Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

New Life

April 16, 2015

Easter Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the year.  The celebration of the hope of new life that is given to us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is always a wonderful day.

Luke 24:1-12

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

I.  He is Risen

Jesus had died and was buried, but He did not stay dead.  He rose from the grave to a life that is everlasting.  It is a wonderful event that brings hope to all of us who believe in Him, that even as He has risen from the dead, so we also will have a new life beyond the grave. Death is no longer to be feared.  It is no longer the end of our story.  Death is only the transition from this life to the next.  That dramatically changes how we look at this life.

II.  The Cross Came First:  Hebrews 12:2

 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Before Jesus could enjoy the triumph of the resurrection, He had to endure the trial of the cross.  It was in the death of Jesus on the cross that His mission on earth was completed.  It was on the cross that atonement was made for the sins of the world.  Without the cross we would be lost in our sins.

It was absolutely necessary for the crucifixion to come before the resurrection.  Only on the cross could Jesus say “It is finished”

III.  Our New Life:  II Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

For all of those who have wanted an opportunity to start over, Christianity offers that chance.  In Christ, the old passes away, we become something new.  It is not exactly a do over, but rather, a begin again.  We are “born again”  a new person in Christ Jesus.

What a wonderful thing!

IV.  The Death of the Old:  Romans 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

We are to die to sin and walk in the newness of life that God has for us.  In this life, while we are still in our old bodies, we are given a new spirit.  The Spirit of God gives us new life.  We are to learn to walk in the newness of that life, even while living in our old bodies.  When the time comes, we will trade these bodies for the new ones.  In the meantime we must die to sin so that we can live for Christ. The person who we were, our old nature, must die, so that the new person, who we are meant to be in Christ can fully come to life.

These are the sermon notes from 4/5/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.    

 

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He is Risen

April 24, 2014

One’s perspective can make all the difference.

Matthew 28:1-10

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

I.  The Angel

Can you even imagine what an honor it was to be the one to give the news of the resurrection?  He begins with the words,”Do not be afraid”.  Most accounts of angels include similar words, apparently there is something about their appearance that can cause fear.  As believers, we do not need to be afraid.  God is with us.

See… and tell… The women are invited to see for themselves and to tell the disciples.  We too, are encouraged to see and tell.  The traditional Easter greeting of Christianity is for one person to say “He is risen.”  and for the other person to respond “He is risen indeed!”  We may not be able to look at an empty tomb, but we are able to see the evidence of lives changed by the power of the Risen Lord.

II.  The Guards

The guards were present when the stone was rolled away.  They also responded with fear but they “became like dead men”.  When they were able to move, they went and told the priest what had happened.  The religious leaders paid them money to tell a lie about what had happened.  Even though they had been eyewitnesses of the resurrection, they did not bear witness to the truth.  They truly were spiritually dead.  They were witnesses, but they did not truly believe.

There are people today who see the power of the gospel to change lives, but they do not believe for themselves.  Their spiritual eyes remain closed and they do not comprehend the truth.

III.  The Women

The women were initially afraid, and then filled with a great joy.  They ran to share the news of the resurrection.

Initially, people may approach the risen Lord with a certain amount of fear and apprehension.  It is new.  It may be frightening.  However, to those who believe, it is a message of great joy.  As Christians we can believe in the power of God, not only to help us in this life, but to give us hope of a life to come.  We, like the women, should run to share the news.

Someone has brought the message of the risen savior to us.  We can be like the guards and not truly believe, and help to spread a lie: or we can be like the women and be filled with the great joy that comes from knowing that our savior lives!

These are the sermon notes from 4/20/14.  Any advertisement that may follow this blog is placed there by WordPress. I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

Out of Death Comes Life

April 4, 2013

Here are the sermon notes  from Easter Sunday March 31, 2013.

I.  Resurrection:  Matthew 28:1-10

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Rejoice!  The first word of Jesus to the women in this gospel account is to  rejoice.  Christians ever since that first Easter morning truly have rejoiced that Christ has risen!  It has made all the difference in the world.  It confirms the message that Jesus preached, and gives us a hope that goes beyond the grave.

Our church does not have Holy Week services.  We do not have a Maunday Thursday, or a Good Friday service.  We celebrate the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday, and the resurrection on Easter.  This gives the impression that the season is only that of celebration.

We must remember that you do not have a resurrection, without first having a death.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We will never be able to fully comprehend the true suffering of Christ on the cross.  We cannot understand what it means to take the sins of the world.  Jesus knew what it was going to be like, and He asked three times that “this cup might pass from me”.  However, the Father, and Jesus also, knew there was no other way so “may thy will be done”.

II.  Out of Death Comes Life:  Matthew 16:21-27

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

I am concerned that we want to skip an important step.  We do not get to have the new life that Christ has for us unless we are willing to lay down the old one.  It seems as though many people want the promise of God’s help in this life and the promise of life to come, but they want to remain the masters of their own lives.  They  do not want to give their lives to Christ, they want to keep them for themselves.  Not everyone seems willing to say “not my will, but thine be done”.

Romans 6:1-4:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

I am concerned that many of us are so busy telling God what we want Him to do, that we forget to ask God what He wants us to do.

Years ago the Imperials recorded a song titled Water Grave.  It contains the words:

I’m going down to the river.

I’m going to be buried alive.

I’m going to show my heavenly Father

the man I used to be has finally died.

I have a 1983 Yamaha Venture motorcycle.  It runs good, but cosmetically it is in pretty rough shape.  If someday I get a different motorcycle I will have to choose which one I ride.  I can’t ride two bikes at the same time.

We cannot live our lives for ourselves, and live for God at the same time.

If we die to self, only then can we live for Christ.

Christ came that we might have life, and that more abundantly.  Let’s trust God enough to give up the lives that we had, so that we might live the life He has for us.

Obviously, I am not talking about a physical death.  I am talking about telling God “not my will, but Thine be done”.

New Life

April 10, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Easter Sunday 4/8/12.

I.  Matthew 28:1-8  He has risen.

Easter morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  We should remember that there can be no resurrection without the crucifixion.

II.  Romans 6:1-4  Walk in Newness of Life

Christ has offered us a new life through His death and resurrection.  We are to die to sin, be buried with Christ in baptism, and walk in newness of life.  If the Spirit of God is dwelling in our hearts, we will be changed.

III.  II Corinthians 5:14-17  A New Creation

We are not to live for ourselves, but for Christ.  The old is gone, we are new in Christ.

Resurrection

April 25, 2011

I believe in the new life that God has for us.  I don’t just mean the life in heaven that follows this life.  I believe that when we are saved we are reborn.  I also believe that God restores life to people whose hopes and dreams have been crushed by the circumstances they have endured.  God is able to give new dreams, new strength, new wisdom, and new hope to the lives of those who trust in Him.  We need to let go of the old, dead dreams, so that we can grasp the new vision that God has for our lives.

It is a good life that God has for us, you might say, an abundant life.

Resurection Sunday

April 5, 2010

People around the world celebrated Easter yesterday.  For some it is a fun celebration of the coming spring, with new outfits, easter egg hunts, candy, and family gatherings.  For others, it is an important religious holiday, where the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated.  For many, it is a combination of the two.

Many of you are familiar with the phrase, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  as a reference to discovering the crucial starting point.  I would like to remind everyone that you could not have the resurrection, without first having the crucifixion.

It is at the crucifixion of Jesus that the sins of the world are paid for by Jesus.  “He paid a debt he did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay”.  There is a tendency to want to celebrate the good without recognizing the cost.

This idea is carried over into our lives.  We want the benefits of salvation, without “picking up our cross’ in terms of discipleship and service.  We want the “abundant life” without the “tests and trials of our faith’.

It goes further into society.  We want success in sports, or business, without the work and sacrifice.  We want the benefits of a happy marriage, without working out, and through, the various interpersonal conflicts that can occur.

We want the reward without the cost.

Life doesn’t work that way.

Back on Two Wheels

March 5, 2009

Yesterday I rode my bicycle to the church for the first time this year.   It felt great to be back on two wheels.  I enjoy the exercise, being outdoors and the sense of simplicity.  I started using my bike last summer when the gasoline prices went so high.  I plan to continue, even though the cost of gasoline has substantially dropped. 

I also charged up the battery on the motorcylce and attempted to start the engine. 

Unsuccessfully. 

 Bummer.  

However, I am charging the battery some more and will be giving it another try later this morning. 

I believe in the resurrection. 

Yes, it can be applied to motorcycles:) 

Every spring  there is new life all around us.  We celebrate the return of warmer weather.  We celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. I also am reminded of new life when my motorcycle, (and formerly, my boat engine) comes to life for the first time.   

Today it is supposed to be sunny and in the mid fifties.  I will ride my bicycle to church, and hopefully, prayerfully, my motorcycle to the school.

It’s great to be back on two wheels.