EASTER APRIL 21, 2019 “THE RESURRECTION DEMANDS A RESPONSE”
Luke 24 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.” 8 Then they remembered his words…
Matthew 28 gives another Picture: After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The Guards’ Report 11 some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep. 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. This story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
John 20: 2 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!” 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. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (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.
The Fact that Jesus Died and Rose the 3rd Day…Demands a Response. Question: “Will You just Know about the Resurrection…or will it change Your Life…Will it Change Your Life’s Purpose?”
If this is just a story…We have the option to assess its elements with no consequences. However…If it is more than just a story…We Realize that We’re Not Just Being Talked About…We’re Being Spoken To!
The fact that Jesus was raised from the dead as He said He would…stands forever at the height of this story…Demanding that we Respond! Every Person who has Ever Lived will Respond whether they Embrace the Gospel or Disregard it! The Refusal to Comment is, of course, a Comment of Disbelief.
Through Acts we see that the resurrection propelled and shaped Gospel message. In Luke, Peter puts the resurrection of Jesus in the context of the Jewish prophesies about God’s Messiah.
- Acts 2:32 “This Jesus, God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses,”
- Acts 2:32-35 says, that Jesus is exalted, His identity as God the Son is vindicated, He is now reigning, He has sent his Spirit to empower the telling and hearing of this Truth.
- In verse 36 Peter ends with the most obvious inference: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
- The Message paraphrase puts it like this, “There’s no longer room for doubt — God made Him Master and Messiah”.
POINT: Jesus is the Promised Messiah, and He is also God…Death Could Not Hold Him!
After Peter speaks, Luke tells us that those who heard him were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) Literal in the Greek…Means that “Things Got Real”.
- And they asked, “What do we do?” They knew something had to happen. Something now had to be different. That day 3000 persons received Christ!
Proclaiming Christ crucified always meant proclaiming him Risen, even when it got them into trouble (Acts 3:2) But in every case, the Reality of the Resurrection Pressed those who Heard it!
In Acts 13 Paul claims that the resurrection of Jesus guarantees the “Fulfillment of God’s Promises”. He links the resurrection to past prophecies about God’s Messiah. Then, says what it means for You and Me.
Acts 13: 38-39 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
- Forgiveness of Sins is Proclaimed to US Again Today! We are invited to listen and believe.
- Just like the 3000 on the day of Pentecost…The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…Demands a Response!
Here is where Neutrality Sheds its Skin…There is Only One Response to the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead that will Allow You to Enter Eternity with Him…REPENTANCE!
Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for Our sins, and then he was raised from the dead. The Freedom held out for You and Me is…Believe Him, Receive Him, Embrace Him…
The Resurrection of Christ Demands a Response. Question is, How Will You Respond?
- Your Response Can Be Yes, I know Christ Rose from the Dead and Yet Not Have It Make any Change in Your Life. You Just Know/Agree that this is a Truth about Christ.
- OR…You Can KNOW CHRIST in a Personal Way: Let Him Guide You…Spend time with Him in His Word and Prayer…You Let Christ Have His Way in Your Life…
If we truly believe that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead…Our Lives Will Show It. Life Change is Not Optional for the Believer.
Think About This: Almost everyone here believes that seat belts save lives. But that belief does not do you any good in a crash unless you had actually fastened your seat belt. Those who buckle up are those who truly believe that seat belts save lives.
- Your Belief is Worthless if You Don’t Personally Apply It. And it is the Same with Our Response to Jesus Christ and the Resurrection!
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead? Good! Because it is true!
- But if that belief has not led to a life of turning from sin, and Choosing to Follow Christ Daily…it Won’t Do You Any Good on the Day of Judgment.
There is Only One Intelligent Response to the Fact of Jesus’ Resurrection…That is Repentance…Turning from Self Focus to Focusing and Following Jesus Christ with Your Life.