Summary: Because God raised and exalted Jesus and gave Him the name above all names, we must all bow before Him and confess Him as our Lord.
I have introduced this phrase to some of my English classes this past week. I would like for us to say it. I’ll say “He is risen,” and you say “He is risen indeed.” Let’s try it.
He is risen
He is risen indeed.
Because that is what we are celebrating today, Jesus is risen from the dead. I don’t think anyone can put it better than what the angel told Mary and Mary Magdalene as they went to the tomb Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body.
Matthew 28:5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
Matthew 28:6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ’He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you."
Since I have been a Christian over 30 years I have heard many messages on Easter. Some I remember, some I don’t. But I cannot forget the fact that the tomb is empty. And this week, I read a letter from James Dobson, about how many have tried to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is not the purpose of this message and I will also tell you that several have set out to disprove the resurrection of Christ only to end up believing in Him. Probably the best example is Josh McDowell. I’ll let him tell his story. But just remember this. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, there would be no reason for any of us to be here. Paul can explain that better than I can and he takes the whole 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians to do that. So read it for yourself.
We are here today because Jesus has risen from the dead. And your probably guessing I’m going to use one of the gospel accounts or 1 Corinthians 15. Guess again because I’m not going to use any of them. Instead, I’m going to use a passage I gave a message before when we were in Philippians and I often use this passage at Christmas. It is one that best explains the incarnation, humility, exaltation and glorification of Christ, as one of my seminary professors, Dr. Robert Lightner said in his commentary on Philippians. We are going to focus on the exaltation and glorification mostly because today is Easter.
I’ve been also explaining to several of my English classes about the significance of Easter and how we celebrate it. For example, many churches have Easter sunrise services. When Mary and Mary Magdalene approached the tomb of Jesus, it was early Sunday morning. I remember the first time I went to one was in 1979. I was attending Denton Bible Church. We had been meeting in the Optomist Gym for 2 ½ years but had recently purchased some land to build our new facilities. The pastor announced that several people would like a sunrise service so we would have one at 6:00AM Easter Sunday on the new land. I lived in Dallas at the time, and had been out late the night before (on a date), and didn’t really want to go. I didn’t sleep well that night, and I think God made it very clear why I couldn’t sleep; I needed to go to that Sunrise Service. I’m glad I did. We sang some songs, an elder gave a message and we opened up for a time of prayer. We had been studying the book of Revelation (it’s Revelation, not Revelations) and the pastor had been giving messages on the 7 churches. I prayed that we would remember the good points of the churches and be like them, and that we would not do the bad things the churches had done. I prayed that these letters to the 7 churches would be reminders to us just as well. For example, I prayed that like the church at Ephesus, we would remember our first love, and not be like the church at Laodicea and become lukewarm. Some friends invited me to breakfast at their house and we had our regular service. That song you heard, “The Easter Song, was sung by a trio of 3 women. It was a glorious Easter.