La résurrection : quelle différence ?

Today I want to talk to you about the resurrection and the difference it makes.  Tomorrow, all around the world, billions of people are celebrating Easter.  It is the most celebrated event in history.  But it is more than just a nice idea, it is a historical fact.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central element to everything that’s ever happened since this time.

Why is it so important to us?

Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:14, 17

“14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

Paul says that the resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity.  There is over a hundred references in the New Testament to the resurrection.  Paul says, if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, we have nothing to believe, there is nothing to preach, all the martyrs have died in vain, all the money spent on building churches has been wasted, anything called Christianity is a waste of time.  We might as well close up shop and go to the beach.  There is no reason for any of us to be here if the resurrection didn’t really happen.  Paul says the resurrection is the cornerstone and if Christ did not raise from the dead, we have no hope.

1 Cor 15:20

“20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

This means Jesus is alive today and He has not changed.”

Hebrews 13:8

“8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

This means Jesus hasn’t changed.  He is still alive, and He hasn’t changed.

But what difference does it make?  What is the big deal?  So, He rose from the dead.  So, Christ is alive.  What difference does it make?  I don’t have a fancy outline to answer this question for you.  I want to be as simple, to the point, and as brief as I can. Because Jesus Christ is alive today, we can benefit for sure in three ways.  So, yes, the resurrection is a big deal and can make a difference in our lives.

 

BENEFIT #1:  HIS PURPOSE IS STILL UNCHANGEABLE.

Jesus Christ is still in the same business He’s been in for 2021 years.  What is His business?  Many people think that Jesus said, “I have come to you that you might have religion”

John 10:10

“10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Jesus did not come to make religious people, He said, “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.'”  Jesus is in the life giving business.

Most people are not living.  They are just existing.  They are on a treadmill doing the same thing everyday:  Wake up in the morning, go to school, play games, go to bed, and wake up the next morning, go to school, play games, and go to bed.  They think they are living! But they are not living, only existing.

Jesus said, “I came to give you life” because you’re not living unless you know God in your life.  Understand, God made you for a purpose.  I meet a lot of people who are always getting ready to live.  They say, “One of these days I’m going to start living! “or “One of these days I’m really going to start enjoying life.”

Jesus said, “I came that you might have life.”  The word “life” is used over 200 times in the New Testament.  Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have life” – life to the fullest and He is not talking about overeating.  Jesus is talking about life that is meaningful, life that is full.

Jesus said, “My purpose hasn’t changed.”  Giving us life abundant was His purpose then and it is His purpose now.  I invite you to come to know Jesus Christ so you can really live.

John 3:17

“17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Jesus said, I didn’t come to condemn you.  I came to change you.  I didn’t come to make you feel guilty.  I came to relieve the guilt of sin by taking the sin away.  We don’t need a good teacher.  We need somebody who can save us; somebody who can relieve the guilt by taking the sin out of us.  This takes more than just a good teacher.  It takes someone who can pay the penalty for us.

Many people think, “If I really give my life to God, He’ll make me some kind of religious fanatic or kook!” But Jesus says, “My purpose is unchangeable.” “I come to give you life.”

 

BENEFIT #2: HIS POWER IS AVAILABLE TO US.

Everybody is looking for power to help them, and Jesus says, “My power is available.”

Ephesians 1:19,20

“19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,”

Jesus said the same power that caused the resurrection 2021 years ago is available to you.  And that is good news!  You may think, “What do I need power for?”  Do you ever feel powerless to change yourself?  Do you ever feel powerless to change a bad habit?  Nothing is beyond God’s power and Jesus’s resurrection makes this power available to us.  Sometimes we need the power of God to start over.  Maybe we have made mistakes and no longer think we can stay on this Christian way.  We need God’s power, and it is available.  If Jesus raised the dead, He is capable of working miraculously in your life.

Sometimes we need power just to keep going.  Have you ever gotten halfway through a project and run out of energy to keep going?   Maybe you are in the middle of doing your schoolwork and you feel you like you just can’t finish?  God not only gives us starting power to get our life in order and make something of ourselves, but He also gives us staying power to hang in there and keep doing what is needed.  He gives us persistent power to keep going when we feel we just can’t finish.  And persistence really pays off.

Because Jesus lives today, His purpose for us has not changed.  Jesus says, “I came to give you life.”  And because Jesus lives today, His power is still available for us.

Some of you are discouraged and need a word of encouragement more than anything else.  Well, God’s got a word for you.

Philippians 4:13

“13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

I am glad that I don’t have to struggle through life just on my own power.  Frankly, I don’t think I could make it.  There are too many pressures and stresses in the world.  I think I would probably stop trying about halfway.  So, what difference does the resurrection make?  It makes a big difference.  It means that Jesus is still in the life changing business – that’s His purpose.  And it means His power is still available – the same power that blasted the tomb wide open and brought Jesus back to life.

 

BENEFIT #3:  HIS PROMISES ARE STILL RELIABLE.

When you read through the New Testament, you realize that Jesus made a lot of incredible promises.  A lot of amazing things, like “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  That is pretty much a blank check.  A lot of promises.  If Jesus were dead, then obviously He could not keep any of His promises.  But because Jesus Christ is alive today, His promises are still reliable.

2 Corinthians 1:20

“20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”

That’s a full time job.  There are over 7000 promises in the Bible.  It’s a full time job fulfilling and carrying out 7000 promises.  A promise is only as good as the dependability of the person who made it.  If God makes a promise to you, you can count on it. You can bet your life on it.  His promises are still reliable.

1 Peter 1:3

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

We need to have hope in life.  Hope is absolutely essential to humanity.  Without it, it is impossible to cope with the difficulties of life.  Peter says Christ gives us a life full of hope.  What is your source of hope?  What are you putting your hope in?  The government?  I don’t think many of us are putting our hope in that.  Popular opinion?  Name your source of hope.  Is it reliable?  Is it faultless?  I submit to you that there is only one thing that’s absolutely, totally, irrevocably completely reliable – the promises of God.  Because Jesus Christ is alive today if He said it, it will happen.  You can count on it.  There are over 7000 promises in the scripture.

Philippians 4:19

“19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Who is your source of hope?  Are you looking to your own intelligence?  Are you looking to money?  Where is your source of hope?  My God will supply all your needs.  Jesus Christ is the only true source of hope.

How can you obtain the three benefits of Jesus resurrection we discussed?  The first step is to commit your life to Christ.

John 5:24

“24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Here Jesus is speaking.  This verse is a great promise because it deals with a problem that is common to everyone.  Death.  Death is a universal problem.  No one is going to live forever.

But for Christians, Jesus says, death is a transfer to move on to greater things.  We just move on.  What a great promise!  For the believer death is only a transfer!  When we no longer fear death, we can enjoy life a whole lot more.  I am not afraid of what I know is eventually going to happen.  Suddenly, I am released to enjoy what’s happening right now a whole lot more.  But how does someone get that kind of confidence?

The answer is by turning their life fully over to GOD.

Romains 10:9

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Revelation 3:20, Jesus speaking,

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me

Those two verses tell us what it means to be a Christian.  A Christian is not somebody who goes to church.  Sitting in a church will make you a Christian about as much as sitting in a chicken house will make you a chicken.  You might say, you were born in the church.  If you were born in a car would that make you a spare tire?  You might say you were baptized.  You can get baptized in the ocean until every fish knows you by your first name but that by itself will not get you into heaven.

A Christian is somebody who says, Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is number one, boss, manager, CEO, executive in my life.  Jesus is the one who calls the shots in my life and I believe that Jesus is Lord, and He is alive today.  Jesus still around.  This is what it means to be a Christian.  Jesus says, because I am alive, I am standing at the door of your life knocking.  If you open the door, I will come in.  It is that simple.  Jesus made it so simple no one can say it is too hard to understand.  He said just trust Me.  Even a little child can understand these words.  “Jesus Christ, put Your Spirit in my life.”  It is so simple, but we complicate it and make it so hard.   You can decide to live for Jesus this morning.

Let me return to the original question I started with. What difference does it make that Jesus Christ rose from the dead 2000 years ago?  The answer is absolutely nothing unless you take advantage of the benefits, and establish a relationship with Him, otherwise it doesn’t mean a thing.  Let me clarify, I am not talking about become religious.  I am talking about having a relationship.  Religion is man’s attempt to get to God.  While Jesus Christ is God’s attempt to get to man.  Jesus said, I don’t want a religion.  I didn’t come to give you a religion.  I came to give you life.  I want to have a relationship with you.  I want to know you everyday.

Let me summarize a couple very simple facts.

  • Fact: God made this world.
  • Fact: God made you.
  • Fact: You are not made by accident.

There are no such thing as illegitimate children.  There are illegitimate parents but not illegitimate children.  God made you for a purpose.  He saw you before you were even born and you were put here on this earth, not just to take up space, breathe, retire, and die – He made you for a purpose.  People think success means fame, but you can be famous and be a dud.  You can be wealthy and not be successful.  Success means understanding God’s purpose and being right in the center of it.  God made you and He made you for a purpose.

  • Fact: I need a Savior.  You do too.
  • Fact: Jesus Christ is God, and He came to earth 2021 years ago to show us what God is like.
  • Fact: If God wanted to communicate to dogs, He would have become a dog.  If God had wanted to communicate to birds, He would have become a bird.  But God wanted to communicate to people, so He became a person.  Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen God.”  I can relate to these words. I cannot relate to some gooey mess in the sky.  But I can look at Christ and say, if that is what God is like, I can understand that.
  • Fact: Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.

Somehow, He took the penalty for everything we have ever done wrong.  I don’t understand it all, but I accept it because the Bible teaches it very clearly.

  • Fact: He rose again.  That’s why billions of people around the world will celebrate Easter.

Those are the facts.

  • Another fact: He is here today, and He wants to know you.
  • Fact: He knew you would be in this service before you were even born.
  • Fact: He loves you and cares for you, and He has a plan for your life.

Jesus brought you here today so if you have never decided to follow Him, you can make that decision today.  Jesus wants you to do what the scripture says in Romans 10:9, that way you can have life, power, and realize Jesus’s promises in your life.

Romains 10:9

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

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