Summary: A look at God’s Word to see if we can clear up some of the confusion concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what difference His resurrection makes for us today.
The Resurrection of Jesus…So What?
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how much confusion there is when it comes to Easter?
One year, the Sunday before Easter, a Sunday School teacher asked her class, ''Does anybody know what today is?'' A little girl raised her hand and said, ‘'Yes, today is Palm Sunday.'' The teacher said, ''That's good. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?’'
The same little girl raised her hand and said, ''Yes, next Sunday is Easter Sunday.'' Once again the teacher said, ''That's great. Now, does anyone know why we celebrate Easter?'' The same little girl responded and said, ''Yes, we celebrate Easter because Jesus rose from the grave.’'
Before the teacher could congratulate her, the little girl continued by saying, ''But if He sees His shadow, He has to go back in for seven weeks.’'
Now let’s take a look at God’s Word and see if we can clear up some of the confusion concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what difference His resurrection makes for us today.
When you come to the 28th chapter of Matthew, Jesus has been crucified, buried in a tomb and Pilate has placed guards at the entrance of His tomb because he thought the disciples might come at night to steal the body of Jesus and claim that He had risen from the dead. Sadly, this had become the attitude of many non-believers. They just don’t believe in the possibility of a literal resurrection, and this is the result of Satan’s deception.
Church, Satan has been trying to discredit the resurrection since day one because he knows that the resurrection of Jesus guarantees his defeat and our deliverance. And don't think for one second that he's slowing down the attack. While we're in here celebrating the resurrection of Jesus there’s probably an annual meeting of Atheists taking place somewhere.
One day a 2nd grade teacher told her class that she was an atheist. Well, they didn't know what an atheist was so it wasn’t all that strange when she asked them if there were any other atheists to raise their hand that they all did, except one girl named Lucy. The teacher asked her why she decided to be different? She said, ''Because I'm not an atheist, I’m a Christian.''
Well, that didn't please the teacher very much. So she asked Lucy why she was a Christian.
She said, ''Well, my mom is a Christian and my dad is a Christian so I'm a Christian.’'
The teacher was really mad now and said, ''That's not a reason. What if your mother was a
moron and your father was a moron. What would you be then?'' With a pause and a smile
she said, ''I guess I would be an atheist.’'
The resurrection of Jesus…So what? What difference did it make then; what difference does it make now? Well, I hope to answer those questions this morning through the reading of our text.
So what makes the resurrection of Jesus so important for us today? Well, first of all, the resurrected Jesus is…
1. The Remover of Life's Fears.
There were two kinds of people at the tomb of Jesus that first Easter Sunday morning, the same two kinds of people that we see everyday: believers and non-believers, those that follow Christ and those that don’t follow Christ, the Christ accepters and the Christ rejecters.
Read vv. 4-5
Did you notice the angel only told the women not be afraid. He wasn’t talking to the guards, only the Christ accepters. In other words, ’’don't be afraid like the unbelievers…the Christ rejecters!” You see, those guards had every reason to be afraid…and so do those who have no relationship with Jesus. But once you come to know the resurrected Jesus, you no longer have to fear. Because the resurrected Jesus is the ultimate fear remover!
God has not given us a spirit of fear. 2 Tim. 1:7
Do you know what fear is? Fear is telling God that you don't trust Him to get you through the situation you're in. But God has something better in store for the Christian, it’s called trust. In fact, trust is the opposite of fear. It’s impossible to trust God and remain fearful at the same time because when trust moves in, fear moves out. When your life is being guided by the resurrected Jesus, there’s no room for fear. He removes today's fears; He removes tomorrow's fears; He even removes the fear of death.
Not only is He The Remover of Life's Fears, but the resurrected Jesus is…
2. A Keeper of His Word.
Let me bring your attention to three little words in verse 6, ''as He said.'' Say those words with
me, ''as He said.'' Now let's put those three words in their context: