Summary: The resurrection of Jesus is much more than a resuscitation, it's the new creation beginning! Easter isn't just an event, it's a revelation: we need intimacy with Jesus to heal our emptiness. It will conquer our fears, remove our doubts, & forgive our failures.
HE IS RISEN!
Lk. 24: 1-6; 36-39
1. A Romanian woman fainted when she opened her front door and found her husband standing there. The Romanian weekly, Tinerama, says it all started when a man named Neagu choked on a fishbone, stopped breathing, and collapsed.
2. The family doctor, knowing Neagu’s heart condition, didn’t think twice about declaring the 71 year-old man dead on a heart attack. But three days later, gravediggers at the cemetery heard someone knock on wood. They opened Neagu’s coffin to find him surrounded by flowers but very much alive.
3. When Neagu arrived home, his wife, fearing he was a ghost, barred him from spending nights at home. It took Neagu three weeks to convince authorities to cancel his death certificate from their registers. [Servant Mag., 09/91, p. 9]
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Lk. 24: 1-6; 36-39
C. WHAT MADE THE EARLY CHURCH SO GREAT?
It was because they knew a Jesus who had risen from the dead. Nothing could stop them! Not even death! Because they knew they would rise again!
D. WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY APPROX. 2,000 YEARS AGO?
1. The ground began to rumble; a nuclear blast shook the center of Hell.
2. Death was overcome and the Saints of old were liberated from death.
3. Life reigned triumphant. I serve a Risen Savior! Christians ought to have a positive outlook on life because we know that Jesus is Risen!
I. THE SHOCKING DEFINITION OF “RESURRECTION”
A. WHAT RESURRECTION DOES NOT MEAN:
1. Not the resuscitation of a dead body like Neagu experienced. Even those that Jesus raised during His ministry – like Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus – all died again and lay in the grave.
2. So resurrection is not the reviving of a person – who’s heart has stopped beating, or who's stopped breathing, or who's brain has ceased to function – to resume the kind of life they had before.
B. WHAT RESURRECTION DOES MEAN:
1. The Greek word “anastasis” is used almost exclusively of Jesus’ resurrection and the future resurrection of all the dead.
2. In Acts 26:23, Paul says that “Christ was the first to rise from the dead.” So he’s not referring to resuscitation or to anything of this present universe.
3. Jesus’ earthly body was transformed, not only at the cellular or atomic level, but deeper. God’s going to destroy this present universe and create a New Heaven & Earth where there’s never been a Fall, or Sin. God reached forward and brought back into this universe that resurrection life and recreated Jesus’ body as the first act of creation of that New Order.
4. That’s why the Scripture declares that God “exerted” His mighty strength when He raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:20). That’s why Jesus “rose” with a different kind of body, with different characteristics and properties.
C. CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS RESURRECTION BODY
1. He could pass through walls.
2. Could appear instantly many miles away.
3. Not hindered by gravity.
4. He could pass through outer space without a space suit.
5. His (and our) body will never be capable of dying again.
6. It cannot experience pain. Rev. 21:4 says “There will be no more...pain.”
D. ILLUS. The Butterflies
1. A teacher at our school once ordered butterflies for a class project. They were supposed to be in the larvae stage – as caterpillars. She was disappointed when they arrived in the cocoon stage.
2. Imagine a caterpillar funeral. Caterpillars carry around a cocoon, mourning the loss of a friend. Little do they know, in a few days the cocoon will open and their friend will be soaring in the sky, dressed in beautiful colors, and no longer earthbound or in a “wormy” body.