Summary: This sermon looks at Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its life changing message that our sins are forgiven, we have a purpose to live out through the power and promises of Christ, and our eternal future is secured in heaven.
Easter’s Life Changing Message
Next week, many will be celebrating what is known as Easter, which is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not about a bunny and lays eggs.
Easter, that is, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the greatest event of all time. It is the most powerful event in human history. It is more powerful than volcanic eruptions, devastating earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, or a nuclear explosion all put together. In fact, it is more powerful than Superman.
And the reason I say this is because it is the resurrection of Jesus that caused history to split into two parts; B.C. and A.D. Now, that is what I call powerful. In fact, it is so powerful that it can change the direction and the course of all of our lives.
Now, some of you may have caught a discrepancy in what I just said, because B.C. and A.D. are divided by Jesus’s birth, not His resurrection. But, let me just bring forth this proposition, and that is, if it wasn’t for the resurrection, there would be no reason to record Jesus’s birth. In fact, if it wasn’t for the resurrection, there would be no need to celebrate Christmas, or for any of us to come on Sunday morning to worship Him.
Now, in our society, most people ask, “So what?” What difference does Easter make and how does it apply to me? So, what if Jesus is alive? What’s the big deal? How can something that happened 2000 years ago have any bearing on my life today?
This was the same basic question they were asking in the city Corinth back in the Apostle Paul’s day, and it’s something that needs to be answered in our day as well. How important is the resurrection?
“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19 NKJV)
Paul begins by telling them that Jesus’s resurrection is what holds the whole basis of our faith together; that if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then all that we believe and hold onto, is empty and useless.
Further, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead then Paul and all the other believers were nothing but a pack of liars, and that humanity remains condemned because of sin, and that all those who have died have done so in their sin and are therefore eternally lost. But he doesn’t stop there saying that if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then all those who believe should be pitied, because their whole life and belief structure is a complete waste of time.
But the good news is that Paul doesn’t leave them or us hanging.
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NKJV)
The resurrection is a proven historical fact, and it is a matter of public record. You might say that it was headline news. And yet, over 80% of people who say that believe in the resurrection don’t go church, and I believe it’s because they just don’t get it, that is, they don’t get why it is that important.
So what difference does Easter make? What difference to the resurrection make? Because of Easter, because Jesus rose from the dead …
1. Our Sins Are Forgiven
I don’t think there’s a person alive that doesn’t want a do-over. You know, where they can have a brand-new start in order to right all the dumb mistakes they’ve made.
All our failures, problems, bad decisions, and mistakes; along with all the stuff that has tortured us with painful memories, and which we believe we have to pay for the rest of our lives; Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is about having all of these things forgiven and done away with.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Colossians 2:13 NKJV)