Summary: The challenge of the resurrection is before us as Jesus’ death is not an end, but merely a beginning.
You probably don’t remember or know the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, nor should you. But during his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth.
A Russian Communist leader
He took part in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917
He was the editor of the Soviet newspaper “Pravada” --------which means “Truth”
And was a full member of the Politiburo
His works on economics and political science are still read today
There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930.
His purpose was to address a huge assembly on the subject of Atheism.
As he addressed the crowd he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity—
And what seemed as validated proof against it.
An hour later he was finished.
An hour later he looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men’s faith… and said, “Are there any questions?” in gruff tones that would scare the stoutest of men.
Deafening silence filled the auditorium… but then one man… approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader.
He surveyed the crowd from left to right and then from right to left.
Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church:
“Christ is Risen!”
En masse the crowd arose to their feet – as one man – and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder:
“He is Risen, Indeed!”
This morning I say to you: “Christ is Risen!” (wait for response)
That is the message of a living faith.
That is the message of your faith, as He lives this morning!
Read it with me: Matthew 28:1-7a
Did you hear the message of the angel?
“He is not here, for he has risen just as he said.”
The message of Easter is “HOPE”
It’s a message of today----Your today!
It’s the message of the future----Your future!
Listen to the message of the angel: “He is not here, He has risen!”
It is not the end…. But the beginning of New Life!
Death has been defeated.
Therefore, because there is HOPE--- the challenge of the resurrection is before us.
There are 2 parts to the challenge.
I. “Come and see” (verse 7)
This is a message for those who once believed----but had not “nailed it down” in their minds. They were hidden away in a room behind locked doors.
So… The angel said, “Come and see"
Do some investigation on your own.
Experiencing the risen Christ is a personal thing.
Look at the evidence… see if it is real or not!
Make sure you own this one fact of history.
He invites you to investigate
Don’t check your brains at the door---the resurrection is not an emotional plea to the weak-minded ----
but to those who will make a decision based upon a thorough investigation.
“Come and See!”
Read: “Circumstantial Evidence” Breakpoint Chuck Colson
You need to own this fact… for without this fact nailed down in our heart and mind---you will be “hopeless” Death will be a dead end street!
No purpose in life – “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
No reason to love --- every reason to be selfish – hateful- self-centered
No direction for life - Where did I come from & where am I going?
No sense in all of us wasting our time -- if he’s not alive.
Get all you can---and can all you get – If the resurrection is not real
The message of the angel is: “Come and see”
But after Investigation… there needs to be --Propagation, Proclamation, Application
The angel did not stop with simply an academic exercise. No! That’s just a beginning…
Once we’ve seen that the tomb is empty – that He’s alive… then the angel says,
II. “Go and Tell”
The apostle Paul says in I Corinthians,
If the tomb is not empty then we have no faith and no message of Hope to share.
But there’s “Good News” this morning: He’s Alive!
It’s not just about Easter eggs and bunnies: He’s Alive!
It’s about the Sin-forgiver and death conqueror who did it just for you!
Death has been conquered forever---- we do have a story!
“Go and Tell,” the angel said.
• Go and tell those beaten down, defeated disciples-who thinks the world has come to an end --- that it has not! He’s alive!
• Go and tell that misunderstood teenager who doesn’t know what to believe. There is hope! The tomb is empty.
• Go and tell the neighbor who thinks a good life is all there is to it. Jesus died for his sins – and lives again to bring real life!