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Christ has been raised from the dead 2009

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Call and Response

And Can it Be

No Condemnation now I dread

Jesus and all in Him is Mine

Alive in Him, my living head

And clothed in righteousness divine

Bold I approach the eternal throne

and claim the crown through Christ my own

Recently a story was written about the plight of women in the Middle East, particularly in Jordan.  It was detailed, fascinating, and in reading it the reader is drawn into another part of the world and would feel that they better understood the plight of women who face what is called “honor” killings.  Honor killings is where a women acts someway unchaste according to Islamic customs and beliefs.  This includes catching a woman holding a man’s hand. 

The author, Norma Khouri, tolf of the story of her friend being killed because she started seeing a Christian soldier and someone saw them holding hands.  When her friend was killed Norma claims she protested and was forced to flee for her life.

The story was so captivating that the book rose in great popularity and began to receive some of the highest praise from literary critics.

And then came a very distressing discovery.  This whole story was fabricated.  That right, a lie.

Imagine the embarrassment of those who had read the story and told others how good it was.  Of those who had given the author accolades and awards for a job well done.

“How could we have been so duped!”

Now, apart from a lot of embarrassment and from the certain future that this


author would never be read if she even dared to write again, one could say, who was really hurt.  In the bigger scheme of things I suppose that evaluation would be accurate.

Lately, we have all seen the degree to which some would go by telling lies.  We call it fraud. All kinds of fraud lately has cost Americans thousands and millions of dollars.  The latest is foreclosure experts who are getting people to transfer the titles of their homes and then taking off with the home and the loot.

Lying, cheating, fraud, misrepresentation, these have been with us since the beginning of time. 

Now if we were to ask people today about the resurrection of Jesus you would find those who would use the word “fraud” in the answer they gave about its meaning.  This isn’t anything new.  There are those who feel that the message of Easter, specifically, that Jesus rose from the dead, is nothing more than a hoax or a fraud that has been perpetrated on unthinking people.  People so desperate to believe in something that they fell for the resurrection story.

Additionally, the attitude exist that even if there was a resurrection, what is that to me.  Isn’t this just one of the components of the particular religion we call Christianity.  Other components of other religions may be just as valid.  You know, “Who’s to know?”

One Thing is very certain this morning.  If the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not true then the heart of Christianity is ripped out.  The central teaching of Christianity is that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.  If this is not true then the claim that Christianity is just another religion is true.  All religions are searching for the same thing.

Whether you agree with them or not the teaching of the apostles and the Scriptures are that Jesus rose from the dead.  They would agree with anyone who said, “TAKE AWAY THE RESURRECTION AND YOU TAKE AWAY THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL.”

1 Corinthians 15 

“TAKE AWAY THE RESURRECTION AND YOU TAKE AWAY THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL.”

The Prominence of the Resurrection

The Heart and Soul of the Gospel Message

This is what Paul is saying in verses 1-4.

The Proofs of the Resurrection

This is one of the main reasons I believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is true.

A. His appearance to Peter (15:5a)

B. His appearance to the apostles with Thomas absent (15:5b)

C. His appearance to 500 disciples (15:6)

D. His appearance to James, the half brother of Christ (15:7a)

E. His appearance to the apostles with Thomas present (15:7b)

F. His appearance to Paul (15:8)

The Protest Against the Resurrection

The Disaster if the resurrection is False

I find four significant statements in these verses:

          vs 14 - Preaching is vain

          Vs 15 - Your faith is worthless

          Vs 17 - you are still in your sins

          Vs 18 - When you die you perish

“If Christ is not risen, then our faith is empty, our preaching useless, and he has failed to deal with sin at all. If he has not been raised from the tomb, we are still in our sins and all his promises are absolutely untrue. He is a fraud, an imposter, and his ashes are buried somewhere in Palestine today. There is no hope beyond the grave for anybody, and those who have died professing faith in him are just left there forever.”

Jesus would be a liar

The apostle would be liars

We would have no gospel.

          This is made clear for us in verses 3-4

Two profound truths

Christ died for our sins

Some people balk here.  It doesn’t initially seem to make sense.

However, if we understand the teaching of Scripture it makes total sense.

God is holy He is without one spot of stain, impurity, sin (His justice)

And he created us to have a relationship with him - We just walked away.

How do you make the oatmeal pure again?

We are not holy.

We are impure.  And there is a payment that has to be made for sin.

We deserve to die as the penalty for our sin

We deserve to bear God’s wrath against sin

We are separated from God by our sins

We are in bondage to sin and to the kingdom of Satan

We deserve to die as the penalty for our sin  - Sacrifice

We deserve to bear God’s wrath against sin - Propitiation

We are separated from God by our sins - Reconciliation

We are in bondage to sin and to the kingdom of Satan - Redemption

Jesus did what was necessary to pay for our sins.

He was raised on the third day

Two very significant elements of his resurrection:

Proof that God was satisfied.  Seated in heaven to intercede for us

          Wages is death.  If he lies in a grave of what us is he to us.

He rose with a new body, the same that we are someday going to share.

The resurrection is God's great declaration: It really is finished. The debt has been paid. Justice has been done. Guilt is removed. Condemnation of sin has been executed.

And when Paul says that Christ is at the right hand of God interceding for us, the point is not that anything is being added to the sufficiency of the death of Christ, but that this death has eternal effectiveness

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