Summary: Why is the resurrection so important for us today?
Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches
April 11, 2004
“He Did It!”
INTRODUCTION: What does Easter mean to you? Is it chocolate Easter bunnies and spiced jelly beans? Colored eggs and Easter egg hunts? A day when family gets together for Easter dinner? A time for getting up early in the morning and going to a special sunrise service? Singing the traditional Easter songs, “He Arose,” “He Lives,” and “Christ the Lord has Risen today.”
It’s probably all of these things. Holy Week ended in the crucifixion on Good Friday, but now it is a time of Victory for Jesus. He arose from the grave never to die again. This is the very foundation of the Gospel. The Good News is that we, too, have hope for our future. Because He arose from the grave, we also have the hope of life everlasting.
As we celebrate this day, let’s see how today’s scripture speaks to us individually.
1. The Past--The Present: Years have gone by since that first resurrection Sunday, but the message applies today. When the early church began, Paul preached the message fervently. But just as today, many then flatly denied that there ever was a resurrection. Many said, “this couldn’t happen and it didn’t happen.” People tried to come up with various explanations for what happened. Some said that His body had been stolen from the tomb, some said He had never died in the first place, some said, “Oh, it is just a myth.”
Today, some people say, “Oh, it is not important if we have a historical Jesus or not. It doesn’t matter if He died on a cross or if He ever arose again.” What about this kind of thinking? You, too, may have never placed a lot of importance on the resurrection. In today’s scripture Paul said that believers were even beginning to deny the doctrine of the resurrection. It was understandable if the pagans believed that way, but not Christians. Paul established the certainty of the resurrection by going back to the Old Testament prophecies. This truth is confirmed according to the scriptures.
Psalm 16:10 foretells the resurrection by saying, “...you will not abandon me [David] to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One [Jesus] see decay.” Another Old Testament prediction is in Hosea 6:2, “...after two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” (refers to Jesus).
One of the earliest hints of the resurrection is found in the book of Job 19:25-26, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” Even Job back years and years before Christ knew that there was a good ending in sight.
STORY: Jonathan had been promised a new puppy for his 8th birthday. He had a tough time choosing one from the dozen dogs available for adoption. Finally he decided on one nondescript shaggy pup who was wagging his tail furiously.
His Mom wanted to know why he chose that one.
He expalined, “I want the one with the happy ending.” In the resurrection of Jesus, God offers a happy ending.