Sermons

Summary: As we look at several of the encounters that the Risen Lord had with various people, we see hope rising in places of - grief, fear, doubt and failure.

Let HOPE Rise!

Easter 2020

I want to start off today with some powerful words that Paul put to paper 2000 years ago,

NOT ONLY for a bunch of believers who were living in the city of Corinth…

BUT ALSO - for (you and I) today, at this very moment on April 12, 2020.

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

By this gospel you are saved,

if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

First importance = Greek word protos

It’s the same word that Jesus used in Matthew when He told us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…

SO – what Paul is saying is, ‘hey, listen up because what I am about to say is the most important thing… Like nothing in your life will ever be AS important as this is…

OKAY – so what is so important Paul?

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

Died for whose sins? Ours

Understand – Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe because you and I owed a debt that we could never pay.

Listen – the wages sin is death

And Jesus paid those wages for all who believe and surrender their lives to Him

that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

AND ALSO – according to history…

UNDERSTAND – the evidence in favor of the resurrection of Jesus is extremely compelling

LIKE – there are a number of things that can only be accounted for by the literal, bodily resurrection of our Lord.

• The conversion of 3000 people on the Day of Pentecost, so close to the time and place of Jesus death

• The transformation of Peter and Paul

• The martyrdom of the Apostles (like people rarely if ever die for something they know to be a lie)

• The day of worship changed from Saturday to Sunday

• The continued sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism

• The unswerving testimony of the early church from the first century onward that this event actually happened

• The inability of Jesus’ enemies to produce a body and end the movement

• The changed lives of millions of Christians throughout history

• And the fact that all time revolves around this man Jesus.

LISTEN – every time you date a check, every time you create an event on your goggle calendar… every time this unbelieving world puts a date on a newspaper (like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal) or a magazine cover (like People or Time) they are (whether they realize it or not, whether they admit it or not) bearing witness to the truth that Jesus lived, Jesus died and Jesus rose again…

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,

that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Paul said…

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

THAT – Jesus lived, Jesus died and Jesus rose again!

AND LISTEN – one of the things that make Easter (Jesus’ resurrection) so important and so powerful is that it causes HOPE to rise in some extremely unexpected and unlikely places.

AND – that is what I want to talk about this morning Easter 2020, in a conversation I am calling, “Let Hope Arise.”

YEAH – hope, I think a lot of us could use some to rise in our lives right now, AMEN!

Prayer

NOW – I think most of you know that I love sports.

AND – one of the things that I find most exciting in sports is when a team makes a dramatic and unexpected comeback.

YOU KNOW – those times when it is looking like ‘game over’ and where there is little if any hope of things turning around…

SO – this week I went online and searched for the greatest comebacks in sports history.

AND NO – I am not going to mention the great comeback made by the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Sunday – July 29,2001

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