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Summary: Examining the suffering of Jesus that paved the way for salvation

The Suffering of Salvation

John 3:16

Easter Morning Service

Quick Facts about the resurrection

Did it happen?

The resurrection is not some fairy tale or wishful thinking. It is an historical fact. The resurrection is not only recorded in the New Testament, the most reliable ancient document in history, but also in history.

There are a number of proofs recorded in the New Testament.

The empty tomb

The shell of grave clothes

Eyewitness testimony of the women

The personal change in the disciples

Does it matter?

The resurrection has the power to change lives. It is the power to bring life out of death. It is the power to transform the worst person into the greatest person. The resurrection matters more than words can possibly express.

John creates a vivid illustration of the work of the cross and the empty grave. He lays out the personal mission of Jesus for all to know and see. John communicates the point, the purpose and the power of the resurrection. If you have your Bibles with you please open them with me to John 3:16.

John 3:16 is the most widely known verse of scripture. We see the reference on posters at sporting events. The words have been memorized more than any other verse. We see the reference on everything from mugs and t-shirts to bumper stickers and graffiti. We see it, we hear it and we have it memorized but do we really understand it? The words of John 3:16 are the essence of the Easter, they are the words of hope and they communicate the core of the gospel. It seems highly fitting to focus on these words for Resurrection morning.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The Resurrection tells us that God¡¦s love knows no limits

John uses the word love more than any other gospel writer. There are two different Greek words that He uses 49 different times. This means that John uses the word love three times more than any gospel writer. As these familiar words roll forth from the page, there can be no mistake that love is one of the central themes.

God’s love is not static or inactive. God’s love reaches out to others and seeks to connect with them. God’s love draws people to Him. The nature of God’s actions reveals the true qualities of love. God shows the depth of His love by the willingness to sacrifice. Love is displayed in the level of personal sacrifice given to those who are loved.

Notice the words of Jesus: God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. The level of love matches the level of sacrifice. The love that God displayed for the world was extreme in its nature and supreme in its sacrifice. There was no way for God to give more. There was no way for God to do more. There was no way for God to show His love more.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

The nature of God’s love cannot be rivaled by anyone or anything. The point of the resurrection was to demonstrate to a lost world the lengths He was willing to go to have a relationship with humanity. God would spare no effort, spare no expense and spare no sacrifice to regain the option for a relationship with us.

Think about that for just a moment, God was willing to do whatever it took for us to know Him and His love. How sad that so many fail to grasp the level of God’s love. Even sadder still is the fact that so many hear of God’s love and refuse to accept it. Love is revealed in the depth of relationships. God’s desire is to have a personal relationship with you.

The resurrection is about relationships

The point of the resurrection is clear, God wants to restore a proper relationship with every person on the planet. Guess what? That includes you! God desires to have a close personal relationship with every person.

Before you say, God would not want a relationship with me, lets look at some of the people He chose to relate with.

Moses and David were murderers.

Peter was a hothead who couldn’t keep his mouth shut

James and John had extremely bad tempers and were called the sons of thunder

Paul tried to destroy the church

Thomas refused to believe

Samson was an adulterer

Gideon was a coward

The point is that God wants a personal relationship with you, yes you. The problem that most people have with this verse is that the world seems too big and incredibly impersonal. Let’s do a little exercise with the verse. Read it again and substitute your name for the world. God is far from impersonal, His love impacts us all differently and changes us in amazing ways.

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