This morning, we’re going to continue our message series ‘Jesus: Revealed’ on this Easter Sunday. We’ve found how God desires to be our refuge, our king, and this morning, we’ll be taking a look at how Jesus is our Savior.
We remembered on Good Friday of how Christ was flogged and crucified – put to death on a cross for all to see and mock Him. We know that it was by His perfect, sinless life and then by willingly giving His life that the payment for our sins has been taken care of. We know that all who accept this by faith and ask are forgiven their sins.
Let’s go now and recall the scene where this all took place. We now turn and see Jesus hanging on His cross between two criminals:
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
* LIVE SKIT *
HE IS RISEN!!!
1 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.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Our hope is in the evidence of Christ’s resurrection. If He did not rise again from death to life, then our faith is in vain, our work is useless, and we are left here on this earth with no hope at all. In fact, if Christ did not rise from death to life, then we are the biggest fools ever to walk the face of the earth. However, God has given us a living hope of which we are certain of through the resurrection of the dead!
1 Corinthians 15:3-20
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.
So here, we see that we have at least 515 personal, firsthand, eyewitness accounts of Christ being alive after His death on the cross. When you read the last few chapters of all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), you find detailed descriptions of these personal encounters with the resurrected Christ. Also, in Acts 9 where Jesus appeared to Paul who was persecuting the church and trying to stop these followers of Christ. He had to have been one of the greatest unbelievers of Jesus’ resurrection than anyone in existence! That’s why he calls himself here in his letter to the church in Corinth one abnormally born. He would have been the least expected to become a believer and follower of Christ. When you personally meet Jesus, however, there is no denying that experience and the truth of His resurrection!
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
So we know that we now have a living hope, Christ Himself. We know that the life that we live now, we live for Him waiting for the day when we cast off this body of flesh and meet Him face to face to dwell in His presence forever. We have assurance of this because Christ has gone before us! And if you’ve ever wondered what death is like, read the rest of 1 Corinthians 15.
We’re going to continue on this morning, however, to look at what Christ has done for us. We know that He died and rose again to pay the price for our sins and to give us a living hope, however, His death provided us so much more that we too often miss!
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
That word ‘save’ used here as well as another 118 times in the New Testament referring to what Christ has done for us holds so much more meaning than that Christ was just a sin eraser or get out of hell ticket. We miss out on the fullness of salvation when we stop the meaning of this word at this. The Greek word is:
From the second death (hell), which is the penalty for our sins (John 6:40)
Physical healing from all sickness and every disease (Matthew 9:35)
Emotional healing transforming our minds (Romans 12:2)
Spiritual healing by the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within us making us alive (1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Peter 3:18)
From temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
From the sin that so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1)
From the enemy’s control (Ephesians 2:1-10) and addictions – SET FREE!!!
Keeps us out of harm’s way (1 John 5:18)
Guides our steps to keep us from making bad decisions (Psalm 23:3)
Preserved to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
His angels camp around us (Psalm 34:7)
Keeps the enemy away from us (Matthew 6:13)
We’re new creations in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We lack no good thing (Luke 22:35)
If you do not know Jesus as your savior or there are areas of your life where you desire to have Jesus give you these these things, please pray with me.
Let’s close by worshipping together the one whom is risen!
* Hillsong – Alive Forever Amen *