Summary: Easter reflection: Implications of Jesus’ resurrection for our hope and our eternal destiny.
If Jesus was not raised…
Easter Sunday - Jesus is risen!
A Sunday School teacher asked her class on the Sunday before Easter if they knew what happened on Easter and why it was so important. One little girl spoke up saying: "Easter is when the whole family gets together, and you eat turkey and sing about the pilgrims and all that." "No, that’s not it," said the teacher.
"I know what Easter is," a second student responded. "Easter is when you get a tree and decorate it and give gifts to everybody and sing lots of songs." "Nope, that’s not it either," replied the teacher.
Finally a third student spoke up, "Easter is when Jesus was killed, and put in a tomb and left for three days." "Ah, thank goodness somebody knows" the teacher thought to herself.
But then the student went on: "Then everybody gathers at the tomb and waits to see if Jesus comes out, and if he sees his shadow he has to go back inside and we have six more weeks of winter."
Some of us have some weird ideas about Easter. What does the Bible have to say about it? What’s Easter to you? What really happened? Why is it important for Christians, and what implications does Easter have for the world? Today the church of Jesus Christ all over the world celebrates the central event of Christianity. Today, wherever Christian churches are meeting they are saying “He is risen” and folks will reply “He is risen indeed!”
This is the big one event that makes or breaks the church of Jesus Christ! Without this event in history, Christianity will fall apart, as we read in our text this morning. It is of first importance… it is crucial … without this fact we are have a useless faith.
Read I Cor. 15:14-19 again.
The apostle Paul made it crystal clear that no middle ground exists. If you want to prove Christianity is a farce, a delusion, and a cop-out for millions, all you’ve gotta to do is prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a phoney as a 3 dollar bill. As u know there is no such a thing called a 3-dollar bill! Either there is a 3-dollar bill or there is no 3 dollar bill! So the Resurrection is history or hoax, miracle or myth, fact or fantasy.
A former sceptic by the name of Josh McDowell puts it, “After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the ‘most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history.’” Hank Hanegraff who heads up CRI (Christian Research Inst.) wrote this: “The Resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith — without it there would be no Christianity. It elevates Christianity above all other world religions. Through the Resurrection Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad. Jesus Christ is utterly unique. He had the power not only to lay down His life, but also to take it up again.”
So what if the resurrection is true? 2+2 = 4. That’s true! So what? How does that alter my life? Well, if Jesus is able to rise from the dead… it can alter people like Raymond Martinot. It will have a profound effect on the decisions he made in life.
March 13, 2002, this was the story published in Toronto Star – out in SAUMUR, France (AP) — A court in central France ruled that day that the corpses of a dead couple who were frozen in hopes of one day being brought back to life must be removed from their cryogenic chambers and buried. The court in the central French town of Saumur ruled in favor of local authorities, who had argued that the continued refrigeration of Raymond Martinot and Monique Leroy was against the law.
But what made this couple want to do something like this? Reason: he hopes to rise again from the dead. Martinot was a doctor fascinated with cryogenics. Several years before Dr. Martinot died, he was interviewed by French television station M6 and said he was unsure that scientific advances would ever meet his goal but in the remote possibility that science can advance he chose to freeze his body along with Monique upon his death.
"It might be extremely long, because no one can predict what will happen in the future," he told his interviewer. "It might never be possible.’’
This is the hope of someone like Dr. Martinot, who would freeze his body upon death. Even he admitted it is might never be possible for the dead to rise again. He wants to conquer death, cheat death. But wake up, Martinots of this world, it MIGHT NEVER BE. In fact, French law will be pulling the plug on him.., it will never be!