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Easter 2019

John 20:9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

 

 

Introduction

This morning, as we come to celebrate Easter, I want to ask two basic questions:

·      Why is the Resurrection so important?

·      What does the Resurrection mean to you and me today?

 

So let’s begin with our first question- Why is the resurrection so important?

Now I think if we stopped people as they were going into church today and took a poll and asked them why the Resurrection is important, they might respond because it is a miracle. And they would be right.

In fact, the Resurrection is the chief miracle in the entire Bible. Every other work of God from the Old Testament to the New is what it is and takes its bearings from the Resurrection (be it the parting of the sea, Noah’s ark, Jesus feeding the 5000, or His healing the lame- the Resurrection is the chief miracle to which every other miracle points).

Others might respond that the Resurrection is important because it proves that Jesus is God and the promised Messiah. Again they would be correct. Scripture says that very thing.

However, what I want us to see this morning is why. Why is the Resurrection the chief miracle among all miracles? How does it prove that Jesus is God and the true Messiah? In short, why is the Resurrection so important?

 

 

I. Why is the Resurrection so important?

A] First and foremost the resurrection is so important because the resurrection is literally the salvation and new life that Christ came to accomplish for His people

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

 

Importance: over and again throughout Holy Week and Lent we have stressed the fact that Salvation is a transaction. That is, salvation is both what God has taken from you and what God has put in its place FN#1. Notice then, the Cross is the death, judgment, and unfulfilled obligation that God took from you (perfect sacrifice, perfect obedience). The resurrection is the new life, healing, and fulfillment that Christ earned for us and put in place of our brokeness.FN#2.

Romans 4:25 He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, was raised because of our justification.

Notice the result. Notice what this exchange tells us about the Resurrection and about your standing before God:

 

 

B] The Resurrection is proof that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice as payment for all your sins. How? Remember: the penalty of sin is death. As long as there is sin, death applies. Therefore, if Christ failed to pay for even one of the sins He bore, that sin would remain, and therefore death (the penalty for that sin) would still be in force. As such, Christ would still be in the grave. The resurrection then is proof that sin and therefore its wage (death) are completely removed. Where no sin remains, there is no penalty for sin.

Acts 2:24 "God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. FN#3

 

But that’s not all. Remember, salvation is a transaction. Notice then…

 

C] The Resurrection is proof that Christ’s perfect obedience has fulfilled all that God requires of His people. How? Remember, it is not enough just to have our sins forgiven. The reward of new life also requires the perfect fulfillment of all God’s requirement. Notice then the Resurrection (the reward of new life) is not merely proof that God has accepted Christ’s payment for our sins/disobedience, it is also proof that God has accepted Christ’s perfect obedience as fulfillment of all that is required of us as well

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,FN#4

Bottom line: the Resurrection is the new life that Christ accomplished for His people. As such, the Resurrection certifies that Christ has accomplished the whole of salvation for us. In other words, Christ is the source of both my forgiveness and renewal (the grace that saves me is a grace that changes me) FN#5.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

 

 

II. What Does the Resurrection Mean to You and Me Today?

A] The Resurrection means that the victory, new life, and healing that Christ accomplished for us are even now unfolding in us and being administered to us.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

Simply put: what God required of you (payment and obedience), Christ accomplished for you, and now the Spirit applies to you.

 

B] As such our walk is no longer defined by fear, guilt, and uncertainty. Instead, it is defined by the assurance of God’s love, favor, and all sufficient grace at work in our lives right now

1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

Bottom Line: Easter is God’s answer to all the struggles and sorrows that you have brought to Him this Lent. Easter is God’s answer to all the specifics you laid before His cross this Good Friday. As such, the life, healing, and victory of the empty tomb are your future. Not only that, they are the reality that is already directing and shaping your life right now today.

 

 

Footnotes

1] Salvation is both what God has taken from you and what God has put in its place.

Now last week we saw that both of these aspects of salvation were accomplished on the Cross. On the Cross, Christ offers the blood of a perfect sacrifice and the blood of perfect obedience. Notice then the connection between the Cross and the Empty Tomb: the Cross is the means of our salvation. It is how Christ accomplished our salvation. In turn, the Resurrection is the what of our salvation. It is what Christ accomplished for us. That is, the Resurrection is the salvation and new life that Christ achieved for His people (the Cross is how, the Resurrection is what).

 

2] Unfulfilled Obligation: this is the unfulfilled obligation to serve God, which our sins and disobedience left undone. Notice then on the Cross Christ bears the death and judgement that our sins deserve while offering to God His life of perfect obedience as fulfilment of all that is required of us. That is, on the Cross Christ takes upon Himself both our trespasses and our obligation. In turn, He gives to us the new life of the Resurrection that this twofold satisfaction has earned for us. 

Notice then, last week we looked at the transactional nature of the accomplishment of our Salvation. On the Cross Christ bears our sins and in their place he offers His perfect obedience. This week we are looking at that same transaction from the stand point of the completion of our Salvation. Christ took our need for both payment and fulfillment (the Cross) and in its place put the whole of the Salvation He accomplished for us (the Resurrection). Regardless, from every vantage point, salvation is a twofold transaction: Christ takes the death and judgment that our sins deserve and in their place puts the new life of the Resurrection that His perfect obedience has earned.

 

3] 1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. (Acts 2:24)

 

4] The Resurrection is proof positive that God accepted both Christ’s perfect sacrifice and His perfect obedience on your behalf

Romans 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

 

5] Importance: notice what the fact that God has provided the whole of my Salvation means: It means that my renewal, growth, and being pleasing to God do not begin with me. Rather, they begin by my turning to God for His grace. In other words, improvement, change, and a fruitful walk are not at first an offering. Instead, they are first a request and then and only then do they become an offering as God’s grace begins to heal my life.

1 Chronicles 29:14 All things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee.

 

 

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