Summary: Easter shows that Jesus is who He claimed to be, He has the power He claimed to have, and He does what He promised to do. Our past can be forgiven, our present can be managed and our future is secured.
What does Easter mean? Why does it matter to me?
• Millions of people celebrate Easter today, all around the world.
• How is it that something that happened more than 2000 years ago is significant today?
What does it mean?
• There are even people who never go to church and yet claimed to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
• It's an historical fact. It wasn't done in secret. The whole city of Jerusalem knew about it and eventually the whole Roman Empire.
• It was news. If the news station CNN had been there, they would have had it live.
There are at least 15 references to Jesus meeting people after His resurrection.
• One time He cooked breakfast for His disciples by the beach. One time He took a walk with another two disciples on the road to Emmaus. One time He talked to about 500 people after He had risen from the dead. A lot of people saw Him.
What does it mean? It means 3 things.
1. Jesus is who He claimed to be.
2. Jesus has the power He claimed to have
3. Jesus does what He promised to do.
1. JESUS IS WHO HE CLAIMED TO BE
John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
Jesus made some outrageous claims when He was here on earth.
• He claimed to be God. He said He is perfect, that He is the only way to heaven. He tells us He is the Saviour of the world.
• A lot of people try to make Jesus a good teacher. A good teacher would never say that.
• If I go and teach people all kinds of good morals and values, you will say I am a good teacher. But if I start calling myself God, you will not think I am a good teacher any more.
• Jesus was either who He said He was or He was the biggest liar who ever lived.
John 14:6-7a “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well….”
• This is a very strong claim. He said, “I am the way.” He didn’t say, I'm one way, I'm a good way, or I'm one of the many ways.
• It cannot be "All roads get to heaven". That's like saying I can dial any phone number and get home. There's one number that will get me home.
Jesus says, “I am the truth.” That means any other way is not the truth if He's right.
• He claimed to be God. He says, "No one can get to God the Father except by me."
Even if you don't believe Jesus Christ is who He said He was, you still use Him as a reference point.
• Every time you write a cheque, every time you date a letter, every time you put down an appointment in your diary, what is the reference point?
• We put down 2010, because we are 2010 years from the year Jesus came to this earth.
• God came to earth in the form of a man so we could know who God is like. His name was Jesus Christ. He split all of history into A.D. and B.C.
• Every time you write a date, Jesus is the reference point. He said He was who He claimed to be.
2. JESUS SHOWS HE HAD THE POWER HE CLAIMED TO HAVE
The last words Jesus said to His disciples were: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt 28:18)
• In John 10:18 He says, "Nobody takes my life from me. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again."
• No force could keep Him dead. The Romans killed Him, they put Him in a tomb, they put the big stone in front of the tomb and then sealed it with the Roman seal and they posted a 24-hour guard. How could human strength stop God?
3. JESUS DOES WHAT HE PROMISES TO DO
Mark 10:33-34 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."
Jesus was the only one who knew His future and talked about it.
• The cross was no surprise to Jesus. It was all part of God's plan.