Summary: Discover the impact the resurrection of Jesus can have on your life.
A Sunday School teacher had just finished telling her third graders about how Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb with a great stone sealing the opening. Then, wanting to share the excitement of the resurrection, she asked: "And what do you think were Jesus’ first words when He came bursting out of that tomb?" A little girl in the back of the room shot her arm into the air and leaped to her feet and shouted excitedly "I know, I know!" "Good" said the teacher, "Tell us, Jesus first words." Extending her arms high into the air she said: "TA-DA!"
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Ken Kersten)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a “TA-DA” event. It has had a huge impact on people of faith throughout the ages. God intended for it to have an impact on people’s lives. He intended for you to know, accept and believe in His son. In a few minutes I am going to ask you to commit your life to Him. Before that time I want us to consider the impact the resurrection will have on a person’s life.
1. The message behind the empty tomb gives new Passion for life. Passion is an important emotion that gives vitality to life. The presence of passion can brighten any life.
Illustration: Last week I read about a Methodist minister who was continually bragging to his Baptist minister friends about the greatness of his church. No matter what they said, he always found a way to claim that the Methodists were better. He had passion. Eventually his friends got tired of this and decided to play a prank on the Methodist. One day they dropped a tablet in his coffee and drugged him into a deep sleep. They took him down to the cemetery, laid him in a borrowed coffin, next to a freshly dug grave. They hid behind the bushes to see what would happen. Half an hour later, the Methodist began to awake. Yawning and looking around, he began to notice the coffin, the tombstones and the open grave. Then he shouted: "Amen! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The day of resurrection has come and the Methodists are the first ones out!"
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Randy Aly)
Look at the Biblical characters in John 20. There was an obvious lack of passion in their lives. In verse 11 we see Mary standing outside the tomb weeping. She is despondent. In verse 19 we see the disciples locked in a room fearing for their lives. They were paralyzed by fear. In verse 24 we find that Thomas had gone AWOL. His name, prior to this event, was synonymous with doubt. However, as you study this chapter Jesus brings life, passion and vitality to His followers. In verse 2 Mary Magdalene runs to the tomb. In verse 4 two of Jesus disciples run to the tomb. As the events unfolded their doubts were removed and that emotional drama became a life passion. In verse 17, after discovering the truth of the resurrection, Mary hugs Jesus in a death grip. In verse 20, after discovering the truth of the resurrection, the disciples were “overjoyed.” In verse 28 we find Thomas making a breath taking declaration of faith. In all three instances you see the gift of passion. Jesus wants to give you and me a passion for life.
Sometimes life has a way of leaking the passion out of your heart. Several months ago I found a wood screw in the tire of my pickup. It caused that tire to slowly leak down. Life sometimes does that to our passion. We need help!
A. The passion for life must come from outside ourselves. The passion and enthusiasm that we concoct will always fail. The apostle Paul stated it well. He said “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The ultimate secret of passion and enthusiasm comes from Jesus Christ.
B. Passion comes from the power of our message.
Illustration: Josh McDowell, a Christian speaker and world renowned Christian apologist, discusses the power of the resurrection message in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict. McDowell says “All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical propositions. The four major world religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Mohammedism and Christianity, are based on personalities. Of the four only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder. Abraham, the father of Judaism, died about 1900 B.C., but no resurrection was ever claimed for Him…Buddhist writings say Buddha died “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.”… on June 6, 632 A.D., at the age of sixty-one, Mohammed died. His tomb is annually visited by thousands of devout Mohammedans. All the millions and millions of Jews, Buddhists, and Mohammedans agree that their founders have never come up out of the dust of the earth in resurrection.”.