Why Is The Resurrection Important?

Why Is The Resurrection Important?

Welcome:
The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. "Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer; she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael; he's a doctor.'" A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

Point:
Death may be a normal occurrence but it does not have to be anything that we are scared of.  The reason is because of today.  Today is Easter. 

Opening Illustration One:
Most of us are familiar with this song – it’s the theme from the television show Friends. But have you ever caught the lyrics to the song? They read, in part:

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year

You know, some of us can relate to that first verse a little more than others. We all have bad days, but for some of us those bad days have stretched into bad weeks, months or even years.

We find ourselves talking like Eeyore, and saying things like, “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” We have a pessimistic, browbeaten, downcast view of life. We suddenly find that we can’t sleep, we’ve lost (or gained) weight, some days we just don’t want to get out of bed. If you can relate to what I’m talking about, then you might just be depressed.

Speaking of being depressed, have you ever heard the story of Grimaldi the Clown?

Opening Illustration Two:
In the early 1800s in Manchester, England, and unhappy and depressed middle-aged man, while traveling, visited a physician who had been recommended to him?

"What's the nature of your ailment?" the physician asked. The sad-faced man told the physician that he was suffering from a hopeless illness. He was in terror of the world around him and nothing gave him pleasure or amused him or gave him a reason to live. "If you can't help me," he told the physician, "I'm afraid that I will kill myself."

The physician tried to reassure him. He told the man that he could be cured. He encouraged him to get out of himself, to find things that would amuse him, and cheer him up and make him laugh.

The patient said, "Where can I go to find such a diversion?"

The physician replied, 'The circus is in town tonight. Go see Grimaldi the clown. Grimaldi is the funniest man alive. He will cure you!"

The sad-faced patient looked up and said, "Doctor, I am Grimaldi. I am Grimaldi."

Point:
Friend, I don’t know what brought you here this morning.  Maybe it if your tradition to show up to church every Easter and Christmas Eve.  Maybe you are here every week.  Maybe you are here but not really.  Your mind is wandering.  You have had a terrible week filled with terrible people.  Well, this sermon is for you.  

Friend, today is Easter Sunday.  Today is a day of celebration and hopefulness.  Sure, things might not be going great.  Sure, you might be feeling like Grimaldi but I have good news for you today.  Today Jesus reminds us that death has been defeated and that He is in the business of restoring and restoration.  

Are You Depressed and Disappointed? Today Is For You!

Background:
Jesus is dead.  At least that’s what Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary thought.  And why not, they were there.  Jesus had been brutally beaten and tortured to death on the cross.  The Roman soldiers, professional killers in their own right, confirmed that he was dead.  Jesus died so late in the day that His family had not had adequate time to properly prepare the body for burial.  So, they followed tradition.  They placed the body in the tomb.  They observed the law of the Sabbath on Saturday preventing anyone from working and made their way to the tomb on the first day of work.  Sunday.  The ladies were depressed, defeated and massively disappointed.  

What about you?  Is that where you are today.  

So, the ladies show up and to their amazement, the soldiers ordered to guard the tomb are gone.  The stone has been moved clear and the body of Jesus is gone.  That is where our story picks up today.  Let’s read together in Luke 24:1-12.  

Luke 24:1-12 ESV
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Why Is the Resurrection Important?

I. Jesus Makes The Impossible Possible vs. 1-3
Luke 24:1-12 ESV
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Point:
Talk about impossible.  These ladies show up remembering the brutality of two days ago.  They remember the whipping, the flogging, the blood.  They remember everything.  They remember the stone being rolled into place.  It was over.  Totally done.  There was nothing more final than Jesus’ death.  Sure, Jesus had raised others from the dead.  Yet the Romans had made His death so much more.  It was so much worse.  Others had died from relatively natural causes.  Those people had been sick or died of old age.  Jesus died from…well…other causes.  Trust me, when those ladies approached the grave, they were not hoping.  They were not wishing.  They were not thinking that anything would be different.  It was OVER!

Have you ever felt that way about life? Your marriage is OVER.  Your relationship is OVER.  Your job is OVER. Your health has so deteriorated that you might even think that you are OVER.  It is impossible.  There is no hope.  No wish.  Nothing.  Just over.  

Yet, with Jesus nothing is OVER.  With Jesus there is always hope.  Always wishing.  I read a quote the other day that illustrated this point.  

Quote:
When you come to the end of yourself, you find the beginning of God.  

Point:
There is truth in that statement.  You see, Jesus makes the impossible possible.  There have been so many times that I thought a situation was impossible.

I will never graduate from high school. 
I will never get accepted in to college.
I will never graduate college.
I will never finish this education.
Angela and I will never get back together.
How will I ever provide for a family?
I will never be the father that my father was to me.
I will never make it out of this first year pastoring.
We will never afford adoption.
We will never get to China.

Friends the list goes on an on.  Time and time I have doubted God’s ability to move in an impossible situation.  Yet, time and time again, there Jesus goes making the impossible possible.  Jesus opened a door that no one else could open.  This stone was anywhere from 1-2 tons and would have taken several strong Roman guards to move it into place.  It was also sealed by Roman chains and guarded by Roman soldiers.  No one was going in or out.  Impossible.  Yet, when those ladies arrived, the stone was missing.  Moved.  Boom.  Impossible made possible.  

Point:
There is nothin more final than death.  I mean nothing.  I have performed so many funerals over the years and the old sentiment of “there is nothing more final than death and taxes” holds true.  Except Jesus breaks the mold.  There is no coming back from death.  Right?

Illustration:
Impossible things happen you know.  Just the other day Texas A&M was playing Northern Iowa.  The Aggies were down 12 points with less than 40 seconds on the clock.  The game was over.  I mean OVER.  Yet, by playing literally perfect basketball, the Aggies erased the deficit and defeated Northern Iowa.  Unbelievable.  

Friend, Jesus was defeated.  There was a massive debt that could’t and wouldn’t be overcome.  That’s what the Devil thought.  Yet, in the last minute, a the last second, Jesus storms a furious comeback.  Jesus erupts the grave and steals victory from the jaws of defeat, despair, and disillusionment.  Jesus obliterates death.  It may have been over but it wasn’t done.  Not by a long shot.  

JESUS MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Point:

A. Jesus Opened The Door

B. Jesus Obliterates Death

Matthew 19:26 NIV
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Why Is the Resurrection Important?
I. Jesus Makes The Impossible Possible vs. 1-3
II. Jesus Makes The Immortals Praise vs. 4-5
Luke 24:4-5 ESV
4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Point:
So, the ladies show up at the tomb and they encounter two men.  Other Gospels record that these were actually angels who had shown up to testify that Jesus had indeed raised from the dead.  The women fell face down because they were frightened.  

Does this remind you of something?  It made me thing of this verse.  Open your Bibles to Luke 1:26-33.  

Luke 1:26-33 ESV
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Point:
So we have similar characters.  We have angels.  We have Mary.  We even have a similar response.  

Now let’s read Luke 2:8-14

Luke 2:8-14 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Point:
When it comes to Jesus, heaven shines.  Angels show up!  Friends, there are no more important births in my life than the births of my boys.  As important as they were, no angel showed up to announce their arrival.  The resurrection matters because it reminds us that there is a spiritual realm that exists.  It reminds us that there is a God, that there are actual angels and that there is a real heavenly plain that we can all aspire to live on.  

Luke 2:13-14 NLT
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Why Is the Resurrection Important?
I. Jesus Makes The Impossible Possible vs. 1-3
II. Jesus Makes The Immortals Praise vs. 4-5
III Jesus Makes Impressive Promises vs. 6-8
Luke 24:6-8 ESV
6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words…

Illustration:
A little girl called out, "Mommy, you know that vase china cabinet? The vase that I promised not to ever touch? The one that’s been handed down from generation to generation?"

Yes, dear, I know which one you mean, what about it? 

"Well, Mommy, I’m sorry, but this generation just dropped it!"

Point:
It’s sad that we do not always keep our promises.  

Point
Jesus spoke openly about what would happen to him: crucifixion and then resurrection from the dead. "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31; see also Matthew 17:22 and Luke 9:22). 

Jesus promised that He would be killed and that He would raise from the dead.  That is one powerful promise.  

He made lots of other promises.  Jesus promises that through faith we will…

Through faith in Christ I am - a new person 1Jn:1.9

Through faith in Christ I have - a loving relationship with the living God 2 Cor:5.18

Through faith in Christ I have - a new life here on earth Jn:10.10

Through faith in Christ I have - a safe eternal destiny Rom:5.9

Jesus’ promises that we will have joy.  Jesus wants to make your joy full today.  

The Resurrection is important because if Jesus can keep the promise of His death and resurrection, then He can keep all the other promises that He has made.  You can trust Him and put your faith in him.  

John 15:11 ESV
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Why Is the Resurrection Important?
I. Jesus Makes The Impossible Possible vs. 1-3
II. Jesus Makes The Immortals Praise vs. 4-5
III Jesus Makes Impressive Promises vs. 6-8
IV. Jesus Makes The Intimidated…Persuasive  vs. 9-12
Luke 24:9-12 ESV
9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Point:
I read quite a bit of material on leadership.  I do this because I am in a leadership position and to be quite honest, I feel intimated by leadership.  I do not have all the answers.  I feel that i am prone to making lots of mistakes along the way.  So, I read books on leadership.  

The other day I was read from the book “How Great Generals Win” by Bevin Alexander.  Alexander was telling the story of the great warrior general Hannibal.  Hannibal was an amazing soldier who single handedly stopped for a time the spread of the Roman empire.  How did he do it?  Hannibal used elephants.  The Romans used horses.  The Romans stood no chance against the powerful elephants.  They would ride into battle and Hannibal would simply crush them.  

The Romans, powerful in their own right, often would run in retreat when they would see the elephants charging.  Scipio Africanus devised a plan.  He outfitted the Roman calvary with trumpets and horns.  They would blast the instruments as they road into battle.  The elephants, startled by the sound, turned and ran away.  

As I read that story, I realized that there is a deep truth that can be taken away.  First life is scary and full of disappointment. The Romans were scared and battle after battle they left defeated and disappointed.

Second, Africans transformed the army.  He gave them the tools to move from intimidated to intimidating.  

Friends, these three women were the same.  They were afraid and disappointed.  They had been defeated.  However, Jesus’ resurrection changed that.  Jesus’ resurrection gives us the confidence to beat back the Devil and the army of darkness.  

Point:
Notice that something changes in the lives of Mary Magdalene, Mary and Joanna.  They went to the tomb quiet and defeated.  That is not how they left the tomb.  They ran instead of walked.  They shouted instead of remaining silent.  They became brave.

Isn’t it amazing that Jesus changes people. He changed these women and he can change you and me.  Jesus, from the moment He was resurrected was transforming lives.  

He transformed 3 frightened women into the very first faithful evangelist.  

Point:
Well that’s nice preacher, but Jesus cannot change me.  Friend, if that is your reaction today you have not met the same Jesus I know.  Jesus changes lives.  

Illustration:
The word 'Metamorphoo', the Greek for 'transform', occurs three times in the New Testament: Matt. 17. 2; Rom. 12. 2 and 2 Cor. 3. 18.

From that Greek word we get our English term—`metamorphosis'. The entomologist, when he uses the term, envisages the trans­formation of the caterpillar through the chrysalis stage into the beautiful winged butterfly. It is a change of form and appearance from ugliness to beauty, but it also suggests a change of habits and manner of life.

These women went and told the disciples about Jesus.  Jesus’ resurrection transforms these women and He has been transforming lives ever since. He can transform you as well.  

I Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

So, Are You Connected To Jesus?

Point:
I want to close today with a brief illustration.  I want to share the Gospel with you in a very unique way.  This is my computer.  The other day I was reminded that my computer is a lot like me.  It was created, just like me, but someone very smart and very powerful.  It was created to do powerful things, complex things, amazingly creative things.  When this computer was made, the creator was proud of it.  This computer, like me, is costly and valuable.  As long as this computer stays plugged in to the power source, it will not die and it will function properly.  Friends, as long as we stay connected to our source, God Almighty, we will not die and we will function with purpose.  

There is just one problem.  We all decided not to stay connected.  We unplugged from God.  We sinned.  Romans 3:23 tells us that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  

When we unplugged from God, we began to slowly die, just like this computer.  Sure, we were still living, but now we are slowly dying.  

When we unplugged from God, we still had a hunger to be plugged in.  So what do we do?  We begin to try to fill the other holes in our life.  We think these things will make us happy and fulfilled.  The more we fill our lives with other things than the power, the more those things drain us and kill us faster.  

Friends, we are dying.  

There is no hope.  

Then something happens.  The creator of the computer decides that instead of us trying to find our way to the power source, He will bring the power to us.  The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners.  Jesus came to us.  John 1:1 tells us that Jesus became flesh.  He lived among us.  He came to bring us power.  

When Jesus arrived, everything changed.  The things that were killing us slowly were unplugged and He filled the one need we really had, a relationship with God.  

So this morning, are you connected?  Do you believe that Jesus created you, that He took your sin and that He wants to connect you to God’s power and forgiveness?  


Friend it is as simple as ABC.  Admit that you are sinner.  Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and Commit your life to Him.  Obey Him and follow Him. 

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