Summary: A message of the impact of the resurrection to all the people who learned of it on that first Sunday
BIBLE MESSAGES ON EASTER
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Annual Sermons: Vol.7 No. 14 Mark 15:40-16-8
Concord Baptist Church: 1993 EASTER
Bob Marcaurelle: Pastor
WHEN HE AROSE
The best news this old weary, dreary, teary world has ever had, is that when the weeping women went to the grave of Jesus, worrying about who would move the stone, that stone was moved, the grave was empty, and Jesus was risen.
When I was a boy we would throw pennies into the river, let them settle to the bottom and ten dive down and see who could come up with the most. I remember going down, down, down and scraping that bottom for pennies until it seemed my lungs would burst. And I remember, at the last minute, pushing off that bottom, going up, up, up, until I burst free above the water and filled my lungs with precious air.
Multiply that millions upon millions of times and you get a glimpse of that first Easter morning when Jesus Christ burst through the bonds of death. Peter, in his great sermon at Pentecost put it like this, “You nailed Him to a cross and put Him to death but God raised Him up, putting an end to the agony of death, because IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE for Him to be held in death’s power” (Acts 2:23-34).
Why is this good news? How can something that happened 2,000 years ago to someone else, have anything to do with you and me? It has everything to do with you and me because of who it was who died, why He died and what happened to Him after He died.
Look at the empty tomb in the light of HIS CLAIMS. Study the gospels and you will see that Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be God in human form. He said,”The Father and I are one. . .He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14).
He took to Himself the prerogatives of God. He claimed the power to forgive sin (Mt. 9:2) and said that one day He would come back to earth with His holy angels, in the glory of the Father and be the Judge of every man, woman, boy and girl who has ever lived on planet earth (Mt. 25) In John 5:22 He says, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son.”
With these amazing claims we would call Him a LIAR who deceives men or a LUNATIC who is deranged, except for one thing. God raised Him from the dead, and in so doing, said, “This is My beloved Son, you’d better listen to Him.” In Romans 1:4 Paul said Jesus “was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.” Ladies and gentlemen, the Jesus who burst forth from the grave is the God who made you and the God before whose throne you will one day stand to be judged.
The resurrection of Jesus is good news that reaches into these pews today when we look at it in the light of HIS CONFLICT. In the Garden of Eden, when God judged Satan, He spoke of the coming conflict between him and His Son (Gen. 3:15). Satan would hurt Him (bruise His heel) but would be crushed in the process.
1 John 3:8 says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose to destroy the works of the devil.” Paul said that when He nailed our sin debt to the cross (Col. 2:14), “He disarmed the rulers and authorities (e.g. demonic powers). . .and triumphed over them.”
On the cross Jesus battled death and won. Life met death and life won. On the cross Jesus met evil and won! God met evil and good won! Thus it makes every difference in the world which side you are on - the side of good and God or the side of evil.
I. THE TERRIBLE REALITY OF DEATH
The first fact of Easter is the terrible reality of death. To have a real resurrection you have to have a real death. When our Lord’s spirit went to the Father in heaven (K. 23:46), from which He went and preached to folk who lived in Noah’s day (1 Pet. 3:18), His beautiful, powerful body went limp and lifeless, another victim to the jaws of death.
1. This Death Is Indisputable (15:44). Pilate, his soldiers, and the Jews made certain that Jesus was dead. Throughout history there have been attempts to prove that Jesus was not really dead, but all are broken upon the solid rock of history.
The Roman Empire executed Jesus, it sealed His grave stone and it set guards over it. Adolph Harnack, the noted historian, who does NOT believe in the resurrection, to be true to history admits, “The firm confidence of the disciples of Jesus was rooted in the belief that He did not abide in death, but was raised by God. That Christ was risen was. . .just as sure as the fact of His death and became the main article of their preaching about Him” (History of Dogma, Chapter 2).