He Rose Again
The great defining passage on the Gospel is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Here, the Gospel is defined as the good news that –
• “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; • And that He was buried, • and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
We are examining these three vital elements of the Gospel. We have seen in the past weeks that there were many amazing, miraculous and profound details that God’s Word records. First we saw that Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures. Then we examined the marvelous details of His Burial. Tonight we begin the journey of Faith and Hope that Christ’s Resurrection Saga offers to us.
“The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles, no matter how great or marvelous, is secondary to the resurrection in importance. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.
Death is mans greatest enemy and it has conquered all men but Christ. No matter how brilliant or rich or strong he may be, no man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave always wins the victory and man sooner or later returns to the dust.
In fact, the inexorable triumph of death applies not only to man, but to all things. Animals die and plants die, and even whole species atrophy and become extinct. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season, and then fade away. Homes and automobiles and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do their owners. Even the universe itself is running down and heading toward an ultimate “heat death.”
c:\documents and settings\jbarnett.tbcn\my documents\7-2007 sermons\serms 2004\040829pm wotb-27 he arose.doc Monday, January 08, 2007 Page 1
This universal reign of decay and death is called in the Bible “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). In science it has come to be recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Also known as the Law of Increasing Entropy, this Second Law is now recognized as a universal law of science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply, that every system tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually die. Its entropy, which is a measure of disorder, always tends to increase.
The universality of the reign of decay and death is the measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other men, even the greatest men and the holiest men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx — men who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another are all dead.
But Jesus Christ is alive! It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all miracles, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.” 1
There are many details we will see in the days ahead.
• Christ’s Resurrection was DECLARED as the Gospel we believe. • Christ’s Resurrection was PROMISED in the Old Testament and New Testament. • Christ’s Resurrection was WITNESSED by more than 500 individuals. • Christ’s Resurrection was RECORDED by the Four Gospel writers with perfect precision. • Christ’s Resurrection was APPLIED by Jesus for 40 days until His Ascension.
1 Henry Morris, Creation Trilogy, Notes on Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
c:\documents and settings\jbarnett.tbcn\my documents\7-2007 sermons\serms 2004\040829pm wotb-27 he arose.doc Monday, January 08, 2007 Page 2
Never underestimate the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The world believes that Jesus died, but the world does not believe that He arose from the dead. Even in the church there is often a lack of genuine hope because of mere historic assent to the facts. Take the test that the Bible offers to us. Sort out the truth you cling to. There is only one hope of eternal life and that is saving faith.
Historical faith says, “Christ lives!” Saving faith says, “Christ lives in me!” Which one describes you? Do you have saving faith?
When we look at the apostles after the cross we see an immense emphasis in their messages upon Christ’s Resurrection. Peter’s message at Pentecost emphasized the Resurrection. And all the way through Acts this emphasis is repeated. What is the significance of the Resurrection?
When the long nights had passed and the day after the Sabbath began, the women who had lingered at the cross came early to the tomb. They were bringing spices to anoint Christ’s body. They believed He was dead. We know that did not expect a Resurrection because they wondered how they would move the huge stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb (Mark 16:3).
What is truly remarkable is they did not believe in His resurrection. They had missed this truth He had taught them repeatedly (Matt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 26:32).
1. Christ’s Resurrection Confirms God’s Word. Both in the Old Testament and in the teaching of Jesus, His resurrection is clearly taught (see Psalm 16:10; 110:1). If Jesus had not come out of the tomb, then these Scriptures would not be true. Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. NKJV; Psalm 110:1 The Lord said to my Lord,“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” NKJV 2. Christ’s Resurrection declares his deity. Jesus stated that He had authority to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:17–18). John 10:17-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” NKJV 3. Christ’s Resurrection warns of judgment to come. “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in
c:\documents and settings\jbarnett.tbcn\my documents\7-2007 sermons\serms 2004\040829pm wotb-27 he arose.doc Monday, January 08, 2007 Page 3
righteousness by that man who He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). 4. Christ’s Resurrection Supplies our power to live. We cannot live for God by our own strength. It is only as His resurrection power works in and through us that we can do His will and glorify His name. Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. NKJV 5. Christ’s Resurrection Celebrates our Identity. Whenever God’s people gather on the Lord’s Day they bear witness that Jesus is alive and that the church has received spiritual blessings. When the followers of the Lord gathered that first Lord’s Day, they were discourged and defeated. 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. NKJV 6. Christ’s Resurrection Assures our Hope of Resurrection. Because Jesus died and rose again, we shall one day be raised to be like Him (1 Thes. 4:13–18). In fact, the entire structure of the Christian faith rests on the foundation of the Resurrection. If we do away with His resurrection, we have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NKJV 7. Christ’s Resurrection Anchors our souls in Heaven. Hebrews 6:11-20 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. NKJV
c:\documents and settings\jbarnett.tbcn\my documents\7-2007 sermons\serms 2004\040829pm wotb-27 he arose.doc Monday, January 08, 2007 Page 4
• Again listen to Hebrews 6:19-20 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. ∗ It is anchored in Heaven. We have continual access to God’s presence, not just once a year through a fallible man, but always—at every moment—through our high priest, Jesus Christ. ∗ It is anchored in Christ, our prodromos who has gone to prepare a place for us. Philip Mauro suggests that the picture here is that of the forerunner used in ancient times to help a vessel enter the harbor safely. He would jump from the ship, wade to the harbor, and fasten the strong rope of the ship to a rock along the shore. Then, by means of a winch, the vessel was brought in. Just so, our forerunner has gone to heaven, where He stands ready to guide us safely into the Holy of Holies. We are fastened to a rock that cannot be moved. Let the storms tear our sails to shreds; let the floors creak; let the gusts of wind attempt to blow us off course; let the tides overwhelm us; we shall arrive safely into the port. Each day we are pulled a notch closer to the harbor by the One who proved He is more powerful than death. We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.