Summary: Discussion of what we gain through Christ’s resurrection.
The Resurrection Brings Us…
November 22, 2009
Me: I’m not generally a very pessimistic person.
I do get down once in a while, and I’ve been through some deserts and hardships that caused me to wonder if it was really worth going on.
But thankfully those have been few and far between.
The reason those have been few and far between is because I have hope.
It’s a hope that doesn’t come from my abilities, whatever they may be, or from my awesome physique.
My hope is based on what Jesus did for me. And it wasn’t something anyone else could have done.
He died. Now, anyone can do that, and everybody up to this point has, with the notable exceptions of Enoch and Elijah.
But other than that, the mortality rate for humans is still right about 100%.
But Jesus didn’t just die. He rose again. And because of that, I have hope. I have hope for my past, which is ugly enough, for my present, which is hard enough, and for the future, which will be awesome enough.
We: I think everyone wants to be a hopeful person.
I don’t think there are many people, if any, who enjoy being sad and without hope.
Probably most have been in situations that looked hopeless. I know I have.
But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus gives us hope – hope for our past, hope for our present, and hope for our future.
Jesus gives us that hope because He not only died, but He rose again.
God: Last week we looked at some false theories regarding the resurrection and why we can discard them.
Today I want to focus on what the resurrection brings us.
A man went on vacation to the Holy Land with his wife and her mother. While in Israel, the mother-in-law died from a heart attack. The couple went to a local undertaker, who explained that they could either ship the body home which would cost more than $1500, or they could bury her right there in the Holy Land for only $150. The man said, "We’ll ship her home. "Surprised, the undertaker responded, "Are you sure? That’s an awfully big expense, and we can do a very nice burial here. "The man said, "Look, 2000 years ago they buried a guy here and three days later He rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance." (SermonCentral.com. Contributed by Jim Kilson)
Matthew 28:1-10 (p. 706) –
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ’He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you."
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
I kept wondering just how I should approach this message about the resurrection.
And the message that I kept coming back to is this: HOPE
Maybe for others of you, the resurrection means different things, and that’s cool as long as it comes from Scripture.
But for me, the main message of the resurrection is hope. Hope for our past, hope for our present, and hope for our future.
If I had to boil down the message of the resurrection, at least for my own life, it comes to hope.
This passage from Matthew is the setting for our message today, but the passage I want us to really make the basis for our time today is 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (p. 815) –
12 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 to be pitied more than all men.