Summary: A sermonette/exhortation to life in a state of resurrection-belief rather than in resurrection-denial.
One Resurrection Can Change Your Whole Life
Thesis: We need to have our eyes and hearts open so that we live as beneficiaries of the resurrection.
John 20:1-10–Read these verses as an initial and typical example of people’s responses to the possibility of Jesus’ resurrection!
Review: The men on the road to Emmaus; The disciples behind locked doors for fear of the Jews; Mary Magdalene and her clinging to the Lord Jesus; Thomas and his doubting, ETC...these are all examples of people who, though they were looking in to what had happened to the body of Jesus, though they were concerned, though they were His followers, they were still living in a pre-resurrection state of being and were marvelously confronted by the Resurrection–AND IT CHANGED EVERYTHING! (Briefly go over each of these and other examples and review the changed hearts and actions which are directly attributed to these people realizing that Jesus had actually risen because they had become eyewitness to his resurrection!)
(Conclude with the Thomas account, and Jesus’ words, "blessed are those who have not seen (personally), yet believe.") It is in these people’s lives that the resurrection continues to make a difference.
Exhort God’s people to live, not in a state of resurrection-denial (as concluded and/or observed from the way we respond to God and His promises, to our life and its challenges, to others and their dilemma--resurrection denial is typical of us who are more concerned about our reputation with folks than the fact that they’re going to hell and we have the Antidote to give them), but in a state of resurrection-belief (more than a mere positivism, but a conviction about God and His promises; affecting more of our life than when we’re in smooth waters, but emboldening us to look to the Lord and to follow His leading as we face the threat of difficulties, heartaches, disappointments and confrontations beyond our immediate abilities; more than just having sympathy for others, but becoming a servant who realizes that God has placed us in their lives in order for them to come face to face with the reality of His love for them in order that they might believe as we have believed).
ILLUSTRATION: Have you tasted Jesus?
One divinity school hosted an annual picnic, to which they invited one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center. One year, the guest lecturer was a professor, who spoke for two and one-half hours "proving" that the resurrection of Jesus was false.
The professor quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection, the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.
After about 30 seconds, an old preacher with a head of woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium.
"Docta Professer, I got one question", he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. CRUNCH, MUNCH, "My question is a simple question",....CRUNCH, MUNCH... "Now, I ain’t never read them books you read"...CRUNCH, MUNCH... "and I can’t recite the Scriptures in the original Greek"...CRUNCH, MUNCH... "I don’t know nothin’ about Niebuhr and Heidegger"....CRUNCH, MUNCH...He finished the apple. "All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate------was it bitter or sweet?"