Summary: Easter Sermon that deals with the blessings we have through Jesus’ resurrection and the purpose of God to use us to bless others.
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
(This sermon and the subsequent series is inspired by the sermon series BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING, by Rick Warren of Saddleback Valley Community Church.)
I think one of the easiest traps we fall into is taking the blessings of God for granted. We are so blessed in so many ways and yet we often just assume that we have a right to it. We often forget that most of the world is barely struggling to survive.
Let me just put this into perspective. According to the International Programs Center, U.S. Bureau of the Census, the total population of the World, projected to last Friday night at 10:14 PM EDST was 6,359,256,483.
*If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a bed to sleep in you are richer than 4,769,442,362 people in the world. You¡¦re in the top 25%. You are blessed.
*If you have any money in the bank, some money in your wallet, or just some spare change in a jar, you are richer than 5,850,515,964 people in the world. You are among the top 8% of the worlds¡¦ wealthy. You are blessed.
*If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are better off than five hundred million people in our world today who have experienced those things. You are blessed.
*If you can attend a worship service without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are more blessed than three billion people on this planet. What we¡¦re doing right now is illegal for three billion people somewhere in the world. You are blessed.
We forget how blessed we are. That¡¦s why we¡¦re starting today a new series called, ¡§Blessed to be a Blessing.¡¨ Not only are we blessed in material and physical ways, we are blessed by God in spiritual matters, also.
Last week, we focused on how Jesus paid our sin debt as He gave His life on the cross. Fortunately the story does not end there. As a matter of fact, today is when the story really gets good. Just look what Paul writes to his friends at Rome:
Holy Bible, New Living Translation Romans 4:25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.
Jesus died so that we could be forgiven from our sins, and he rose again so that we could have a relationship with God when we accept Jesus by faith. So what about the blessing of God that we have because of the resurrection? Is it really true? Did Jesus rise from the grave? Let¡¦s plunge into our story and see the:
Evidence of the resurrection:
First there is the:
„h The empty tomb
Today we put somebody in a coffin. We put them in the ground and we cover them up with dirt. Then, they buried people in caves. After Jesus died they put His body in a cave hewn in a rock and rolled like a giant millstone in front of the mouth of the cave..
Matthew 27:59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth. 60 He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great
stone across the entrance as he left.
Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man who had bought the cave for his own family burial cave. It had never been used before. So they wrapped Jesus¡¦ body in the linen cloth, put Him in the tomb and rolled the stone in front of it.
But that¡¦s not all, the enemies of Jesus were so worried they asked Pilate to put guards around the tomb. They said, ¡§While Jesus was alive He claimed that He was going to come back to life in three days.¡¨ So, Roman soldiers guarded the grave to make sure no one stole the body. But boy were they in for a surprize!
Matthew 28:1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell
into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. ¡§Don¡¦t be afraid!¡¨ he said. ¡§I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn¡¦t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.