Summary: What if... Jesus really did rise from the dead? And what if... we can know Him in the power of His resurrection? When we personally encounter His resurrection power, everything changes.
EASTER SUNDAY – RESURRECTION POWER
THE APOSTLE’S CREED:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell, and on the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE RESURRECTION?
“But tell me this – since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless.” (1 Cor. 15:12-14).
• Easter Sunday – or resurrection day – is the most important day of the Christian year.
• There are many books written on the proofs for the resurrection that I recommend.
o Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ
o Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict
o CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity
“That I may know Him, in the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:10).
THE BIG IDEA:
What if... Jesus really did rise from the dead? And what if... we can know Him in the power of His resurrection? When we personally encounter His resurrection power, everything changes.
ENCOUNTERS WITH RESURRECTION POWER:
1. TO MARY AND MARY MAGDALENE – SUNDAY MORNING: JOY
“1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples (Mark adds “and Peter” Mark 16:7) that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matt. 28:1-10).
• Here the women came weeping, mourning, grieving and fearful.
• But after encountering His resurrection power, they were full of fear and great JOY!
• Right away, they went and told other people the Good News.
• The journey: Hurting, Healed, Helping Others.
2. TO PETER AND JOHN: HOPE AND FORGIVENESS
“1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.” (John 20:1-8).