From Death to Life
Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018
Pastor Trent Broussard
When death comes, the story is over. Death is the end and everyone knows it. Story after story, tale after tale down through the ages tell us again and again of the finality of death. We see as early as Genesis 4, with the first human death as Cain murdered Abel, that death is the end. Abel wasn’t coming back. Eventually, the first man and first woman, Adam and Eve, died as did in their own time every one of the descendants of Adam and Eve. Death was undefeated. Death eventually came for every person, and it still does today.
The writers of stories and the tellers of tales have often woven another narrative into their stories. This narrative tells us that death is powerful and death is the end, but there is a power greater than death. C.S. Lewis calls it a deeper, older magic in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. J.K. Rowling calls it love in Harry Potter. You see this clearly in Disney’s Beauty And The Beast as Belle weeps over the Beast whom she has come to love. As her tears of grief fall on the Beast, he magically returns to life and all of the things that are wrong in the world become right. All of these stories have their origin in one story. All of these stories find their origin in the true story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mankind is longing to believe there could be a power stronger than the grave.
This morning we want to establish two facts:
1. Jesus was dead (John 19:33-34, Luke 23:44-46, Mark 15:33–39, Matthew 27:45–54)
2. Jesus is alive (John 20:1-31)
We know Jesus is alive because of the testimony of others. Mary saw Jesus risen from the dead (John 20:11-16, 18a). The disciples saw Jesus risen from the dead (John 20:19-21). Thomas saw and believed (John 20:24-29). The whole purpose of the book of John is so we may believe (John 20:30-31).
John didn’t write every account of every witness to Jesus’ resurrection. He didn’t detail every sign or miracle that the risen Jesus performed before his disciples. He told us enough that we could believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He told us enough that we might have life in Christ.
The simple gospel message is that God created everything that has ever been created, and as our creator he has an absolute right to demand our worship and obedience. The problem comes when we sin. It started with Adam in the Garden and every one of us is born with the sin nature of Adam. Sin separates us from our Holy God and places us in danger of judgment and eternal separation. But God in his great mercy, love and perfect justice sent Christ to die in our place, to pay for our sin, to bear the wrath that is owed to you and me. Christ died and then Christ defeated the grave. He rose and he lives. He reigns. Receiving forgiveness is as simple as having faith in Christ.
Romans 10:9–13 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved…For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
But faith in Christ is not easy; following Jesus is often a messy journey.
Christ was dead and now he is alive. No matter how far away from the Lord you find yourself today, Jesus stands ready to forgive you and offer you eternal fellowship with him. You do not have to put your life back together or fix all of your mistakes so that Jesus will accept you. He accepts you just as you are. He loves you enough to not allow you to stay that way. Whatever you have done, wherever you are today, Jesus offers you forgiveness if you only believe. Today, if you are dead in your sin, Christ offers life and hope.