Summary: Are there good reasons to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? In this sermon I use Lee Stobel’s three "E"s to give proof of the resurrection.
A. Happy Resurrection Day to everyone! Hope you are encouraged and uplifted by today’s worship!
B. I thought we might start on the light side, with a little Easter humor.
1. What does the Easter bunny get for making baskets? 2 or 3 points, just like everyone else. (That’s a good one after March Madness. Congrats to Florida Gator fans)
2. What exercise do bunnies do to stay in shape? Hareobics.
3. Which side of the rabbit has the most fur? The outside.
C. One Easter morning, a Sunday School teacher asked her class if they knew the origins the Easter holiday.
1. One young man responded immediately, "It’s opening day for the Yankees and Giants."
a. The teacher replied, "What a wonderful answer! But I had something else in mind."
2. A young girl then stood and remarked, "That’s the day we get nice new clothes and go find the eggs from the Easter Bunny."
a. “That’s another good answer,” said the teacher. "But there’s something else just a little more important that I’m looking for."
3. A young man then jumped up and yelled, "I know, I know!! After Jesus died on the cross, some of his friends buried him in a tomb and three days later Jesus arose and opened the door of the tomb and stepped out."
a. "Yes, yes," said teacher excitedly "Go on, go on!"
4. And the youngster said, "And if he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of winter."
D. Oh, what a challenge it is to not only teach our children, but to teach the world about what is true!
1. If you have listened to the radio, watched television, or read any newspapers and magazines over the past 20 years, especially, then you know that the world does not hold Christianity in the highest regard.
2. In fact, we Christians are often the object of ridicule and scorn by skeptics in the media, courts and politics.
3. These powerful circles of influence give the appearance that there is no reason to believe in Jesus.
E. But, my goal in today’s sermon is to give all of us sound reasons to believe in Jesus.
1. Let me begin by turning your attention to 7 words from the Bible.
2. These 7 words communicate the central reason why anyone should believe in Jesus.
3. These words were spoken by an angel to a small group of broken-hearted women.
4. The women had returned to the tomb where just a few days earlier their master, their cherished friend – Jesus- had been buried.
5. They had come to anoint his body, but when they arrived they found the stone rolled away, and when they entered the tomb they did not find the body of Jesus.
6. While they were wondering what all of this meant, in their midst of grief and confusion the angels appeared and spoke.
7. At the heart of the angels message were seven of the most powerful words that the world has ever heard – “He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:6)
F. And so for 20 centuries, the world has wrestled over the truth of these seven powerful words.
1. The greatest attacks on Christianity have been against the resurrection, and for good reason.
2. Believers and non-believers alike understand that the resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity.
3. If Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity is true. If he did not, then it is false.
4. It is really that simple.
G. Who would you guess is the most successful defense attorney in the world?
1. F. Lee Bailey? The late Johnnie Cochran?
2. Let’s check an authoritative source on this: the Guiness Book of World Records.
3. This is what it says: "Most successful lawyer: Sir Lionel Luckhoo...(who) succeeded in getting his 245th successive murder charge acquittal on January 1, 1985."
4. That’s an absolutely astonishing feat that nobody in the world has come close to replicating - 245 murder trials in a row, either won before a jury or on appeal.
5. No wonder he’s considered the real-life Perry Mason.
6. What skills do you think he needed to rise to that unprecedented level of courtroom success?
7. Certainly he must be smart and savvy. He must have tremendous analytical skills. And he must be an expert on what constitutes reliable and persuasive evidence.
8. All of that describes Luckhoo, who was knighted twice by Queen Elizabeth and who also served as a distinguished diplomat and a justice on his country’s highest court.
H. As we investigate the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, wouldn’t it be interesting to get an opinion from an expert like Luckhoo?
1. Well, we’re in luck. During his own spiritual journey, Luckhoo turned his expertise to the question of whether the resurrection of Jesus Christ fits the test of legal evidence.