Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday




When It’s Hard to Believe

If something is worth believing, it’s worth questioning. Now, what I mean by that is this: don’t let your questions about Christianity slip away unanswered. There’s a good chance that some of you are not convinced about the the resurrection. You have your doubts. You have your questions. And one way of dealing with that is to…well not deal with that. And simply let your doubts and questions turn into cynicism. Another way of dealing with your doubts is to wrestle with them and look for answers.

 By the same token, if you call yourself a believer, you might have your doubts. And one way of dealing with them is to settle for pat answers or emotional experiences. But to not wrestle with our doubts can easily lead to a set of beliefs that is detached from the everyday struggle of faith. And when our beliefs are loosely held, they can easily crumble the day life’s struggles hit hard. And so whether you a skeptic or a believer, or somewhere in between - to wrestle with our doubts is the most responsible thing we can do. If something is worth believing, it’s worth questioning. And the reason why that is so important to consider on a day like today, is the fact that if the resurrection of Jesus Christ  actually happened (and I believe it did!) - then that truth changes everything.

 The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the greatest miracle of all time. In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul calls says its of first importance. The fact that Jesus literally, physically, rose three days after being in the tomb is a guarantee of live beyond the grave for us. It is a witness to the ultimate power God has over life and death. It is the validation of everything Jesus claimed to be - the Messiah, the Son of God. It proves that God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. You see, everything about the Christian faith rests on whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection is a dividing line, so to speak.

From Death to Life

From Death to Life full sermon notes

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.

The Resurrection Experience

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.