Summary: Easter sermon dealing with how the resurrection continues to affect us.
April 20, 2003
Today we celebrate the victory of Jesus over sin and death by His resurrection.
He was crucified, considered to be the most barbaric and cruel form of capital punishment known to man before or since.
And three days later, He was raised to life, triumphant over death and the grave.
His resurrection did more than validate Jesus’ claims to be God. It paved the way for regular people like you and me to have a deep, personal, authentic relationship with God Himself.
Today I want to examine three areas that the resurrection of Jesus affects. I say “affects” instead of “effected” because these are continual. They are still being impacted by Jesus’ resurrection 2,000 years ago.
My intention today is to give you a glimpse of what Christ has done for you as an individual – an individual for whom Christ died.
And in the process, offer you hope in
So the question I want to address is this:
How does the resurrection affect us today?
1. The resurrection affects history.
It goes without saying that Jesus has had an impact on society. Paul describes what it was about Jesus that sets Jesus apart from other people.
1CO 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Jesus was a historical figure. He lived and died as a historical figure. And He rose again as a historical figure. And while we understand that He was ever so much more than just a man in history, it’s very important that we understand that the life, death, and resurrection were real historical events.
In our passage this morning, Paul stresses this to a great degree, especially regarding the resurrection.
He states that His resurrection was prophesied in Scripture, that it was fulfilled in history, and that Jesus appeared to over 500 people after He died.
Notice that he mentions that most of the 500 were still living at the time he wrote it. This is very significant, because it means that there were plenty of people around who could have refuted what Paul had to say.
Jesus’ resurrection not only validated His message, it gave the early followers of Jesus the courage to face death and torture, and to bring the message to the far corners of the known world.
And that message continues to affect lives today. The historical fact of the resurrection affects history, even today.
2. The resurrection affects our perspective.
It validates our faith.
1CO 15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
Basically, the resurrection is what makes our faith worth having in the first place. People can like what Jesus had to say, especially those things that tell us to be nice to each other, but His resurrection gives power to His words. A power that no other religious person has.
You see, all the other leaders of religions have died and are still in the grave. Only Jesus has risen. He proved His words by rising from the dead.
Paul says that without the resurrection we are still in our sins. Why be a Christian if you don’t have forgiveness? Forgiveness was made possible by not just the death of Jesus, but also His resurrection.
Why? Because by rising from the dead, He proved His power over sin and death.
His resurrection validates our faith.
It gives us hope.