Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Roughly 2000 years before Jesus’ death, Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. 500 years after that, the Law is given and the blood of animals covered the sins of God’s people. The book of Hebrews tells us, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).
The sacrifices ended in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple, but for those of “The Way”, Christ followers, Christians, those sacrifices ended when Jesus, the sinless one, became sin for us, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We gather as a congregation of God’s Church to worship God, to give Him praise for the life given and the blood shed for us, and to learn and grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Savior. Just as they are doing in other congregations in our communities every Sunday. But today is special, today is Easter Sunday: Resurrection Sunday!
Today, we not only celebrate the life and death, but the resurrection of Jesus the Christ! Christmas is important, without the birth of our Savior there would be no Easter celebration, but without the Resurrection, we would not celebrate His birth! His birth split time into BC, Before Christ and AD, Anno Domini. But again this would not have happened if Jesus would have been just another good teacher, or religious leader.
3 undeniable truths that the secular world knows and acknowledges:
- The tomb in which Jesus was buried was discovered empty by a group of women on the Sunday following the crucifixion (1st person to deliver the good news of Jesus resurrection was a woman!).
- Jesus’ disciples had real experiences with one whom they believed was the risen Christ.
- As a result of the preaching of these disciples, which had the resurrection at its center, the Christian church was established and grew. You, if you are a Christ follower, are a part of that growth, you were made a part of the Church, baptized into the body of Christ, immersed into the Church!
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:22-23
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:13
The tomb is empty, the cross, an emblem of suffering and pain when Jesus and the thieves were crucified, has been made new, Jesus accomplished His Mission and saved His people from their sin. The blood shed for us, the life given for us, all that Jesus promised is ours because of the Resurrection. Jesus’ body did not see decay, He is Risen!
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives! – Bill Gaither, Because He Lives
Vs. 1-7 Outside of the bible, there is historical proof of the empty tomb, of the Crucifixion, of sightings of Jesus after His crucifixion, and then we have the witness of God’s word. Truth always wins out! If these women and men of the bible had lied, it would have come to light, it would have been proven wrong. This day and what we celebrate would not be happening or have happened for the last 2000 years! We would still be in our sin! But, He is Risen!
In Philippians we read, Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death —even to death on a cross.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
In the weakness of the flesh Jesus was crucified, but by the power of God, “He is Risen!” Not only that, but He lives to intercede for us. Under the old covenant in the OT, “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25).
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. – Romans 6:4
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. – Romans 5:12
Vs. 17 I was dead in my sin, separated from God and doomed to eternal destruction because of my sin and sinful ways. But praise be to God I was redeemed, I was reconciled, I was sanctified and justified because the tomb is empty, the bloody cross is empty, my savior lives!
- What does the Easter mean to you?
- Are you living the resurrected life?
Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 1:18, Romans 5:12-6:11, Romans 8:1, 11, Philippians 2:8, Philippians 3:1-11, 1 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 2:21