Summary: The Resurrection is relevant because… 1. …it confirms Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. 2. …it proves there is life after death.
1. Audience will be assured that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead.
2. Audience will be challenged to answer the question “Are you ready for life after death?”
One of my favorite movies of all time is “Planes Trains and Automobiles” featuring Steve Martin and John Candy as strangers whose lives get intertwined trying to get home for Christmas during a snowstorm. There are two really memorable moments for me from this film. One sounds like this (play “pillow.wav” – Where’s your hand? Between two pillows. Those aren’t pillows!)
The other one is a line me and my buddies said to each other over and over throughout high school and college. (Play “point.wav” when you tell a story, have a point! It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!)
Have a point! In today’s hectic world, none of us have time for listening to stories that have no point or for being involved in things that have no point. If it is not relevant, we want to move on to more important things.
We’re here today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what is the point? But who cares? What difference does it make? I’ve got these kids to care for. I’ve got ends to meet. I’ve got deadlines to beat. I’ve got appointments to keep!
Why is the fact that a Jewish teacher came back to life after being wrongfully put to death RELEVANT today?
I’d like to share with you 2 reasons why I not only consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ RELEVANT for today – but of utmost importance for everyday of your life!
1. The Resurrection is relevant because it confirms Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. (Rom. 1:4)
There are those who are willing to call Jesus a great teacher or a prophet but who are not willing to agree that he actually physically rose from the dead. They say things like “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ happened in the hearts of his followers as they recalled his teachings.” That sounds real nice, doesn’t it?
The problem is, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. Not only that, he predicted on numerous occasions that he would be put to death and would rise again on the 3rd day.
Perhaps someone with a martyr complex could arrange for their own death by saying the types of things Jesus said which angered the religious establishment of his day. But when you see that he actually predicted his resurrection, he goes beyond what a simple “teacher” or “prophet” had the power to accomplish.
The Jewish authorities understood that he had claimed he would return again, and that’s why they asked Pilate to set a guard around the tomb. This prediction was no secret. That’s why it is so important that it actually happened! Romans 1:4 tells us plainly why the resurrection is relevant.
Romans 1:4 (NIV) [Jesus] was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.
He was not just another teacher. He was not simply a prophet sent by God. Every teacher and prophet that has ever lived died and stayed dead. And unless they were crazy they didn’t predict a resurrection.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead confirms for everyone in a powerful way that he really was who he claimed to be: the Son of God.
And here’s why that is so important. Because he was the Son of God, he was worthy to satisfy God’s requirement of a blood sacrifice to pay for sins. There never was, and will never again be, anyone else who is worthy to pay the penalty of the sins of the world.
And because of this I want to share with you something so foundational you might just miss it if you don’t slow down and listen: Because of the Resurrection, we know that Jesus definitely is the Son of God. And if we know that He is the Son of God – we can trust Him.
Application: Because Jesus is the Son of God, we can trust Him.
When he says “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.” We can trust he is speaking the truth.
When he says “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest” you can trust him.
When he says “Surely I will never leave you, even to the end of the age,” you can trust him.
No matter what happens in your life or how confusing you might find your circumstances, remember this: the Son of God came to our world, laid down his life for you, and has now opened the way for you to have a relationship with God. And you can trust him!