Summary: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central message of Christianity. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too can experience resurrection power in our lives today.
EXPERIENCING THE RESURRECTED LIFE
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE RESURRECTION?
“But tell me this – since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless.” (1 Cor. 15:12-14, NLT).
• Easter Sunday – or resurrection day – is the most important day of the Christian year.
• There are many books written on the proofs for the resurrection that I recommend.
o Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ
o Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict
o CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity
THE BIG IDEA: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central message of Christianity. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too can experience resurrection power in our lives today.
KEY TEXT: (1 Cor. 15:1-6).
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.”
• Apart from the resurrection of Jesus there is no Christianity
• Jesus was a great teacher, but Christianity is not based on his teachings.
• Jesus was a great miracle worker, and Christianity is not based upon his miracles.
• All of those are incredibly important and teach us a great deal about Jesus.
• The core of Christianity is the life, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ.
THE STORY OF THE RESURRECTION:
“1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' " 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.” (Luke 24:1-12).
• Two different responses to the story of the resurrection:
1. to some, it will seem like idle tales – foolishness
2. to others, you will respond like Peter and run towards Christ
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
• Do you believe this? Do you know Jesus in the power of His resurrection?
• The resurrection reminds us that no matter how dark the night, dawn always comes!
• It reminds us that no matter how cold or long the winter, spring always comes!
• It is the promise of new life, the hope of life everlasting!
• It’s a day to celebrate – though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning!
• Do YOU know Jesus today in the power of His resurrection?
• Too many people are stuck on Good Friday – in some churches, He’s still on the Cross!
• “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11). This is resurrection power!