Summary: An Easter Sermon detailing why the resurrection is the most important event in history.
ILLUSTRATION - E.V. Hill story - Old 1800, “Get to the good news, preacher.” “That’s it! That’s the good news!”
We’ve spent a lot of time examining who we are on the inside - looking past the facade’s that we place out there for others to see - and we’ve realized that we are in bad shape - hopeless shape - because we tend to be selfish, self-promoting kinds of people. We need to remember who we can be - but today is about the good news.
So much information is out there - bombarded with it. Average TV is on for 8 hrs and 11 minutes a day.
We spend an average of 3 hours/day online - and that includes the person who doesn’t know how to turn a computer on and the 35-year old who doesn’t have a job and plays video games all day long.
Everywhere you turn there is something new to look at, a new product to consider. You stand in line at the checkout and you learn ALL kinds of things. How to seduce your man. How to look 25 years old again. How to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. You learn about Brad and Angelina, Tom and Katie, Days of our Lives, and Survivor - all while waiting to purchase your Diet Coke and King-sized Snickers bar.
Information is everywhere. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question, “But what is the most important thing you know?” Because that is a brilliant question and a question that needs to be answered.
To answer that question, let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 15 and let’s do some straight-up Bible teaching.
READ 1-2 AND COMMENT:
This section stands as a fifth witness to the original Easter events...
“Remind” - I want you to have a thorough knowledge of this, I want to make this known to you, I want to declare this to you.
“Gospel” - the good message
“Saved” - by which you are being made whole, by which you are being delivered, by which you are being saved
The gospel of Paul was received from the tradition of the very early church
Probably written around 50 A.D.
The gospel he preached was not unique to him…
The content of the story (what he is about to repeat) is a kind of foundation-story with which a community is not at liberty to tamper. It was probably formulated within the first two to three years after Easter.
In terms of this being created as a myth or legend, it was just not possible. The story had been solidified much too quickly for any legendary material to develop.
Like trying to do an ice carving in the desert.
Paul calls him “Christ” = Messiah
It is because Jesus is Messiah that his death represents the turning point in which the present evil age is left behind and those who belong to Jesus are rescued from it
Gal. 1.4 - who [Jesus] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father
If He’s not Messiah, He’s just another guy.
Jesus Christ Died for our sins
This is true - even though many have tried to deny
Beaten, flogged, nailed to a cross with spikes, when it appeared He was dead they ran a spear into his side, rupturing his heart. When your heart gets blown up, you’re done. And I don’t know a whole lot about medicine, but I’m pretty sure that when you lose your heart, there’s not a backup plan… It’s not like you have two like an extra gas tank on a pickup truck...
If Jesus DIDN’T die, we’re talking about a bigger miracle than the resurrection.
He didn’t just die, either. He died for our sins. Many people have died. Many people have given their lives for noble causes. But only one has done so for our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 - He who knew no sin, became sin.
He is our scapegoat.
But, without the resurrection, there is no reason to believe this.
Jesus was buried
Further proof that He was dead
This was an oddity for crucifixion victims - normally they were thrown into a common grave.
He was poor, didn’t have a tomb of His own, so one of his followers [Joseph of Arimathea] who was a wealthy disciple, secret disciple, took his body and buried Him.
Wrapped the body in linens, loaded them up with around 75 pounds of spices, and laid him in a cold, damp, tomb. The tomb was then sealed by the government with a large rock and the governor’s seal and guarded by two soldiers.
Which just continues to drive home that He was DEAD. If you have been through a trauma like He did and somehow managed to survive and just kind of passed out, being wrapped up in linens and 75 pounds of spices and laid in a cold and damp tomb, is probably not the best way to wake back up. And even if you did, then to get up on crucified feet and hands, roll away a huge stone, overpower professional killers, walk back to Jerusalem (crucified feet) and appear to your followers and say, “I’m back boys! I told you! Now, give me a chair, my feet are killing me…”