Summary: Some of you walked in here today and your first thought was, “I need Jesus.” I’ll be extending to you an invitation to do just that today. In addition, I have several things to share with you. I have a dedication to make, a sermon to give, a personal test
Opening Statement: Some of you walked in here today and your first thought was, “I need Jesus.” I’ll be extending to you an invitation to do just that today. In addition, I have several things to share with you. I have a dedication to make, a sermon to give, a personal testimony to share, and again, an invitation to extend.
A Dedication to Make
This sermon is dedicated to my father who I had to bury a few weeks ago. Daddy, if you can hear me, this is for you.
A Sermon to Give
Transition: Allow me to set the sermon up. As important as the life and death of Jesus are to all of us, these events mean very little without the historical event that brought them to completion: the resurrection. You see, death is our biggest problem. We don’t know how to stop death. We can prolong life, but we can’t stop death. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a defining event in history wherein death was conquered and life won.
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 says “But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries. There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ. But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming, the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition, he hands over his kingdom to God the Father. He won’t let up until the last enemy is down – and the very last enemy is death (The Message)!”
Transition: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a defining event in history wherein death was conquered and life won. But it doesn’t stop there. This truth opens up all kinds of wonderful possibilities for life today.
Title: Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters?
Key Word: The resurrection of Jesus makes it possible to trust in who Jesus was, experience a new beginning, receive power for living, and look to the future with hope instead of despair.
His Resurrection Matters Because It Allows Us to Trust in Him
Quotation: Jesus claimed to be God. In John’s gospel he compared himself with the great “I am.” He even said that He would be raised to life again in Matthew 20:17-19: “Jesus, now well on the way up to Jerusalem, took the Twelve off to the side of the road and said, “Listen to me carefully. We are on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. They will then hand him over to the Romans for mockery and torture and crucifixion. On the third day he will be raised up alive (The Message).”
Explanation: Jesus kept his word! The disciples never stole his body. The Jewish or Roman authorities never stole his body. The women didn’t go to the wrong tomb. Jesus didn’t just pass out on the cross and revive in the coolness of the tomb. He really died and resurrected! And because of this fact, I can trust him. If he didn’t show up after his death, we would always wonder, “Was He really God? Were his words about life eternal really true?” But He did show up in a resurrected body and now you can trust Him.
Observation: Today is the day to begin trusting him, for the small things and for something as major as your eternal salvation. He has done death and overcome it. You can trust him as the Keeper and Preserver of your soul.
His Resurrection Matters Because It Provided Power for Living
Explanation: The Bible promises a unique power source that is available to all Christians. Jesus called this power the Holy Spirit and the Comforter.
Quotation: In John’s Gospel, Jesus said if I don’t go away, the Comforter couldn’t come. I will go away and he will be here with you in my place. Just before he ascended in Acts 1, the resurrected Jesus told his followers, “When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world (Message).” They were empowered. They, who were cowering in fear in the upper room for several days, suddenly emerged with a new power at Pentecost. Power to do what? It is power that enables us to be a testimony to the world that Jesus is alive, that his teachings are true, that when obeyed – they lead to life, that there is hope beyond this life.
Today, there is a new power.