The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was much more than a one-time event in history, it was an eternal event. It transcended time and space. It happened then, but the reality of that event is still felt today. When we come together as believers on Easter Sunday to proclaim, "He’s alive!" We say it with passion because it means something to us personally.
* When the Son of God came out of the tomb, he defeated sin for us. We couldn’t do it. He did. When we accept what Jesus did on the cross, our sins are forgiven and we have a new life. A clean slate.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new!" II Cor. 5:17
Because the tomb is empty, many in this room can join me in saying, "The sinful man/woman I once was, I am no more! Jesus is alive in me. When Jesus got ahold of me, he took a man who was dying in his sins, and resurrected me to new life in Christ! I’m not what I ought to be yet, but praise God, I’m not what I used to be! ’You ask me how I know he lives....he lives within my heart.’ He’s alive! When you really meet him, everything changes. ’I’ve Just seen Jesus, and I’ll never be the same again.’"
* When the Son of God came out of the tomb, he defeated death for us. When he came out of the tomb with resurrection power, he defeated our last and greatest enemy. He said, Jn. 11:25 - "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And so, as believers, we have this great hope that "The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words." I Thess. 4:16-18.
Because the tomb is empty, one day, the same kind of resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead will unite the souls of those who have died in Christ with new immortal bodies that will never again be subject to death or disease. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." We don’t say "good-bye" forever at the funeral of a loved one who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We just say, "I’ll see you in a little while."
This morning rejoice, the tomb is empty! Sin has been defeated and death has lost its sting! HE’S ALIVE! HE’S ALIVE! Let it echo through all the earth. May it reverberate in the halls of hell. HE’S ALIVE!!!!! May it give the devil a huge migraine headache that he can’t get rid of for weeks!!! HE’S ALIVE !!!! What we celebrate this morning did not happen by accident. It was all a part of the divine plan of God. This plan was well conceived in the heart of God before the world as we know it was ever set in place, and the directions were followed with painstaking attention to detail.
We’re going to trace God’s plan this morning, "From the Garden to the Tomb," to show you just how much God loves you. He went to great lengths to have a personal relationship with you. You’re not here by accident. God is reaching out to you. And this morning, He’s saying, "The tomb is empty and my Son is alive.....for you." Jesus is alive, and to know him is life eternal. He’s alive....but is he alive in you?
Come with me to a timeless place somewhere in the vast expanse of the universe. Before the sun and the moon were hung in the sky. Before there was a world as we know it. Before there were rocks and trees, rivers and oceans, mountains and canyons. Before the world was filled with life. Before man was ever created....."In the beginning was God, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." - Jn. 1:1-2
Jesus Christ existed long before he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. As the Son of God, he has always been. He is the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. The first and the last. And at some timeless point that we can never even begin to know or understand, before man had even been created or confronted with sin, God the Father, who knows all things, put into motion a Master Plan to redeem mankind. In his heart was a desire to create man in his own image. To create creatures with a free will who could choose to love and serve him rather than to serve Him by force.