The Resurrection Experience
Calvary Baptist Church of Holland
The Church @ Hamilton
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Pastor Paul L. Davis
Introduction: This week, people from all over our community have been experiencing the crucifixion—some for the very first time: the scourging, the betrayal, abuse, sour wine, the nails through his hands and feet, the spear in his side. He was the innocent God/man, punished like he was the worst of sinners. The crucifixion would be the greatest tragedy in history if it were not for two facts:
1) The crucifixion was a part of Jesus’ plan from eternity past.
2) Jesus was in complete control.
The death, burial, and resurrection are not a tragedy; they are an incredible revelation of the supreme power of Jesus over death. Easter Sunday morning is when we celebrate the truth that Jesus had the power to lay down his life to pay for our sins, defeat death, and bring himself back to life. It is his death, burial, and resurrection that give us the opportunity for a new life—eternal life, indestructible life, abundant life—and not just for eternity but for the right here and right now! The resurrection proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that life has a master. That master was and is Jesus Christ.
Have you ever wondered why there is death in the first place? I have been in the room several times when someone has died. It is hard to fully describe the thoughts and emotions that watching someone die produces. There is a profound sense of loss and loneliness knowing you will never talk to or see them again, yet there can also be a sense of relief, especially if the person has been suffering. It is difficult to watch someone’s family walk through the loss of a loved one. Yet for believers in Jesus, it can be strangely beautiful, peaceful, and even joyful. When you are in those moments, everything you believe about life and death comes flooding to your mind; it tests your faith. Death exists because sin exists. Death was not something God created, it is a result of man’s disobedience and rejection of God. As long as sin rules and reigns in us, death will have power over us. Everything about the crucifixion and the resurrection reminds us that death and the separation it brings must be dealt with.
It wasn’t always that way. We were created to enjoy God. The reason God created you and me with minds is so we could think with him. The reason he gave us mouths is so we could talk with him. He gave us souls so we could love and enjoy him. Every aspect of who and what we are was designed to make it possible for us to have an intimate relationship with God. Except for sin. Sin caused the problem that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection were meant to solve. Sin breaks all relationship with a holy God. Isaiah 59:2 tells us that our sins have separated us from God. Sin destroys everything that it touches. It lures and entices people into ruin. Sin promises to produce pleasure and delight, but in the end, it always delivers pain and death. Sin entraps, ensnares, and entangles your heart (Prov. 5:22). If you have been playing with sin, be warned: when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death (James 1:15). You can try to ignore sin, but eventually it must be dealt with. Several years ago, I stepped on a seashell and it stuck in my foot. I could ignore it for a while, but eventually the consequences became too painful and I had to dig it out. When will you deal with your sin?
There is hope for us because life has a master! 2 Tim 1:10 says Jesus Christ is the One who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.
How do we attain a relationship with Christ that brings life? Simply through Jesus. John 3:15 says that He who believes in Jesus will have life. Believes what about Jesus? Believes exactly what we celebrate this weekend: That Friday, Jesus Christ, God’s Son died on the cross. He did that to pay the price you owe for your sins. That Sunday morning, that same Jesus Christ rose again from the dead just like he said he would. To bring life not only to himself, but to all who would believe and put their trust in him.
So, what should you and I do this morning? I Timothy 6:12 tells us exactly what we should do: Take hold of the eternal life. That phrase ‘take hold’ means to arrest, trap, or grab a hold of something. Grab a hold this morning of real life, life with Jesus, eternal life. It is as simple as praying this prayer with me. If you want to grasp eternal life this morning, pray along with me in faith, believing.
Lord, I believe you died on the cross to pay for my sins. I also believe you rose again to bring me new life. I need a new life. I need a relationship with you. I turn from my sin to you, trusting in you and you alone, and I will follow you and you alone.
© Calvary Baptist Church of Holland
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to use and reproduce this material in any format for spiritual, non-commercial purposes. We only ask that you do not alter the content in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. Please include the following statement on any distributed material: by Paul L. Davis. © Calvary Baptist Church of Holland.