Summary: When it come to Jesus, the undefeated opponent called death lost it’s grip.
INTRO: 1. ILL. A little boy and his father driving down the road on a spring day when a bee flew into the window. The boy began to panic because he was deathly allergic to it’s sting. The father quickly reached out and grabbed the bee, squeezing it and releasing it letting the bee buzz again near the boy. The boy began to panic again, but his father stretched out his hand and showed him the stinger stuck in his hand and said, “You don’t need to be afraid anymore, I’ve taken the sting for you”.
a. This is the same message Easter holds for us.
b. Jesus has taken the sting of death for us & we can know live a life without fear.
c. Just like the father who released the powerless bee, no longer with a stinger - although we will one day have to face the reality of death, we will never have to face the sting or the fear of death.
2. From this first gospel message we can surely see how central the fact of the resurrection of Jesus is to Christianity.
a. Not an original message but one taught him by the “risen Lord” himself.
b. If our faith stops at the cross we loose the greatest truth of Christianity.
c. ILL. Thousands climb a particular mountain in the alps every year to stand at a huge outdoor crucifix. One tourist noticed an overgrown trail that lead behind this cross. Fighting through the thick brush he came to another shrine, symbolizing the empty tomb. Thousands had seen the crucifix but had stopped there when there was more to be seen.
d. When we stop at the cross, we will see Jesus’ pain and His love, but we miss His Hope and His Power to release our lives to the fullness of life He’s promised.
e. When we stop at the cross we will see the penalty and seriousness of our sin, but we miss the “Resurrection Life” that he holds for us all.
4. Peter unapologetically proclaimed what he knew to be true, in verse 24 he boasts that Jesus was risen because,
Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
a. Peter was saying that when it come to Jesus, the undefeated opponent called death lost it’s grip.
b. Peter proclaimed this as not a chance victory, it was impossible for death to hold him.
c. Such a simple truth, but one that holds for each us some wonderful implications.
I. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE GRIP OF DEATH KEEP HOLD OF HIM.
a. You can’t keep a prisoner locked up when he’s gotten his own set of keys.
b. As a result of Calvary, Jesus had regained the keys of “death, hell and the grave” and he was more than able to use these keys.
c. On Easter Sunday morning, Jesus swung wide the door of the grave and he wasn’t the only one seen walking around.
A. BECAUSE HE HELD THE INHERENT POWER TO DIE AND TO LIVE AGAIN.
Jn 10:17,18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
1. Not only did he hold the key but he held the authority.
2. He inherently held not only the power of life, but the power of resurrection.
3. He proclaimed to Mary & Martha at Lazarus’ tomb, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
4. Ask Lazarus who he raised after three days in a hot tomb.
5. Just ask the Widow who’s son was being carried in a funeral procession through town, when Jesus stopped the grieving crowd and spoke life into this boy.
6. Ask Jarius, whose daughter had been dead for hours and mourners had already gathered at her door, when Jesus took her by the hand and said “Daughter live”
7. ILL. A certain countess live about 100 years ago that held in contempt all that Christianity claimed and especially the doctrine of resurrection. She died at the age of thirty and left strict instructions for her burial. She order that her grave be covered by a slab of granite, that square blocks of stone be put at each corner and that heavy iron clamps would clamp it together. she also asked that the inscription be put on this tomb, THIS BURIAL PLACE PURCHASED TO ALL ETERNITY MUST NEVER BE OPENED. But over the years a little birch tree sprouted and it’s roots took hold under the slab, today that slab is broken leaning against this huge tree. The great efforts of this atheist was nothing to a little seed that held the inherent power of life.