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"Smoke and Mirrors or an Empty Tomb"

(151)

Sermon shared by Ray Ellis

April 2003
Summary: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is either smoke and mirrors or a historical fact, the tomb is empty.
Denomination: Free Methodist
Audience: Seeker adults
Sermon:
“Smoke and Mirrors or an Empty Tomb”

I Corinthians 15

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is either smoke and mirrors or a Historical Fact – the Tomb is empty.

People have various viewpoints concerning the person of Jesus Christ. Many are set in their ways and refuse to objectively examine the historic evidence of Jesus.

#Two boys were playing basketball in Kentucky when one of the boys was attacked by a rabid Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off the nearby fence, wedged it down the dog’s collar and twisted it as hard as he could. The dog’s neck was broken before he could bite the other boy.

A Lexington Herald Leader reported saw the incident take place and he rushed over to interview the boy. “Young Wildcat fan saves friend from vicious animal,” he wrote in his notebook. “But I’m not a wildcat fan.” The young boy responded.

“Sorry” the reporter replied, “We’re in Kentucky and I just assumed that you were a Wildcat fan.” The reporter starts writing again, “Cardinal fan rescues friend from terrible attack.” The boy looked at the pad and said, “I’m not a Louisville fan either.”

The reporter looked at him and asked, “I assumed that everyone in the state of Kentucky was either for the Wildcats or the Cardinals. What team do you root for?” “I am a Tennessee Volunteer fan.” The boy said,

The reporter turned to a new sheet in his notebook and wrote: “Little redneck hoodlum kills faithful family pet.”

Everyone looks at Easter with different views. I Corinthians 15, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth. Some in the church doubted the resurrection of Jesus and others rejected the fact. Many in the congregation in Corinth were gentiles with a Greek heritage.

Greek philosophers taught that the body of a person was evil. The thought that Jesus rose from the dead in bodily form was more than they could believe. The Greeks were looking forward to living in the spirit separated from the body.

The Apostle Paul gives clear teachings about the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Paul assured the people in Corinth that a day was coming when God would give them a spiritual body that would never die.

Two groups of people: 1st group – convinced that Jesus rose form the dead and are committed to honoring Jesus in their lives.

2nd Group – have had bad experiences in church. They are seeking God but haven’t come to a point of making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

1. Smoke and Mirrors

What if group two is right? What if the Christian life is smoke and mirrors. James 1:22-24 talks about a person who looks in a mirror and goes away and forgets what he/she looks like. James 4:13-15 James talks about a person’s life being like a vapor of smoke, here for a while and then it vanishes. If Jesus did not rise from the grave then your life is like smoke and mirrors.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead then your Christian faith is like taking a placebo. The pill is a dummy and
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