Summary: This Easter Sermon looks at Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how Easter or the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the day the death died.
Easter - The Day Death Died
In quoting the prophecy of the prophet Hosea in Chapter 13, verse 14, the Apostle Paul makes this declaration.
“‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NKJV)
You see, Easter, or the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is all about the day that death died, because when Jesus rose from the dead He overcame the power of death, and for the believer in Jesus Christ, He delivered them from death’s grip.
The reality of life is that we all die, and so when thinking about death, we must remember that while death never leaves empty handed, it has lost its match to Jesus Christ who, through His death and resurrection, now has the power over sin and death.
Paul said to the church in Rome, “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” (Romans 6:9 NIV) This is why Paul could say that it was a clear and unmistakable fact that “Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT)
Therefore, those who are in Christ, that is, those who have accepted Him as their Savior and Lord, no longer need to fear death, because they are a part of that great harvest. And therefore, like King David, can say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV)
The unfortunate reality is that so many have seen so much death, especially now in the age of social media, they have become callused to it’s reality. They fear it; they’re scared to death by it, but unfortunately not enough to change their lives.
And so Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is about how death died, that is, Jesus Christ took the sting right out of death, where for those who believe, death has no more power.
It reminds me of a story about a father and his two young sons walking through a field. A bee stung the oldest son, and while he quickly brushed him off, he went down kicking and screaming in pain as the bee stung him on the face. The bee then went after the youngest son who also threw himself on the ground kicking and screaming.
The father picked up the youngest son and told him he didn’t have to cry or be afraid of the bee, because the bee was harmless. It had lost its stinger. Going over to the eldest boy he took the small black stringer from the bite, and said to the youngest child, “The bee can’t hurt you, it’s lost its sting.”
Just like the bee, death has lost its sting, because Jesus took our place and died our death. Therefore we no longer need to fear or be afraid of death. Yes, death may still buzz around trying to scare us, but death can no longer harm us.
While death is a known fact of life, death is also a defeated foe. And so, if death died, what’s the outcome those who believe in Jesus Christ? Eternal life.
We could say it like this, that today we’re living in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living.
Vance Havner, a preacher and Bible scholar from the 1900’s said, “The hope of dying is the only thing that keeps me alive.” Why is that, it is because death can no longer hold us or keep us down. Death in this life is merely a doorway to heaven and eternal life in the presence of our Lord to all those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Professional golfer Paul Azinger was diagnosed with cancer when he was 33 years old. He had just won the PGA Championship and had 10 tournament victories to his name. In his book, “Zinger,” he wrote about his battle, he said,
“A genuine feeling of fear came over me. I could die from cancer. Then another reality hit me even harder. I’m going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. It’s just a question of when. Everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live.”
But he continue to say, “I’ve made a lot of money since I’ve been on the tour, and I’ve won a lot of tournaments, but that happiness is always temporary. The only way you will ever have true contentment is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not saying that nothing ever bothers me and I don’t have problems, but I feel like I’ve found the answer to the six-foot hole.”