Summary: Sermon on the Resurrection of Christ
So . . . What’s So Important About Easter?
Introduction: The idea that Jesus never died on the cross can be found in the coran; and to this day there is a shrine that supposedly marks His real burial place in Srinagar, Kashmir.
As the 19th century dawned, Karl Bahrdt, Karl Venturini, and other conspiracy theorists tried to explain that Jesus’ resurrection was a fake. They alleged that He only fainted from exhaustion, or that He was given a drug that made Him appear to die – and that He later was revived as He laid in the dark, damp, and cold tomb. They claimed (as do many others even today) that Jesus’ miraculous resurrection was merely caused by resuscitation, and that’s why the tomb was empty.
Others have tried to claim this too. In 1929 D.H. Lawrence said it; in 1965 Hugh Schonfield’s book, The Passover Plot alleged it; in 1972, Donovan Joyce alleged it in his book, The Jesus Scroll; then in 1982, the book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, added a twist to this ridiculousness. He said that Jesus bribed Pilate to take Him down from the cross before He died. But get this: all of these men, in the end, had this to say: “We would not – and still cannot – prove the accuracy of our conclusion.”
This “story” continues still today. But, according to Dr. Stein, what does the evidence say? (Prayer).
Today, I want us to examine from the testimonies of professionals:
1. What Happened to Jesus Before the Cross?
2. What Happened to Him at the Cross?
3. A Question For The Heart.
4. What Happened at the Tomb?
I. What Happened Before The Cross?
A. It all began at the Last Supper when Jesus went with the disciples to the Mount of Olives – to the Garden of Gethsemane. If you recall, He prayed there all night.
1. He was praying because He knew what lied ahead and was expecting a huge amount of suffering and was under a lot of psychological stress.
B. As He prayed, the Bible says that He sweated drops of blood. This can happen; in the medical realm (though uncommon) it is a type of stress is known as hematidrosis.
1. The severe anxiety causes the release of chemical that break down the capillaries in the sweat glands.
2. As a result, there’s a small amount of bleeding into these glands, and the sweat comes out tinged with blood.
C. This condition also attacked Jesus’ skin to make it extremely fragile so that when He was beaten and flogged by the Roman solders, His skin was very sensitive.
D. Roman floggings were known to be brutal. Jesus experienced a savage beating so inhumane that it ought to shock us to death.
E. He was beaten with a whip of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them as well as sharp bone.
1. As the whip struck the flesh, these balls and bones would cause bruises and contusions.
a. As the beatings continued, the skin would break open and cut His flesh severely.
2. Dr. Alexander Metherell M.D. P.H.D., says that His back would have been so shredded that part of His spine was probably exposed by the deep, deep cuts He took.
3. Dr. Metherell goes on the say these whippings would have gone all the way from the shoulders down to His back, the buttocks, and the back of His legs. It was terrible!
a. The whip would tear into underlying skeletal muscles producing shaking, quivering, ribbons of exposed flesh.
F. These beatings put Jesus into what is called hypovolemic shock – meaning that Jesus was suffering from losing a large amount of blood.
G. This shock does 4 things to the body:
1st The heart races to pump blood that isn’t there;
2nd The blood pressure drops severely – fainting or collapse;
3rd The kidneys stop working
4th You become extremely thirsty (to replace the blood lost).
H. Jesus was in hypovolemic shock as He carried the cross up the road to Calvary (that’s why He fell).
G. Because of these beatings, Dr. Metherell says, “There’s no question that Jesus was already in serious to critical condition even before the nails were driven into His hand and feet.”
II. What Happened At The Cross?
Jesus carried the top part of the cross – the rest was already in the ground.
A. They nailed Him to the top part first (through the wrists).
B. It’s important to note that that the nails went through the place in His wrists where the median neve runs.
1. It’s the largest nerve going out of the hand and would have been crushed as the nails were pounded in.
a. That would feel like when we hit our crazy bone. The pain was unbearable.