[Don’t Miss The Goodies At The End Of The Article]
It is not the crucifixion that separates the story of Jesus from all others. He was not the only good man to die unjustly for a worthy cause. He was not the only man to be crucified. It is neither the pain nor the injustice that separates the story of Jesus from all others.
What makes the story of Jesus different is when you read biographies of other men who died for good causes that’s where the books end, but when you read the report about Jesus of Nazareth you read about His death—yet that’s not the end of the book. Every account of His life ends with an empty tomb, not a bloody cross. He who died is alive!
The resurrection of Jesus is the most powerful event in history. Nothing else can compare to it. No war, bomb or manifesto can compare to the pure power of His resurrection. If Jesus went into a tomb, was dead for three days, came out fully alive, and ascended into heaven to live ever more, then the resurrection is the most powerful event in history.
In fact, the power of His resurrection confirms that Jesus is the Son of God. “Jesus Christ our Lord was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). No one else has the power to conquer death.
Here is the exciting thing. If Jesus is alive, then that power is still available today. It is one thing to believe that His resurrection was powerful. It is another thing to know the power of his resurrection. Paul said it was the passion of his life “to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to transform our lives today (Eph. 1:18-20; Rom. 8:11).
Power To Be Cleansed From Sin. The resurrection of Jesus gives us power to be cleansed from sin. This is what baptism is all about. Baptism is an identification with the cross of Christ that takes away our deadness, and the resurrection of Christ that gives us new life (Rom. 4:25; 6:3-5; Col. 2:12). The resurrection is our assurance that God can breathe life into the deadness of our soul.
Not only that, but the resurrection also gives us power to stay clean from sin. When Jesus was raised from the dead He left the grave clothes in the tomb. Those who experience the power of the resurrection also leave the clothes of death behind (Col.3:1-8).
We have the same powerful word of God that raised Jesus from the dead to help us conquer sin. We can pray to a God who will forgive our sin, strengthen us in the face of temptation, and help us withstand our trials. We can be confident of God’s help because we do not pray to a dead Savior, but a risen Lord! “He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
We do not have to face the sins we are struggling with alone. We have working in us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and it is available to help us conquer sin. We can leave our sin behind because Jesus is the God of used tombs and discarded grave clothes.
Power To Be Courageous For The Lord. The resurrection of Jesus also gives us the power to live courageously for our Lord. The first words Jesus said after His resurrection were, “Do not be afraid.” Since Jesus is alive we don’t have to live in fear anymore. When Jesus was dead the disciples did live in fear. They cowered behind locked doors afraid of what others might do to them, but once Jesus was raised they were bold. They stood before magistrates and powers and went all over the world preaching Jesus. It is amazing how much courage you can have when you accept a risen Lord.
I grew up in the Mountain Time Zone which means I never got to see the end of a football game on Sunday afternoon. I would watch it long enough to get really interested and then we would leave for evening worship. However, when I got into high school they invented these things called VCR’s, and we started taping the end of the game. Inevitably someone would tell us the final score of the game before we got home, but we would still watch it. If I knew my team won it totally changed the way I watched the game. When the quarterback fumbled the ball it didn’t upset me. When the referee made a bad call I didn’t cry. When the coach didn’t go for it on fourth down I thought he was a genius. It is amazing how you can handle the bad breaks if you know ahead of time who is going to win the game.
The resurrection of Jesus is our proof that our ultimate enemy is going to lose the game. We don’t have to live in fear anymore. There are a lot of bad breaks in life, but we do not have to live like cowards. We can be bold to say what we believe and live as we ought in any situation. It is this truth that filled Paul with courage when he wrote, “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence” (2 Cor. 4:13-14).
Power To Be Confident About The Future. Ultimately, the resurrection gives us the power to be confident about our future. The future doesn’t look very bright for this world at the present time. There is uncertainty and instability everywhere. But Christians join together every first day of the week, the day Jesus was raised from the dead, to remind ourselves that we serve a living Lord and nothing is hopeless anymore. We have a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for [us]” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
Since God has raised Jesus from the dead we know we have an inheritance reserved for us. So, when we watch T.V. and some guy comes along with a fishing pole and a six pack of beer and says, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” We know he is lying. It gets a lot better than this. The resurrection of Jesus gives us a confident joy and expectation about our future. God didn’t roll the stone away so that Jesus could get home. He rolled the stone away so that we could!
That is why Christians do not despair as much as others. We know the worst things in this life are not the last things. No situation is hopeless. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. He loves to turn death into life. So, we don’t live our lives like the tomb is still occupied. We live confident, courageous and clean by the power of His resurrection working in us today.
“Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Cor. 16:14)
#1 – The Seven Beatitudes Of Revelation!
The book of Revelation records seven blessings for the faithful. Have you ever wondered why there are seven? Since the number seven is so important in the book of Revelation it would be strange if the number was just an accident. Below is an interesting article about the meaning and placement of the seven blessings of Revelation. Also, you’ll find a couple of sermons from me which develop the seven blessing statements in two different ways: The Blessed & The Blessings. Enjoy!
An Interesting Article: Seven Blessings Of Revelation (David Field)
#2 – A Simple Song: Speak, Lord (by me)