Resurrection Day

We join together this morning to recall and to celebrate the greatest event to ever happen here on this earth; the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. 

HE IS RISEN!!!!!

However, before we can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we must first remember why His resurrection was possible.

2 Corinthians 5:21

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We begin by remembering the high cost of our sin.  Sin is defined as missing the mark.  It’s either doing what we ought not do or by not doing what we ought to do.  Essentially, it is using our lives for purposes which they were never intended to be used for.

As guys, we do this all of the time.  Need to pry something open?  That flat screwdriver sitting nearby should do the trick.  Need to open that box?  Hey, you just happen to have a set of keys in your hand.  Does your friend need a tow?  Awesome, your car just happens to have a set of ratchet straps in the trunk.

What happens when we use things for something that they were never intended to be used for?  Well, we’ll just say that it usually doesn’t end well.  It’s no different with our lives.  We end up hurt, scarred, and damaged.

Sin separates us from God.  No, it does not cause God to separate from us, but it does cause us to separate from God.

Simply put, we were created to live in fellowship with God.  We were created to be best friends with Him and to live in His presence even here on the earth.

Were there was no way for us to ever overcome sin on our own, God made a way.  We were born into sin.  Jesus, God in the flesh, was born without sin.  He lived a life as you and I, full of temptation and heartache and struggles.  However, unlike you and I, Jesus lived His life never choosing to sin.  Then, He chose to take on the punishment for sin that He did not deserve.  In doing this, He paid the debt that you and I owe.

2 Corinthians 5:21

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We begin our journey at the old rugged cross.

* The Old Rugged Cross *

Jesus hung on that old rugged cross for you and I, then willingly gave up His life.  In fact, the Bible says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him.  Today, we remember not only the cost of our sin, but also the blessing of obedience.  Jesus may have lay in the grave for three days, but then, in an instant, the pain, sorrow, and darkness all faded away.

HE IS RISEN!!!

Hebrews 12:1-3

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

With this same mindset, we also can consider it a joy to lay down our lives because we also know that as we lay them down, Jesus can raise them up to a new life full of His resurrection power!  Whatever we may have accomplished and no matter how successful we may be in the eyes of the world, when we come to know Jesus, we realize just how little the things of this world truly matter.  Paul wrote:

Philippians 3:7-14

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

When we realize how awesome Jesus is and how incredible His free gift of salvation is, everything else in our lives seem to fade away.  Like Jesus, it is a joy to lay down our lives before Him, to take up our crosses, so that He can raise them up again to new life.

* Lead Me To The Cross *

As we look back to the cross and choose to lay down our lives, following the example of Jesus, we also look onward toward a glorious, new life that Jesus raises us up into.

The resurrection is far from a one time event and something that Jesus did.  Resurrection is something that Jesus is still actively doing every day.  After all, Jesus is not dead, He is alive!

Luke 24:1-6

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!

How often do we still find ourselves living as if though Jesus were still dead?  How often do we live our lives just accepting our facts with our faith limited to, “Well, one day I’ll trade in this old, broken down life for my new one in Heaven.”?

Jesus is alive!  This changes everything for us!!!

Don’t keep looking for Jesus among the dead.  Don’t just talk about and think about Jesus as a historical figure that lived a couple of thousand years ago.  HE IS ALIVE!!!

Jesus wants to give you new life not one day when you kick the bucket or He returns, Jesus wants to give you new life NOW!  His salvation isn’t an event that we’ll receive and experience at the end of our lives, TODAY is the day of our salvation!!!  Life eternal starts the very moment that you choose to follow Jesus and put your faith in Him.

Luke 19:1-10

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.

How many short people do we have here today who can well relate to this frustrating scenario? 🙂

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

How many judgmental grumblers do we have here today who can well relate to these people?  🙂

Maybe we need to read that again then…

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

We’ve all been judgmental grumblers from time to time, but let’s put that person on the cross where they belong

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

When did Jesus say salvation came to Zacchaeus’s house? TODAY!!!!

What if we live more like Zacchaeus?  Not content just being a part of the crowd, but willing to do whatever it takes just to see Jesus in the midst of our circumstances?

Not letting our sin hold us back, not letting the opinions of the crowd hold us back, not listening to muttering of the people, but gladly welcoming Jesus into our lives?

Not putting on a face and trying to look like we have our lives together, but quickly and openly confessing our sin, repenting of it, and doing what we can to make things right?

What if we lived every day like we were saved?

What if we lived more like Jesus?  Not agreeing with what the crowds say about people, but going to their homes, sharing our lives with them, getting to know them, and actually seeking and saving the lost?

Paul wrote and said,

2 Corinthians 6:2

…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Now is the day of salvation and we do not await our death and decay before experiencing the resurrection power of Jesus.  When He arrived a bit late to visit his friend, Lazarus, who had fallen ill to find that Lazarus had died days ago.

John 11:21-27

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

This morning, Jesus is asking us this same piercing question, “Do you believe this?”  Do we live our lives as if though Jesus is alive and that the same Spirit that rose Him from the grave lives in us?  Do we live lives that clearly show the world the resurrection power of God raising us from death to life?

Do our lives reveal that Jesus is more than just a historical figure, prophet, and teacher?  Do our lives leave people looking for Jesus among the dead or do they proclaim, HE IS RISEN!!!!

If you are here this morning and you have tasted and seen how good God truly is, then I want to encourage you to go deeper.  The good work that Jesus started in your life, He will bring to completion through the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.  However, we have to let Him do that work.  We need to listen to the voice of Jesus and follow Him on the adventure of becoming a life transformed.

If you are here this morning and you can’t honestly say that you’ve had an encounter with Jesus like Zacchaeus did, well, now is the time and today is the day.  Don’t miss another opportunity to receive the salvation that Jesus sacrificed so much to provide, yet gives away so freely. 

Let this be the first day of the rest of your life filled with the resurrection power of Jesus as the Resurrected King resurrects you!

* Resurrecting *