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The Impact of the Resurrection (4/8/07)

I. The Resurrection Validates the Claims of Jesus(John 11:25)
II. The Resurrection Guarantees the Promises of Jesus(John 11:23-26)
III. The Resurrection Verifies the Work of Jesus
IV. The Resurrection Calls for a Response to Jesus (John 11:25-27)

Intro: On this Easter morning, we are focusing on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. No surprise there, but have you ever wondered why the resurrection is so important to the Christian faith? Have you ever wondered why the resurrection is so important to each and every Christian? The apostle Paul said that without it, we are a sorry, miserable, hopeless lot.
-Let me just say that without the resurrection, I would not be a Christian. In fact, there would be no Christianity, no Christian churches, no real hope of any kind beyond this life as we know it. Without the resurrection of Jesus, we would still be lost and separated from God.
-- ILLUS: A buddhist in Africa was converted to Christianity. Somebody asked the former Buddhist, ďWhy did you change your faith?Ē Hereís what he said: ďItís like this: If you are walking along and came to a fork in the road and two men were there, and one was dead and the other was alive, which manís directions would you follow?Ē
-Thatís what Iím talking about today, and herein lies our main idea:

Prop: Without the resurrection of Jesus, Christianity would be nothing more than another dead manís religion.

Interrogative: How does the resurrection set Christianity apart from other religions?
TS: Letís look at a few ways the resurrection of Jesus has made a lasting impact on this world.

Iíd like to begin with a story from the 4th Gospel, where Jesus raises His friend Lazarus from the dead. Iím only using a portion of that story, because it shows some of the claims and promises of Jesus.
John 11:20-27 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

I. The Resurrection Validates the Claims of Jesus (John 11:25)
-25Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life.Ē Jesus was saying, ďIf you need resurrection and life, look no further. I have the answers to those things, [or better] I am the answer to those things.Ē
-Jesus made a number of shocking claims to the people of the first century. He said these kinds of things about Himself: ďI AM the bread of life.