FOUR WORDS THAT BRING MEANING TO THE RESURRECTION


GCC Message:  Easter Sunday, 27th March 2016

John 20: 1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

I.  THE IMPORTANCE AND REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION:


Professor Thomas Arnold, a world-renowned historian, once said that: Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”
 The resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living Sovereign King. The founders of all religions are dead their bones lie dormant in the earth. But the founder of Christianity—sixty years after his death—appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said: “I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:17-18).
 The resurrection is one of the major evidences that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Paul affirmed that Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
 
Eyewitness accounts.  
Do you know that there are eleven times recorded in the Bible that Jesus appeared to people after his death. He appeared to individuals, to the disciples, and one time appeared to a group of over 500 people.
 The Roman and Jewish leaders couldn’t disprove it.
They tried to, they desperately wanted to, but they couldn’t. They couldn’t produce the body, they couldn’t show that the body was stolen, they couldn’t say that he was in a different grave, they couldn’t explain why the highly-trained guards failed, and they couldn’t explain away the appearances. “They had all the motivation and power in the world to squash this new religion, but they simply weren’t able to do it because they couldn’t disprove it.”
 The disciples were willing to die for their beliefs.
Do you realize the disciples had nothing to gain? They would be beaten, imprisoned, persecuted, and killed for their beliefs. They believed so much that they were willing to die for it.
 
II. The Four Words.
1.  LOVE
The greatest expression of love was shown in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew what was coming, but the burden of us all was so heavy he could not let go of his commitment to die.
John 15: 12-13 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave…….
 
2.  LIFE
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
John 11: 25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
God, who is the giver of life (1 Timothy 6:13), has the power to revive, and bring back to life the human body.
Christ’s triumph over the grave is Heaven’s pledge to us that we too shall be raised.
This is why Jesus is referred to as the “first-fruits of them that are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20,23).
3.  HOPE
 
We have all lost loved ones, the pain of loss, the hopelessness of death, the memories are always unbearable.
 
In life there are situations that often look so hopelessly impossible, and humanly we cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel.
 
Imagine the disciples; imagine the women including the mother. The journey to the tomb on Sunday morning must have been difficult, painful and sad.
 
Jesus defeated death and its fearful sting.  (A bee, when it stings someone it becomes powerless to sting. Death stung Jesus and it was rendered powerless. )
 
 Jesus’ resurrection proves that physical death is not the termination of human existence.
 
Definition:  Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.
Our hope is based on reality, it is the reality of a master who promised to die and also promised to rise.
Jesus is the foundation and anchor of our hope. 
 
So many of us have issues that had died; it may be a relationship, a project, a vision, a ministry. Today the Lord wants to remind us that there is a hope for a resurrection.
 Then for those of us who fear death, it is not the end of your life, is just a short stop over.
And for those of us who lost dear loved ones. The promise is for those who died in Christ, to rise up before all us.
 
 
4.   POWER
Imagine the power behind the resurrection.
o   Jesus was dead as dead. 
o   There were soldiers at the tomb.
o   There was a rock on the tomb.
o   No human being could do that.
o   But remember the spiritual side of his death. The devil and his henchmen. They thought they had him in chains.
Col 2: 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
The Lord’s resurrection previewed the ultimate victory of Christianity over all its enemies.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
 
Christianity is the only religion where we have ultimate power over the powers of darkness, by this I mean witchcraft, demon forces, and acts of evil.
It is the only faith where we have power over sin. Where a person is changed and can become a force for good.
Who could change Paul to become a messenger of good news instead of a murderer!
Who could change John Newton a slave trader to embrace Christianity and become an advocate for ending of slavery!
It is the only religion where God’s power brings permanent healing and deliverance to those who suffer.
WHY?  Because he rose from the dead.
Conclusion: 
 A story from the communist days.
About 1930 the Communist leader Bukharin journeyed from Moscow to Kiev. His mission was to address a huge assembly; his subject was "atheism." For a solid hour he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity, hurling argument after argument heaped on top of ridicule. At last he was finished and viewed what he thought was the smoldering ashes of men¡¦s’ ruined faith.
"Are there any questions?" Bukharin demanded.
A solitary man rose and asked permission to speak. He mounted the platform and moved close to the Communist. The audience was breathlessly silent as the man surveyed them first to the right, then to the left. At last he shouted the ancient Orthodox greeting, "CHRIST IS RISEN!"
The vast assembly arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sounds of an avalanche, "HE IS RISEN INDEED!"
 
Who is Risen?
 Jesus Christ.
My Savior
My Lord
My Hope.
My peace.
The King of Kings
 
Is He Risen in Your Life?
 



 

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