Summary: How your life can be changed through the power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
ILLUS: Harry Houdini
- Have you ever heard of a man named Harry Houdini?
- He died in October of 1926…but Harry Houdini’s claim to fame was that he was a magician and an excellent escape artist.
- As a matter of fact, he was said to have laughed at locks and sneered at fetters.
- Houdini was said to have the flexibility of an eel and the lives of a cat.
- They did all kinds of things to incarcerate him.
- They would seal him in coffins. And he would escape. They riveted him in a boiler and he would escape. They sowed him up in canvas bags and he espcaped. They locked him into a high security, maximum prison and somehow, Old Harry still got out.
- But then in Oct. of 1926, Death laid its hands on Harry Houdini and he would never escape.
- As a matter of fact, he told his wife, when he was talking about death, “If there is any way out. I will find it. If there is anyway out, I will find you and I will make contact with you on the anniversary of my death.”
- After Harry’s death, for 10 years, his wife kept a light burning at the bottom of his portrait. And after 10 years, she turned out the light. Death had laid it’s hands on Harry Houdini and he could not escape.
- Death laid its hands on the Lord Jesus Christ also. And death laid Him in a rock-hewn tomb. But on the 3rd day, Jesus stirred himself. He arose from the sleep of death. He was resurrected.
- Jesus left those grave clothes behind and passed through the walls of that tomb.
- And may I remind you, that stone over his tomb was not rolled away in order to let the Lord Jesus out…that stone was rolled away in order to let the disciples see in and to realize that He was no longer there!
- If there is only one message I can give you today…it is the simple fact that Jesus Christ is ALIVE!
- He is not longer behind us in a tomb, He is no before us on a throne.
- But I want to ask you…suppose that resurrection never happened…suppose that the Lord Jesus was still in that tomb.
- What if there had been no Easter?
That’s what the Apostle Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 15…let’s begin reading in verse 12.
I. THE TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES OF A FALSE RESURRECTION – I Corinthians 15:12-19
Paul is saying in this passage…suppose there had been no Easter. Suppose Jesus is still in the grave…if that is true then there are 6 tragic consequences that you need to consider if there is no Easter.
A. Our Preaching is Profitless.
- vs. 14, “and if Christ be not risen, our preaching is in vain.”
- “Vain” = empty, futile, with no purpose, a colossal waste of time.
- Listen ladies and gentelemen, if there is no Easter, then you and I are wasting our time by being here.
- If Christ be not raised then our preaching is profitless. Why is that?
- Heart of the Gospel is this… 15:3-4, “That Christ died for our sins, was buried, and has risen again…according to the Scriptures.”
- Many preachers today preach that the body of Jesus still lies in a nameless tomb but the Spirit of Jesus still marches on…
- There’s a Greek word for that… “Baloney!”
- Any preacher who preaches that ought to quit the ministry and find an honest job.
- If there was no resurrection, then our Preaching is Profitless…
B. Our Faith is Foolish
- He goes on to say in vs. 14, “and your faith is in vain.”
- That is to say that you are trusting in something that does not deserve your trust.
- Who wants to put their faith in the Lord Jesus if Jesus is dead.
- That’s why the Bible says, “If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised him from the dead then you shall be saved.”
- You see…this is the paramount difference between Jesus and the rest of the founders of the world religions.
- Those guys lived, they died…and they are dead….Jesus lived, Jesus died, and Jesus rose from the dead.
- Buddha…he’s still dead…Confucious…he’s still dead…Mohammed…he’s still dead / BUT Jesus Christ of Nazareth is Alive and is seated on the right hand of God!!!
- ILLUS: A buddhist in Africa was converted to
Christianity. They asked this buddhist why did you
change your faith? Here’s what he said: “It’s like
this: If you are walking along and came to a fork in