Summary: IF THERE HAD NEVER BEEN A RESURRECTION, WOULD THAT BE A PROBLEM FOR CHRISTIANS? YES, THAT WOULD BE A BIG PROBLEM, BUT DON’T WORRY. HE IS RISEN!
He Is Risen
Text: 1st Corinthians 15:1-22 (Read)
The modern observation of Easter comes by combining 3 traditions. The first is the Hebrew Passover, which is celebrated during Nisan, the 1st month of the Hebrew Lunar Calendar.
The 2nd tradition comes from the Christian world, as they commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The 3rd is from the Norse god, Ostara—or Eostra, from which the name, Easter, is derived. That was a pagan festival of Spring, which fell on the Vernal Equinox, March 21st. The symbols of the festival were rabbits and eggs colored for the returning sun and the Northern Lights.
When we focus on the Christian world and the fixing of the date for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it becomes even more complicated.
One group wanted the celebration held on Sunday since Jesus arose on the first day of the week. The opposition insisted the day be coordinated with the Jewish Passover, which might fall on any day of the week.
So, in A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea determined it would be on the 1st Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal Equinox—unless the full moon fell on Sunday—which would cause the celebration to be postponed for a week.
So, Easter can fall at any time within the 35 day-period. It might fall on any Sunday between March 22nd through April 25th. This year it falls on April 20th—today!
A true Christian know that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ everyday—and we have a remembrance of that every Sunday as the 1st Century Christians did (Acts 20:7). We call this remembrance the “love feast” or the Lord’s Supper—and we have done that this morning.
So, with all the history surrounding this day, I think it’s a good day to talk about the Lord’s resurrection, because it is on people’s minds. We can talk about the resurrection any day, but today is an especially good day. We read about Christ’s resurrection and what that means in the text we read this morning.
God Sends His Son.
God is concerned with the life of ordinary people. The Bible is not just a book of religious or moral principles—it contains the story of God’s involvement in the world…from Adam and Eve, up to the present.
The OT is full of men and women who experienced the joy of knowing Jehovah God and serving Him—and also those who experienced His wrath.
The NT is the story of God’s most dramatic action toward man. He sent Jesus into the world as a flesh and blood man.
---1---“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
---2---He was in the beginning with God.”
---4---“In Him was life, and the life was the light of man.”
---9---“There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”
Jesus walked the paths of man—He experienced our human joys and our sorrows—He expressed His compassion for the troubles of the human condition. And then, He offered Himself as the supreme sacrifice for our.
Jesus died a cruel death—a death which was, outwardly, full of shame. But, in reality, His death was a great triumph! There was triumph because Jesus of Nazareth—though buried like any other man—was not captured by death!
Jesus arose! He was alive! He was well! God chose the most dramatic—the most unexpected—way of displaying His reality, power, and love for mankind.
The prophecy of the OT foretold this would happen—if only they had listened to it. God chose that His only begotten Son would die on Calvary’s cross and on the 3rd day rise from the dead never to die again!
The history of the life of Christ while upon the earth closes with a miracle as great as that of His inception. He was born of a virgin, which proved He was the “Son of Man”. Christ died and was raised—never to die again—proving He was the “Son of God.
The World and the Resurrection.
Some people of the world will say, “I can accept that Jesus was a great Jewish prophet, a great teacher of the law, a good man who said some good things about life and how to live it. But to say His life did not end on the cross at Golgotha—to say He arose from the dead and is still alive 2,000 years later is just too much to accept.”
They might say they can’t accept that premise—they don’t really believe in a resurrection from the dead.
Question: What would it mean to us if there had not been a Resurrection?
Would that be a problem for those of us who call ourselves Christians today?
That would be a problem, wouldn’t it? A big problem! If those disciples of His who saw Him after His death were mistaken, then we, who also believe, are the most deluded and hopeless of men. What did Paul say in the text we read today?