Summary: He is not here. He is risen! Awesome!
Easter, Easter, We’re All Raised Up
Today, as we all know, is Easter. For a lot of people, Easter is just another holiday, a 3-day weekend of fun and no work. For others, it’s chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. And for others, it just another ghost story they don’t believe.
BUT WE KNOW BETTER! For Christians, Easter means the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! It means the promise of life after death! It means hope of a better life. It means joy. Today, literally millions of people all over the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today, literally millions of people all over the world will be celebrating that fact that some 2000 years ago, on that Sunday morning, Jesus was raised up, the tomb was empty.
Once there was a man who decided to start a new religion. But he was complaining that he could not make any new converts. He didn’t know what to do. A friend told him, “All you have to do is get yourself crucified, die, and rise again on the third day.” No problem!
No other religion can celebrate Easter. If you are a Muslim, your leader Mohammed died June 8, 632 AD at the age of 61. Millions of people go to the tomb, which his body still occupies to this day. All the leaders of these manmade religions have died. Only Jesus, the Son of God has defeated death.
The resurrection is the basis of our faith. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead then we’re just wasting our time here every Sunday. Not only that, but I would say that the resurrection is the most important event in all of history. The words, “He is not here, but He is risen”, changed the course of history! And they continue to do so. Let us take a look at why the resurrection is so important to us.
Larry King, the CNN interviewer and radio/TV personality, tells of a visit to Miami’s Joe Robbie Stadium before a spring training game.
“King said manager Tommy Lasorda was introducing him to players and having a good time. They walked past Eddie Murray at first base and Lasorda said, ‘Hey, Eddie, how you doing?’ Murray replied simply, ‘Okay.’ At that, Lasorda went wild. ‘Okay? Okay? Two million dollars a year. It’s March. There ain’t a cloud in the sky. You’re standing there wearing a major-league uniform. You’re thirty-three years old, you’re going to the Hall of Fame, and you’re saying okay? You say, “Great, Tommy!” ’ Murray, looking at Lasorda like he was a maniac, seemed at a loss for words. Lasorda tried again, ‘You say it: “I feel great!” ’ So Eddie started saying, ‘I feel great!’ ”
- Quoted in Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10 (Zondervan, 2000), 133.
How about it Bethel Presbyterian Church? Say, “I feel great!”
All your sins are forgiven. You’re on your way to heaven. Jesus is alive and living in you. Say it like you mean it: “I feel great.”
A Sunday School teacher was explaining to a group of small children about the death and resurrection of Jesus. She made a crude cross out of some sticks and explained how Jesus was nailed to the cross. And little boy responded by saying, "Oh, that’s too bad."
In the very next breath, however, the teacher told how Jesus rose from the grave, coming back to life. And the little boy’s eyes got real big and he said, "TOTALLY AWESOME!"
Friends, the resurrection of Jesus is totally awesome even though many people of the world don’t know this and many doubt it.
(1 Cor 15:17-19) 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.
Preaching a dead Christ won’t save anybody. If we preach about a Savior who is not risen, then our preaching is empty. You know what it’s like? It’s like throwing a rope to a drowning man without having one end anchored securely.
Once a lady wrote into a Q & A forum, saying their Pastor said Jesus only swooned on the cross and the disciples nursed him back to health. The answer came back, “Beat your Pastor 39 strokes with a cat-o-nine-tails, nail him to a cross, hang him in the sun for 6 hours, run a spear through him, put him in an airless tomb for 36 hrs. and see what happens.
You see, the Roman soldiers were experts at crucifixions, having performed the procedure countless times. The centurion even gave testimony to Pilate that Jesus was dead.
Jesus didn’t swoon! He died and then He was raised up! When I say He was raised up, my voice didn’t say it with a question! He got up! There’s no dispute! He got up!