Summary: On the cross Jesus said "It is Finished" - He was saying "It is Completed" - Resurrection day says, "There is more."
THERE IS MORE - The Resurrection!
* It was on Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, that Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the Pentagon. It stated that her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait & was dead. Ruth Dillow later wrote, "I can’t begin to describe my grief & shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For 3 days I expressed anger & loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great." But 3 days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The voice on the other end said, "Mom, it’s me. I’m alive." Ruth Dillow said, "I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, & he really was alive." The message was all a mistake! She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I’m sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt."
* The disciples, other believers, and friends of Jesus completely understand how Ruth felt. On that painful, crucifixion day, they suffered through the agony Jesus endured. The abuse, the scourging, the walk down the Via Dolorosa, & the crown of thorns.
* They heard his raspy voice from the cross as He said, “I thirst”, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” “Father, why have you forsaken me,” “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” and “It Is Finished. (Tetelestai).” As His life slipped away from Him all of these people felt their hope slip away. When His body was placed in the tomb and the stone rolled over it, it seemed too much. When the government sealed His grave so that no one could get in, it was adding insult to injury.
* Those Sabbaths Jesus was in the grave were like an eternity. Quite likely, in the natural course of their lives, even the most ordinary chore was magnified because He was gone. The one who has brought such life, gave such hope, and offered such promise, was now gone. He had talked of knowing God, getting to God, and seeing God; now He was dead.
* It was around 1982 that Bill Gaither painted this picture;
They all walked away, with nothing to say, they'd just lost their dearest friend.
All that He said, now He was dead, so this was the way it would end.
The dreams they had dreamed were not what they'd seemed,
now that He was dead and gone.
The garden, the jail, the hammer, the nail, How could a night be so long.
* The first line of the chorus is the title of the song and is the Easter Thesis: THEN CAME THE MORNING! Death wasn’t all, the grave wasn’t all, darkness all there was; there was and there is MORE!
* Jesus was raised from the dead! And in His resurrection, life is impacted and changed forever. In our text, Paul is confronting some Philosophers who followed Plato. They were saying ‘there is no resurrection.’ Paul counters by giving some helps or hurts.
1. It Affects our Preaching – Some of us would say, “Will it make the preaching shorter?” Here’s my response: Do a historical study and discover that today, there are weaker believers than ever before, and at the same time, the sermons are briefer than ever before. To Hear Spurgeon, Wesley, Calvin, and others would be a laugh today. It is reported that Jonathon Edwards first sermon at Princeton was upwards of two hours.
* Just as an aside, there is ONE OCCASION in scripture when God says to STOP PREACHING. This was God’s message through the prophet Micah and do you know why God said to stop preaching?
* Because they had gone too far from God. In the 2nd Chapter, verse 3 quotes Jehovah as saying, “I am planning a disaster against this nation.” In verse 6 He continues, “Stop your preaching”. Finally in verse 10 God’s words are “Defilement brings destruction.”
* The Bible repeatedly mentions preaching. Preaching has many facets. The Bible teaches us that some preaching is against things. While some people don’t like or believe this, both Ezekiel and Jonah were given instructions to ‘preach against.’
* Ezekiel was to preach against the idolatry of Israel while Jonah was told to preach against the wickedness Nineveh. I will preach against the sin which God is against. If no one preaches this truth, then we have no first-hand knowledge of right and wrong. Because of the resurrection, we can preach against idolatry, wickedness, immorality, and more. The flip side is: we preach you can have redemption from these sins because Jesus rose from the dead. However, if there is no resurrection, then preaching is in vain.