Summary: The meaning of the Resurrection for us today from Romans 8:31-39
Resurrection Good News
(adapted from the outline of chp. 17 in Max Lucado’s book, The Grip of Grace.)
Read Romans 8:18-39 (though the focus will be on 8:31-39)
I heard about an atheist who was a little bit upset because of all the holidays that people of faith celebrated. He said to a friend, “You Christians have Christmas and Easter. And Jews celebrate their holidays like Passover and Yom Kippur. But we atheists don’t have recognized holidays. It’s unfair discrimination.”
His friend thought about it for a moment and said, “Well, you atheists could celebrate April 1. That could be your holiday. You know, April Fool’s Day. It fits, because ‘the fool has said in his heart there is no God.’ ” And that is, in fact, what the Bible tells us in Psalm 14:1 and 53:1.
However, Easter is for everyone. It is not about bunnies or brightly colored eggs, however. Rather it is about Jesus, and specifically, it is about Jesus crucified and risen again from the dead. Christ is the resurrection and the life; and if we believe in Him, though we die here, yet shall we live eternally (John 11:25).
Because Jesus has died and has risen again, it means that we as believers do not have to be afraid of death. As 1 Corinthians 15:20 tells us, “But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (NLT). Jesus has gone to the other side, He has returned, and He has the keys to death and hell.
It’s hard for us to accept that our bodies are wearing out. Yet the Bible says we will have new bodies one day: “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23 NIV). Resurrection life and resurrection bodies like Christ’s own, when He comes again to make all things new.
Here is the message of Jesus: In Christ, You are going to see your loved ones again. You will be with them. Not only are they a part of your past, but they are also part of your future. He is the resurrection and the life, and if we believe in Him, though we were dead, yet shall we live.
1. The Question of Protection
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).
The question is not simply, "Who can be against us?" You could answer that one. The question is, IF GOD IS FOR US, who can be against us?
(Have congregation repeat with you the sentence, "God is for us," 4 times emphasizing 1st word, then 2nd and so on.)
God is for you. Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you; but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the universe.
God is for you! (Isa. 49:15-16)
2. The Question of Provision.
"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32).
Would he who gave his Son not meet our needs?
But still we worry. We worry about the IRS and the SAT and the FBI. We worry about education, recreation, and constipation.
We worry that we won’t have enough money, and when we have money we worry that we won’t manage it well.
We worry that the world will end before the parking meter expires. We worry what the dog thinks if he sees us step out of the shower. We worry that some day we’ll learn that fat free yogurt was fattening.
Would he who gave his Son not meet our needs? (Ps. 91:11)
3. Two Questions about Guilt and Grace
"Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who makes them right. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Rom. 8:33-34).
Max Lucado tells the story of a youngster who was shooting rocks with a slingshot. He could never hit his target. As he returned to Grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck was dead. The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching.
After lunch that day, Grandma told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So, Johnny did the dishes.