Summary: This sermon addresses three questions concerning the resurrection of Christ: "Why was the resurrection so important?", "How are we expected to respond to the resurrection?", and "What should the church do in light of the resurrection?"

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Text: Mark 16:1 – 20

Have you heard the story about the eight-year old in Sunday School on Easter Sunday? Johnny’s family weren’t regular church attenders…as a matter of fact, they only went to church on Easter Sunday. Johnny and his family walked through the door of the church, and sang along as the choir leader led the congregation in “He Arose.” After a few announcements, the children were dismissed to Sunday School classes.

With a little bit of help, Johnny found his class, and soon found himself surrounded by a dozen other giggly eight-year olds. Miss Martha started the class by saying, “Hello boys and girls! Do you know what special day today is?” Five of the kids in the class screamed out “Easter!” just as loud as they could. “Fantastic!” replied Miss Martha. “Now, who knows why Easter is so special?”

“I know, I know!” cried out a little girl from the corner! “It’s because of Jesus!”

“That’s right Suzie! Jesus is what makes Easter special! What did Jesus do?”

“I know, I know!” Jeremy shot up his hand and hopped up and down. “Ok Jeremy, what did Jesus do?” “He died on the cross!” he replied. “Well that’s right, but that’s not all. What else happened?”

“I know, I know!” yelled Tammy. “They put him in a grave and he stayed there for three days!” Miss Martha said, “Excellent Tammy! That is exactly right! But that’s still not all….what else happened?”

The kids looked puzzled for a moment, but Johnny thought he remembered this part of the story from last year, so he shot up his hand and shouted, “I know, I know!”

“Johnny! It’s great to have you back with us for Easter! Can you tell us the rest of the story?”

“Sure!” Johnny replied confidently. “After three days, he came out of the grave and saw his shadow, so there were six more weeks of winter!”

There are lots of people that are confused about the resurrection, not just eight-year olds. There are even people that are regular church attenders that sometimes have mistaken notions about what happened on that first Easter morning. Today, I am going to ask three questions concerning the resurrection, and then explore the answers to those questions.

The first question is, “Why was the resurrection so important?” I mean, we know that Jesus came to die for our sins. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” We read how Jesus did exactly that in Mark 14 and 15. Mark records His betrayal at the hands of Judas, the desertion of all His disciples, His sham of a trial, the fierceness of His beating, the mockery by the religious leaders, and the difficulty that He had just in getting to Calvary. Mark records a cry of despair, and then a cry of victory as Jesus died in our place. But why doesn’t the story end there? Why wasn’t that enough? Why did He have to rise again?

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