Summary: When we come face to face with the one enemy against whom every person is completely powerless...is it any wonder we look to our only source of hope...the resurrected Jesus?
WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT ABOUT THIS EVENT
CALLED THE RESURRECTION!
On March 9th, 1996 George Burns died and a few days later was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park next to his wife and sidekick, Gracie Allen, who died of a heart attack in l964.
George Burns has gone down in the history books as one of the greatest entertainers of our day!
Milton Berle said, “I have lost one of my dearest friends...I figure George is probably up there in heaven speaking to St. Peter and doing some one-liners on him.”
People would ask George, “George? You’re drinking martinis, smoking cigars, what do your doctors think?” He would say, “They don’t say anything . . . they’re not alive.”
His real name wasn’t George, it was Nathan, Nathan Birnbaum! One of the things George/Nathan will always be remembered for is that he lived to be 100 years old. Even though he lived to be 100, he still died!
Years ago, and I’m sure some of you, if you’re a baseball fan, will remember this, on a Monday afternoon major league umpire, John McSherry, who had planned to see a doctor the next day, collapsed 7 pitches into the Cincinnati Reds opening day baseball game at Riverfront Stadium. He wasn’t 100 years old. He was 51.
There he was, umpiring a baseball game. He calls “time out,” turns, takes a few steps and in front of 53,000 people he falls to the ground, face first. He never regained consciousness.
On a Tuesday evening in 1996, I was playing in a softball game in Elizabeth City. It was a great night to play ball, it was clear, warm, and the ball was just jumping off of the bat. I was standing in the coaches box on first base. One of my teammates, Waymoth Stafford was up to bat. The pitch was delivered and Waymoth swung and he absolutely crushed the ball. I remember watching the ball as it cleared the 300 ft. fence by 30 feet, and then I turned back to congratulate Waymoth as he ran past me, but when I turned back all I saw was Waymoth hitting the ground with a heart wrenching thud. Where he fell is where he died . . . 53 years old, and in seemingly great health.
Folks, last time I checked the records, the death ratio in America was still 100%.
We don’t all die...when we’re umpiring a baseball game.
We don't all die...while playing softball games.
We don’t all die...when we’re 100 years old.
BUT WE ALL DIE!
When we come face to face with the one enemy against whom every person is completely powerless...is it any wonder we look to our only source of hope...the resurrected Jesus?
There’s something about death that cuts through externals.
Death reminds us of what really is important!
The only thing that matters when you die is NOT...
The star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
How many Grammys or Oscars you’ve won
How many dollars you’ve earned
How many birthdays you’ve celebrated
Or what your real name is
THE ONLY THINGS THAT MATTER ARE...the 2 things I want to talk to you about today:
#1 Do you believe Jesus died on that cross? I want to ask you, “Do you believe with all of your heart that Jesus died?”
#2 Do you believe with all of your heart that Jesus resurrected?
Let’s look at that first question. Do you believe that Jesus died? I want you to look at the death of Jesus.
In Ephesians 1: 7 & 8 Paul says, talking about Jesus, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
Look there in Ephesians 2:13. It says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
What that’s saying is that in and of ourselves, our sin separates us from God. My sin separates me from God. Your sin separates you from God. But the blood of Christ is what unites us with Christ it’s what brings us near to God and gives us unity and peace with God.
Go over to Ephesians 5:25-27 and read that with me. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Friends, Jesus Christ loved the Church so much that He was willing to die so that she might have everlasting life. Now folks, I believe that the death of Jesus Christ is one of the most important truths that we need to believe in. When He died He died for you and for me. He shed that blood for the forgiveness of our sins.