Summary: New life is found, not by trying, but by trusting.
Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This claim is unique to the Christian faith. In his book, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Josh McDowell says: All but 4 of the major world religions are based on philosophical propositions. Among the 4 based on personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims its founder was resurrected.
In 1900 B.C. Judaism’s Father Abraham died. In 483 B.C. Buddhist writings say Buddha died “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.” It is recorded that Mohammed died on June 6, 632 A.D. But Christianity claims that in 33 A.D., Jesus died but then came back to life.
If Jesus did not rise from the dead, the Christian faith is a foolish fantasy. But if the resurrection did occur, it confirms Christ’s life, message, and atoning work. It is the basis of our hope of life beyond the grave. Christ is alive, and the evidence is overwhelming.
3. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes vacant. If those who opposed Christ wished to silence His disciples, all they had to do was produce a body, but they could not (John 20:3-9).
4. Many people saw the resurrected Christ. They looked on His face, touched Him, heard His voice, and saw Him eat (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:13-39; John 20:11-29; John 21:1-9; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-8).
5. The lives of the disciples were revolutionized. Though they fled and even denied Christ at the time of His arrest, they later feared no one in their proclamation of the risen Lord (Matt 26:56, 69-75).
6. The resurrection was the central message of the early church. They boldly proclaimed that Christ had risen and was the Lord of the church (Acts 4:33; 5:30-32; Rom. 5:24).
7. Many today testify that the risen Christ has changed their lives. We know that Jesus is alive
not only by the historical and biblical evidence, but because He has made a difference in us.
It is on this last evidence for the resurrection that this series is based. Paul tells us in Romans chapter 6 that the victory Jesus achieved, He achieved on our behalf.
“. . . just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” - Romans 6:4-5 (NKJV)
In this series, we will explore the “newness of life” made possible by the resurrection of our Lord and our identification with Him. Today, I want us to understand how the resurrection of Christ from the dead makes it possible for me to live as a new person. (READ TEXT)
Paul speaks here about the compelling nature of Christ’s love for us. Indeed, the Bible tells us that the cross of Christ is a profound demonstration of God’s love for each of us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8 (NIV)
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” - 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
Jesus came to suffer the penalty for our sins, so we need not have to.
“Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal
life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” - Romans 6:23 (The Message)
“For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God.” - 1 Peter 3:18 (Amplified)
This truth is what Paul emphasizes in verse 14, where he speaks of . . .
1. Payment & Provision – v. 14
Note what the sacrifice of Christ has provided - “one died for all.”
Jesus has provided forgiveness for the entire human race - everyone who has lived, is living, or ever will live - everyone who believes and everyone who refuses to believe.
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” - 1 John 2:2 (NIV)
As man, Jesus did what perfect man alone had to do - pay sin’s penalty representively. For you see, it was humanity that stood condemned. As God, He did what God alone could do - pay sin’s penalty completely. These two things are what make the provision of the cross Good News!
God sees the death of Christ as representative for the entire human race. That’s why Paul says, “therefore all died.” But He also sees the death of Christ as completely satisfying the penalty owed by everyone, which is why Paul says Jesus died, “once for all.” The penalty for sin has been paid for everyone, therefore, everyone is already forgiven, but not everyone has benefited from that forgiveness.