Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Resurrection Today

The Resurrection Today

Text: Luke 24:1-12, Romans 6:1-14, I Corinthians 15:50-58

Power Point link

Audio Podcast Link


 We are going to talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ this morning as a historical, present and future truth. We will study the grave that held Christ in the past, the grave of sin that hold us in the present and the grave of earth that will one day hold your body. All of these graves and the deaths they signify are overcome by the power of Jesus Christ. Some will accept the fact of Jesus existence but not the reality of his resurrection, they simple believe a good and wise man died and his followers created a myth to continue his teachings.
  Others believe that perhaps Jesus didn’t really die that he simple passed out due to his injuries and later in the coolness of the tomb was revived and came forth probably to die soon after.

I picked up this next little writing when I was in College and I’ve used it several times through the years. It is a letter written to a local advice column in a Christian magazine along with the response:

Dear Eutychus:
   Our preacher said, on Easter, that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that the disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think?

Dear Bewildered:
   Beat your preacher with a cat-of-nine-tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross; hang him in the sun for 6 hours; run a spear through his heart; embalm him; put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours and see what happens.

     So many think of the resurrection as something we can't experience until we get to heaven.  Many others look at it as an event, which occurred so long ago that it can't possibly affect us today.  To them the resurrection is not a living truth but a dead doctrine. They come to church on
Easter Sunday expecting to hear the same old dry message about a 2000-year-old myth. Look at our key verse in Luke 24:5. "And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?"
If you're here this morning with that type of mindset, you'll not find what you're looking for, because the Resurrection is a reality today, a reality that changes people, that resurrects people not just in the future but right now in the present. We don't have to wait till death to experience a resurrection can be ours today.
Let's start with the resurrection of Christ. For it is this resurrection, which make all other resurrections possible.

I. Foundational Resurrection   Luke 24:1-12

  Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.  It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

A. The Reality of Jesus' Resurrection               

1 There is a great and vast difference between the world’s religions and Christianity, for only Christianity claims a founder who died for His followers was placed in a tomb and 3 days later arose, just as He promised He would.
a)            Abraham is the founder of the Jewish people and Mose the founder of the Jewish religion but Abraham’s tomb can be visitied today and God buried Moses in a place that will never be found.
b)            Buddha was the founder of Buddhism and who ever he once was has been lost to the ages of time and myth. But one thing is clear Buddha didn't even believe or want a resurrection. He said, speaking of death, "with that utter passing away in which nothing remains"
c)            Mohammed who founded Islam with the sword and terror is in a tomb in Medina, Saudi Arabia
d)            None of these nor any other founder or leader of the worlds religion except Jesus prophesied his own death and resurrection  and then fulfilled that prophecy 3 days later.
2 The Facts Of the Historical Resurrection
a)            Occurred in a definite time and place around 30 AD it was accurately recorded in the Gospels with easily established historical landmarks.
b)            There are over ten eyewitness accounts of Jesus being seen after the resurrection.
c)            It was witnessed by over 500 people at one time. I Cor.15:3-8 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
d)            The Jewish leaders could not refute the witnesses. They only had to produce the body but could not.  Matthew 28:11-15 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
e)            The Jews at Pentecost could deny the assertion of Peter but they dared not.  Acts 2:22-24 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
f)             The Apostles were His witnesses and all died for Christ, but would they have been willing to die for what they knew was a lie? 
(1)          "Yet even the most skeptical Biblical scholars concede that something extraordinary happened in Jerusalem after good Friday to account for the radical change in the behavior of the disciples, who at Jesus' arrest had fled to their own homes in fear. Could Jesus' resurrection account for the fact that within a few weeks they were boldly preaching their message to the very people who had sought to crush them?" U.S. News and World Report Apr.16, 1990 pg.53.
g)            Josephus was a Jewish historian who at end of 1st century wrote a history of the Jewish people for his Roman boss.
(1)          "Now there was about this time Jesus a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him many Jews and also many Greeks.  This man was the Christ. And when Pilate had condemned him to the cross, upon his impeachment by the principal men among us. Those who loved Him from the first did not forsake him, for he Appeared to them alive on the third day, the Divine prophets having spoken these and thousands of wonderful things about him.  And even now the race of Christians so named from him, has not died out."

B Facing Our Own Reality

1 If Jesus really died and rose again, why?
2 Jesus died as a substitute for our sin. 
a Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
b II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
3 His death was proof of God's judgement against sin and His love for us. Jesus’  resurrection was proof of his ability to pay the price of God’s judgment and of His power over sin and death. Jesus could not promise us eternal life if He could not prove that he was the master of death by rising from the grave.
4 We must believe not only in the historical Jesus, who lived and died and changed the world but also in the reason why he had to die. He death was for me. He took my place in God’s punishment and by accepting that gift of redemption I can then also share in the power of His resurrection?

C Illustration  "Who Moved the Stone?" By Lawyer Frank Morrison.

                Many years ago, a lawyer by the name of Frank Morison wrote a book with the title “Who Moved The Stone?” He set out with the purpose of disproving the resurrection, of proving that Christ did not really rise from the grave.
                But the book turned out to be entirely different. It is a searching study of the scriptural story of Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection. He makes the unquestionable point that the resurrection is a historical fact. As a lawyer, he disposes, one after another, of the dozens of theories invented to account for the removal of the body from the tomb. Finally, he comes to the conclusion that the only plausible explanation was the reality of Jesus rising from the tomb on Sunday morning.
                Throughout history, time and time again skepitical but honest and logic authors, lawyers and journalist have set out to disprove the reality of Jesus resurrection and just like so many before the historical facts led to a spiritual awakening in their own reality.

D Transition:  So what if Jesus resurrection was true and real?  What difference does it make to me today?

II  Faith in the Resurrection Romans 6:1-14

   What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

A What the Resurrection Means Today        

1 Paul's Thesis Vs 1-4.  Our relationship with Christ and his death and resurrection enables us to overcome the domination of sin.
a 1st Proof Vs 5-7.  United in his death, our old man crucified with Christ removing the over powering desire for sin.
b 2nd Proof Vs 8-10.  The desire is replaced by power of a new life that is empowered through the resurrection of Jesus.
2 Application of The Truth Vs 11 Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to god in Christ Jesus.
a Reckon, A Term For Accountants Logizomai.
b It means to see it as true because all the proof has been weighed and the conclusion can't be denied.

B Realizing the Results

1 People are dominated by sin and will be dominated until it kills them physically and spiritually.
a Call it by any other name; bad habits, character flaws, weakness, addiction, undisciplined, no will power if it is breaks God’s law then it's still sin.
b Sin has the ability, the power to dominates your life and to control you.
2 To overcome sin in our lives Paul says we must "reckon" the cross and resurrection of Christ are also our cross and resurrection.
a We must reckon, that you were with Christ when he was nailed to the cross,
b We must understand that we were with him in the tomb,
c And we must believe with conviction and surety that when Jesus rose from the grave and defeated sin's power, we rose with Him!
3 Can you reckon it to be true? 
a Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior dying in your place, dying for your sin?  Have you come to Him for forgiveness ever in your life?
b If you have then your next step is to begin living in the reality of the resurrected life?  Trading in your will power for His resurrection power. Your spiritual resurrection with Christ is the power that will stop sin's domination in your life and give you a life of joy and hope today.

C Illustration. Easter Bell Routs Enemies

                In 1799, when the armies of Napoleon were sweeping over the Continent, Napoleons Great General Marshall Massena suddenly appeared on the heights above the town of Feldkirch at the head of 18,000 men. It was Easter Day, and the rays of the rising sun glittered on the weapons of the French, as they appeared drawn up on the hills to the west of the town. The town council were hastily called together to consult what was to be done. To defend the town was impossible against such a vast army of experienced fighters.  What, then, were they to do?
                After much discussion, the old Dean of the Church rose and said, “My brothers, it is Easter Day! We have been reckoning our own strength, and that fails. Let us turn to God. Ring the bells and have services as usual, and leave the matter in God’s hands.”                They agreed to do as he said. Then from the church towers in Feldkirch there rang out joyous peals in honor of the Resurrection, whilst the streets were full of worshipers hastening to the house of God.
                The atheistic French officers heard the sudden clanging of the joy-bells with surprise and alarm, and concluding that the Austrian army had arrived to relieve the town. Massena suddenly broke up his camp, gave the order to march, and before the bells had ceased ringing not a French soldier was left to be seen.—Walter Baxendale

                We need to remember to ring the resurrection bells of our hearts this morning. Let them ring out in the power of the resurrection, that saves our souls and give us power of sin today.

D Transition:

1 There is one last resurrection we will consider this morning. It is the one that awaits us, as God’s children, in the future when Jesus has Gabriel sound the trumpet and the roll is called up yonder.

III Future Resurrection I Corinthians 15:50-58

         Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

A The Believers Bodily Resurrection.              

1 What can I add to those words from the apostle Paul to the church at Cornith?
2 Someday Jesus will return, a trumpet shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise from the place of their rest.
3 Paul says we will be changed, in a moment, the word in the Greek is, in an atom, the smallest possible unit of any measurement. Changed from corruptible to incorruptible, from mortal to immortal.
4 Death itself will have been defeated forever, its sting gone. The grave can no longer claim victory over any of God’s children. Knowing this what else can we be but steadfast and unmoveable. What else can we do but be always abounding, to exceed our limits and overflow in the work of the Lord. Knowing our labour is not in vain, not empty and void but real and eternal because it is in the Lord.   

B Never Newer              

1 That is so wonderful to think about that it makes you want to have rapture practice. (Demonstrate) I used to get a lot higher when I did that but that’s okay because my heart jumps higher than my body
2 Imagine no More Corruption.
a Every day looking in the mirror, seeing a little more corruption.   Everyday a little bit of us dies, our hairline our waistline, the wrinkles, the memory loss, the loss of stamina and strength.
b I can joke about it even now but it is no joke when I visit the nursing home.
  There in the past I visited with a man who was wasting away from tuberculosis
(1 I have talked to women only in her late 50s women whose mind was already being blanked by Alzheimer’s disease.
(2 It is heartbreaking to stand at the bedside of a man named Thomas who at that time was a 30-year-old husband and father. Now he was confined to a wheelchair and a nursing home after he was almost killed in a motorcycle wreck and his body crippled and twisted.
(3 It is so sad to see my Mom, the strongest woman I knew growing up, the woman who carried all of her 5 children on her back, working any job and doing whatever was necessary to get us to church and never failing to serve the Lord despite my poor alcoholic father’s weakness and opposition. And now to see her too weak to even stand or move from her wheelchair to her bed without our help.
3 But let me assure you, let me shout it from this pulpit, when Jesus comes back, all those who were locked in these old sin mangled bodies, if they believe in Him will be new, totally absolutely new, every joint, every ligament, every fiber and every atom.         

C Illustration:  Sir Walter Raleigh’s Trust. 

1 Sir Walter Raleigh was a famous explorer of the new world in the 1500s especially what become the state of Virginia. He was a soldier, a poet, a politician and a Christian whose family had to hide from the Catholics before England became Protestant. In later life he fell into disfavor with King James and after breaking his parole was arrested and then beheaded.  They found this poem in his Bible.

Even such is time, that takes in trust.
Our youth, our joys, our all we have.
And pays us but with age and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days.
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust!

IV Conclusion:  Jefferson or Moody.

                Thomas Jefferson’s Bible was a simple copy of our Bible with all references to the supernatural eliminated. Jefferson, in selecting, had confined himself solely to the moral teachings of Jesus.  The closing words of this Bible are: “There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulcher and departed.”
Compare that to the story of D.L. Moody who as a young man, was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all throughout the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ's funeral sermons, but searched in vain. You know what he found?  He found that Christ broke up every funeral he ever attended. Death could not exist where he was. When the dead heard the voice of Jesus they sprang to life. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life" and he proved it time and time again.

Is the resurrection real to you today? It will not be real if Jesus is not real to you. Is He your personal Saviour; is He your Lord?  Do you believe in the power of His death over sin? Can you reckon yourself to be dead to sin but alive unto God this morning?  It is time to stop letting sin and death defeat you. They are already beaten by Jesus Christ, now you just need to believe it. Will you this morning? It's time to quit surrendering to sin and death, pain and suffering, hopelessness and emptiness. It is time to surrender to Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords and claim your victory through His power of sin and death.

No comments:

Post a Comment