Summary: On this day, Easter Sunday, we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, from the dead. It’s a subject of the utmost importance to the church; and, not just this church; but, to the Church of Jesus Christ in all of its various expressions!...We’
On this day, Easter Sunday, we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, from the dead. It’s a subject of the utmost importance to the church; and, not just this church; but, to the Church of Jesus Christ in all of its various expressions! Sometimes, I think that we’ve gotten so used to saying it, that the actual reality of what we’re talking about somehow gets lost in the process! We’re talking about the only-begotten Son of Almighty God, who was nailed to the Cross atop Golgotha’s Hill; and, who experienced complete and total death; but he literally came back to life again!
The body that rose from the dead was none other than the body of Almighty God in human flesh, who died three days previously, for the sins of the entire world. He’s "The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!" Now, if we can’t get excited about that, somebody better check our pulses.
The Christian author Dr. Warren Wiersbe once said, "Easter is the Truth that turns a church from a museum into a ministry." (SermonCentral.com) The most fundamental Truth of the entire Holy Bible – the written Word of Almighty God – is that Jesus, the Christ, rose from the dead! Without the resurrection, the rest of the Holy Bible becomes pretty much meaningless! In point of fact, when we read about the "Early Church" in the Book of Acts, we discover that the resurrected Christ was the topic that the Church was to proclaim throughout the world!
In this morning’s text, the Disciple Peter was talking to Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, a captain of a Roman regiment, and others; and, what he proclaimed so many years ago, is the same thing that we need to be proclaiming today! If we can get a handle on two basic concepts, this will be the best Easter Sunday ever: (1) What we need to know! and (2) What we need to do!
There are three specific things that we need to know, whether we are already “true believers” or if we’re thinking about becoming one!
First, Jesus died for each and every one of us!
Jesus Christ went through an extremely horrible death voluntarily. He chose to die that way. He made the choice because He knew that one day you and I would be here – lost in our sins and in need of a Savior!
The Apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 2:24 (NLT), tells us: "He personally carried away our sins in His own body on the Cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!"
Now this is a wonderful Truth to know - that Jesus Christ, being the sinless Son of Almighty God, took every sin that you and I would ever commit upon His own shoulders, and took the punishment for those sins that you and I deserved.
Let me put this in perspective for you. You and I both sinned and that has separated us from a God who has never sinned! Almighty God, being a just God, had no choice but to punish us for the sins we commit; but, at the same time, Almighty God who never sinned wanted to close the gap and bring us into a right relationship with Himself!
So, He decided that instead of punishing us, He would punish His Son, who had done nothing wrong, so that the price would be paid, and we could come into a right relationship with Him.
Jesus Christ was our substitute on the Cross at Calvary - the death that we deserved for our sin, was placed on Him! We were placed on trial for our sins, and we were found guilty! The punishment for those sins was death; but, even though we were guilty, God "took the hit" for all of us!
Because of Jesus, we can walk out of the "Eternal Courtroom" as free men and women without the stain of sin on our records! That’s something that God really thought we needed to know today!
Secondly, Jesus Christ rose for us! Easter, contrary to our modern-day society, is not about a furry quadruped hiding painted chicken eggs. It’s about Almighty God - in human flesh - literally rising from the dead; and, proving that He is exactly who He claimed to be! After Jesus was removed from the cross and entombed, the women went to His tomb and met two angels there! Did you see it? Were you listening? The women went to the tomb. So where were the men?
We’re told in Luke 24:6-7 that an angel said: "He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead! Don’t you remember what He told you back in Galilee, That the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that He would rise again the third day?"