Resurrection is the doctrine that after dying on a cross, Jesus physically rose to life, conquering Satan, Sin, and Death. Jesus now sits on His throne as King. In this sermon, we will explore the Biblical and circumstantial evidence of Jesus’ bodily resurrection, then deals frankly with common objections to this doctrine.
Apart from the resurrection of Jesus there is no Christianity, that big sequence of events that hold together Christianity is the life, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was a great teacher, but Christianity is not based on his teachings.
Jesus was a great miracle worker, but Christianity is not based upon his miracles, save perhaps this one.
Jesus was a great servant: he fed the poor and cared for the marginalized and the weak, but Christianity is not focused or founded on those kinds of acts.
All of those are incredibly important and teach us a great deal about Jesus, and I don’t mean to minimize or trivialize any of those.
But you can be a non-Christian and believe that Jesus was a great teacher, that he performed miracles, and that he helped people.
The distinguishing feature of what it means to be Christian is you believe he rose from death, the doctrine of the resurrection.
Luke 24:1-2 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,
3-4 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 -6And 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,
7-8 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,
9-10and 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,
11-12 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..
what I find so interesting is that sin and its effects are deeply hated by people who don’t even know Jesus.
Because sin has physical effects – it affects creation.
Environmentalists wished we’d take better care of the gift that’s been entrusted to us.
It affects nations, so there is injustice and poverty and evil and tyranny.
It affects individuals, so that they’re sinned against and they’re abused and they’re marginalized and they’re harmed and they’re victimized.
And people are sick and dying and I thank God that there’s a world after this one.
Now, in this world here’s what I do believe: We should work for health. We should work for justice. We should work for mercy. We should work for stewardship.
But I know that as long as there is sin, this will never be heaven.
It doesn’t matter how much we spend, It doesn’t matter who we elect, It doesn’t matter how loudly we protest, It doesn’t matter how passionately we try.
There’s still sin, the curse, death, and its effects.
And what I love about the resurrection of Jesus, it shows me, what is to come. People resurrected in glorified bodies with no sickness, no pain, no suffering, no death.
Jesus ruling and reigning over a new creation with no curse, with none of the effects of sin – a perfect creation, not polluted or contaminated in any way.
People living together in harmony and love… Across racial lines, Across generational lines, Across socioeconomic lines, Across political lines, Across cultural lines.
The world that everyone wants is ahead of us, and it’s with Jesus.
And if you long for that world, you need to know, that desire in you comes from Jesus.
But if all of your hope is here, you will be disappointed, and you will be angry, and bitter, and disappointed, and frustrated – unless you know Jesus.