John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
The resurrection is CENTRAL to the Gospel message. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in ALL of human history. When the disciples preached Jesus, they preached His death and resurrection. The message was one of a Risen Savior, who is able to save ALL who believe. Without the resurrection, everything else is meaningless-- a dead Savior cannot save anyone! Notice what God's Word says:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, thou shalt be saved.
Yes, that is what God's Word says. Yet so many today, have left the Resurrection out of their preaching. A Swiss theologian named Karl Barth said, "Without the belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no salvation." How true that is! Yet, many TV preachers fail to even mention the Resurrection. Most say a quick, "Did you know Christ died for you? Pray this prayer..." But they fail to say, "and He rose again...He is alive!" Many also fail to mention the Heavenly Father in their salvation message. John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
Rom 4:24b-25 "if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
1Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
When comparing the preaching of decades past, one will find a significant difference in the way preachers used to preach the Gospel. The Resurrection was not only mentioned in passing but also preached in detail. Somewhere, the young preachers of today (and some older ones as well) have missed the message-- we cannot give only part of the story. If one only gives part of the story, those listening CANNOT get saved. For it is the belief in a Risen Christ that one is saved. Belief in the resurrection was the faith of the Early Church. They preached the Risen Christ.
There can never be too many Resurrection sermons preached for it is the heart of our belief. It is the heart of all of Christianity.
"The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions." --Pastor Adrian Rogers
Our Savior is not dead but ALIVE!! Hallelujah! It was prophesied in the Old Testament how Messiah would die and would rise again. This is the core message of the Gospel. Mohammed is still in his tomb. Confucius, Buddha, still dead. They are all dead. Only Jesus rose from the grave! We must say it again and start preaching it again! The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ-- We have hope. We have eternal life because of Jesus and what He accomplished for us at the cross and because He rose from the grave!
"Gospel preachers nowadays preach the gospel of the Crucifixion, the Apostles preached the gospel of the Resurrection as well. (2 Tim. 2:8-"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead, according to my gospel.") The Crucifixion loses its meaning without the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection the death of Christ was only the heroic death of a noble martyr; with the Resurrection it is the atoning death the Son of God. It shows that death to be of sufficient value to cover our sins, for it was the sacrifice of the Son of God." (R. A. Torrey, What The Bible Teaches (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1898- 1993) p. 177)
"The Apostle Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost of the risen Savior, says, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And He speaks of Him as the anointed One, exalted at God's right hand. The Gospel is the Gospel of the Risen Christ. There would be no Gospel for sinners if Christ had not been raised. So the apostle says, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). --H.A. Ironside
Notice how the Apostles preached:
Act 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
In the New Testament alone, the Resurrection is mentioned over 100 times.
"The Church came into existence because of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. If Jesus had remained buried in the grave, the story of His life and death would have remained buried with Him. The New Testament is an effect of Christ's resurrection. It was the resurrection that put heart into the disciples to go forth and tell its story." -William Evans
The birth of Jesus was a miracle; His life on earth was an amazing perfection of doing the Will of the Heavenly Father. Jesus lived a perfect life while He walked the earth, without ever sinning. He walked perfect before God. He was God in flesh. He paid the price for our sin on the cross. He shed His precious blood for us so that we might be forgiven. (Hebrews 9:22) Jesus suffered and died the most tortuous death so that we might have eternal life.
Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians would be powerless, hopeless, and all our believing would be vain. Because of the resurrection of Christ, all believers have power, love, and the hope of His SOON return!
1Cor 15:17-23 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first- fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
What is the above passage saying?
If Christ be not raised your faith is vain-- Why? Well, for one, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus proves that He is the Son of God.
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
The resurrection proves that Jesus finished the redemptive work. It proves that He is our Savior-- the Great High Priest who is seated at the Right hand of the Heavenly Father.
It proves that He did exactly what He said He would do. Matt 20:18-19 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Luke 24:6-8 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet 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 [the disciples] remembered his words
Dr. H.A. Ironside said, "We are not preaching the Gospel of a dead Christ, but of a living Christ who sits exalted at the Father's right hand, and is living to save all who put their trust in Him. That is why those of us who really know the Gospel never have any crucifixes around our churches or in our homes. The crucifix represents a dead Christ hanging languid on a cross of shame. But we are not pointing men to a dead Christ; we are preaching a living Christ. He lives exalted at God's right hand, and He "saves to the uttermost all who come to God by Him."
John 3:13-16 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If Christ be not raised, we are yet in our sins. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the proclamation of God to the whole world that His Son bore the punishment of the sins of the people; was lifted up on the cross (as Moses lifted up the serpent); shed his blood as the spotless Lamb of God-- Jesus died on the preparation of Passover; that Jesus received all of Godâ€™s wrath upon Himself on the Cross, and that He completed the redemptive work and arose from the grave, victorious over death.
If Christ be not raised, we are without hope for He said, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." If Christ be not raised, there is no promise of a victorious life for us here on earth nor is there a resurrection for us in the future.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
If Christ be not raised, there can be no kingdom and no returning King!
If Christ be not raised, where is the promise of the resurrection for us? Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
1Cor 15:20-21 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
If Christ be not raised, there is no future of the Rapture. 1Thess 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
If Christ be not raised, there is no future of the Lord's return and no future of the Millenial Kingdom. Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Zech 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
Jude 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
If Christ be not raised, there can be no new heaven and no new earth. Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
If Jesus is not raised, there is no judgment of the devil and no destruction of the devil's kingdom. 1John 3:8b For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
For ALL these biblical beliefs have their foundation in the Risen Christ. Because Jesus is alive, we know His promises are true. He arose and we shall arise also. He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah and will fulfill the rest of them at His Second Coming. Well known evangelist Billy Graham once said, "the entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection."
Jesus- The Joy of Our Salvation
Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith! He is the reason we have joy within our hearts. He is the Resurrection and the Life. We can say as Job, "I know that my redeemer liveth!"
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Every True Believer today has joy because of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the reason for our joy. He is our peace in the midst of adversity. The Disciples had joy after they saw the Lord resurrected. After Jesus' crucifixion, the followers of Jesus were in such deep despair. "We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel..." They were confused; they had no hope. They remembered not the words that Jesus said to them before His crucifixion, "the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." (Mark 8:31)
They did not remember, nor did they understand...their Lord was crucified before their eyes. They had no hope left. The Lord who calmed the troubled seas, told the great storms to "be still"; the Lord who fed them, taught them, gave them power to do such wonderful things-- Jesus of Nazareth-- healed the blind, made the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, the dumb to talk, set the captives free-- the Lord who raised the dead back to life. The One who touched every life who ever encountered Him...the One who was their guide and Shepherd, the One who would make every situation all right...was no more with them-- He died before their eyes. Peter had once said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.", "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
Yet Jesus died a horrific death upon a cruel Roman torture device-- the Cross-- He died for the sins of the world. He was placed in a rich man's tomb and had Roman soldiers guarding the Tomb. The Disciples were without hope...they were fearful of what would become of them. Life had no meaning-- all hope was lost. But when Jesus arose from the tomb-- "He is alive!!"-- They saw Him-- The Living Risen Christ and their hearts rejoiced. Jesus is the reason for living! John20:20 And when he [Jesus] had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. The Greek word for "glad" in this passage means to be full of â€œcheerâ €�, that is, "calmly happy or well off." One could say that the disciples were "happily relieved"...all of their stress turned to pure JOY at the sight of Jesus.
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
During the forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus was seen by 500 brethren at once (1Cor 15:6). He spoke to them of the Kingdom of God. He showed Himself alive by MANY infallible proofs: He appeared in their midst; He walked with them, ate with them, they touched His body, His hands and His feet, and they found that He was not an apparition, but had a glorified body of flesh and bones. He taught them things pertaining to the Kingdom...THE FUTURE KINGDOM WHEN HE SHALL REIGN UPON THE EARTH...Our future lies in Christ Jesus. We shall reign with Him.
Blessed fact, Jesus presented Himself living for He is the Living One!!! The disciples who had no hope after the crucifixion became as bold as lions after the Resurrection-- once they received the Holy Spirit. They began to preach the Lord Jesus Christ with boldness and were willing to be tortured and to die for Him-- for the sake of the Gospel-- for they KNEW Jesus is alive and the Gospel...the Good News that Jesus saves has been preached ever since.
Acts 1:8-11 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Jesus-- The Risen Savior-- ascended up to Heaven in a cloud. Some Bible teachers believe this was no ordinary cloud.
A.C. Gaebelein wrote in his Commentary on Acts: "That cloud was not a cloud of vapor. It was the same cloud which had appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, the Shekinah. It was the same cloud of glory which had filled Solomon's Temple, which so often in Israel's past history had appeared as the outward sign of Jehovah's presence with His people. The Glory-cloud came to take Jesus in, to bring Him back to the Father from whence He had come. What human tongue or pen can picture what took place after He had disappeared from human vision! The Shekinah cloud had come to meet Him and where that Glory began sight ceases and faith begins. What must it have been when He came into the presence of the Throne of His Father when He took His seat, greeted with the word of welcome, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec...sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." What a glorious scene it must have been participated in by the angels in Heaven!...In His Name we can approach God; He is our Advocate, our Priest in the presence of God, appearing for His own. The evidence that He is thus with the Father is soon given by the answered prayer of the first chapter, and the greater evidence, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Coming of the Third Person of the Trinity-- What a blessed Work-- a work we cannot fully estimate, the Lord Jesus Christ must have accomplished on the cross, that the Third Person of the Trinity came down from Heaven and has made His abiding place in believing sinners." --Arno C. Gaebelein
What a great Savior! In His name-- the name of Jesus, we can approach the Heavenly Father. The Lord Jesus is our Mediator, our Advocate, our Great High Priest in the presence of God, interceding for us.
1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Heb 7:25-27 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Eph 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Notice from the above text, that we, as Believers, are not only made partakers of the Lord's death and resurrection, but of His very ascension-- seated in Heavenly places!
F. J. Huegel wrote: Oh! May Christians arise and take their place with Christ in the Heavenlies --far above principalities and powers. Their right to the air they breathe and the water they drink is no more inalienable. They are members of Christ's body and by the Word of God, the Covenant of Calvary, they are the legal possessors of all that which Christ Himself rose out of the grave to inherit. When God raised His Son from the dead and set Him at His right hand in the Heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world but also in that which is to come, and put all things under His feet,â€� you, too, O Christian member of the body of Christ you, who believe in Him and who have been grafted into the Vine, you, of whom Jesus said: â€œI in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One,â€� you, too, O Christian, were raised to sit at the right hand of God; all things have been placed under your feet. Will you not assert your right to freedom, and throw off the abominable yoke? Will you not remove, on the basis of the Calvary victory, every faculty, every power, every phase of your life whether of the spirit or of the soul, or of the body, from Satanâ€™s blighting, stultifying, deadening, damning dominion, so that in the fullest possession of your faculties you may serve God in holy freedom and joy?
THIS SAME JESUS...Will Return
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Jesus is the Man in Glory. The hope of the Church is to meet Him in the air. Jesus ascended back to the Heavenly Father. He left his disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit who came on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus left them in order to enter into the Holy of Holies, to exercise the priesthood â€“ Our Great High Priestâ€”the Lord Jesus who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
When the Lord Jesus comes back to earth to rule and reign, He will come to be priest and a King upon His Throne-- He will rule forever and forever. We, who have received Him as Savior, are joint-heirs with Him. We will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus. The Lord is coming back very soon to take His Church out of the earth before the Great Tribulation period begins. After the 7 years, we shall return with Christ Jesus back to this earth and we shall forever reign with Him. Jesus- Our Blessed Hope. He is our only hope. He is our life-- our reason for living. Jesus is coming back so soon. Are you ready?
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;