Summary: The Resurrection, hope and salvation
(THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION) #1
CHRIST'S RESURRECTION: HE'S ALIVE
1 Cor 15: 1-11 (p815) April 3, 2011
Have any of you ever played the game called "Jenga"? It's where you have all these different shaped wood rectangles that fit together into a Tower…and players take turns trying to remove one of the rectangles without causing the tower to fall…
But if you pull out the wrong one the whole structure is going to collapse…it's gonna fall apart all over the table.
Over the years many people have treated Christianity like the Jenga tower…pulling out pieces….selectively removing "rectangle" of the gospel…leaving big wholes and gapes in the structure…until finally you pull out the wrong one…and it collapses in a fumbles mess….
One of those essential pieces that holds the structure of Christianity together is the resurrection of Jesus. It is the cornerstone and foundation of the gospel…if you remove it…there simply is no gospel.
The apostle Paul knew this truth without a doubt…He says "If Christ has not been raised our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (1 Cor 15:14)
there simply is no "good news" to be preached if Christ died and stayed in the tomb…there is no reason to commit our lives to Jesus if death defeated Him instead of the other way around.
So it should not be surprising that those who opposed Christ would try to pull out this essential piece of the puzzle just hours after His resurrection.
Mary Magdalene and the other women show up at the tomb of Jesus, early on Sunday morning with expectations of finishing the burial preparations of Jesus…Joseph and Nicodemus have had to do it quickly because the sun was setting on Friday and the Sabbath was quickly approaching…their biggest worry as they approach the tomb…"How are we gonna move that big rock that block the door?"
As they arrive, there's a violent earthquake and an angle takes care of the Rock…the angels appearance is like "Lighting"…His clothes white as snow…and the guards posted there by Pilate are so afraid they shook and become like dead men.
The Angel speaks to the women…his message "Do not be afraid…I know your looking for Jesus who was crucified…He is not here, he has risen just as he said….come look at the place where he lay…now, go tell his disciples He has risen and is going ahead of them into Galilee" "You'll see him there"
With that promise they take off for Galilee like a lightening bolt…filled with fear and joy and suddenly….there's Jesus
"Greetings ("Its the everyday term for Hello")
Fear, joy, heart racing…feet flying and all of a sudden Jesus meets them and says "Hi"
I Love it! They fall at his feet….Holding on for dear life in worship…that Jesus says "Don't be afraid…complete your mission…Go into Galilee and tell my brothers to meet me there…and they will see me.
But remember the Guards…remember why they were at the tomb…something amazing is happening in the Roman world of politics…while a risen Savior is arranging meetings. Listen to Matt 28: 11-15 (p 706)
Man…we've got to pull this Jenga piece right now! We'll lie, bribe, author alternative theories…what ever it takes because…
I THE RESURRECTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM ON THE LIST.
Paul the Apostle writes in our text in! Cor 15 "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins, he was buried, and he was raised on the third day according to scripture". (v. 3, 4)
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our sins is No 1 when it comes to our salvation…by God revealing this plan in scripture long before it came to be…lets us know everything he did was preparing for this event.
On the Birthday of the church the apostle Peter grasped this truth…as he spoke to the House of Israel he said.
Acts 2: 22-36 (p771)
The very first gospel message is a history lesson concerning God's essential plan for our salvation…David, Israel's greatest King…caught a glimpse of a forever King…but David died and his body is buried somewhere in Israel…decaying back to dust…His faith said…"But God you have not abandoned me to the grave…nor will you let your Holy one see decay"
David spoke of the resurrection of Christ and his rescue from the grave…and the Messiah's body wouldn't stay in the grave decaying.
I love how Peter says "God raised Him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
Its Christ's physical and spiritual victory over death that assures us God has made this Jesus…the one you crucified…both Lord and Christ.
Lord means "Ruler", "Christ" means "Anointed One"
He put all our enemies under his feet as a footstool…and the greatest and last enemy…Death the promised one of God, Jesus…Rules over everything ….even death.