Summary: Message focuses on the real power of the resurrection.
The Power of The Resurrection
Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus died, was buried and on the third day, He rose from the dead – He was resurrected. To resurrect something means to bring it back from the dead or to make it useful again. We all understand that Christ rose from the dead, but on this Easter morning, I want to look at the power of the resurrection within our lives. I want to focus on the two sides of this power. There is the power we have received from Christ’s resurrection and then there is power that is displayed when other things are resurrected. These other things are what I will primarily focus on this morning.
I have never been a big reader of Greek mythology, but in those stories you will read about a bird called the phoenix. The phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that originated in Persian mythology and later entered into Greek mythology. It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle. Near the end of its life cycle, the phoenix builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites causing both the nest and the bird burn fiercely. For the ashes a new, young phoenix is reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. The phoenix continues this process indefinitely with a young phoenix being reborn out of the ashes of the parent phoenix. Although the phoenix at its death goes through the horribleness of burning alive, it is reborn to live for another 500–1000 years.
I want you to think about the phoenix being reborn after each horrible death. The phoenix goes through one terrible moment in order to live for another 500 years. Once completing that terrible moment (burning to death) it is reborn for another life time. This is the power of the resurrection. Before Christ entered the world, the prevailing thought was that when you died, that was all you got. There was no life after death and once you were dead, that was it. However, when the disciples witnessed Christ’s resurrection they understood that there was life after death and this understanding gave them the power to withstand their enemies. This is the power of the resurrection. Before I get into the heart of this message, I want to review a few Scriptural references with you pertaining to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Keep in mind the horrible death that the phoenix goes through in order to be reborn as we review these Scriptures.
Before Jesus was arrested, He knew what was about to happen so He went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. While He was crying out to God, He made the following request in Matthew 26:39: “…..My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” He repeated His request I verse forty-two. The first thing we need to understand is that although Jesus was the Son of God, He did not want to die on the cross. He knew this was His destiny, but He asked His Father if it were possible that it could pass from Him. We often think of Jesus as God and walking proudly (even in a beaten state) to His death. This was not the case. Jesus was human just like us. He had given up his deity power to live as one of us. In this case, he was under a lot of stress as He prepared mentally for what He was about to experience.