23 Aug 2020
The empty tomb on Sunday morning is the foundation of the Christian Faith. If Jesus' body was still in the tomb on that third day after He died, Christianity is a hoax and a scam. Preaching will then be vain. Our faith is worthless. We will still be in our sins. And we are a pitiful people! But in fact, Jesus has risen from the dead! Everything changes because of that Sunday morn! Discover how life can and should change for you because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in this sermon
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A very good morning to all of you and welcome to Gospel Light Christian Church. We are grateful you can join us this Sunday morning as we worship the Lord together. We have been on a journey through the book of Matthew for the past three over years. And we come to the penultimate sermon, the second last sermon in our journey here. Thank you for joining me all these sermons. I've benefited richly and I hope and trust that it has been a blessing to you as well.
Now as you know, after this, we are going to an Old Testament book, that is the philosophy I have in preaching through the Bible. I hope that people would see that the New Testament is valuable, and the Old Testament is also very valuable. I think it is wrong for us to just focus on the New Testament alone and as if … and ignore the Old Testament as if it is irrelevant, but it is deeply relevant.
So we will go to an Old Testament book after this series in Matthew and we will focus also on the first book of the Old Testament, just like Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. So we're going to look at the book of Genesis.
Now, Genesis is a long book, there are 50 chapters. And you might be saying, “Whoa! Is this going to be another six, seven year journey?” No！ I have worked it through， it will take us about 56 weeks to cover the book of Genesis. So that's roughly about a year or so.
So I'd like to encourage you to be praying through, reading through Genesis ahead of time. Maybe you can invite friends and family and loved ones who might want to know the Bible. What a great way to start knowing the Bible by starting in a book of Genesis - the book of beginnings, the book of origins.
Now, I'm going to take about a three-week break in between though. Pastor Paul will be coming in to speak to us. I think he has many things to share and he has packaged his sharing into three sermons, about the Bible, about the church and about the future, in this pandemic, COVID-19 season and beyond.
So I think it will be very relevant, very helpful. So he will be speaking right after I finish the book of Matthew. Then, we will go into Genesis thereafter.
So that's all the preamble, all the preparation for you, in your own study as you prepare to hear God's Word. Well, today, let's dive in to the book of Matthew, second last sermon, and it's going to be about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So we last stopped at the death of Jesus Christ. He was giving a loud shout on the cross. He says, “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” He gave up His Spirit. And His body now hangs lifeless on the cross. What's going to happen after that? What's going to happen after He dies?
Well, we're going to take a very quick jet tour through many verses, just a quick glimpse of the narrative. Because it tells us today that Jesus is not there on the cross, lifeless, Jesus today is risen from the dead. So let's see how that all happens very quickly.
We see in verse 57, “That when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.” “He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.” [Matt 27:58]
So Joseph of Arimathea, he's a rich man. In fact, he's actually a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest religious council in Israel. You can read that from the other Gospels. He is however, not someone who is opposed to Jesus, but he is a disciple of Jesus. So out of devotion to Jesus, he didn't want the body to hang there. He asked for the body from Pilate, so that he might take care of it and give Jesus a dignified kind of burial.
So amazingly, Pilate agreed. “And so Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.” [Matt 27:59-60]
So we see a proper burial for Jesus Christ. And He's buried in a rich man's tomb. Now, this is significant! You might say, “This is nothing!” But actually, this is significant! Matthew recorded it. As I've mentioned, Matthew is very scrupulous, very meticulous and diligent to make sure that the prophecies that are spoken of Jesus are exactly fulfilled and mentioned as fulfilled in his book.
He says, or this is actually a fulfillment of Isaiah 53 and verse 9, “And they made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man in His death.” What a strange thing to say! But it is absolutely true when you think about Jesus Christ. He died with the wicked soldiers, but His grave is that of a rich man's.
So Jesus is now buried. The tomb is sealed. No one can get in. And then we read in chapter 27:61, verse 61, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there sitting opposite the tomb” . So we see these two ladies, they are devoted to Jesus, they wanted to watch what's going to happen thereafter.
“And the next day, that is after the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate.” [Matt 27:62] So Jesus is in or at least the body of Jesus is in a tomb. But the very next day, this is Saturday, this is the day after the … the day of preparation, after the Passover. The chief priests and the Pharisees they were troubled. They gathered before Pilate, they still had something to do.
“They said, “Sir, we remember how that imposter, that fake, that scammer, Jesus said, while He was still alive, After three days I will rise.’” [Matt 27:63] So they remembered what Jesus said and they wanted to do something to make sure nothing like that is going to happen or nothing like that would ever seemed to happen.
So they came to Pilate says, “We remember Him saying, three days later, He will arise.” “Therefore Pilate, you got to order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, in case His disciples can go and steal His body away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and then the last fraud will be worse than the first.” [Matt 27:64]
So it's very interesting! The religious leaders, they don't believe in Jesus, they don't believe that He will rise from the dead. But they are concerned, they are worried that maybe the disciples of Jesus would stage a kind of a show. Take His body and kind of parade it before people saying, “Ah! Look at this! He is the risen Savior.” So they say, “Just to be sure, at least until the third day, make sure that the tomb is secure, and no one is able to steal the body.”
Pilate says, “That's your own business!” “You have a guard of soldiers, go make it as secure as you can. And so they went, made the tomb secure by sealing the stone …” with wax, so that if it should be broken, it will be known. So it is sealed with wax, and the they, “… set the guard over it.” [Matt 27:65-66]
So that's Saturday. Friday, Jesus was buried. Saturday, everything was ensured as water tight as possible. “Then after the Sabbath, after Saturday, toward the dawn of the first day of the week …” towards, Sunday morn, “… Mary Magdalene again and the other Mary went to see the tomb.” [Matt 28:1] These two ladies really were devoted to Jesus and wanted to see what's going to happen, the very time they could do so, on Sunday morn.
“And behold …” there's this background story that Matthew gives us, as they went to the tomb, unknown to them, actually, before that, “…. there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” [Matt 28:2]
What a picture! He rolled a stone. He sat on it, just very casual, very relaxed as it were. “And his appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him, the guards trembled and became like dead men.” [Matt 28:3-4]
So before Mary and Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary came, this already happened. The soldiers was struck, were struck in awe and they fainted. “And the angel, upon meeting the women said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. But He is not here for He has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where He lay.” [Matt 28:5-6]
“Well! Why are you searching for the living among the dead? He did say that He will rise. Isn't it? So as you could see, the place where he lay, it is empty.”
So it is interesting that Donald Grey Barnhouse, a preacher of time past said, “The angel rolled away the stone from Jesus' tomb, not to let the living Jesus out, not to let the living Lord out …” We know that Jesus could pass through physical barriers, “… but this is to let the unconvinced outsiders in”. So that people would see the empty tomb and know that He is risen.
So the angel then said to the women, “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He's going before you to Galilee; therefore, you will see Him. See, I have told you.” [Matt 28:7] So, hearing, seeing all that has happened, “They departed quickly from the tomb with fear.” [Matt 28:8] That's the awe upon them.
“Wow! This is happening. Jesus indeed is risen from the dead just as He said. He is the Messiah.” “And so with fear, and also great joy, they ran to tell His disciples.” [Matt 28:8 “But as they were going, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.” [Matt 28:9]
“Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” [Matt 28:10] So this is a double confirmation that He is risen. They now saw Him, hear from Him, and will also relay the same message to the disciples of Jesus.
Now, “While they were going …”, news travel fast, “… behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.” [Matt 28:11] Do you know that an angel came? Do you know that the stone is rolled away? Do you know that the tomb is empty? They had to go back to tell the chief priests.
“And the chief priests hearing that, assembled with the elders and took counsel …”, and they decided this - they decided that they needed to keep this matter silent as best as they can. “… So they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’” [Matt 28:12-13]
So they know that this disappearance of Jesus cannot be hidden anymore. But rather than have them believe and know that Jesus is risen, it's better for them to think that it is all a scam, that the disciples were the ones who stole the body away. So they had to settle for the lesser evil in their estimation and said, “Well! His body is stolen. He did not rise from the dead, but He was taken away from us.”
And they said to the soldiers, “Don't worry, if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” [Matt 28:14] “We … we will make sure you will not be harmed.” Because in those days, if you were guilty of dereliction of duty, that the body could be stolen, you might be sentenced to death.
So the chief priests assured the guards, “We give you all the money. We'll make sure we settle this with the governor. You will not come to harm, but just play along with us and spin that lie. Spin that lie that Jesus is not risen. Spin that lie that His body was just taken by the disciples.”
“So the soldiers took the money, and did as they were directed. But this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” [Matt 28:15] Now, Matthew wrote the book of Matthew some 30 years after the death of Jesus Christ. So, it is now a popular, a well-known story throughout Israel, that the chief priests actually paid money to lie. And that could not be hidden.
So we have really gone through many verses, but this is the account that tells us Jesus has risen from the dead.
Now, let me give you a story. There's this couple, husband and wife who were at loggerheads. They hated each other. Actually, they quarrel, they fought many a times. So they thought that maybe to solve their marriage issues, they might go on a retreat, a kind of holiday to Israel, to Jerusalem.
They went there, unfortunately, the wife passed away suddenly from heart attack. She died. So the undertaker, then came to the husband and said, “Sir, her body is here. There are two ways to deal with it. One, we can bury her here in Jerusalem. That would be about $500. Or we can choose to send her body back to Singapore with you. That will cost $5,000. Which would you choose?”
The husband immediately said, “I would send her back for $5,000.” “But Sir, that's about 10 times more the price.” “Yes, I'll do that.” “Wow! You really must love her.” To which he said, “No! I don't love her, I hate her.” “Then why would you spend so much to bring her body back with you?” “Well, I heard that some 2,000 years ago, a man died and was buried and he was risen from the dead, I cannot take that chance.”
Well, the resurrection of Jesus is a fact, that many people know of today.
Would you imagine with me, what it would be like on Friday night? Imagine if there was an obituary in their circulation there, the newspapers there, if they had. What would the obituary look like? Maybe it will look something like this – “You will be missed. Jesus Christ. Aged 33, Carpenter from Nazareth, born of Joseph and Mary, crucified by order of Pontius Pilate for treason against Caesar.” That will be the obituary - Jesus died.
Saturday, people would read this again. But on Sunday, imagine this, if this news got out, it would look totally different. Isn't it? It would say – “Memorial service for Jesus Christ Cancelled”. Why? “Jesus is risen from the dead. Please do not send any flowers. Celebration service in 40 days on the Mount of Olives!”
Now, this is a significant! Jesus rising from the dead is very significant. The empty tomb is very significant. Because it is unique in all or amongst all religions. This is a picture of a place in Shandong, China. This is where the body of Confucius lay. He's a great leader, a great teacher to the Chinese people. But he is, however, a dead man. His body lies in a grave.
This is a picture of a mosque in Saudi Arabia. This is where, it is said the body of the Prophet Muhammad lay. Again, very revered and respected by many people, but his body lies in a grave. This is a temple in Sri Lanka. It is said that the Tooth Relic of Buddha is in this temple. Again, respected by many people, but his body, still is in the grave or rather parts of his body are still here with us today.
But the Christian faith says that, “Jesus is risen from the dead.” There is no body parts left. The tomb is empty. All could go in and see that it was only the linen shroud that is left behind. But Jesus is risen from the dead.
Now, this is unique. Uniquely Christian. Uniquely Christianity. Uniquely, the faith of the Bible, that the Savior, the Son of God, whom God has sent is risen from the dead. So this is something unique, but this is also something very important. It's foundational. It's crucial.
In fact, we read what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding the death or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He said, one of the great apostles, one of the great messengers, servants of God in time past, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [1 Cor 15:14]
So Paul is saying, “This resurrection account of Jesus Christ is so crucial, not only did Jesus Himself say, this is the ultimate sign to prove that He is the Son of God, He's the Savior sent by God …” Paul is saying that, “… If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then all the Christian preaching is useless.”
Forget about the whole Bible. Forget about Genesis. Forget about Matthew. Forget about gathering as a church. Forget about this online service. Forget about your pastors. Our preaching is useless because your faith is also in vain. All the doctrines, theological constructs are pointless, if Jesus didn't rise from the dead.
In fact, he says “You are still in your sins, if Jesus did not rise from the dead. You are still a sinner.” [1 Cor 15:17] There is no solution for your sins. Because there is no one who is able to die and pay for you because he's dead. And it means that the payment is not satisfactory. It is not in full. It is not enough.
If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, you and I, this morning are simply wasting our time. Christianity is a hoax. It's a lie. It's a scam. The whole Bible should be something you tear out and throw in a wastepaper basket. In fact, it should be something that you burn up and say, “Let no one ever read it again.”
If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, you're still in your sins. “And if in Christ, we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” [1 Cor 15:19] You are the saddest people in the whole world, to believe Jesus, to read the Bible, to pray, to go church, to be in Gospel communities. You are the most pitiful people because you are believing a lie that doesn't work.
You see, so much is at stake with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If He did not rise, our preaching is vain, our faith is vain, you are still in your sins, you are a sad, mistaken people. “But …”, what a ‘but’! What a ‘but’ in 1st Corinthians 15:20. “But …” Oh! If Jesus didn't rise, that's all true. “But …” Jesus did rise, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead …” [1 Cor 15:20]
This is a fact! Apostle Paul is saying, “All that I'm saying to you, about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is not a figment of my imagination. It's not a fairy tale. It's not Harry Potter.” This is a fact! People know for certain Jesus was raised from the dead.
How do you know it's a fact? Because, “He did appear to Cephas, that’s Peter, and then to the twelve, the apostles … ” [1 Cor 15:5-6] They were reliable witnesses, followers of Jesus. And not only that, “… He appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time and most of whom are still alive.” You can go check with them.
You know, in a court of law, everything is a fact, is established at the mouth of two or three witnesses. Now, we don't have two or three, we have at least 512. That is remarkable evidence! Jesus is risen from the dead.
“The Watergate Scandal”, maybe you might be familiar. Well, it's a scandal that happened before even I was born. But it is very well-known today, very notorious, infamous. It is revolving around some conspiracy, some lie, some cover-up during the time of President Richard Nixon in the United States. And eventually, it resulted in the impeachment of President Nixon and his subsequent resignation.
And this cover-up, this scandal had several masterminds behind it, one of whom is this man called, Charles Colson. He's a smart man, a brilliant man, but he was guilty of this “Watergate Scandal”. What happened is that he was sentenced to jail and just before he served his time in jail, I … I think he came to faith in Jesus Christ. He became a Christian. He became a follower. He trusted in the death and resurrection of Jesus to save him from his sins and to reconcile him to the Holy God.
And subsequently, upon release, he founded ‘Prison Fellowship’, of which we know of that ministry, even here in Singapore, there is this ‘Prison Fellowship, Singapore’, incorporated in our country. So he had a tremendous influence through the ‘Prison Fellowship’. But I said all that because I want to link him up with you regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ and “The Watergate Scandal”.
You say, “How is it linked?” This is his experience. This is his understanding. He said, “I know the resurrection is a fact because Watergate proved it to me.
How? Because 12 men testified, they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, and they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned, and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world, and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Beaten, stoned, tortured. Absolutely impossible!”
So, I affirm, we affirm Charles Colson affirm together with Apostle Paul, “But in fact, Christ has been risen from the dead.” [1 Cor 15:20] Now, this resurrection of Jesus was so important that it became the central focus of the preaching of the early church. You know, after Jesus died, the apostles led the church, many people came to believe. And they had a central message for the world. You say, “What is the message?” It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We see in Acts 2:32, “This Jesus God raised up and of that we all are witnesses …” That's what they're preaching. They're telling Israel. They are telling the people outside Israel. They're telling people everywhere, that God sent a Savior. Yes! He died on the cross. He said, “It is finished.” And not only that, “He rose from the dead …” He fulfilled the prophecy, that He would be the One who would save us from our sins. He would sufficiently pay for our sins, and He would fulfill the sign of the prophet Jonah. He is Savior, “… and we are all witnesses.” He did rise from the dead.
“Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead - by Him, this man is standing before you.” [Acts 4:10] Well, again, they are telling people,” Jesus rose from the dead.”
And Acts 10:39-40, “And so they put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree, but God raised Him on the third day …” So over and over and over again, the apostles were talking about the empty tomb. The apostles were banking all their hopes on this reality that Jesus is risen from the dead.
Now, that changes everything. Isn't it? Previously, we say, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, our preaching is vain, and our faith is vain.” But if Christ is raised, my preaching today is not in vain. Your faith today is not in vain. In fact, it is so important. There's nothing more important on this Sunday morning than for us to preach God's Word, for us to hear God's Word, for us to believe God's Word and for us to obey God's Word. Your faith is never going to be in vain.
What you invest spiritually will never go to waste. Why? Because we serve a risen, a real victorious Savior. “And because Christ is raised from the dead, those who believe in Jesus Christ are not in their sins anymore.” [1 Cor 15:17] We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We are righteous before the Holy God. We are seen as a people deeply loved. Why? Because our Savior died, and He rose again, to set us free from our sins.
Hallelujah! Now, we have a message for the world - that the world through Jesus might be saved. And now, we are a people who are deeply blessed. We are not a sad, pathetic, pitiful people. We are a blessed, wonderfully joyous people, because our Savior is risen from the dead.
So I want to end by saying to one and all, “Because Jesus is risen from the dead, God and the Bible offers to you forgiveness of sins.” [Luke 24:46-47] I want to tell you today, “You can be forgiven.” The reason why you can be forgiven is not because you can be a good man, or because you can earn God's favor or because you're so wonderful, God has to love you and save you. No!
I tell you why you can be forgiven of your sins. Because the sacrificial Lamb of God has taken your place on the cross. He suffered and died and he paid your sin completely. And He proved it by rising from the dead. He conquered sin, through His death and resurrection.
So I want to say to you, “This is written in the Bible, that the Christ, the chosen One, the Savior, should suffer, and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:46-47]
This Christian faith is not for Ang Mohs. It's not for Westerners. It's for all nations. And this is the central message - you can receive the forgiveness of sins. Your sins can be sent far away from you. That when God sees you, He sees you as righteous, justified, perfect in His sight, because Christ died and rose again.
In Acts 4:10-12, we read, “By the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, there is salvation in no one else.” You see, this is unique. No one who claims to be a religious Savior has lived and died and risen again as Jesus did.
Some people say … well, last week we had our Zoom meeting, ‘Meet the Pastor’ session, and there was a good question regarding the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Which is more important? Which should we emphasize?
I tell them, I tell the person who asked, “There really is to be no distinction. We focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I don't think we need to pick and choose. It is because He died for you, that our sins can be forgiven. It is because He rose again, that our sins can be forgiven.
And I want to tell you today, “This is the Good News!” This is the Good News of the Bible. This is the Gospel. The Good News of Jesus Christ dying and rising, to save us from our sins, in order to reconcile a sinful man to the Holy God.
Jesus is risen from the dead, there is salvation. “And if you believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” [Romans 10:9] You see, this believing that God raised Him from the dead is significant.
It is saying that you absolutely believe that Jesus is who He says He is - the Savior, the Lamb that is sacrificed to take away the sin of the world. He is vindicated by God, who raised Him from the dead. And so, when you believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you're saying, you believed in Him as Savior as Lord, as the Son of God. If you believe that, you will be saved.
This is not empty promise. The empty tomb shows that this is not an empty promise, because Jesus is not dead, He is alive. I want to say, “That because Jesus died and rose again, this is that foretaste, that foreshadowing, that early guarantee, to tell us that, Those who die in Christ will be raised imperishable, and be able to put on immortality.” [1 Cor 15:52-53]
What this is saying is, just as Jesus is risen, with a glorified, incorruptible, immortal body, His followers will likewise receive that immortal, imperishable, incorruptible body. Now, maybe today you're suffering. I … I’m aging. I begin to see breakdown in my body. And maybe you have, you have many diseases, many sicknesses and you say, “This is terrible!” But I tell you one day, it will all be reversed. Not just reverse, it will be absolutely brand new, in a whole new way, glorious and incorruptible.
If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, we would just die and have no hope of eternal life, no hope of this glorified body. But because Jesus did rise, all our sufferings, here in this life in the body, they will end. One day will put on incorruptible.
But this resurrection to the new life is not just about a physical life. I want to emphasize that it is also about spiritual life. That because, “Christ was raised, we too today might walk in newness of life.” [Romans 6:4] Do you know that because Jesus is risen from the dead, you can walk in newness of life? No more in sin and filth, but now in holiness and purity.
You see, Jesus rose again, so that He might live in you by His Spirit, and He might give you that new ability to live holy lives. I wish I have more time to emphasize this. But if you'd like to, please check out our ‘Christian Education Program’ on that message called, ‘No Obligations, Please’, because I think it is so significant.
The Bible teaches about this theology, this doctrine called, “Union with Christ”. Because of Christ, and what He has done, we enter into His life. We are so united with Jesus. That's that doctrine, that we are so united with Jesus that we are united with Him in His death and we are united with Him in His resurrection.
In other words, because of believing in Jesus, our old life is dead. And now because we're united with Jesus, we are given that new life. This new life that doesn't need to obey the urges of sin anymore. In other words, look at the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus Christ teaches me two things. Number one, Jesus died for me. So my penalty of sin is taken away. I'm saved. I receive forgiveness.
But don't just stop there. Most people stop there. 99% of people stop there, I think. Maybe that's exaggerating, maybe 90% of people stop there - Christ died for me. But I want to tell you the other aspect of the cross. The other aspect of the cross is not just Christ died for me, but I died with Jesus.
That old life, so united with Jesus died with Him. And now in Jesus Christ, I have new life. I've a new heart. I've a new passion. I’ve a new desire. I’ve a new partner, the Holy Spirit living in me. So as Jesus died and rose again, I died and rose again. And so now, I can walk in a newness of life. Why? Because Jesus rose from the dead. Today, God calls you to live in holiness in righteousness, in purity. I pray you'll walk in this newness of life.
“If the dead are not raised …” Paul says, “… let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” [1 Cor 15:32] If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, everything we're doing and learning today is all in vain. So let's just enjoy life. Let's just eat and drink. What else is there to do? What else is of worth? Because tomorrow we die.
But if Jesus is risen from the dead, that revolutionizes the way I look at life. It's now no more about living it up here in this world. It's about giving it up in this world. To give my life to following Jesus, because I know one day He will repay, He will reward handsomely.
So Paul says, “Therefore ….”, knowing the resurrection of Jesus, knowing your resurrection together with Jesus, “… my beloved brothers …”, don't just eat and drink, “… be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord …”, give your life to serve God, “… knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.” [1 Cor 15:58] It is worth it!
I've said a lot. But I hope today, you would think deeply and pray that God will make the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this precious doctrine, heart changing, life changing for you. I pray you'll do some soul searching today. What are you living for? How are you pursuing holiness?
And maybe for some of our friends, you're watching in today, I want to tell you, “The Gospel message is a unique message. It is a true message. It is a life changing message. If you believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead, you can be saved. You will be saved.” May Gospel Light, may we all today believe the resurrection.
Warren Wiersbe, he says, “Easter is the Truth that turns a church, from a museum into a ministry”. I pray we will not be a museum. We will not just be a gathering of dead people, but we will be a people alive, because Jesus is alive. Let's go. Let's serve. Let's grow. Let's bring glory to God. This is the Gospel. And may God be glorified as we believe Him. Let's bow for a word of pray together.
Father, how we rejoice this morning. We celebrate the great central truth of the Bible, that Your Son came and died and rose again, that we might be saved, that we might be forgiven, that we might be reconciled. O Lord! We pray for those tuning in this morning that You will bless them with humility, with … with repentance that they might believe in Your Son alone for salvation and for life.
I pray, you'll turn Gospel Light from a museum into a ministry. Help us to walk in that newness of life. Help us to be steadfast immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
I want to pray also for some today who are suffering and going through hardships. Lord, lift up their eyes to behold the hope that is to come. That we will one day with a twinkling of an eye, be changed into glorious beauty and perfection, because Jesus is our first fruit of resurrection. So thank You again for this morning, bless each one. We pray all this in Jesus’ Name. Amen. God bless!
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