Because of the Resurrection
1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the bedrock upon which the Christian faith stands.
2. “If Christ be not risen,” Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain,” we have no hope, and are “of all men most miserable.”
3. But praise the Lord, He is risen! In fact, one author stated, “There is more historically verifiable evidence that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose from the dead than exists to prove that Julius Caesar ever lived.”
4. This morning, I am so glad to be able to tell you, “He’s alive.” This is what separates Christianity from the other religions of the world.
5. But what does Christ’s resurrection mean to you personally? This is the real question. Every person must make Christ’s resurrection personal to his or her own heart.
6. Because of Christ’s resurrection:
I know the stone can be rolled away. vs. 1-4
1. Do you remember why the stone was there in the first place? Matthew 27:62-66
• Christ’s enemies wanted to make sure that Jesus stayed right where He was. Pilate said, “Make it as sure as ye can.”
• This stone that they rolled in front of the tomb was no little pebble. Typically, this type of stone was a wheel of granite eight feet in diameter, one foot thick, weighing more than four tons (equivalent to three or four cars).
2. Of course, the stone wasn’t rolled away so Jesus could get out. It was rolled away so His disciples could get in and see that He was gone. He was risen!
3. Let’s make application to our own lives. There are so many people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, and they have made their heart as a stone (Zechariah 7:12). They have the attitude, “I’ve done too much. I’ve gone too far. There is no hope for me.”
4. It could be somebody has brought you here today and you don’t even want to be here. I’ve got good news for you. Christ is able to remove that stone from your heart, enter into your spirit, and bring new, resurrection life to you. He can breathe new life into your heart and soul. Ezekiel 36:26; cf. Galatians 4:6
5. Only Christ can roll the stone away as you yield yourself to Him. Your religious efforts, your church membership, your baptism, your good works cannot do it. Turn your heart over to Christ today. He’ll take away your stony heart and give you a new one.
I do not need to fear. vs. 5-6
1. What are the first words the angel told these ladies? “Fear not ye…” Why? Let’s read the rest of this. Jesus was crucified (paid our sin debt) and placed in the tomb, but He is no longer there. He is risen!
2. There are a lot of things you may fear this morning, but there is one thing that you don’t have to fear – death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” and then He proved it. What does that mean to me? Romans 4:25, 5:10
• My sins were fully paid for by His death.
• My eternal life was made possible by His resurrection. Now I can be justified and saved.
• Jesus took the sting out of death and the grave. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
3. What is the key that unlocks the door to all these blessings? John 11:25-26
4. The key is faith – your heart fully resting in what Christ has done for you – not simply a head-knowledge, but a heart-acceptance of Christ.
I know that I shall see Christ. vs. 7-9
1. Notice what the angel told these ladies in verse 7. “He goeth before you… there ye shall see him: lo I have told you.”
2. And guess what? They did see Him (vs. 8-9). Allow me to make application.
3. Because of Christ’s resurrection, He is alive and well today. When He rose again, He walked the earth for 40 days with over 500 people seeing Him in His resurrected body.
4. After this, He ascended to heaven where the Bible says He is now at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for His children.
5. But the Bible explicitly declares that, one day, Jesus will return for all believers. Just as these ladies were promised “ye shall see him,” we have the same promise.
6. In verse 9, it declares that “Jesus met them.” I love that. Look at what the Bible declares about those who are saved and who have believed on Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
7. We are going to meet the Lord in the air. Jesus is coming to meet us! Why? Because He is risen! He is not on the cross anymore.
I now can have great joy. vs. 8
1. They ran away from that tomb with great joy. They knew that Jesus was who He said He was (the Son of God).
2. The Jews had wanted a sign that Jesus was who He said He was, and Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Bible says that when Jesus had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered what He had said unto them.
3. What joy thrilled their hearts! Jesus had looked defeated on the cross (Matthew 27:40). Jesus couldn’t come down because He knew, if He did, we could never have the joy of sins forgiven, the joy of eternal life, the joy of heaven, and the joy of a peace that passes all understanding. John 16:22