Summary: Jesus was a man. He was not the Son of God as Christians claim, but was elevated to that status by Constantine. That is the claim of The DaVinci Code. This sermon seeks to evaluate that claim and see if it matches up with an historical picture of Christ.
Introduction: It was June 18, 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo. The French under the command of Napoleon were fighting the Allies (British, Dutch, and Germans) under the command of the Duke of Wellington. The people of England depended on a system of semaphore signals (lights strategically positioned to spell out words) to find out how the battle was going. One of these signal stations was on the tower of Winchester Cathedral. Late in the day, as the people anxiously awaited any news regarding the battle, it flashed the signal: "W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N---D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D- -." Just at that moment one of those sudden English fog clouds made it impossible to see anything else. The news of defeat quickly spread throughout the city. The whole countryside was sad and gloomy when they heard that their country had lost the war. Suddenly the fog lifted, and the remainder of the message could be read. The message had four words, not two. The complete message was: "W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N---DE-F-E-A-T-E-D---T-H-E---E-N-E-M-Y!" It took only a few minutes for the good news to spread. Sorrow was turned into joy as defeat was turned into victory!
So it was when Jesus was laid in the tomb on the first Good Friday afternoon. Hope had died even in the hearts of Jesus’ most loyal followers. After the frightful crucifixion the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding crept in on the friends of Jesus. They had their message and it said: "C-H-R-I-S-T---D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D---" On the third day, however, Easter Sunday, the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding lifted, and the disciples and the world received the completed message: "C-H-R-I-S-T---D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D---D-E-A-T-H!" Once again, sorrow was turned into joy as defeat turned into victory,
Easter, or Resurrection Day, as I like to call it, is the most significant day in the Christian calendar. As I say this a few of you might be wondering, "Why not Christmas, when Jesus was born, or Good Friday, when he died on the cross?" The answer is simple: Christ’s incarnation (when He took on human flesh) and His crucifixion, when He offered Himself in payment for sin, are validated through His resurrection. Had Jesus not been raised from the dead, then the words of the Apostle Paul would ring true for all of us: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)." But the tomb was empty as Christ promised beforehand that it would be (See John 2:19-22), death was defeated and life has come to those who believe, so Paul goes on to say: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)." Because Christ conquered death, Christians have every confidence that we, too, possess eternal life.