April 4, 2021 Christ's Resurrection

Christ’s Resurrection

April 4, 2021

 

 

Read Matthew 27:45-51; 54; 28:1-10

 

This morning, I am asking you to see and believe four things about this Person, Jesus.

 

[I.] First, Who is this Jesus? We can say many things about him. We can and we should affirm, along with the centurion, that “Truly, he is the Son of God!” Can you say that with me? They are powerful words.

 

Truly, he is the Son of God.

Truly, he is the Son of God!

Truly, he is the Son of God!

 

To say that Jesus is the Son of God implies several things.

 

  • It implies that he was incarnated because the Son of God is eternal and existed before coming to this earth.
  • It implies that he is Lord because the Son of God must be obeyed just as God the Father must be obeyed.
  • It implies that he possesses eternal life because God’s life is eternal.

 

This is what we must see. Not only does Jesus possess eternal life, but he is the Author of life! He is the Author of life because the eternal life that we need is found only in Christ. Let me say that again. The life that we need is found only in Christ! If a person does not have Christ then they do not have the divine, eternal life that they need! This is why the apostle Peter, in one of the first sermons, calls him the Author of life:

 

But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. [1]

 

Because he is the Author of life, he cannot be held by death. Death is a tremendous power; when it comes, no one can resist it. But the power of the divine life overcomes the power of death. Since the Lord Jesus is the Author of life, death has no power over Him. Although he entered into death, yet he came out of death and was resurrected.

 

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.[2]

 

This statement by Peter reveals a few things:

 

  • The Lord’s death was not just an accident of history nor just a case of a good man being put to death by a ruthless government. His death was by the definite plan of God!
  • God raised Jesus up from the dead. Usually, but not always, when the name “God” appears in the NT it refers to God the Father. Peter seems to say that God the Father raised Jesus up. But, previously, Jesus Himself said that He would raise Himself up (John 10:18)! This shows that God the Father and God the Son share the same life and the same power!
  • It is not possible for Jesus to be held by death! This is because he possesses the divine, eternal, and powerful life of God within Himself! What a Savior we have!

 

The first matter that we must believe is that Jesus is the Son of God who is the Author of life and who cannot be held by death!

 

[II.] Second, death is the penalty for our sins. It is not only physical death that is the penalty for our sins, but spiritual death. This death is nothing less than being cast into a place of torment by the Lord Himself. When the Lord returns to the earth he will judge all those living on earth at that time. He will say these words to some:

 

42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [3]

 

Because God is holy he must punish sin. You deserve divine justice for the sins you have committed. I deserve it.

 

In six short words, the apostle Paul summarizes our condition:

 

“The wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23)

 

This death is separation from God for eternity!

 

[III.] Third, because God is merciful, he has provided a way for a person to escape the justice that every one of us deserves. It is this: Christ has died in the place of those who will trust him. Not all will trust him. But, for those who do, he takes their penalty!

 

15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.[4]

 

Jesus knows his sheep just as the Father knows him! He lays down his life as a ransom for his sheep. He doesn’t lay down his life for the goats.

 

Thus, in the verse we read this morning, we see that God the Father forsook Jesus on the cross as Jesus took our sins upon himself:

 

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [5]

 

This is the great exchange! Our sins were borne by Christ and he received the penalty that his sheep ought to have received. In return, we receive the righteousness of Christ (I Cor. 1:30; Phil 3:9).

 

So then, in order for you to receive the forgiveness of your sins, you must see that Christ paid the penalty for you on that cross and he was forsaken by God the Father.

 

[IV.] Fourth, we ought to see the meaning of the resurrection. Before we consider its significance, know that the resurrection of Christ was a real event in history. It is not some feel-good story made up by wishful thinkers. It happened!

 

As we read just a short time ago, the two Marys came to the tomb and an angel of the Lord rolled away the heavy stone that covered the tomb entrance. He was sitting upon it. He had an awesome appearance. His skin was like lightening and his clothing like snow. His appearance was so overwhelming that the Roman guards couldn’t even move for fear.

 

The angel tells them that the Lord had already risen. But the angel is the one who rolled away the stone. This means that when the Lord resurrected he passed through the tomb without moving the stone. Yet, his resurrection was in a physical body! We cannot explain that except to say that the nature of his body was fully under his control. Later, he would seemingly pass through the door (Jn 20:19) of the room where his disciples were while having a physical body.

 

Then, after the angel speaks to the women, they are going to tell the disciples and meet Jesus along the way:

 

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” [6]

 

The resurrection of Christ was a real event and those who knew it worshipped him. This is the appropriate response to the resurrection: worshipping Jesus!

 

The meaning of the resurrection is two-fold. It proves that Jesus is who he claimed to be and that he will judge the world one day:

 

“He (God) has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He determined, having furnished proof to all by raining him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31; Legacy Standard Bible)

 

See that the apostle Paul states that the resurrection is proof to all! There will be no excuse on Judgment Day for those who do not believe in Christ because God has already provided the proof!

 

The other deeply significant aspect of the resurrection is that, in a mysterious way, it releases his life to those who believe in him:

 

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. [7]

 

A newness of life is given to his sheep through the resurrection of Christ! The one who comes to Christ in faith does not have to muster up their own energy and will to live for him. It comes through the resurrection life because Christ is the Author of life! (See also I Peter 1:3).

 

[V. Conclusion and Application] There are four things we must see and believe about Christ and how we relate to him:

 

  • He is the unique Son of God who is the Author of life. His life overcomes death.
  • Eternal death is the penalty for our sins. Do you see that you deserve hell?
  • Jesus paid the penalty of death for all those who would place their trust in him, so they would not have to pay the penalty themselves.
  • He rose from the dead. This proves who he is. But his resurrection released his divine life so that those who love him can live for him.

 

It is good to know these things. But, what must we do?

 

For those who have not yet placed their allegiance to Christ, you believe these things and then you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus. This is called repentance. Once we surrender our lives to him all things become new. Your sins are forgiven and he breathes his life into you so that the old things are old and the new things are new!

 

For those who are followers of Christ already, these four truths ought to revitalize us. We can thank the Lord for these truths even though we know them already.

 

  • “Lord, thank you that you are the Author and Giver of life! I need more of your life!”
  • “Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy upon me! I deserve the lake of fire, but you had mercy upon me!
  • “Lord, it is through your sacrifice that my sins are forgiven and I have been redeemed. Thank you, Lord!”
  • “Lord, although you saved me from damnation, I still need to be saved from myself! Save me, O God, from the power of sin by your resurrection power! Your resurrection life is greater than the power of sin.”

 

The resurrection of Christ should remind us that his life is available to us whenever we need it. Call upon him and experience his supply every day!

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 3:14–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 2:23–24). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 25:42–46). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 10:15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 27:46). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 28:9–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 6:4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.