HE IS RISEN!!!!
This is the power of God, this is the good news of the gospel message, this is our hope; not simply Jesus who lived and died, but Jesus who is the resurrection!
If Jesus, God in the flesh, were simply to have lived a perfect, sinless life and then willingly give it away to pay the price for our sin, that would be sufficient. Jesus still would have made a way where there was no way for us to be saved and our relationship with our Heavenly Father restored. However, our God is an extravagant, eternal God!
The Holy Spirit rose Jesus from the grave and He lives forevermore! He didn’t just resurrect from the dead, He proved that He is the resurrection!
Because He lives… Oh wow, because He lives! Because He lives, everything changes!
Because He lives, we have an intercessor who defends us day and night as Satan stands accusing us.
Because He lives, we have a living hope that nothing is too hard for our God.
Because He lives, we know that neither sin nor even death can stop us.
Because He lives, we are never alone.
Because He lives, eternal life is secure and starts here and now.
Because He lives, He freely gives us the Holy Spirit.
Because He lives, everything is possible.
How, then should we live? Should we live to please ourselves and whatever our flesh desires? Isn’t that exactly what got us into the mess that we’re in? No! For us, we put our faith in Jesus and live walking in the power and authority of the very one who rose Jesus from the grave who dwells within us!
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The same Holy Spirit who rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. What then is our excuse for anything in life? Sure, we face troubles and hardships, but we endure them with perseverance knowing that these things will pass and we will walk in the victory made possible by the resurrection. We walk filled with the resurrection power and wherever we go, we carry it with us!
1 Peter 1:3-9
3 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.
Is your life filled with inexpressible and glorious joy? Perhaps not, but for us who are receiving the end result of our faith, the fullness of our salvation, it certainly should be! Death and the grave couldn’t hold Jesus down and neither should anything be able to get us down! After all, the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us! We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus!
The resurrection of Jesus wasn’t something that we’ve heard about from just a few women standing at an empty tomb. No, Jesus made sure that there were hundreds of hundreds of personal eyewitness accounts and testimonies so that there would never be a shadow of a doubt that He not only died, but that He conquered the grave and death itself!
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
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
Although we so often focus on the cross, the death, and the blood of Jesus, it is the resurrection that most impacts our lives today. It is having a relationship with the one, true, living God that changes everything for us!
Jesus not only proclaimed, but also proved this powerful reality before He ever laid His hands on the cross.
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
What do we believe about Jesus? Do we believe that He was who He said that He was? Is our faith where Martha’s once was, that at the last day, the resurrection will have an impact on us as we are raised again to life eternal? Jesus didn’t deny this fact, but proved that the resurrection should affect us not only on that last day, but that it should have a profound impact in our lives here and now!
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He is not only the way to be resurrected and the way to eternal life, He is the resurrection and He is the life. Eternal life doesn’t begin for us when we kill over, it begins the moment that we believe in Jesus.
We live now resurrected, brought from spiritual death to life.
We live now resurrected, filled with the power of the One who resurrected Christ’s body from the grave.
We live now resurrected, freely given the authority to overcome all things.
We live now resurrected, saved, healed, delivered; literally a new creation in Christ.
We live now resurrected, rising above sin and the temptation of our flesh.
We live now resurrected, establishing God’s Kingdom here and now on the earth.
We live now resurrected, not victims, but victors!
Because He lives, everything changes.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life only because He lives.
Even as Jesus asked Martha, He asks us all this morning, “Do you believe this?”