6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

Before the first Easter, the world was under a number of separations:

--Political distinctions: various nations, but in that time, Roman Empire. Provinces, leaders

--Geographical: some traveled far, others stayed near their home territory; Jewish males had to make three trips to Jerusalem (Passover, Pentecost or Weeks, and Tabernacles). They had to overcome mountains, rivers, deserts, walled cities, and any other obstacles as they journeyed.

--National: Jews were different than all other peoples, and their culture was different than that of most places where they lived.

--Religious: They worshiped an “invisible” God, compared to the images and idols of every other religion. The idea of an invisible God being involved in the physical universe might have been more than most non-Jewish people could understand.

--Gender: Men were looked on as superior to women, Gentiles, and slaves.

--Spiritual: All people were spiritually separated from God and there was no way to become personally acquainted with God except by coming in contact with the Jews. Some Gentiles had become believers in the God of Israel during Old Testament days (Rahab, Ruth, and more); sadly, most did not. The Israelites had a limited knowledge of the afterlife; only a few comments are recorded such as David’s realization he would meet his infant son (2 Samuel 12:23) and the writer of Psalm 71 knew of a resurrection (Psalm 71:20). Several have observed that the clearest declaration of two resurrections in the Old Testament is found in Daniel 12:1-3.

But at and after the first Easter:

Jesus Christ took on Himself every sin that has ever been committed and all those in the future! He paid the sin-debt in full

By His death we have forgiveness; by His resurrection we may have everlasting life!

Because He came to earth, we can go to Heaven!

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