Summary: Jesus resurrection on that first Easter morning is the essential basis of our beliefs. Because Jesus is alive, we can have the assurance that He is able to keep His promises to us.
1. Easter morning assures us that resurrection is possible—Fact of Jesus’ resurrection provides confidence in future resurrection (20)
2. Easter morning assures us that resurrection is necessary—Sin came in through one man—victory over sin comes through one Man (21-22)
3. Easter morning assures us that resurrection is guaranteed—Those who are in Christ are the ones who will be made alive (23)
A pastor gathered the children of the church in front of the congregation one Easter Sunday for a children’s message. He got them all settled down up front and asked them a question. He asked, “Why do we celebrate Easter?” A bunch of their little hands shot up in the air. The pastor called on the first little boy. “Because of the Easter bunny!” The pastor shook his head and called on the next one. “So we can hide Easter eggs!” He shook his head again and called on another one. “So I can get a big basket full of candy!” He didn’t think it was going to be that hard and was ready to give up when a little girl’s hand slowly raised from the back row. The pastor thought that he’d give them one more shot, so he called on her. “Easter celebrates Jesus coming out of the tomb.” His confidence was restored, so he asked her what that means for us today. She said, “It means that if He sees His shadow, we get six more weeks of winter.” Well, that might make sense on a snowy day like today. But she was confused, wasn’t she? She had missed the point. There are so many competing thoughts about Easter, it’s easy to miss the point. It’s time for the spring sales at the mall. It’s time for bunnies and eggs and big family dinners. Oh, yeah—it’s time for dressing up in special clothes and going to church. But is that what Easter is all about? No—Easter is about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now, most of us know that. We know it on a head knowledge level. But does the fact that Jesus is alive today make a difference in our lives? Does it affect the way we live? Jesus’ resurrection on that first Easter morning is the essential basis of our beliefs. Because Jesus is alive today, we can live in the assurance that He is able to keep His promises to us. That’s what I want for us this Easter morning. I want each of us to see Jesus as our risen Lord. I want us to leave this place knowing that we are His. And that one day he will raise us up just as He was raised. In order to do that, we will look at three assurances we have because of that first Easter morning. The first assurance is in verse 20:
Easter morning assures us that resurrection is possible. How many times in your life have you ever seen something dead? If it’s been a while, follow me home. There’s dead stuff all over my road home. Seeing dead things is just a part of life. Now, how many times have you seen any of those dead things come back to life? Never. And that doesn’t surprise us. Because based on our experience, it’s impossible for things to come back to life once they’re dead. From a physical standpoint, things die. They turn to dust. Then they’re gone. If all we had to go on was our personal experiences, that’s all we could hope for. But thank God we have so much more than personal experience. We have actual, literal history recorded for us in God’s Word. And God’s Word tells us that after Jesus was crucified, He was raised on the third day. In John 10:17-18, He promised that it would happen: “Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.” The Easter narratives describe it happening. And a few verses before our passage in 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds us how well attested the resurrection was. Look back to 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
The fact is that He who was dead now lives again. And He lives that we might live again also. Resurrection doesn’t make sense. But Jesus predicted it. He fulfilled it. And many people saw it. According to all the laws of nature, resurrection can’t happen. But Jesus created that nature. And He is more powerful than that nature. And He stepped out of that tomb, victorious over death. Because Jesus is more powerful than nature... and because He was victorious over death… we can have hope. We can have hope that death doesn’t have to mean the end. It doesn’t have to mean a terrible end of suffering and destruction. Because of that first Easter morning, we know that resurrection in Christ is possible. We have assurance that resurrection is possible, and we have assurance that resurrection in necessary.