Summary: Whether we are or are not convinced that Christ rose from the dead does not affect the reality of the Resurrection. The Bible presents it as objective history. But if we accept its reality by faith and live consistently in light of it, it changes our l
"Back from the Dead"
1. I love the silent version of King of Kings.
For a lot of kids, Easter is about eater eggs and candy.
2. Boy 1: "How did you get that bruise on your arm?" Boy 2: "I ate some Easter candy." Boy 1: "Eating Easter candy won’t give you a bruise." Boy 2: "It will if it’s your big brother’s candy!"
3. But, for those of us who are tuned into the real meaning of the day, we gather to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the most important event in all history, an event that changed history. Our entire faith hinges on the belief that Christ rose physically & literally after being dead for nearly 2 days.
4. Paul writes: 1 Corinthians 15:13-19, "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
4. Note how that last statement tells us that belief in the Resurrection is not some crutch to help us cope with life’s tragedies. Paul says that if it is NOT true, then belief in the Resurrection makes us sad sacks.
MAIN IDEA: Whether we are or are not convinced that Christ rose from the dead does not affect the reality of the Resurrection. The Bible presents it as objective history. But if we accept its reality by faith and live consistently in light of it, it changes our lives like nothing else can.
TS ----------→ The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a life changer, as seen in the text before us.
I. The Change in the APOSTLES (John 20:19- 29)
A. They lost their FEARS (19-20)
(1) Jesus approaches them gladly
(2) Shalom Aleikhem
(3) They are hiding from the Jews; in a few days, they would be boldly preaching to massive crowds of their brethren; at this point, they were skeptics and did not think that Jesus would be resurrected from the dead; when they heard the early reports from the women, they thought they were hysterical with emotion…
(4) indeed, the disciples would suffer persecution, torture, and death for their belief and unswerving proclamation that Jesus rose again
B. Their lives had PURPOSE and direction (21-23)
• They received the Holy Spirit -- as leaders or believers?
C. Their cynical SKEPTICISM disappeared (24-29)
(1) Luke tells us He had to eat fish with them before they believed He was real; they frequently thought He was a ghost…
(2) note that all the apostles had doubted (except John)
(3) Thomas required the same proof as the others…
----what is bad is that he gave no credibility to his close friends
(4) When Jesus confronted Thomas, He quoted Thomas Himself…how would He know?
D. They acknowledged the DEITY of Christ (28)
(1) What the Jews expected in a Messiah
(2) OT is pretty clear that the Messiah is God in the flesh, but the Jewish mindset could not accept this…
---accepted being called God
---accepted worship AS God
II. How the Resurrection of Jesus Changes US
A. We need no longer live in constant FEAR
• Our relationship to the Lord can embolden us to break out of our protective shell and amount to something in the Kingdom of God; we are motivated because we are convinced that Jesus is alive; it does not mean we have no doubts or setbacks, but we have made a choice to believe and a choice to serve.
B. We have direction and PURPOSE
1. The rules for playing the game of life are changing rapidly; people are scurrying in all directions as the foundations of family, church, commerce, and government are in transition.
2. But those of us who have been walking with the Lord are still on the same trajectory
because it is not subject to trends, fads, or social earthquakes.
C. We have a moral ANCHOR
New statistics coming out: 40% of all babies born in the U.S. are born out of wedlock. We will probably see the 50% mark reached in the future…
This is not a simple problem, but one of several factors is the loss of a moral compass.