Summary: An Easter Sunrise Service sermon inspired by the devotional book, "Morning Manna" by Pastor Steve Gaines

“He Is Not Here, For He Has Risen”

Matthew 28:6

OPENING JOKE: A little girl was asked by her Sunday school teacher, “What is today?” “Easter” she said confidently. “What happened on Easter”, asked the teacher? She replied, “Jesus came out of the tomb…and if He sees His shadow He goes back in for seven weeks!”

INTRODUCTION: We are here this morning to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ

The resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith – our faith is predicated on the belief that Jesus Christ not only died on the cross but that He rose from the dead

If it were not a reality, there would be no Christian faith

The first sermon ever preached at Pentecost was preached by Peter and it was a sermon on ‘The Resurrection’

Acts 2 :22-24 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”

In every place Paul preached, he preached the resurrection

In every epistle the resurrection is the key point in the claims held within

Quote: If Christ’s bones were still in Jerusalem, there would be no hope for anyone in the world – but His body is not there, He is alive, having been resurrected from the dead

Jesus’ resurrection is the Bible’s greatest miracle and history’s greatest fact

There are three things I want you to meditate on today as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ

I. Jesus rose bodily from the grave

a. When the believers first came to Jesus’ tomb, His body was missing

i. It had not been stolen as the Jewish leaders asserted

1. This would have been impossible because of the guard set at the tomb by Pilate

2. Matthew 27 tells us that he placed a seal on the tomb and guards to protect it

3. There was no way the disciple’s who wouldn’t stand next to Jesus at His crucifixion would risk their lives simply to steal His dead body

ii. His body was not stolen, God had raised Him from the dead

b. It was not just Jesus’ influence, His Spirit or His energy that rose, but His actual glorified body

i. When Jesus met with His disciples after His resurrection, He met them in bodily form

ii. Many new-age religions and mysticisms try to say that Jesus did not rise bodily, but He rose only spiritually

iii. But listen to Jesus’ own words in Luke’s Gospel

iv. Luke 24:39 “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."”

c. Jesus rose from the grave as not just a Spirit, not just a force, not just an energy, but as a glorified body of flesh and bone

II. Jesus rose eternally from the grave

a. Jesus was not the first person to be resurrected from the dead

i. Elijah and Elisha saw people raised from the dead

ii. Paul raised the young man from the dead who fell out of a window

iii. Jesus also raised others from the dead Himself

1. Jairus’ daughter

2. The widow’s son at Nain

3. Lazarus at Bethany

b. What separates Christ’s resurrection is that all of these others eventually died again

i. He is called the ‘first fruit’ of the resurrection

ii. I Corinthians 15:20 “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

iii. This is not because He was the first to be raised, but because He was the first to be raised ‘eternally’

c. Jesus came forth from the grave, “alive forevermore”

III. Jesus rose victoriously from the grave

a. When Jesus walked out of that tomb death and the grave lost their sting

i. I Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"”

b. The Bibles says that He came forth from the grave with the keys of death and hell in His hands

i. Revelation 1:18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

ii. The grave could not hold Him

iii. Death could not harm Him

iv. The stone could not darken the Light of the world

c. Illustration: “England Defeated” During the “Battle of Waterloo” there was a man who was set at a post in England’s Winchester Cathedral anxiously awaiting the signal as to whether or not his country had won the war. As the lighted signal began to shine, fog began rolling through. The watchman read the signal which said, “England defeated”. He signaled the news to the other watchmen and it spread along the countryside and all were devastated by the tragedy. Then the fog lifted. And the watchman discovered the true signal said, “England defeated the enemy” Joy and happiness overflowed because England had won!

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