Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Discussing why the Resurrection is so critical to our faith.
He is Risen
This morning I want to talk with you about the greatest event in all of history - the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We understand that not everybody believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ - but for us it is a really big deal. Here’s why . . .
at our church we believe that a guy named Jesus really walked the earth. We believe Pilot had Him beaten, and that Peter denied Him.
at our church we believe that Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross. We believe that He shed real blood, cried real tears and felt real pain. We believe the sky grew dark and the earth shook. And we believe that after six excruciating hours Christ’s agony came to a crashing halt when He breathed His last breath. We also believe the story didn’t end there.
at our church we believe with every ounce of our being that Jesus walked out of the tomb alive on Sunday morning. Please don’t ask us to shy away from that core conviction because it lies at the very center of our faith. We invite you to check it out for yourself.
at our church we are not going to just leave the story there. We are not going to place it on a dusty doctrinal bookshelf in some church basement.
at our church we are going to learn to live each day in full response to the empty tomb - and make no mistake about it - there is abundant life to be had right now for every person in this room. And it is all because 2000 years ago God took on human flesh. He lived. Then He died. And then He lived again. And today we are celebrating that event and the life it offers us. It is Easter. He is risen. (Wording edited from Worship House Media clip, ‘Easter, Welcome to Our Church’)
Please open your Bibles with me to the book of Luke and the 24th chapter. I would like to talk with you this morning about three words that are amongst the most powerful you will ever hear. They come from the Bible, have rung out from pulpits through the ages, are at the depth of every true believers core convictions, they unnerve Jesus enemies, and they are the title of my message this morning.
"He is Risen"
Eighteen years ago, on Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the Pentagon. Her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait and was dead.
Ruth Dillow later wrote, "I can’t begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For 3 days I expressed anger and loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great."
But 3 days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The voice on the other end said, "Mom, it’s me. I’m alive." Ruth Dillow said, "I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, and he really was alive." The message of her son’s death was all a mistake!
She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I’m sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt."
Well perhaps not, but some who walked the pages of the New Testament would have understood how she felt because they experienced the same emotions themselves. One day they watched their best friend and teacher being nailed to a cross. They witnessed His pain as He cried out, "I thirst!" and "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" They watched the most inhuman agony and crushing pain strip him of dignity and life. Being absolutely overcome, He cried out, "It is finished," and gasped His final breath. And then they buried Him in a cold tomb. It was the worst day of their lives. Yet three days later something happened that changed the world forever.
Luke24:1-12 - The Scriptures tell us . . . [God’s Word]
The resurrection, I would suggest to you this morning, was not . . .
a metaphorical religious expression or
a circus act designed to wow the crowd.
Jesus rose bodily up from the grave - and that was the greatest day in human history. It has profound implications for all of humanity - and it has profound implications for you this morning. Rightly understood, this Easter celebration of the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead will turn any life around completely.
What I would like to do briefly this morning is give you 5 incredible things that you say when you say, "He is Risen." Are you ready?