Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Because the tomb is empty, our lives can be full.

First Rock from the Son

A few years ago, NBC launched a hit television show—a Though you’ll only find it on reruns today, in its heyday, it won the most Emmy Awards for a television series in 1997.

It’s about a group of explorers that came to the third rock from the Sun (earth). Here they take human form. Dick Solomon the High Comander of the group is a physics teacher at an Ohio University. He is attracted to Dr. Mary Albright who he met at work. Sally is second in charge. She tries to be like other women but doesn’t always do everything right. Harry is not always on top of things. He Receives incoming Transmissions from the Giant Head. Tommy is a teenage boy going through the troubles of being a teenager…nothing new.

The name of the show is derived from the planet Earth’s third position from the sun. It is the "third rock from the sun." A few of the lyrics from Third Rock From The Sun... Cause and effect, chain of events, All of the chaos makes perfect sense, When you’re spinning round things come undone, Welcome to Earth, third rock from the sun.

Even though we’re still debating whether there truly is Intelligent life on this planet—the third Rock from the Sun? the Bible tells us that a being really did come from space, a couple thousand years ago. This visitor from heaven really did take human form—not to teach physics, but to teach people how to love…how to quit fighting, how to understand God. Jesus loved, healed, and gave people new leases on life. But instead of loving him back, we hunted him down, beat up, nailed his hands and feet to a cross and killed him.

But, according to the Bible-- this being could not stay dead. He rose again, and because of the empty tomb, our lives can be full. Because of the empty tomb, he backed up

his claims to be God,

his claims to forgive sin,

his claim to never leave us or forsake us,

his claim that if we are burdened and wearied he will give us true rest for our soul,

his claim to forgive us from anything and make us new people.

Because the Tomb is Empty Your Life Can Be Full

If it wasn’t for the empty tomb, I wouldn’t be a Christian.

Why? Because Jesus would be just another philosopher or teacher…I won’t give my life, my all, my heart for just another philosopher or teacher.

A few reasons why I believe the Tomb is Empty…and because it is empty, my life is full.

1. One of the strongest proofs that the tomb was empty was that after Jesus was resurrected, the disciples didn’t go off to some far off land to spread the gospel, they went right into Jerusalem--the last place on earth they should go if Jesus was still dead. If the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where Jesus was placed, was not empty, any Jewish or Roman leader could say "Nope. You Christians are wrong. His tomb is around the corner. His body is rotting in it. We’ll go get the body right now and prove it." But no one could come up with the body. It was gone. They were unable to even produce a false body to put the story to rest. All they needed was a body, and Christianity would have died on the spot.

2. In Matthew 27, Pilate made Jesus’ tomb as secure as possible. He posted a Roman seal on the stone and put a guard of 4-16 fighting soldiers. Anybody who tried to break the Roman Seal was to be executed by crucifixion upside down. Some say the disciples stole the body--no way--they were scared stiff when Jesus was betrayed by Judas that they all ran off. Also, in The Justinian Code, a Roman guard received the death penalty for abandoning his post. They were to protect Jesus’ tomb at the cost of their very lives. In the bible, the guards fled. One scholar who has studied the military discipline of the Romans, wrote that fear of punishment "produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches." No way these Roman killing machines would let a motley crew of untrained disciples to steal anything under their noses.

3. Too many eyewitnesses

1 Cor 15: 4-6

“…he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”

Roxanne made special cinnamon rolls for our refreshments today after the service. What if you ate a cinnamon roll and went to tell your friends and neighbors about it…they were that good. They’d say, No didn’t happen. There were no cinnamon rolls, you’re making it up!

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