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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday Sermon: The Reality of the Resurrection

John 2:18-22

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and the key to answering most objections raised against the gospel. If you remove the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Christianity, you don't have Christianity. What I want to talk about today are Reasons to believe the Resurrection, and Ramifications of the Resurrection.

Reasons to Believe in Jesus’ Resurrection (1 Peter 3:15)

1. Predictions – Both the Old and New Testaments contain predictions of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many times in the Gospels, as with our text today, Jesus told his disciples and the Jewish leaders that He would be raised again to life after being put to death.

2. Power – Jesus’ resurrection was not simply a remarkable finish to a regular life. Jesus had consistently demonstrated His control over creation from turning water into wine, feeding the five thousand, walking on the water, healing the sick, raising Lazarus from the dead, and so on. His resurrection is consistent with the power He demonstrated during His earthly ministry.

3. Passion – John 10:17-18 – Jesus had avoided fatal confrontations numerous times before. (Luke 4:29-30 / John 7:30, 44, 8:59, 10:39, 11:8). He chose when to die, and He did die.

4. Politics – Matthew 27:62-66 – the Jewish authorities wanted to put a stop to people believing in Him. Even with support from the Roman authorities, they were never able to produce a body. The tomb was empty then and still is today!

5. Panicked guards – Matthew 28:11-15 – The guards knew their lives could be at stake if they failed in their duty, but on the third day Jesus was gone. No one has ever found any credible evidence that the body of Jesus was anywhere to be found on this earth. Jesus is risen indeed!

6. Puzzled disciples – Luke 24:13-32 – After Jesus’ arrest, most of His disciples fled. It is clear from their reaction that they were not anticipating the resurrection. Two of his disciples did not recognize the risen Jesus even as He was teaching them the Scriptures related to Himself. They clearly were not part of some preplanned story.

7. People – Acts 1:3 / 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 – After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to over five hundred people. We do not have a record of anyone disputing their testimony.

8. Preaching – The Apostolic martyrs – People don’t die for something they know to be a story. Yet, many of these eyewitnesses accepted death rather than deny the resurrection of Jesus.

9. Pessimists – Non-Christian historians reported that Jesus was reputed to have risen from the dead and that his followers were willing to die rather than recant their belief in Jesus.

10. Paraclete – John 16:8-11 – Over the centuries, the Holy Spirit continues to convict unbelievers and assure believers that Jesus is the risen Son of God. Of course, it takes the Holy Spirit to make the reality of the Resurrection real to our hearts.

We don’t believe in the resurrection in spite of the facts, we believe in the resurrection in light of the facts. Now, the real question isn’t what proves the resurrection but what does the resurrection prove? What questions does the resurrection answer?

Ramifications of the Resurrection (1 Peter 1:3-4)

1. Is there a God who is active in the world? Jesus’ resurrection shows there is a power that transcends the physical universe, a power that can override decay and death. Jesus’ resurrection declares God’s active involvement in this world. He planned it from the beginning and He performed it at the appointed time (1 Peter 1:18-21). Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates Romans 8:21-23 – all creation is subject to decay and will be renewed.

2. What difference does God make to my life? Jesus’ resurrection shows that He lives into eternity and that we can too (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Knowing we have a soul that continues after death impacts our perspective on life (1 Corinthians 15:32). Matthew 28:18-20 / Ephesians 1:19-20 – In resurrecting Jesus, God declares His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

3. Is the Bible true? Jesus’ resurrection proves the Bible is true. Every religion has their holy books. Jesus’ resurrection confirms that Jesus is the source of truth. He declared which book is actually a revelation from God. Jesus affirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament. He promised that the Holy Spirit would lead the apostles as they shared His teaching through the New Testament (John 14:26). Peter in Acts 2 and Acts 4 (and Paul in Acts 13 and Acts 26) used the Resurrection as proof the scriptures are true. They knew the Scripture promised a resurrection. They knew Jesus in speaking New Testament scripture promised a resurrection, and when it happened, they believed the Scripture. The resurrection of Jesus Christ should affirm our faith and confidence in the truth and the inerrancy of Scripture. If Jesus doesn't rise, Psalm 2 is wrong, Psalm 16 is wrong, Isaiah 55 is wrong, any other Old Testament passage indicating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is wrong, and therefore the Bible cannot be trusted. But if Jesus rises from the dead, the prophecies are true, and the Word of God is true. Luke 24:25-27 – the OT is replete with the idea of a Messiah who dies and yet lives again, and in both testaments we see types and shadows of the resurrection. Typology of Elisha bones (2 Kings 13:20-21) Lazarus (John 11:25-26, 39-44) and those who came out of the graves at his resurrection (Mathew 27:52-53). 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – this is why Paul says these things were according to the scriptures. This is why they made it central (Acts 4:2 / 2 Timothy 1:10, 2:8).

4. Does God love me? Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates God’s love for you (Romans 5:8-11)

5. What about life and death? We can trust Jesus’ testimony because of the resurrection. Job 14:14 – "If a man die, shall he live again?" remains the fundamental question haunting all men today. Job 19:25-26 / Psalm 17:15 / John 18:37-38 – The resurrection gives Him firsthand knowledge. He has been beyond death and returned. Jesus testifies to the truth regarding eternal life. John 14:19 / 1 Corinthians 6:14 / 2 Corinthians 4:14 / Romans 8:11 / 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 / Hebrews 2:10-15 – The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to our own resurrection, a basic tenet of the Christian faith. Unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same.

6. Why should I believe Jesus is God’s Son? The Resurrection proves the deity of Jesus. Jesus conquered the grave, something no mortal can claim. He said, “I and the Father are one.” His victory over death confirms His claim to be the Son of God. In scripture you have many people proclaiming this fact, like Peter, Mark, Luke, Matthew, Nathaniel, Thomas, Martha, John the Baptist, the Roman solider at his crucifixion, the disciples and even the demons. But the primary testimony comes from God the Father. He had already said this is my Son in whom I am well pleased at his baptism, and had claimed Him again at the Mount of Transfiguration and again during the Passion Week (John 12:28-33). But the resurrection declares that God the Father says Jesus is God the Son and that His sacrifice is acceptable as payment for the sins of all who believe (Romans 1:1-4 / Acts 13:30 / Romans 4:25 / Romans 6:4).

7. Is Jesus the only way to God? John 14:6 / Acts 4:10-12 – Jesus’ resurrection clearly shows that He is the only way to God. If there were multiple ways, Jesus would not have gone to the cross. He allowed himself to be subjected to death because it was necessary for our redemption.

8. Can I be forgiven for my sins? Colossians 2:13-15 – Jesus’ resurrection validates His claim to have victory over sin and death. The ultimate result of sin is death, and Jesus conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Romans 10:9-10 – belief in Jesus’ resurrection is central to a saving faith.

9. What about all of the evil in this world? Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates a loving God redeeming a world degraded by evil. If there were no evil, Jesus would not have had to conquer death through the cross. If God was not loving, He would not have sent Jesus into the world to redeem us (John 3:16). Looking at His death and resurrection, we know without a doubt that there is evil in this world, yet we are still loved by a God with power over death. Once someone accepts the resurrection, many other barriers to accepting Christ are torn down. Whatever the question, the answer is the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord (John 2:22).

10. The resurrection is the cause for sending the Holy Spirit (John 16:7) – The indwelling empowering convicting blessing life of the believer and of the church! The full ministry of the Holy Spirit was dependent upon the resurrection of Christ. No resurrection, no ascension, no ascension, no Holy Spirit, no Holy Spirit, no church. When you talk about the resurrection proving the completion of the saving work of God, you're talking about the heart of Christianity. He had to rise to give us eternal life, to rise to go back to the Father to send us the Holy Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains the that if there were no resurrection: 1) preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14); 2) faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14); 3) all the witnesses and preachers would be liars (v. 15); 4) no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17); 5) all former believers would have perished (v.18); and 6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on the earth (v. 19). But Christ has risen from the dead and “has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen sleep” (v. 20,23), assuring that we will follow Him in resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead proves the steadfastness of the Word of God, the sovereignty of the Son of God, the success of the salvation of God, the start of the church of God, the surety of the judgment of God (Acts 17:31), and the eternal satisfaction of the people of God. His resurrection is the guarantee of our eternal heaven (John 14:1-3). Everything in the Christian life depends on the resurrection. Thank God it is a reality.

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4 Comments:

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

He is risen...He is risen indeed!

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger Gojira said...

Step back J.D. I gotta shout it, and this is for everything in the post:


AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Anders Branderud said...

Regarding foregiveness, please read the first century Ribi Yehoshuas ha-Mashiakhs (the Messiah’s) from Nazareth’s teachings instead of Pauls...

Le-havdil,
Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth’s authentic teachings reads:
[Torah, Oral Law & Hebrew Matityahu: Ribi Yehoshua Commanded Non-Selective Observance
The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM) 5:17-20]
[Glossaries found in the website below.]:

"I didn't come to subtract from the Torâh of Moshëh or the Neviim, nor to add onto the Torah of Moshëh did I come. Because, rather, I came to [bring about the] complete [i.e., non-selective] observance of them in truth.
Should the heavens and ha-Aretz exchange places, still, not even one י or one of the Halâkhâh of the Torah of Moshehshall so much as exchange places; toward the time when it becomes that they are all being performed -- i.e., non- selectively -- in full.
For whoever deletes one [point of] the Halâkhâh of these mitzwot from Torah, or shall teach others such, [by those in] the Realm of the heavens he shall be called 'deleted.' And whoever ratifies and teaches them shall be called ' Ribi' in the Realm of the heavens.

For I tell you that unless your tzәdâqâh is over and above that of the [Hellenist-Roman Pseudo- Tzedoqim] Codifiers of halakhah, and of the Rabbinic- Perushim sect of Judaism, no way will you enter into the Realm of the heavens." (see NHM)

Quote from www.netzarim.co.il ; “History Museum”

The reconstruction is made using a scientific and logic methodology. One of the premises is that the historical Ribi Yehoshua was a Torah-observant Pharisee (why that premise is true is found in the above website, in which you also will find more information about why a reconstruction is needed).

The historical Ribi Yehoshua and his followers Netzarim observed Torah non-selectively. The above website proofs that the person who want to follow the historical Ribi Yehoshua must do likewise.

This is what Ribi Yehoshua taught and he taught in accordance with Torah, that anyone who adds a mitzwah (directive or military style order) or removes a mitzwah from Torah is a false prophet.

Anders Branderud

 
At 7:19 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks for the contribution...and even given your assumptions, it proves too much, for in fact, after all you have said, it proves the point of needing a Messiah, not for us to keep Torah fully, only He has, and He lived this perfect life, and died for our sins...to make Jesus only a model for the way instead of being the way itself, is to go against His own words...we do indeed fulfill the law, in Christ...and I will not go against the words of the Apostles, they were inspired by the Spirit of God...

again, thanks for interacting...

 

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