Summary: Based on Matthew 28:1-10 & other selected Scriptures - Sermon focuses on 4 realities that the resurrection confirms & assures.
“RESURRECTION REALITIES” Matthew 28:1-10
FBCF – 4/4/21
INTRO – “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming” video
The truth that we celebrate today is the truth that sets us apart from all other religions. The message of the resurrection is central to the Gospel. Without this life-changing, history-altering truth, we are no different from any other religion, just going through the motions, hoping that our deity will look favorably on our manmade rituals & ceremonies.
- Not about a children’s story of the Easter Bunny & hiding Easter eggs, but about the true story of redemption & salvation through Christ & Christ alone.
- Not about new clothes, but about new life that only Jesus can give us.
- Not about coming to a church service once a year out of a sense of duty, but about coming into a relationship w/ Jesus Christ out of a realization of our sinfulness & lostness.
- Not about walking into a church building hoping that God sees us, but about running to Him in brokenness & repentance when we realize that He really does see us in our sinfulness, & how desperately we need to be saved.
- Not about HOPING we make it to heaven b/c we went to church a few times & tried to live a good life, but KNOWING we are saved & on our way to heaven b/c we realize that we are dead sinners bound for hell, & that Jesus is alive & we’ve turned our lives completely over to Him.
Let’s talk about some resurrection realities that are true today.
EXPLANATION – Matthew 28:1-10
Charles Spurgeon said this about Jesus’ resurrection: “Gospel preaching affirms that Jesus is alive. We do not preach to you a dead Christ, but one who is able to save to the uttermost, seeing He ever liveth.” He also said, “This cornerstone of our faith is sure, & upon the certainty of it we build our faith.”
I like that word “cornerstone.” Dictionary.com defines a cornerstone as:
1. A stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved w/ the date & laid w/ appropriate ceremonies.
a. The Church is definitely a monumental building, not made of bricks & steel, but made up of all who are Christ-followers. And Ephesians 2:20 tells us that Jesus is the chief Cornerstone. Our entire lives as believers & our existence as the Church is built upon Him & the truth that He is alive today.
2. Something that is essential, indispensable, or basic.
a. The resurrection is an essential, indispensable, basic doctrine in our theology. Without it, ours is a dead religion just like every other religion in the world.
3. The chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed.
a. The resurrection is the foundation for our joy…our worship…purpose for living…our hope for eternal life in heaven.
All of those definitions apply to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus! The Apostle Paul put it this way: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – “I passed on to you what was most important & what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, & He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” (NLT)
APPLICATION – “He is not here, for HE HAS RISEN!”
We are talking about resurrection realities today. We see these resurrection realities in some of the things that were said before & after His resurrection.
FORGIVENESS WAS GRANTED! – “Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:24)
What an amazing display of love, grace, & mercy from the cross! Even in the midst of His agony, His main concern was for the forgiveness of even those who were His enemies. In fact, forgiveness was the whole reason that He was on the cross. He was there to forgive anyone who will come to Him in faith & believe that He truly is the Savior of the world.
- He asked the Father to forgive the thieves on either side of Him.
- …the soldiers who mocked Him, spit on Him, beat Him, yanked out His beard, smashed the crown of thorns upon His head, & drove the nails into His hands & feet.
- …the angry mob who railed against Him & cried out for His crucifixion.
- …the religious leaders who schemed & plotted & planned His betrayal by Judas &, ultimately, His crucifixion.
And that forgiveness extends to you & me today. His blood was shed for our forgiveness & His resurrection secured & assured our forgiveness. Maybe you need to do that today!
GOD'S PLAN FOR SALVATION WAS ACCOMPLISHED! – “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
Of all the statements that Jesus said from the cross, none is more important or more powerful that when cried out, “It is finished!” In that statement that reverberated throughout the universe, Jesus was proclaiming that God’s perfect plan for our salvation was definitively accomplished. The debt owed to His Father had been paid in full forever – not any debt that Jesus Himself owed, but the debt owed by all mankind – the debt for sin.