Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord
Greetings precious people. On April 11, the world will once again have the opportunity to recognize, acknowledge, and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son. The movie ‘The Passion’ by Mel Gibson did a wonderful job depicting the suffering of Christ at the hands of men on what is known as Good Friday, giving only a few seconds to the resurrection.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the many truths that separate Christianity from all of the other religions of the world. All of the other religious leaders are still dead and in the grave awaiting the Judgment. But not Jesus Christ, He is risen from the dead just as He said He would, death could not hold Him down.
The doctrine of resurrection is taught in both the Old and New Testament. Listen to what is said in these Old Testament passages, Job 19:25-26, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God.” Isaiah 26:19, “Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Daniel 12:2-3, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”
Resurrection is addressed many times in the New Testament and is one of it’s major themes, specifically, the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus spoke and taught on resurrection often. In John 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
Much like our own day, this teaching did not go over well with everyone that heard Him. The Resurrection was especially unpopular among some of the religious. One particular instance is found in Matthew 22:23-33, “The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: "Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her." Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”
A few years later, during the time of Paul the Apostle’s ministry, many of the so-called “wise men” of his day considered the doctrine of the Resurrection to be ludicrous.
These were the philosophers and well educated of the day, which many looked up to. Listen to their discussion with Paul, Acts 17:16-21, “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean." For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.” Unfortunately their curiosity did not lead them to repentance of sin and salvation. They considered the resurrection to be a joke.
Many people today refuse to believe that there is a resurrection. Some think that when you’re dead, you’re dead. Others believe that everyone goes to heaven, not believing that there is a day of reckoning. The Bible makes it clear that there is a resurrection for everyone. Revelation 20:11-15, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Because of who Jesus is, said, and what He has done, He validifies the fact of the resurrection. Jesus’ death on the cross, paid the price for mankind’s sin, He paid the penalty for sin. His resurrection from the dead, defeated that long time enemy death and gives power to every born again child of God, the power over sin. It is the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in the life of a believer that gives the ability to turn away from sin and live a life for the Lord.
There is enough proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to stand up in any court. Over 500 people saw Him alive after His resurrection. The one’s that killed Him and buried Him could not produce His body, instead, made up some lame story of His disciples stealing His body away. Jesus had predicted many times prior to His crucifixion that He would die by way of crucifixion, be buried for three days, then rise again. When the women came to the tomb on the morning of the third day, they were met by two angels. Listen to what they had to say from Luke and Matthew’s Gospel. Luke 24:1-10,
“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. Matthew 28:1-8, “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."
Please listen very carefully dear people, if you haven’t put your trust in the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, then do so today. We will be having a “Son” Rise service this Sunday at 6 am at the Alpine Community Center Park. All are welcome and invited to attend. We will also have our regular scheduled services at our building at 8:30 & 10:30 am.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine