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Summary: It’s when we face our own death – whether it’s emotional, relational, or physical – that’s we want to have some certainty about our hope. There’s Someone who holds out hope for you.

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It didn’t take me long to become an out-law with my in-laws. Maryanne was the youngest of 5 kids – the one who was supposed to marry a rich man and then live right down the street form her mom and dad. The, she married me. We barely survived on a minor league salary and traveled literally from coast to coast playing baseball. I was not a popular man. Whenever we visited, I tried conversation… and no conversation. I’d cut grass; rake leaves. Nothing worked. I gave up hope of ever being “in” with my in-laws. It’s over. The relationship with them seemed dead to me.

What’s dead for you?

You’ve been praying and praying that God would fix some relationship with a friend or family member. The relationship that started out with so much promise is now confusing and hurtful. And things are getting worse. Hope is gone. And you don’t know if you really care anymore. It’s over. Dead.

For some, it’s a dream that’s dead. You were starting a business that had “can’t miss” written all over it. But somewhere along the way, the business hit a wall. Now, you’re stuck. You have no where to turn. You’re not only losing your initial seed money but all the time you invested, too. It’s over. Dead.

For some, it’s your emotions that are on life support. You thought you had turned a corner and that depression was gone. But now the depression is back and it’s bigger and “badder” than ever. Your hope for emotional victory is dead.

What’s dead in you?

Someday we’re all going to face physical death. As vibrant as we may feel today, the time may be coming when we’ll hear a physician say, “You have cancer” or “You have heart disease” or “You may only have short time to live.”

It’s when we face our own death – whether it’s emotional, relational, or physical – that’s we want to have some certainty about our hope. There’s Someone who holds out hope for you. That’s why I want to talk to you about the…

Rolling Stone

(not the band “Rolling Stones.” The Rolling Stone! The band is old. But this stone is almost 2,000 years old. And what is said to have happened behind that stone is either the greatest hoax or the greatest hope in history. Let’s learn about it in Luke 24.)

Series: Biggies – answering some of the biggest questions about God and the Bible

Next week, we’ll tackle the question, “Is the Bible really true?” Steve Piscura, a college kid from Kent State is going to join me as we try to answer that question.

Last week, a case for the Creator. Big idea? There is a Designer who wants to defeat your darkness and who has a design for your life.

This week, a case for the Savior. Big idea? There is a living Lord… who wants to defeat your deadness… and who holds out a hope for your life.

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:1-3 (ESV)

This was the Rolling Stone!

Did Jesus rise from the dead… or not? Your answer makes al the difference.

A Muslim in Africa became a Christian and some of his friends asked him why. He answered: “Well, it is like this: Suppose you were going down a road and suddenly the road forked in 2 directions, and you didn’t know which way to go. If you met 2 men at the fork – one dead and one alive – which one would you ask to show you the way?”

A lot of us here already believe in the reality of the resurrection. You might be thinking, “Rick, I already believe that Jesus rose again. Why are we talking about this?” Well, maybe you believe it, but maybe you can’t defend it. You really don’t know why you believe it. Today, we are going to dissect the data to discover the evidence for the resurrection.

Others here “kind of” believe this. But you manage to keep Jesus at arms length. “Don’t get too close, Jesus.” Why is that? In the back of your mind, you have your doubts. You won’t come out and say it, but in your hearts of hearts, you wonder, “Is this stuff real? Is He really alive?”

Others don’t buy this resurrection business all. It’s a myth. It’s make-believe. Maybe you’ve even said it outright, “I don’t buy into this stuff. Jesus was just a man who found a few fanatic followers. They made up a myth after He died. Dead men don’t come back to life. Hey, pigs don’t fly. The resurrection is scientifically impossible.”

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