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EASTER 2021 AUDIO-VIDEOEvidence That Demands a Verdict” 1 Corinthians 15

 

3 Guys were Tried for Crimes Against Humanity. 2 guys committed crimes. 1 guy didn’t.  

  • 3 guys were given government trials. 2 guys had fair trials. 1 guy didn’t. 
  • 3 guys were whipped and beaten. 2 guys had it coming. 1 guy didn’t.  
  • 3 guys were given crosses to carry. 2 guys earned their crosses. 1 guy didn’t
  • 3 guys were mocked and spit at along the way. 2 guys cursed and spit back. 1 guy didn’t.  
  • 3 guys were nailed to crosses. 2 guys deserved it. 1 guy didn’t
  • 3 guys agonized over their abandonment. 2 guys had reason to be abandoned. 1 guy didn’t.
  • 3 guys talked while hanging on their crosses. 2 guys argued. 1 guy didn’t. 
  • 3 guys knew death was coming. 2 guys resisted. 1 guy didn’t. 
  • 1…2…3 Guys Died on 3 Crosses….3 days later. 2 guys remained in their graves.         1 GUY DIDN’T.  Unknown Author

 

As a young Christian I read a book by Josh McDowell entitled, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”.  When he was a Law Student he set out to Disprove the Bible.  At the Start Josh thought it was Not Defensible….At the end of his in-depth study he ended up Giving his life to Jesus and from that point on has served thee Lord and worked with teens internationally.

 

In his book he begins with explaining the Canonization of the Bible Proving it’s Authenticity and that it is in Fact Defensible. Later in his book he explains that there are Only 2 Ways to Prove Anything…First, the Scientific Method and Second, the Legal Method.

  • The Scientific Method requires “Recreating” the exact same situation to see if it Reproduces the Exact Same Results like in a Test Tube To Determine if it is True.   
  • The Second way to prove anything is the “Legal” Method” This method Requires Eye-Witnesses that can Defend the Claim in front of a Judge in a Court.
  • What Christ did on the Cross Can Not be Recreated…So We Use the Legal Method

 

This morning we will See that God Provided Us with Many Witnesses…So that We Would Have Confidence that Jesus Died for Our Sin and Rose Victorious Over Death and Know the Sure Hope that We Will Live With Him Forever!  

 

Satan Will Try to Get You to Doubt God’s Word…But His Word Has Provided Evidence that Proves God is Who He Says He IsAnd He Will Always Do What He Says He Will Do! 

 

Satan wants You to Doubt Gods Word!  If he Can Accomplish this…It will Negatively Affect Your Commitment to Christ…Your Christian Priorities…and Keep You from Seeking Holiness!

  • Sad to say…This is Making a Detrimental Impact on the Church of America Today!   

 

KEY:  God’s Word Contains All the Evidence to Prove that God’ Word is True!  

  • And It Is God’s Word That Expects Every Person to Make a Decision to Receive Christ as Lord and Savior!   Whosoever Will!

 

Today We Begin in  Luke 24: 1-7 “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; He has Risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” 

 

The Purpose of Easter is to Remind Us…No Matter What We Face…What We’ve Been Through, or what Uncertainties Tomorrow may Hold, Christ is Risen and is Our Hope!

  • He Conquered Death, He Makes ALL Things New.  He Has Risen! 
  • He has Risen indeed! He Breathes New Life…So that We Can Live…FREE! 
    • They tried to “Bury Power”…But it Would Not Stay There. 
  • They Tried to “Bury Truth”…But it is Not Dead. 
  • They Tried to “Bury Love”…But it Could Not be Contained. 
  • God’s NOT Dead. And We’re NOT Alone. NOT EVER…BECAUSE CHRIST LIVES!

 

The Apostle Paul Declares this Truth in 1st Corinthians 15…CHRIST HAS RISEN INDEED!

 

VS 3-7: “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.  

 

 In one of the most famous chapters in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he asserts, “Christ Died for Our Sins According to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). 

  • Vs 3 is followed by a series of Facts about the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead. 

 

In VS 4-8 Paul Asserts that what he was making Known to the Corinthians, The Gospel that they Received and by which They were Saved, and in which they Stood…Was Defensible. 

 

He Then Follows by Giving Them Evidence that Demands a Verdict! 

    • In verse 4 Paul Adds…Jesus was Buried, and He was Raised on the Third Day.
    • In Verse 5 Paul gives Evidence for this Fact saying, after His Resurrection Jesus appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve
  • And then…Paul Continues in Verse 6 After that, he appeared to more than Five Hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time.
  • Then Paul concludes in verses 7 and 8 saying, Jesus appeared to James, The Apostles and then finally to Paul Himself!

 

In 1 Cor. 15:3-4, Paul Confirms that the Gospel’s Most Important Elements are the Cross and Resurrection…Which make it Possible for Sinners, Like You and Me…to be Saved from Our Sins by Faith in What Christ Provided on the Cross. 

Paul Teaches in Verse 3 that Jesus died as a “Substitute” for Sinners.  

  • Jesus took upon Himself Judgment for Sins so that the Sinners for whom He Died would Experience the Reward of Salvation IF they Repent and Believe!
  • Simply…Christ Did What We Could Not Do!
  • Here’s A ThoughtMy Mom Loved Me…But She Could Not Die For My Sins… Because She was Also a Sinner! Like Each of Us, She Also Needed a Savior!

 

In Vs-1 Paul states that the gospel “Saved” the Corinthians when they “Received” it. 

  • By “Received,” Paul means that the Corinthians Believed the Gospel to the Point that It CHANGED THEIR DIRECTION to FOLLOW CHRIST OBEDIENTLY

 

In Vs-2 Paul Confirms this Interpretation, When he Warns them by Saying “Unless You Believed in Vain.” 

  • Those who Respond in Genuine Faith & Repentance, Obediently Following the Gospel, are the Only Ones who Experience the Saving Benefits of the Gospel. 
  • But if they believed in Vain, Meaning their Belief Never Changed Their Heart or Life’s Direction, Then…the Gospel will Condemn them in Their Sin.

 

 When he says, “Christ Died For Our Sins According to the Scriptures.” It Means that Jesus’ Death “For Sins” Dealt with the Effects of Sins and the Penalty that God Requires Because of SinsChrist Death Met God’s Standard…Holiness! 

  • Heb 10 says, We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
  • IT IS FINISHED! The Moment You Confess Any Sin, Christ’s Shed Blood Covers Those Sins and You are Forgiven and Capable to Stand Righteous Before GOD! 

 

KEY: The Blood of Sacrificed Animals Could Not Appease Gods Standard of Holiness and Righteousness…Only the Blood of One Who Was Righteous—Sinless…Could Save Us From Our Sins…It Took the Shed Blood Of Jesus Christ…God’s Only Son! 

 

Listen to the Prophet Isaiah 53: 2-7  “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 

 

Think About What Happened Here: Jesus God’s Son, Who had been with God the Father Throughout Creation and visible in the Old Testament…Took Off His Crown and Came to Earth as Immanuel (God With Us). So that He Could Live a Sinless Life and Die on The Cross for YOU!

And today, We Remember what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

 

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “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.

Here we see a Promise of Hope Because of What Christ Did on the Cross!  Payment in Full was Freely Offered by Christ’s Substitutionary Death and is Transferred to Us as a Saving Benefit to All Who Believe the Gospel Through Christ’s Resurrection!  

Paul’s remarks in 1 Cor. 15:4 assert that Jesus was raised from the dead. 

  • Both in Vs. 3 and 4, Paul announces the death and resurrection of Jesus happened in history “according to the scriptures.” 
  • These scriptures could at least refer to Old Testament texts like Psalm 22, which emphasizes the suffering of the Lord’s servant, and Isaiah 53, which emphasizes both the suffering of the Lord’s servant and his resurrection (Isa. 53:5810).

Without the Resurrection, Jesus’ Death would be a Tragedy Regardless of It’s Substitutionary Nature. But because of the Resurrection, His Death Was Triumphant.

You See…Vs 55 & 56 Make it Clear that Christ Removed The Sting of Death and Deaths Victory when He Rose from the Dead Victorious over Sin!

Story of Farmer in truck with SonBee Flies…Son Frightened because a Bee Sting could be Terminal.   Father Reaches Out Grabs the Bee in his hand and lets the Bee Sting Him…Lets Bee Go..Son Scared…Father Says He Cant Hurt You…Look Here at my hand…I Took The Sting!   This is What Jesus Did For You and Me!

Again today, It is Important that Each one in Christ Remind Ourselves Afresh of the Absolute Necessity of both Jesus’ Substitutionary Death for Our Sins and His Own Physical Resurrection from the Dead to Achieve the Saving Benefits for Us who Have Believed and Received the Gospel. 

 

The World Wants to Think Easter is about Bunnies, Candy, Pretty Dresses, and Suits. These may be fun…But What a Tragedy for Anyone who believes this should be the Focus.

 

The Resurrection season is about God Satisfying His Wrath toward Us by Letting His Son Jesus Die on the Cross for Our Sins…My Sins…Your Sins…and then Raising Him from the Dead…Claiming Victory Over Death Forevermore.

Then to Prove His Prophecy’s and His Word are True…Jesus after His Death, Was seen by His Disciples and over 500 people that We Would Have Confidence in Our Salvation.

 

God’s Word Provides Indisputable Evidence that Christ Died and Rose 3 Days Later and was seen by hundreds to Prove His Claim! 

 

This Indisputable Proof Demands that Each of Us Make A Decision.

 

Q:  What Will You Do With The Truth that God Sent His Son Jesus to Die on a Cruel Cross for You and then 3 Days Later, Rise Victoriously Over Death…So that You Might Be Restored Back to Him…a FREE GIFT of Salvation!

 

Have You Received this FREE GIFT of Salvation from a God Who Loves You So Much that He Gave His Only Son to Die in Your Place?

If Not…Before I Close this Service…I Encourage You to Make a Decision Today to Ask Christ to Become Your Savior…So That You May Spend Eternity with God and All Your Loved Ones Who Have Made this Decision!

If You are Ready to Make a Decision to Follow Christ…Quietly Pray This Prayer with Me… 

CLOSING PRAYERS