Summary: Though everyone had written Jesus off after He was crucified, He surprised them all through rising from the dead. Through His resurrection, Jesus had "The Last Word!"
Pastor Craig Baynham, tells the story of an uncle who one day was leisurely driving his convertible in the mountains. He had his top down, his radio turned up loud, and was enjoying to the full the beauties of the winding mountain road on which he was driving. So intent was he on the scenery, and so deafened by the blaring of his radio, he failed to notice the driver behind him becoming more and more impatient.
Finally the road presented sufficient room for the furious driver to pass. A blast of the horn and a shake of the fist (even a few not-so-well chosen words) were not sufficient to appease the anger of the hostile motorist. Forcing the uncle’s car to the side of the road he proceeded to verbally vent his frustration. Craig’s uncle, who had been oblivious to the whole matter until now, proceeded to apologize for the inconvenience he had caused. But no apology was sufficient.
"Your apology is not enough. I’m going to pick you up out of that car and beat you to a bloody pulp," the man finally threatened. As the motorist began to close in on him, the uncle quickly removed a 45-caliber revolver from under the seat and aimed it point blank at his attacker. With only a moment’s hesitation the aggressor blurted out, "I accept your apology." And with this he returned to his car and went his way.
The moral to this story is that the introduction of one unexpected element can completely change one’s perspective on a situation. That is precisely what occurred early on that Easter morning nearly 2,000 years ago.
The Jewish religious leaders thought that the crucifixion of Christ had once and for all dissolved the popular movement which threatened their position of leadership in the nation Israel. The devil thought that the crucifixion had brought to a halt God’s efforts to redeem mankind. The disciples thought that the crucifixion had dashed all their hopes that Jesus was the Messiah. Indeed, through His resurrection, Jesus had the last word!
As we focus our attention on the angel’s announcement of our Lord’s resurrection, we discover just how significant our Lord’s resurrection is.
1. It confirmed the proclamation of Christ - v. 6
"just as he said"
Throughout His ministry, Jesus constantly spoke about His death, burial and resurrection.
"Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’"
- John 2:19 (NASB)
"Jesus told them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him-- and three days later he will be raised alive.’"
- Matthew 17:22-23 (The Message)
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes; and they will sentence Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and whipped and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day."
- Matthew 20:18-19 (Amplified)
"‘Tonight all of you will desert me,’ Jesus told them. ‘For the Scriptures say, "God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered." but after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.’"
- Matthew 26:31-32 (NLT)
"The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do."
- John 10:17-18 (CEV)
Jesus proved the truth of His claims by means of His resurrection.
"Only an evil, faithless generation would ask for a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."
- Matthew 12:39-40 (NLT)
Our Lord’s resurrection is proof of the truth of what He said! Because He has been raised from the dead, we know that everything He said about being the Savior of all mankind is absolutely true!
All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical propositions rather than personalities. Of the four that are based on personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.
In 1900 B.C. Judaism’s Father Abraham died.
In 483 B.C. Buddhist writings say Buddha died "with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind."
June 6, 632 A.D. Mohammed died.