Summary: The resurrection assures the Believer of forgiveness, hope in this life and beyond the grave & life can be filled with meaning, purpose & significance through a real & personal relationship wth Jesus Christ.
Introduction: Today is Resurrection Sunday! This is the Super Bowl of your eternity! This is where victory over death, hell and the grave is won in overtime!
You see, it was late in the 4th quarter....the clock was running down....time was running out in the contest between God and the devil....Good and evil.
The Son of God hangs suspended on a bloodied cross between 2 thieves whose time was running out as well.
His cry, “My, God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” echoes through time and eternity as his Father turns from his sin-stained Son.
The devil is taking great delight in those words. “I will be victorious! I am winning this challenge!”
Hours pass as Christ gasps for every breath and the reality of his death hangs gravely upon him.
“It is finished!” He exclaims as his fleeting breath is quickly and assuredly escaping his body.
“Did you hear that?!” Satan shrieks in glee. “I’ve won! I’ve done it!” “There’s no way I can lose!” “My plan was awfully diabolical you know.” Satan remarks, with an impish grin.
“Into your hands, I commit my spirit!” Jesus cries as He gives up his Spirit and silently hangs between heaven and earth as a trophy of Lucifer, that old serpent, the devil overcoming God.
Satan thought he had won in overtime, but he never anticipated double-overtime!
You see, God had a plan!—it’s not over, till it’s over!
In double-overtime, the rules don’t change (after all, God made the rules), it just becomes more intense.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6—For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time...
vv. 12-23—But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
You see, Satan thought he had won, but the contest wasn’t over!
The Cross was the 1st step in total domination of sin, hell and the grave! What happened next was the “icing on the cake!”
The resurrection is absolutely crucial to the finished work of Calvary.
If God had not raised Jesus from the dead, He would have been just another guy in the long line of Roman casualties paying the ultimate price for their crimes against humanity.
But...in Jesus’ case....he was paying the ultimate price for the CRIMES OF HUMANITY!
Your sin....my sin....the whole world’s sin!
That leads to this question....
What is it about the resurrection that is so essential for us in light of eternity?
1. Without The Resurrection My Fate Is Sealed.
1 Corinthians 15:16-18—...if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
vv. 3-4—For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
Do you believe the Scripture is the Word of God?
2 Timothy 3:14-16—But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...