01 Dec 2019

The God Of The Living [Matthew 22:23-33]


Jesus had claimed to be "the resurrection and the life". All the Sadducees needed to discredit Jesus was then to show the absurdity of the concept of resurrection. The stakes are high. But Jesus showed that the resurrection was not a new idea, but has already been spoken of by God in Exodus. Jesus also spoke about the great power involved, saying that in the resurrection, people will live and love in an entirely new level that exceeds that of marriages here on earth. Find out from this sermon then how the resurrection is of utmost importance to you and how it impacts your life today!


Sermon Transcript

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We come today to Matthew chapter 22. You have already read the verses, 23 to 33. Quite a long passage, but today's sermon will not be long, alright. It really is quite simple, it's quite short.

We are now focusing on the last week of the life of Jesus Christ on earth before He's going to the cross. And in this last week, He's going to meet a lot of oppositions, a lot of interrogations. There will be people who will come to test Him with difficult questions. And, in a sense, this is a kind of fulfilment of how the Passover lamb, that every Jewish family will have to have, once a year, will need to be inspected, and be found to be without blemish.

So thousands of years ago, every Jewish family has to find a perfect lamb, that they may kill the lamb and smear the blood over their doorposts. So that when the Angel of Death comes, the Angel of Death will pass over their household and spare them of God's judgment and wrath.

And in a sense, that is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is that perfect Lamb who must be sacrificed so that those who believe in Him, those who have the blood of Jesus applied over their lives (spiritually speaking), will be spared the wrath of God.

And this Lamb of God, therefore must be perfect. He must be inspected and found to be without blemish. And that's what we see in these last few days of the life of Jesus. There'll be people who will come to test Him with difficult questions and through it all, He will prove himself faultless and without blemish.
The last week we saw the Pharisees, a religious group of people, who came to test Jesus with a difficult question. He was found to be without blemish. He passed with flying colors.

Now today, we're going to read about a second group of people who will come to test Jesus with another difficult question. You say, “Why are all these religious leaders out to get Jesus?” Well, humanly speaking, they hated Jesus. They were envious of Him. He had a great following, and they are seeing their own followers follow Jesus. And of course they are very disturbed, they're very disconcerted and they, they hated Jesus.

Not only that, Jesus recently went into the temple and threw out the money changers and those who sold animals. These were people who made the house of prayer into a den of robbers. And Jesus spoilt their business, their unscrupulous business. And so of course, they are upset with Him.

But another reason the Bible tells us why these religious wanted to kill Jesus is given to us in John chapter 11. It says, “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [John 11:48]

So they are seeing great crowds following Jesus, and the religious leaders of Israel became concerned - “Oh, if Caesar sees that Jesus is having such a big crowd, he would feel threatened! And so Caesar will come and take away our nation because he would assume that the Israelites, the Jewish people are going to stage a revolt.”

It is better for you, therefore “that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” [John 11:50] So they reasoned that it's probably better that Jesus dies, and not have this kind of a big following, rather than the whole nation suffer the consequences from Caesar.

“So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” [John 11:53] So you could understand the peril Jesus was in. There are many people who wanted His head, they wanted to kill Him. So they came with questions to find some kind of an excuse, some kind of reason to execute Him because if they don't, the Jewish people would not be happy.

So the Pharisees first came with the question about paying taxes to Caesar. Today, we see a second group and they are the Sadducees. You say, “Who are the Sadducees?” They are a separate religious group. They are not the same as Pharisees. Sadducees are people who are rather rich; they are the aristocrats of those days. A small group of religious leaders, but extremely wealthy, well connected, powerful. The great high priest came from one of them.

So the Sadducees, however, are different from the Pharisees also in the authority of Scripture they hold. The Pharisees generally believe Moses, Psalms, Prophets, are the very authority of God's Word. However, for Sadducees, they believe that the first five books of Moses are authoritative, but the rest are not quite the same. So they believe Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy - these five books of Moses are authoritative. But the rest - like Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah - not quite. So that's their unique religious theological persuasion.

And as a result, they are a people who do not believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees “say that there is no resurrection.” [Matthew 22:23] In fact, they don't believe in the resurrection. They also do not believe in the existence of angels or spirits. [Acts 23:8] That's their theological understanding of the Bible, of the Word of God, as they had it in those days.

So they are a people who do not believe in these supernatural things. They are a little bit materialist. They're a little bit anti-supernatural; they do not believe in the resurrection.

Now let me ask you - I know that there are many verses in the New Testament that speak about the resurrection. Can you think of a verse, or verses in the Old Testament that speak about the resurrection? It's not easy! I mean, New Testament, you probably gave me a lot. And the New Testament speaks a lot about the resurrection because Christ is risen from the dead.

But before Christ was risen from the dead, did God say that there is the resurrection to come? Yes or no? Those who say “Yes” tell me the verse lah! Well, it's not easy. So I had to think hard, “Wow, this is not easy, actually!” I have always assumed it, but you got to put yourself in the shoes of the Sadducees.

So there are some very obvious references in the Old Testament, with regards to the resurrection. The word may not be there, but the concept is there.

For example, in Psalm 16, verse 10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,” - Sheol is a place of the departed dead - “or let your holy one see corruption.” [Psalm 16:10] So we know later on, that this saying in Psalm 16 is talking about Jesus. Peter applied this to Jesus Christ. He's referring to the fact that Jesus will die but He will not remain dead; He will come alive! There's a hint of the resurrection there in Psalm 16.

Maybe another clearer text for you is Isaiah 26: “Your dead shall live”. [Isaiah 26:19] Now I know you don't read this because it's in Isaiah. By the time you read Isaiah chapter 5, you already want to faint. But alright, it's right there, alright? Isaiah 26. “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!”

And another very well-known text is Daniel, chapter 12: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” [Daniel 12:2] Alright, I hope I've given you enough verses. I can go on, but I think it is sufficient for us to see that the Old Testament does contain good strong teachings about the resurrection.

Then why the Sadducees will not believe in the resurrection? Anybody knows? It's found in what I've just said, some like 5 minutes earlier. It's there in Psalms. It's there in Isaiah. It's there in Daniel. But the Sadducees say there is no resurrection. Why? They do not see the Psalms or the prophets as of equal authority as the first five books of Moses.

So they are a people who do not believe in the resurrection, and now they will come to ask Jesus a question. [Matthew 22:23] About what? About the resurrection. They probably heard Jesus said earlier on in John, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25] Jesus had just brought Lazarus out, back to life. And they must have said to themselves, “That was a hoax. That is a charlatan's act, that must be a show. Jesus says, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ It is all false.” Because the Bible according to the Sadducees, in the first five books of Moses does not speak about the resurrection.

So they want to come and poke holes at Jesus by proving that there is no resurrection. And they're going to do it by means of a very interesting question. This question is going to be predicated around a story, a simple but very interesting story. You might finish reading the story and have a smile on your face. You say, “These guys are very cheeky.” But that's the cheeky question they're going to ask, concerning the resurrection.

So they say: “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’” [Matthew 22:24] Now, I can understand that as a Singaporean, when you read this, you say, “What is this all about? Huh, you asked me to marry my brother-in-law? No way!”

Can, can you imagine that? You're married to John, and John has a brother named James. And, and unfortunately John passed away and now you're to marry James. “Huh? I've always seen him as my brother-in-law. How can I marry him? This is ridiculous!”

Okay, for the Singaporean society, this is weird. But not so, for the Jewish society. This is spoken of by Moses. It's a very common arrangement for the Jews. It is spoken in Deuteronomy 25: “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger.“ But his own brother, “her husband's brother, shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.” [Deuteronomy 25:5-6]

So for the Jewish society, carrying on the family line is very important. You don't lose your heritage that way. So one way to preserve that, is that when I die and my wife has not borne me any children, my brother will marry my ex-wife and she will have a first son, hopefully it's a son, daughter then sorry, but have the first son, and that first son will be under my name.

Now the commonest - this is not unusual - the commonest example you can think of in the Bible will be that of? Ruth and Boaz. Now to be precise, Boaz is not the brother of her husband. But he is a kinsman, a near kinsman, one of the relatives. And he's willing to marry Ruth, and have the first child not under his name, but the husband's - the dead husband's name.

Actually for Boaz, he's not even the nearest kinsman, because there is one who is nearer than him, but he don’t want to do this duty, so Boaz took it on. And so this is the situation that the Sadducees are coming up with. So they use this kind of arrangement and said, “If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.” [Matthew 22:24] “Alright, you get that Jesus?” Okay, we got this. We understand that, we got this.

“Now there were seven brothers among us.” Like the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But there were seven brothers amongst us. “The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother.” [Matthew 22:25] Second one, “Lao-er”. [Mandarin expression for the second son.] Lao-da si le, Lao-er take up. [Mandarin expression meaning that when the eldest son died, and the second son took up his duties.]

But then Lao-er also died. Then Lao-san. [Mandarin expression for the third son.] Lao-san died. Lao-si, Lao-wu, Lao-liu, Lao-qi [Mandarin expressions for the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh sons respectively.]. So all of them died! [Matthew 22:26]

What's the question you need to ask? What's the first question you should ask? How come this woman so “suay” [colloquial expression for unlucky] one ah? She's the Black Widow or what! She's jinxed our whole – wah, I think the father, mother must be, “Aiyoh [colloquial term used to express dismay], how can you all still marry her? You must check the food she cooks you know. She's going to insert some poison or what.” But yeah, I think that should be the best question to ask: What's wrong with this woman?

So she married all 7 in the Tan family or whatever, whatever family you have. And she's the “hei ke xing” [Mandarin expression for a jinx].She killed every single - okay, she didn't kill, but all 7 died. And then to complete the story, she also died. [Matthew 22:27] So quite a morbid situation.

Now can you imagine this. This is a scenario - all 7 brothers died, she died. And now, now’s the question. In the resurrection – Jesus, you said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” You obviously believe in the resurrection like our stupid, foolish friends, the Pharisees who teach that there is a resurrection. In this situation – “in the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be?” [Matthew 22:28]

Ha. They are trying to paint a funny and awkward scene, you see. That when they all rise again, she will stand before her 7 ex-husbands, and you say in heaven, who is going to, who is she going to be with? Lao-da [Mandarin expression for the eldest son] or Lao-qi [Mandarin expression for the seventh son]? Lao-da is the first, Lao-qi is the most recent.

Aiyah. Hard question to answer, because it really makes this so absurd. Won't she commit adultery in heaven then? So this question is designed to show, in their opinion, the absurdity of this whole teaching of the resurrection. I'm sure this is probably one of the questions they circle around themselves. “Aiyah, they all teach the resurrection, they - no one can answer this question. No one can reduce the absurdity of this situation.”

It's almost like people ask you - have you heard questions when people don't want to believe the Bible, don't want to believe God, they ask you questions like - Do you believe God can create everything? Yes. Do you think God is very strong, there's nothing he can't do? Yes. Then can God create something so heavy he cannot carry? Wah, that's a good question ah? Very hard to answer ah?

But that's the kind of question they are asking. “How ridiculous is this!”, they say. Now, if I was asked this question, I'll be like “siao liao”. [Colloquial expression used when you are in a fix.]. I'm really stumped! I don't really know how to respond; it does look awkward. I'm really not sure who she's going to be with.

But not Jesus. When they thought this is a knockout blow to Jesus, when they thought this is checkmate – counter-checkmate. And we read now the answer of Jesus.

Jesus answered them. And he said, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29] He starts out right in their face - “You are wrong!”

Why? Two things - You do not know the Scriptures, and you do not know the power of God. The teaching of the resurrection can only be embraced if you know number one, the Scriptures and number two, the power of God.

So let's go to the first point. You are wrong, because you do not know the Scriptures. But you see, the hard part is for the Sadducees, they don't accept Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel as part of the Scriptures. But Jesus didn't have a problem. Jesus showed them from the 1st 5 books of Moses, which they recognized to be authoritative, that teach about the resurrection.

Which passage will He refer to? The passage you have just read: “have you not read” – Sadducees, don’t you read this? This is such a familiar text – “have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” [Matthew 22:31-32]

What is Jesus saying? By the way, do you know what this text is from? You guys really need to go back and read your Old Testament, alright? This is found in Exodus chapter 3. Which story is Exodus chapter 3? This is found in Exodus, chapter 3 that describes the relationship or the encounter between God and Moses at the burning bush, right.

Exodus 3: “And he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” [Exodus 3:6] What is the key word in this verse? The word, “am” - I “am”. In other words, it is not, I “was”. If Abraham is now dead, I would say I “was” the God of Abraham; because I was his God then, but I cannot be his God now because he's dead, he's no more around.”

But God said, “I am the God of Abraham”. Though he was dead, he is now alive. The resurrection is seen in the way God revealed himself. It is found in that one singular word. Sadducees, didn't you read? Didn't you read carefully? Didn't you stop to think how can God be the God of the living if there is no resurrection?

“I am the God of your father Abraham, who died but is now still alive. I'm the God of Isaac, who died but is now alive. I'm the God of Jacob who is dead, but he's now alive.” [Exodus 3:6] So God is not the God of the dead, but He is the God of the living.

Do you know something - Jesus built His whole case on one word? That is astonishing! That just tells you how precise the Bible really is. Jesus later on would say, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4]

There are some people who read the Bible as if it's “chin chai” [colloquial expression for being half-hearted] read. But actually, every word is so precise. When you sign business contracts, you should check your words, you should check every word. And the Word of God is no different! It is so accurate, so precise that Jesus says, “You live by every single word.”

In fact, the level of precision is not at only the word level, but it's even deeper than that. He said, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” [Matthew 5:18]

You say, “What is that?” What is “iota”? Not DotA - computer game. What's “iota”? Iota is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. You know, like in English, the smallest, shortest letter, probably is “l” or “i”, right? Just one stroke, one dot, that's smallest. So the iota is the smallest letter.

What about the word “dot”? Dot is the smallest stroke when you write any word, or any letter. For example, you have a “q” in our English, q – a, b, c, d, e, f, g…q? The uptick, you see the uptick? That's “q”, and that's a dot, that's that one stroke.

So Jesus is saying that the Word of God is so precise to the level of the word, to the level of each and every letter, to the level of each and every stroke. You can bet your life on the Word of God.

So Jesus is saying: “You do not know the Bible. You do not know what God has said in Exodus. You did not really stop to think.”

Maybe another verse for those who are interested, a bit “chem” [colloquial for profound] I think, but the idea is the same, that God's Word is so precise, down to the - every word level. “If he called them gods” - this refers to the Judges, in the days of Israel - “if he called them [the Judges] gods to whom the word of God came - and Scripture cannot be broken”. [John 10:35-36] So again, Jesus is building a case around one word, and you see that many times in the Bible.

So the Sadducees thought that crafting a ridiculous story would disprove the teaching of the resurrection. Jesus is saying, “No! The Scriptures are absolutely trustworthy and true.” Scripture cannot be broken. It has been taught by God. And all that I'm saying is what the Bible has already promised thousands of years ago.

So when Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”, He did not contradict God. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he's not contradicting God, because God had already said long time ago, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

The second thing Jesus countered and rebuked the Sadducees about is that they did not know the power of God. [Matthew 22:29] So they did not know the Bible, they trusted in their own rationalization, rather than learn God's revelation. And the second problem is that they did not realize the power of God.

They had altogether thought that the resurrection is only a return to the former state of life. They did not realize that the power of God's resurrection brings you beyond the former state of life. So they came up with this ridiculous situation where the wives and husbands will be like what they used to be, and be very conflicted in their relationships.

But the power of God in resurrection brings you beyond that. “To what level?”, you say. Verse 30: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage”. [Matthew 22:30] The resurrection is so powerful that it brings you to a kind of new living that does not require or necessitate marriage at all.

Now, some of you may say, “Yay, I'm finally free from my husband!” “Yay, I'm finally free from my wife!” Well, that's not the idea you have, alright? But the idea I think God is saying here is in that resurrection, you'll be so glorious, so beautiful, so perfect, that God's resurrection will deliver you not just from a decaying body, but from a sinful body. That there will be no more selfishness, no more pride, no more envy, no more jealousy, no more sin, that we would now live in such a glorious way that we will love one another uninhibited.

And in that day, where we will no more be selfish and proud and arrogant and so on, we will love one another in such a way that there will be no need for marriage. There will be no special love, reserved for one and not the other. That's the power of God's resurrection!

D.A. Carson, this is a bit long, but let me - and I apologize for the font, somehow, I think when it came to our computer it changed. But let's follow Carson's reasoning: “In that Day [in that resurrection] when sin is abolished - and with it our alienation from God and from each other - spouses shall become capable of relating to one another with far greater freedom and intimacy than is now possible or tolerable - or even imaginable.”

So on that day, I would be able to love Winnie in a way I've never thought possible in this life, no way. That's how glorious that new life would be.

“Such freedom and intimacy are disconcertingly elusive even in the best of marriages [today]; and they are sometimes woefully lacking even in marriages that remain formally intact. That Day will bring an immeasurable deepening of these relationships. As pride will then have been fully and finally conquered, the woman who in this life has been married to seven husbands, will be free to love all seven of them without exhibiting the slightest favoritism, exploitation or manipulation. And for that same reason, there will be no room for jealousy or suspicion on the part of the seven husbands - only room for returning her love in full. In that Day, the question, “Whose wife will she be?” will have become irrelevant.”

You get that? “Oh, there will be a ridiculous situation; she has to choose her husband.” No! There is no need for that selection anymore. In that day where sin and pride and selfishness is abolished, we will love one and all in a far greater way than we have loved our spouse today. And there will be no discrimination.

So - for in that day, in that resurrection “they neither marry nor are given in marriage,” - there's no need for it anymore - “but are like angels in heaven.” [Matthew 22:30]

Now, I think probably the first thought you have is, “Huh? You mean, when I go to heaven I will have wings ah? And then I'll look like a baby and wear diapers and play the harp.” Not really, I don't think angels look like that, at least not the way the Bible describes how they look. But I don't think we are going to convert ourselves into angel-like beings in having wings and so on.

But we will be angel-like in that we will be deathless. We will not see death. We will be beautiful. We will be glorious, we will be eternal. And there'll be no need for any special marital relationships there.

The Bible does tell us that in that day, “we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” [1 John 3:2] The Bible speaks of a future glory, that we will see Jesus and we will be like Jesus. In a sense, we look forward to the glory of God, the glory of God manifested in us, through us, and the glory of God manifested to us, when we see His beauty.

The Bible describes on that resurrection we will be heirs and co-heirs with Christ. All that Christ has, we have; I have. Co-heirs! That's what it means. And that's the beauty of the resurrection that is promised in the Bible. It is not simply coming back to my old self and living on the same way as I've used to live, up there in heaven. It's a totally different quality of life, that's the power of the resurrection.

The Sadducees, some 2000 years ago, came with a funny story, but a very sinister question. Do you realize that? Because if they could just prove, if they could just prove this one thing - we are doomed. If they could just prove that there is no resurrection - we are doomed.

Why? Because Paul says, “…if there is no resurrection of the dead” - if there's no such thing as the resurrection - “then not even Christ has been raised.” [1 Corinthians 15:13] You get that? If there's no such concept, there's no way Jesus would die and rise.

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15:14] All that you have learned, all that you have sacrificed, all that you have given for the sake of the kingdom - it's all going to be wasted. You have wasted your life. I've wasted my life! I'm wasting my life preaching God's Word.

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” [1 Corinthians 15:17] If there's no such thing as the resurrection, everything is hopeless! We are doomed. We are still in our sins, we will be judged and we will all end up in hell. That's what Paul says.

However, verse 20 - this is the best “but” of the Bible almost. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” [1 Corinthians 15:20] The reality is that Jesus is risen! He's witnessed by at least 512 people after His resurrection. They all prove that there is such a thing as the resurrection from the dead.

Jesus is the first to be risen, but many more would follow Him. He's the first fruits. “For as by a man came death” - because of Adam's sin, we all die but - “by a man [by Jesus] has come also the resurrection of the dead.” [1 Corinthians 15:21] Because Jesus died and rose again, conquering sin, those who believe and follow Him will also one day, rise from the dead.

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” [1 Corinthians 15:22] Oh! If Christ be not raised, let's go home. I will have to find another job. And we will lament that we have wasted a lot of our lives. But, but, in fact, Christ is risen! I'm not wasting my life. You're not wasting your life. All that you do and give for the sake of the Kingdom will never be in vain.

And we today have a glorious hope. I'm not going to suffer in hell. I'm gloriously saved by the love of God in Jesus Christ. I'm going to be with God! I'm going to see Him face to face. I'm going to be transformed into a glorious body. I have a lot of problems in my life now, but on that day, no more problems in my body.

And in that day, I will be able to love as I should love. I will be able to live in such holiness and purity and Christ-likeness as I've always longed to. I'll be supremely satisfied on that day. Why? Because, in fact, Christ is risen from the dead.

I end with this quote from D.L. Moody, a preacher in years gone by, said to have preached to more people than Apostle Paul himself.

“Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal - a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.”

The Sadducees wanted to tear down Christianity. Jesus rose from the dead.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together. Is your faith worth it? That's my question. Will I be disappointed one day? Will God fail? Did I waste my life? Are you wasting your life? It all hangs on this question - did Christ rise from the dead? That's the bedrock of the Christian faith.

Oh, there will be people today who say, “Jesus didn't rise.” The Sadducees fought with their lives to try to disprove the resurrection of the dead, the resurrection of Jesus. But no, over and over and over again, the Bible reaffirms the fact of the resurrection. The Bible even before Jesus came, has been prophesied, teaching about that glorious resurrection of God's people. And right up till today, millions of people turning from sin to believe in Jesus, proves the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My friends, I absolutely believe God and His Word, and I stake my life on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And therefore I know, that the preaching is not in vain. Therefore, I know my faith is not in vain. Therefore, I know no sacrifice will ever be in vain. Therefore, we labor knowing that our labor will never be in vain in the Lord. Because Christ is risen from the dead.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, why would you live for this world that will pass away, when Jesus is alive? Why won't you give your life today that you may ultimately find it? Follow Him in His death, that you may one day raise together to life with Him.

Perhaps you are struggling through life's journey because you are in pain, you are in suffering, you have just endured a great loss. And life is seemingly not worth the living.

But let me tell you - life is worth the living just because He lives. We serve a risen Savior. And one day, it will all make sense. On Friday, when Jesus hung on the cross, on Saturday when everybody who knew Jesus was weeping and crying. It is so confusing. It is so miserable. It is so dark and painful. But when the sun rose on Sunday morning, everything seems bright, because He is not here. He is risen!

Oh, Jesus, He is risen! Let us realize that this momentary light affliction on Friday and Saturday works out for us an exceeding weight of glory on that resurrection day. May God give you strength to press on and to keep trusting in Him.

If you're here today and you do not know Jesus Christ, let me tell you - He is not just a teacher. He is not just a prophet. He is not just a good man, but He's the very Son of God who laid down His life on the cross. He laid down His life on the cross so that He might be a substitute for your sin. So that He may pay the ransom for your sin. So that He may be the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And this Son of God who laid down His life, also took up His life on resurrection morning.

And he says, “Whosoever believes in Me shall not perish, but have everlasting life. I am the resurrection and the life. He who dies, if he believes in Me, shall live.” Today, you can be saved from your sin; you can know the true and living God. You can be a child of God if you repent and believe in the resurrected Savior. Will you do that today?

Father, we thank You today for Your Word and we pray that this glorious message of the resurrection, would fuel Your Church to greater heights of service and sacrifice and worship to the praise of Your Name.

This message of the resurrection would give strength and courage to those going through the sufferings. And may the power of the resurrection lead many today to repent and believe for salvation and life. O God, bless each heart. We worship You, we thank You, we know that life is worth the living just because He lives. We thank You in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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