Summary: Resurrection begins in us when we walk in obedience to God.
Resurrection. We are a people of resurrection. We have crosses displayed because of what Jesus did for us willingly there, but the true miracle is in the empty tomb. But how do you put that on a chain around your neck right? Without resurrection we don’t have faith; we have a cult of personality—like a sad Elvis convention or something. Without resurrection, we follow a tragic martyr, who gave his life for noble purposes, but in the end came to nothing. Because Jesus conquered sin and death and hell when He rose again, WE HAVE LIFE. Amen?
As we examine Jesus last days this Lenten season, I want us to examine what resurrection means, where it starts and how it changes us. I want us to feel the power of resurrection as it helps us overcome sinful habits and empowers us to live rightly with God. I want us to experience the freedom that comes from bringing resurrection into the way we serve others.
Ultimately we understand the resurrection of Jesus and its power as we understand that He is sovereign over all. And we need to see that THE resurrection helps us understand that God desires resurrection in us—not just someday when Christ returns, but as our spiritual lives are revived, as we live the gospel authentically, as we gain power over sin and Christ’s life is formed in us.
This morning, I want you to turn to Matthew 16: 21-28 (Read)
It says in verse 21, ‘from that time on’. Well, I always want to know what happened just before that. If you look back in Matthew we see Jesus has just fed the 5000 then the 4000, and Peter has just confessed that Jesus is the Christ; the anointed one of God at Caesarea Philippi.
Verse 21 begins to explain that Jesus must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. Luke 9:51 says that Jesus “resolutely” set out for Jerusalem. That’s important. Jesus knew what was coming and was determined to carry out God’s plan for his life. In Marks gospel, he records that Jesus knew he’d be mistreated in Jerusalem: condemned, spit upon, flogged, killed and three days later, Jesus said, I will rise.
I will rise. He knew exactly what was coming. He didn’t get giddy about the abuse he was about to endure. Far from it. In the garden He prayed that if there were any other way, than to give his life, that would be good. But, he said, not my will, but yours be done.
Why would Jesus resolutely set out for his torture and death? Why would anyone? Paul answers that question in Philippians 2: 5-11 (READ)
Jesus took on the nature of a servant and went to the cross. May I suggest to you today that 1. Resurrection begins with obedience to the will of God.
Obviously we know that Jesus’ obedience to the Father ultimately led to the cross and then resurrection. But I think for us, for resurrection to find its place in us, begins with obedience too. You see God wants to see resurrection in us. We can call it life transformation, holiness, a shift so profound that nothing you look at is the same anymore. That’s what resurrection does. As spiritual children of the resurrection, we need to embody what resurrection can be, and it begins with obedience.
A man was so sick and he could not afford going to town to the doctor. The man lived in the deep back woods in an old log cabin, his condition seemed to grow worse. Out in front of his cabin was a huge boulder. The rock was massive in front of his place. One night in a very real vision, God told him to go out there and push the huge rock all day long, day after day. The man got up early in the morning, and with great excitement he pushed the rock until lunch, then he rested a while and pushed the rock until supper time. The man loved pushing against the rock, it gave him meaning.
The dream was so real that it was with great excitement he pushed against the rock. Day after day he pushed. Day rolled into week, and week into months, he faithfully pushed against the rock.
After 8 months of pushing the rock, the weak sickly man was getting tired of pushing the rock so much, in his tiredness he started to doubt his dream. So one day he measured from his porch to the rock, and after daily pushing the rock, he would measure to see how much he had moved the rock. After two weeks of pushing and measuring, he realized he had not moved the boulder not a 1/32 of an inch? As a matter of fact, the boulder was in the same place as when he started.