Summary: Resurrection of Christ has great implications to our present experience of life.
THE MESSAGES OF RESURRECTION
ILLUSTRATION Josh McDowell entered university as a young man looking for a good time and searching for happiness and meaning in life. He tried going to church, but found religion unsatisfying. He ran for student leadership positions but was disappointed by how quickly the glamour wore off. He tried the party circuit, but he woke up Monday mornings feeling worse than ever.
He finally noticed a group of students engaged in Bible study, and he became intrigued by the radiance of one of the young ladies. He asked her a reason for it. She looked him straight in the eye, smiled, and said, “Jesus Christ.” “Oh, for heaven’s sake,” he retorted, “don’t give me that garbage about religion.” She replied, “I didn’t say religion; I said Jesus Christ.”
The students invited him to intellectually examine the claims of Christ and the evidence supporting Christianity. He accepted their challenge, and after much study and research, finally admitted that he couldn’t refute the body of proof supporting Christianity. McDowell received Christ as his Savior, and his research became the background for his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict.
One of the major factors in his conversion to Christianity was his inability to ignore the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, a point he made later to a student at the University of Uruguay who asked him, “Professor McDowell, why can’t you intellectually refute Christianity?” “For a very simple reason,” replied McDowell. “I am not able to explain away an event in history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
If no one can minimize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we better examine them and listen to the messages it proclaim to the world. What message does God wants us to hear because of the resurrection of Christ? (Luke 24:1-49)
1. Message about the Trustworthiness of God. ( vv. 6-8, 25-27)
“6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7’The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’" 8Then they remembered his words.”
“25He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ has to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Jesus revealed ahead of time the event of his death and resurrection. But the disciples apparently did not believe His words. What are the proofs of their unbelief? They went to the tomb and brought spices to delay the decomposition of the body (v. 1). Second, they were disappointed that He died and were surprised by the absence of Christ’s body (vv. 21-22).
Brethren, always remember that God’s Word is trustworthy. Easter Sunday is a good opportunity to celebrate God’s trustworthiness. He promised that He will rise again and He did. He promised that He is coming back and he will. Our God is not only a God of promise but of fulfillment.
2. Message about the Presence of God(vv. 36-43)
“36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. He said, "Peace be with you." 37But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! 38"Why are you frightened?" he asked. "Why do you doubt who I am? 39Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me.
Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!" 40As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his feet. 41Still they stood there doubting, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he ate it as they watched.”
When they did not find the body, they were worried that somebody might have stolen it. And when He appeared before them, they cannot believe that it is really Him that they saw. Jesus did not really left this world, the physical Jesus returned to God the Father but His Spirit stays with us and live within us. He made our bodies His temple (see Romans 8:9-11). Thus we acknowledge the fact that Jesus is both here and coming.
ILLUSTRATION There’s a beautiful old story about a Sunday school teacher who asked the children in his class to bring plastic eggs on Easter Sunday, each one filled with something that symbolized the meaning of the resurrection. The day came, and the teacher took each child’s egg in turn, opening it and making a point of amplifying and reinforcing its meaning.