Summary: Why Christ’s followers are so pumped up about the resurrection of Jesus.
We’re going to continue our Easter worship celebration by answering a very important question:
“Why should it matter to me whether or not Christ is dead or alive?”
Christ’s followers make a big deal that on the first Easter Jesus was alive even though three days earlier He had suffered and died on a cross. Why do we care so much?
Let’s cut to the chase with a sentence from the Bible that not only answers this question directly but also answers it in an exciting way!
Here are the words of one of Christ’s closest followers, Simon Peter.
“Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven – and the future starts now!” 1 Peter 1:3-4 (Mes)
That’s an exciting sentence! No wonder the truth about Jesus is called The Good News! No wonder Christ’s followers are so enthusiastic about Easter!
Let’s break down what this sentence of Good News from God’s Word is telling us.
BECAUSE JESUS WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD…
1. WE’VE BEEN GIVEN A BRAND NEW LIFE!
When I give my heart and life to Christ, when I trust Him as God’s Son and my Savior, the Bible says I get a brand new life!
There’s very little really new stuff in this world. Most of it is just repackaged, repositioned, relabeled or retitled.
There’s a new best-selling book out called “The Secret.” But a lot of reviewers are saying the positive thinking information in the book is really not a secret and that the information in the book is not new stuff. Some say it is the same thing Norman Vincent Peale said in "The Power of Positive Thinking" over 50 years ago.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution said the book “is really repackaging and hype that lures a gullible audience seeking a quick fix for its troubles.”
If you’ve read the book and like it I’m not trying to be critical – I just think its interesting that people believe something is “new” when it really isn’t. There’s very little that is actually new in the world. But God says He wants to give you a brand new life. He wants to give you a chance to start over. He wants to give you a chance to begin again.
Simon Peter, the man who wrote these words, knew from personal experience what he was talking about here in this sentence from the Bible. He was an eyewitness who saw and talked to Christ before and after His resurrection. And he knew a lot about the change that knowing Christ brings! What’s more, he knew it from personal experience! He knew about getting a brand new life!
When Simon and Jesus first met, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter. (John 1:42) The name Simon basically means, “pebble” and the name Peter means “rock.” Names meant a lot more in those days and I’m sure everyone was impressed by Christ’s belief in Peter’s potential. He was basically saying, “You’re a little pebble but I’m going to mold you and transform you into a boulder! I’m going to give you a brand new life.”
Jesus was predicting how Simon was going to change because of his friendship with Christ, how he was going to grow. He had potential to be more than a pebble. He was going to be a solid rock in the early church and that’s precisely what he became. He preached the first official sermon in the church and thousands of people decided to become Christ followers when they heard what he had to say! (Acts 2)
Christ knows the potential inside of you too! And not only does He know it – He has the ability to help you reach your greatest potential! He has the power to help you make positive changes in your life! He is ready, willing and able to transform you from a pebble into a boulder! He offers you a brand new life.
He gives new life when you make Him your friend because He is all about life.
Another one of His first followers, John, said this about Jesus.
“Life began by Him. His Life was the Light for men.” John 1:4 (NLV)
One of the reasons that it matters so much that Jesus is alive is that you and I need someone to help us reach our greatest potential. We need someone to help us make positive changes. We need someone who can give us a brand new life!
We’re not talking here about self-help gurus. We’re talking about someone who can do for you what no human can do – what you can’t do for your self. We’re talking about someone who can give you spiritual life – someone who imparts supernatural power to you.