Summary: Paul’s explanation of our hope in Jesus Christ
Intro: why is Easter,(Resurrection Sunday) the most important day of the year. I believe Paul summed it all up in I Corinthians chapter 15--this is his thesis on the importance of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. Our key verse is 19, Paul states that if we only have hope in this life, we are of all people the most miserable. He said this because our entire message would be false if Jesus didn’t conquer the grave. His message is Hope Restored
I. Friday’s hope--sins forgiven- v.3
Paul starts by saying Jesus died according to the scriptures. He shows that the world didn’t take the life of Jesus, but that Jesus gave his life for sin.
He was a Savior before he was the Resurrected Lord
He conquered sin, before he conquered death
He gave spiritual life before eternal life
Hope was restored at the cross. Before Christ we were without hope in this world. Aliens and strangers to God’s promises.
Before Paul went into the victory of the grave, He pointed out that our hope is that Jesus saves the soul.
II. Restored Hope in Resurrection--5-8
In revealing Himself to people, Jesus was the restorer of hope. Paul gives a partial list of those He revealed himself too. I will give some others.
a. Emmaus Road--to those who had given up--they said, didn’t our hearts burn within us as He opened the scriptures to us.
b. Peter fishing-to those who had failed--when Peter realized the significance of the cast your nets on the other side of the boat, He said, it is the Lord.
c. Thomas- to those who doubted--my Lord and my God.
d. Paul- to those who had fought against Him-revealed to me as born out of time.
P.O W. was asked how did you keep your mind? He said, every day when the sun came up, I said, this is the day that freedom will come. Today church, that is the hope of Easter, no matter how big the obstacle, today is the day that freedom has come.
*steal someone’s wealth they will build it again, steal someone’s purpose they will just exist, steal someone’s hope and they will die.
III. Hopes Impact--9-10 by the grace of God I am what I am. Paul’s next thought is the impact the resurrection made in lives. When you restore hope, you give new life.
a. Peter stood to preach- Acts 2--Paul mentions that the gospel was effective in Peter’s life. The one who denied the Lord now stands in boldness for the Lord.
b. the church multiplied--Acts 2-28
c. Paul’s incredible journey--he that once tried to destroy Christ, now preaches the gospel of Christ. Paul says, it worked in Peter, in worked in others, but the best news, it works in me.
ill) A.H. Ackley heard a preacher on radio explain the resurrection as a hoax. He screamed, it’s a lie. He then wrote these words, I serve a risen Savior He’s in the world today, I know that He is living whatever men may say, I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He’s always near. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me, and talks with me, along life’s narrow way, He lives, He lives, salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.
IV. Hope’s Reward--v.20 first fruit
this may be an unfamiliar term in our society, but in Jewish culture it meant the first fruit offered to God out of the ground, the tithe. Paul now states the reward of our hope, is that Jesus defeated death first, we will defeat death next.
the dead in Christ shall rise first
if the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He will quicken your mortal body
David--you will not leave me in the ground
ill) for many years the 4 minute mile was said to be the impossible feat. Many came close, but no one could break the four minute mile. Until Roger Bannister did it. Within a short time, it was broken 50 more times. The message was simple, he did it, it can be done.
The message of Easter, Jesus was first in line, I am next. No grave could hold his body down, no grave can hold my body down.
close: A British man sold everything he had, including his clothes, rented some clothes and headed to bet his life fortune of 138,000 dollars on a double or nothing bet in Las Vegas. When asked why, he responded, I want to bet everything in life on something.
Today, that’s the Easter hope. We bet our lives on the empty tomb. I don’t know if the man won or lost, but I do know this, the Word of God says, anyone who gives there life to Christ will not be ashamed, disappointed.
Today, bet your life on Jesus. Have your hope restored.