Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Day - There is Life on the Other Side! - 1 Cor 15

Resurrection Day – There Is Life on The Other Side!
April 20, 2014
1 Cor 15:1-11

  • It was early in the morning, still dark
  • John was lying in bed, thinking about the last few days
  • It was just a few days ago when Jesus and his friends had eaten the Passover meal
  • Jesus had said some strange things, but now John understood what he had been warning them about
  • One of them was going to betray him
  • John could not comprehend this! Though the signs had been there for quite a while
  • Judas had been critical and seemed resentful towards Jesus
  • But he had now gone and committed suicide. How awful! John had lost two close friends in just a few days
  • So what had become of all the promises Jesus had made?
  • He had told of having to go to the Father, and of sending the Holy Spirit
  • But John had seen them lay Jesus' body in the tomb.
  • How could all this now be fulfilled?
  • ILL. It was 23 years ago, on Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, that Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the Pentagon. It stated that her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait & was dead.
  • Ruth Dillow later wrote, "I can’t begin to describe my grief & shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For 3 days I expressed anger & loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great."
  • But 3 days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The voice on the other end said, "Mom, it’s me. I’m alive." Ruth Dillow said, "I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, & he really was alive." The message was all a mistake!
  • She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I’m sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt."

  • John 20:1-10
  • Mary comes and sees that the body of Jesus has gone
  • She assumes someone has taken the body
  • Peter and John run to the tomb to see what had happened
  • They verify that the body has gone
  • It says John believed – he believed that the body had been stolen, just as Mary Magdalen had said
  • Peter and John go home, while Mary stays at the tomb, crying (John 20:11-18)
  • Mary looks inside the tomb and sees two angels sitting where Jesus' body had laid – they ask why she is weeping, and she responds that the body has been stolen, and she does not know where it is
  • Mary then turns around and sees someone she thinks is the gardener
  • He asks why she is crying and she gives the same answer
  • Jesus says to her, Mary
  • Now she recognizes Jesus! He is alive!
  • Mary is overjoyed!
  • At this point, Jesus had not yet returned to the Father. Jesus tells tells Mary to tell the good news to the other disciples
  • Later that day, in the evening, the disciples are behind locked doors because they were afraid of the religious leaders
  • Suddenly Jesus appears in the room! (John 20:19-23)
  • The Jesus who had died on the Cross, is alive again!
  • He shows them his body, the holes where the nails had torn his hands and feet, and the hole in his side where the spear had been jammed in.
  • Jesus is alive! He has been raised from the dead!

  • 1 Cor 15:1-9
  • Jesus was seen by hundreds of people after his resurrection!
  • He is the first of many who will be resurrected to life!
  • Verse 20-29
  • If there is no resurrection, why go through the tribulation of this life and struggle and fight against sin
  • We might as well just live it up and die!
  • But Jesus WAS resurrected, and there is hope for those who have died!
  • Verse 29 – if there is no resurrection, why repent and be baptized, replacing those who have previously died in Christ (baptism is an outward expression of our faith in Jesus and our repentance from our old ways – it cannot be done on behalf of someone who has died, because they are unable to repent and have faith in Jesus)
  • Recently a number of us had deaths in the family
  • The good news is that there is life beyond the grave!
  • Jesus was resurrected on Resurection Day, and he is the forerunner of all those who will be raised to Life when Jesus returns!

  • Ruth Dillon's son called and told her he was alive and not dead as she had supposed!
  • Jesus appeared to the disciples and told them that he was now alive!
  • A living Jesus can make change in our lives!
  • If Jesus is alive today, it changes everything!
  • The life we live today is not just for today and after that, oblivion.
  • No, there is life on the other side!
  • Do you want to make a commitment to Jesus, so you can share all eternity with him?
  • So your life can be changed?
  • Let us pray