Summary: Looks at 9 reasons why Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead

Easter Message March 23, 2008

The Resurrection of Jesus ‘what difference can it make?’Luke 24:1-12 (Acknowledgement - this message was adapted from Rick Warrens 2004 Easter Message delivered to Saddleback Church, California)

o Happy Easter. Four years ago Time Magazine had a picture of Jesus and asked the question ‘Why did Jesus have to die?’ That is the most important question someone will ever ask.

o I went to church for the first sixteen years of my life

o I really had no idea why Jesus died on the cross. Well I knew that he suffered, but I had no idea how to personalize this. What did it mean to me?

o This morning I am going to give you Christianity 101. If you are already a Christian don’t snooze on me. Listen carefully; this message should move you to pray fervently for those who have yet to say yes to Jesus.

o If you have never been to church before I want to make you a guarantee. You will clearly understand why Jesus died on the cross and arose again.

o You will clearly understand that the resurrection sets you free. You will understand why a billion plus people believe Jesus is the hope of the world.

o You will clearly understand why millions of people have given their lives for Jesus Christ.

o I believe there are many people will one day be devastated that nobody clearly told them.

o I don’t want you to come to this church for years and never know the reason why Jesus died and arose from the dead.

o This morning I am going to make nine statements about the cross and resurrection that are 100% true. When I came to believe these profound truths they changed my life forever.

o Here we go!

1. Jesus died and arose to prove He was the Son of God

o The Bible says that Jesus appeared to many people for over a 40 day period (Acts 1:3).

o Who did he appear to? Who were these people?

o He appeared to Mary Magdalene, the 12 disciples, the men on the Road to Emmaus, over 500 people at once, and to the Apostle Paul

o He was alive, back walking around Jerusalem

o All of these people saw the risen Christ

o Was it a figment of their imagination?

o No it wasn’t.

o He first appeared to Mary Magdalene

o That makes it credible right there

o If you wanted to make the resurrection credible, a more plausible story would have been to appear to a man first

o Why is that?

o First in Jesus day women were unlearned. Out of the 613 laws a man had to know 100% of them; a woman only 4 laws

o Secondly this woman Mary Magdalene was way different-7 demons cast out (Luke 8:2)

o Thirdly a woman’s testimony was inadmissible in a court of law

o So when Mary ran to tell the disciples that she had seen Jesus alive they said we don’t believe you; your testimony is not valid

o So we see the disciples knew Jesus as a great teacher and miracle worker but did not believe Mary that Jesus was alive

o That was where many are at today

o That Jesus was a great teacher, moral man, political leader

o But there is one huge problem with that

o Jesus never claimed to be a great teacher, a political leader

o Jesus claimed to be God

o He said he would go to the cross and rise again, and he did it (John 2:19)

o Lots of people claimed to be the Messiah

o Wikpedia lists 24 Christian Messiah claimants

o One of the most recent is Sun Myung Moon is the leader of the Unification Church in Seoul, South Korea.

o Moon claimed he is the second coming of Christ, the true savior, the Returning Lord.

o Pay no attention to anyone who claims to be the Messiah, because they are not

o Tiberius, one of the Roman governors records that there were 1,632 executions in one year, over 4 per day

o But only Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead, proving He is the Son of God, the Messiah

2. He died and arose to pay for our sins (the cross and resurrection are the parts that saves us)

o Jesus was a great teacher; best preacher there ever was

o But his teachings do not save you

o It is belief in his death and resurrection that saves you

o The Bible says we have all blown it, sinned (Romans 3:23)

o That is pretty obvious

o There is a price to be paid for my sins, your sins

o We have a saying, ‘you do the crime you pay the time’

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