The resurrection of Jesus is one of the central points of Christianity – The resurrection was an amazing event – sometimes we think it would have been great to be there at the time, being with Jesus -but would it? Would it have been nice to have been there on that day – to go to the tomb and see that it was empty – would we have believed or doubted?
The resurrection was a powerful event that changed the course of history – but today I want to bring it from the pages of history and ask how the resurrection impacts our lives – what does it mean for us?
The Word of God serves several purposes –
it reveals who God is: his character, plans and purposes
it reveals who people are: human characteristics, failures, successes, needing forgiveness
it reveals what God wants to do in and through people
The resurrection is not just an event that happened long ago and is now over – in other words, it is not just another history lesson – although it was an event that took place almost 2000 years ago – the power of that event is still at work today
The power of that event is tied up in the person of that event – Jesus – it is all and always will be about Jesus – it was his obedience that brought about the event
Phil. 3:10 “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. (The Message)
Paul said I want to know Christ personally and experience his resurrection power and share in Jesus’ suffering
Experience = If you experience a particular situation, you are in that situation or it happens to you.
This is the purpose of the message this morning that we may all, like Paul, begin to experience the resurrection power in our lives
So, what is resurrection power?
IT IS A CONVERTING POWER
Humanity has a problem – this problem is sin (not giving God his rightful place – disobedience to God) – He made the rules – whether you want to accept this or not it does not change the truth – God is the sovereign one – everything works according to His plan
The bible makes it clear that human disobedience separated us from God – Gen. = Adam and Eve – Romans 5:12“Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
We are all born into sin (with a propensity to sin) – Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – I John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin (on our own), we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
There was nothing we could do to change the problem – nothing of ourselves could bring us back into relationship with God
What could solve this problem? – the answer is Jesus – He came to earth, lived a sinless life, gave his life and was resurrected all to provide a way for us to get back into fellowship with God
Eph. 2:1-10 “1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature£ and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Convert = to change the state of (Ill of water – liquid, gas, solid – it is all water but it has a different state) – when we come to Christ we are still a person just like everyone else but we have a different state – we have been saved – our life is different – we do not live as everyone else lives
IT IS A CONVERTING POWER AND A CONQUERING POWER
Conquer = to subdue, to win; to overcome by force
John 10:10 “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” – these are the tools of the devil's trade
There was a lot that Jesus conquered and overcome on our behalf – but I want to focus in on three events that reveal the conquering power of His resurrection
John 19:1 – Jesus was flogged – the enemy was trying to steal – steal his dignity and his strength – he was trying to break Him – this is what the enemy does to us – Jesus went the distance – every stripe meant victory for us
John 19: 17,18 – Jesus was crucified – the enemy wanted to kill Him – this what the enemy desires to for us – His blood purchased our salvation
John 19:38-42 – Jesus was buried sealed in a tomb by a stone – the enemy wanted to destroy Him for good – no more mention of this Jesus –this is what the enemy desires to do to us – to seal our fate – destroy our hopes and dreams – to destroy our walk with the Father
The bible declares however that on the third day Jesus was resurrected from the grave – death, hell and the grave could not hold him – no matter how hard the enemy tried – Jesus could not be stopped – I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full John 10:10
Paul said he wanted to experience that resurrection power that cannot be stopped – the resurrection power of Christ is a conquering power – that why the word declares in Rom. 8 that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us
We must realize that whatever we are facing today – we have the resurrection power of God to help us overcome – the resurrection gives us hope of continual victory – not in ourselves but in the power of God – there is no storm, no valley, no attack, no need that God cannot handle
May we like Paul say I want to experience this resurrection power
Eph. 1:18-23 “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
IT IS A CONVERTING POWER, A CONQUERING POWER and IT IS A CONFORMING POWER
Rom. 12:1-2 “1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
When we become the children of God – the process of conforming begins – the Bible challenges us to be conformed to Christ and not to the world –
The resurrection power of Christ works in us because we have been made alive in Christ – to help us take on the qualities of our Lord
The bible uses the idea of clay to reveal this aspect of God’s plan – we are to be workable in His hand – just as the clay is moulded in the hands of the potter so we are moulded in God’s hand – Jer. 18”1-6
God’s not done with you yet – there is more work to do –years to complete – this is the way it is in our lives we won't be complete until we get to heaven in the meantime God is always working on us
Phil. 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
IT IS A CONVERTING POWER, A CONQUERING POWER, A CONFORMING POWER and IT IS A CONFIRMING POWER
Confirm – to establish or support the truth of something
What does the resurrection power of God confirm – it confirms that just as Christ was resurrected so we to will be resurrected – just as death could not hold Christ so death will not be able to hold our mortal bodies
I Cor. 15:35, 42-44, 54-57 “42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body….. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is coming a day when we will be with God in a glorified state and we will be with Him forever – not only when we die do we immediately go to be with the Lord but on resurrection day – rapture day – our bodies will come up out of the grave if we have died or if we are alive our bodies will be instantly changed – either way, our bodies will take on immortality and be perfect in every way
The Thessalonians were worried about this – I Thess. 4:13-18 “13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.
HOW DO WE HAVE THIS RESURRECTION POWER WORKING IN OUR LIVES – John 20:8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
He Saw – he gained the knowledge of
He believed – it isn’t enough just to have the knowledge you have to believe – the others didn’t believe at that time
God wants us to experience Christ’s resurrection power in our lives – it is available to anyone who believes
The key to walking in this power is tied up in knowing (revelation – not head knowledge) and believing
There are people here this morning that need to experience Christ’s resurrection power – salvation, sickness, family problems, spiritual problems, financial problems etc – today is the day for you to receive resurrection power in your – what was accomplished on Calvary is appropriated through the resurrection
Prayer after the service
Let’s be like Paul today – forsaking everything else that we might experience His resurrection power