Summary: To an unchurched, Biblically illiterate population the resurrection of Jesus from the dead may be confusing or even rejected out of hand as a fable. It is only when we see it in its proper context that we can even start to grasp the magnitude of this great series of events.
Why Is The Resurrection Important?
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Today we will be reading from
Have you ever come in on a conversation where you only heard the end of the story and everyone seemed so excited about the conclusion but you couldn’t understand why they were so excited?
I mean, it just didn’t make any sense. What was so amazing?
The reason they were excited and you were not excited is because they knew the rest of the story.
That’s how it is with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you do not know the rest of the story it just seems like some sort of fabulous tale. Why are some Christians so excited about Jesus rising from the dead?
There are all sorts of books about people coming back from the dead. We call them near death experiences. And many people give those accounts more credence than they do the Bible.
So, let’s go ahead and read some Scripture passages about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and then we will try to determine why it is so exciting…
(prayer for help)
So that’s the end of the story when it comes to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and it’s a great story. (Of course, we know there’s a lot left to come after this …)
Jesus has risen from the dead. So what makes it different from other people rising from the dead? I mean, after all, Elijah raised the widow’s son from the dead and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and when Paul was preaching a young man fell asleep and fell from a third story window to his death and Paul raised him from the dead. So, what’s the big deal with Jesus rising from the dead?
In order to find out what is so special about Jesus rising from the dead we need to go back to the very beginning of the Bible.
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth and the plants and the animals and the fish and everything else there were only two humans, Adam and Eve and everything was perfect. The Lord God would come and walk with them every day in the cool of the evening.
Try to imagine having complete access to God. No temptations to fight against. Everything you need for life. All the food you need. No need for clothing. No hostility whatsoever. No danger from animals. No danger from criminals. No sickness. No disease. No need to pay bills. No repairs to do around the house. No telemarketers calling you about the warranty for your car or about Medicare. Everything was perfect. It was a time of perfect fellowship with God.
We don't know how long this period of perfect peace and harmony lasted. It could have been hundreds of years. It might have been just a few days.
But we do know that it ended. When did it end? It ended when the first sin was committed. What happened when the first sin was committed? Death entered into the world.
Death and sin up are inseparable. There was no death before sin. When Adam and Eve sinned guilt came into existence. And what happened when guilt came into existence? Shame came into existence. What did Adam and Eve do to hide their guilt and shame? They tried to sew some fig leaves together to cover their nakedness and they hid from the Lord.
That didn’t work so well. What did the Lord do to cover their shame and to pay the penalty for their sin? He killed an innocent animal and used the skin for their clothing.
Just try to imagine what THAT was like. Adam and Eve had never seen death before. The only skin they had ever seen was on a live animal. Did they actually see God kill the animal? If so, it must have been horrifying! Did they see God skin the animal? And then He put the skin from the dead animal on them.
However it all went down I am sure that it must have been very unsettling to them. They now KNEW what death was. They had always known that the Lord was the giver of life, but now they also knew what the result of sin was, death. And they had caused it. It was their fault!