Summary: Easter should help us to realize WHY we NEED Jesus!
• SLIDE #1
• It was so good to be able to celebrate Resurrection Sunday together today!
• Over the past few weeks we have been looking at various questions concerning Jesus. Questions like, “Is Jesus The Son of God?,” “Is Jesus the only way to God?”, “Why did Jesus Die?,” and “Why was the tomb empty?.”
• As we gather today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we are going to answer the question, “Why We NEED Jesus.”
• If we accept the fact that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, we have a decision to make.
• You cannot just give lip service to the resurrected Jesus, you need to give Him your life and in return, He will bless you beyond your wildest imagination.
• Things have happened throughout history that has made Jesus an important part of our lives.
• Today we are going to look at Why we NEED Jesus!
• Let us examine the one of the reasons we NEED Jesus. Look at verses 20-21
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Corinthians 15:20-21(ESV) 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
• SLIDE #3
I. JESUS DEFEATED DEATH! (20-21)
A. First Fruits
• In verse 20 we see that Paul tells us that Jesus has been raised from the dead. He says that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those who are asleep.
• Paul has told us that he is a witness to the fact that Jesus was raised, and that His resurrection was a physical one.
• What does Paul mean when he says that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those who are asleep?
• In the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus in chapter 23, the Israelites were told they had to dedicate the first part of the harvest to God by giving it to the priest so he could offer it up to God.
• This had to be done BEFORE they could harvest their crops. This was called the “first fruits”.
• They could not grow a special patch of crops for this the first fruits had to be taken from the field they were going to harvest from.
• In return for dedicating their “first fruits” to God, God would promise them there was more to come or a good harvest.
• When Jesus is called the “first fruits” Paul is saying that Jesus is the first of many to be resurrected. The harvest to eternal life could not happen until Jesus, “the first fruits” was offered up to God the Father.
• Jesus was raised from the dead and so will everyone else who has ever lived!
• In verse 21 we are told that through a man came death, and by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
• There is some dispute over what kind of death is being spoken of here, physical or spiritual. At least with verse 21, the context tells us it is physical death. Adam brought physical death to the world. Genesis 3:19 confirms this.