Summary: EASTER (A) - You know what has happened: Christ rose from the dead to forgive everyone's sins.
“YOU KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED…” (Outline)
April 4, 2010 -
Easter Sunday -
INTRO: Death is the natural process of living. At death decay takes over. The body returns from where it once came: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. There is no stopping this earthly process that overtakes all people. There was one exception to this process. The body of Jesus did not decay. On Easter true be-lievers celebrate the simple, yet very true fact that the tomb is empty! "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay" (PSALM 16:9,10). Our theme today:
“YOU KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED…”
I. Christ rose from the dead,
II. To forgive everyone’s sins.
I. CHRIST ROSE FROM THE DEAD
A. Peter is at the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. Jews and Gentiles usually did not associate together.
1. Gentiles, as unbelievers, were considered unclean and untouchable by the Jewish nation.
2. Verse 34. God had opened Peter’s eyes to see that He had declared all things clean (10:1ff).
3. Verse 35. God also accepted all people who believe in Christ. There is no difference.
B. Verse 39a. Peter and the other apostles walked and talked and lived with Jesus for three years.
1. Verses 39b, 40. God made his Son, Jesus to be seen. God places great stress on being seen.
2. The disciples and many others saw Jesus (see second lesson -- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
C. Verse 41. The disciples also ate and drank with Jesus. Christ rose from the dead – body and soul.
D. “You know what has happened…” Christ rose from the dead on the third day. The tomb is empty: Alleluia! Believers rejoice and celebrate the fact that Christ lives, he lives! There is also a note of somber thought at the resurrection of Jesus. For Jesus to be raised from the tomb meant that Jesus also had to be put to death. Jesus, as the Son of God and true Man, was the only person born with the sole purpose in life to die. All men die. Every soul that sins die. Mankind is not born with the purpose to die. But – here – on Easter Christ rises from the dead having been put to death, innocently. "He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth" (ISAIAH 53:9). This is a sobering, sad thought. Only by death would Christ rise again.
E. In the birth of Jesus we see God’s great and mysterious power to do things beyond our limited, human knowledge. During the life of Jesus we see the power of God displayed in signs, miracles, wonders, and divine teaching. Even at Jesus’ death God shows his power. At the cross the Roman centurion confesses that this Jesus is the very Son of God. Jesus is taken down from the cross and placed in a nearby tomb. On the third day the world is witness to the greatest power of God. "His Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord" (ROMANS 1:3,4). “You know…”
F. The empty tomb on Easter means everything for our eternal salvation. Once again, the believer finds that his or her life is changed forever. You and I have hope as we live in this wicked world of darkness. By grace our faith is alive and well and filled with an eternal, living hope. All of this happens by and through the resurrection of the Christ, Jesus, our Savior. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 PETER 1:3). God’s gift of “living hope” does not compare at all with the dead hope of this life. Our earthly hopes and dreams are often empty. They are dead. March madness reminds us how quickly our hopes for our team to win it all quickly comes to an end. Hope for things in this life result in dead hopes. Eternity, heaven, and resurrection are all guaranteed and our living hopes.
“YOU KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED…”
Christ rose from the dead on the third day, body and soul.
II. CHRIST ROSE TO FORGIVE EVERYONE’S SINS
A. Jewish thinking was about to change. Peter was in a Gentile’s house. This was a miracle.
1. Verse 37. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance. Great crowds came to listen.