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APRIL 12 EASTER: “CELEBRATING THE PROVISION OF HOPE”

 

EASTER is about The Provision of Hope! Christ’s Resurrection Provides Hope to Us and Every Person Who Will Confess His Name.

 

John MacArthur said, The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. 

 

The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter.  Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.

 

Mark 16:1-8 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He Has Risen! He Is Not Here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

 

John’s Gospel Chapter 20 “3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.”  Jesus Had Risen!

 

Jesus’ Tomb is Empty. There is NO Body There. There are NO Ashes There. There are NO Remains There, for Jesus Rose From the Dead!

 

Confirmation: 1 Cor 15: 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

 

TRUTH: The stone being rolled away was Not to let Jesus Out, But to let the Women and Disciples IN…So They Could See Jesus was Gone.

 

Question:  What is the Result of this Resurrection? What Difference Does it Make to Us?

 

1 Peter 1:3-9 “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, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

 

Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, VS 3 says, “He has Given Us a “New Birth into a Living Hope.”  This Living Hope through a New Birth Means 5 Things to You and Me.

 

1. We now Have a Hope…The Knowledge, that Death is Not the End.

For much of recorded history, mankind has often been unsure of whether there is really life after death. Even today, many claim that this life is all there is. Their conclusion is that we become worm food. 

 

But, Because Jesus Rose From the Dead, We Now have a Hope in the Certainty that One-Day We too Will Rise Again…That We Too Will Live Eternally with Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible calls Jesus “the Firstborn from the dead.” That Means, there Will be Others.  Because of Jesus’ Resurrection we have a Certain Hope that When we Die, “In Christ” We Will Live Again With Him Forever.

 

2. Our Hope Includes the Knowledge that Evil Does Not Win. 

I’m sure that after the Crucifixion the disciples of Jesus felt that way…For 3 days they Wondered What Now?  Jesus Was Dead…The Roman Empire and Jewish Leaders Won!

But On the 3rd Day, “Up from the grave He arose. With a mighty triumph oe’r His foes. He arose the victor from the dark domain and He lives forever on His throne to reign. He Arose. He Arose…Hallelujah Christ Arose”!!  VICTORY…SATAN DID NOT WIN!

 

3. Our Hope Includes the Knowledge that God Forgives.

Mark 16:7: “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

 

Why would the angel specifically mention Peter? HERES WHY…God wanted Peter to Know He was Forgiven…Peter had walked with Jesus for 3 years. He knew Jesus intimately. He had watched as Jesus performed miracles… But, On the night of the Lord’s Supper Peter told Jesus, “Even if the rest of them leave you, I never will.” … Yet… Just Hours Later…Peter Denied Jesus 3 Times.

Yet, Jesus instructs the women to go tell the disciples and Peter…Jesus wants him to know that he’s still a child of His. He Wants Peter to Know that All is Forgiven.

 

Remember: God Always Forgives. It doesn’t Matter what You’ve Done-God Forgives.

 

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

You See… Satan wants You to Believe it’s Too Late and You Have Failed to Often…There is No HOPE!  NOT TRUE… Do Not Listen to Satan’s Lie! 

 

4. Our Hope Includes the Knowledge that New Life is An Option to Every Person.

Many who have been Trapped in Sin, who have Battled the Same Sin Time and Time Again, and have been Beaten Over and Over and Over again, Sometimes, reach the Point where they Believe they can Never Escape. They Believe they are Trapped in that Sin, in that Addiction, Forever.

 

2 Cor 5: 17 says that is Not True: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

The Message paraphrase says: “Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah [JESUS] gets a fresh start, is created new.”

 

KEY: Jesus’ Resurrection Proves that You Can Have and Live a New Life.

Confronting a problem in the church of Corinth Paul wrote: 1 Cor. 6:9,11 “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?…11 And that is what some of you were. But You were washed, You were sanctified, You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Paul said to the Christians in Corinth, “You used to be like that, but You’ve been saved. You’re washed, You’re sanctified, You’re justified. You’re Not Like That Anymore. 

 

5. Our Hope Includes the Promise of a Better Tomorrow!

1 Peter 1:3-9 “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, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

 

We Not only have a Promise of Living again, But also of a Better Tomorrow.

 

1 Cor 15: 55-58: “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”.

 

Example: A father and son were riding along with windows down when a bee flew into the truck. The son was petrified because he had an allergy that a bee sting could prove deadly.   The father screeched to a stop, caught the bee in his hand and allowed it to sting him, and then let it go. But seeing the bee still flying in the car, the boy was still fearful until the father said, “Son, don’t worry, the bee cannot harm you now–then he showed him his hand, and said, I took the sting.” 

 

HERE IS WHY WE CELEBRATE EASTER…WHAT I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND:  

 

When a honeybee stings a person, it can’t pull its little barbed stinger back out. This is a one-time experience for them, because once they do it, they are not going to survive.  When a bee stings you, not only is the bee’s stinger left in you but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, as well as nerves and muscles. This massive abdominal rupture kills the bee shortly after it stings.

 

That is what happened when Jesus died on the cross. In his enduring hatred for God’s Son, Satan thought it would be a great idea to have Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten within an inch of His life, and then crucified and put to death on a Roman cross.

The devil said, “This is my moment. I am going to sting Him. I will have a role in His death. When He dies, that is the end of Him.”  Everything went according to Satan’s plan, and like a bee, he flew off thinking he had succeeded.

 

But everything went according to God’s plan…The sting of death was its own defeat.  As 1 Cor 15:54–55 says, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

 

You See…The Sting of Death for the Believer has been Ripped Out…Because at the Cross, Jesus took the Stinger out of Death.

 

This is the Great Truth and JOY as we Celebrate the HOPE Provided at Easter...As Christians, we no longer need to fear death because our souls will live on forever with Christ in Heaven.

When we by faith, Accept Christ Jesus as our Savior, God forgives us. We become His followers Saved unto Good Works until He Returns.

 

POINT:  BECAUSE HE LIVES…IN CHRIST I WILL TOO!