1. "Easter Sunday" is an annual holiday celebrated
a. Millions of people commemorate the resurrection
of Jesus on this day
b. Many consider it as "the most holy" of religious
c. For some, it marks the only time they attend church
services (Christmas runs a close second)
2. Christians in the first century did not have an
annual observance of this event:
a. The word "Easter" is
found only once in the KJV Bible - Acts 12:4And when he had apprehended him,
he put him in prison, and delivered him
to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
b. The word in the Greek is actually "Passover", and
so translated elsewhere in the KJV
c. "It is reasonably certain that the NT contains no
reference to a yearly celebration of the resurrection of Christ" (ISBE)
d. The annual observance is a human tradition, introduced
in the second and third centuries
3. Churches today who follow the New Testament pattern
do not celebrate "Easter" per se...
a. Like the church in Jerusalem,
they are content to abide in the apostles' doctrine - Acts 2:42And they continued
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
b. They note Paul's teaching
regarding religious holidays - Galatians 4:9-11But now, after that ye have
known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be
in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in
c. They value Jesus' warning
regarding the traditions of men - Matthew 15:9Butin vaintheydoworshipme,teaching for doctrinesthecommandmentsofmen.
4. This does not in any way demean the importance of
the resurrection of Christ:
a. It has great significance to the Christian
b. It is something we should think about often (certainly
more than once a year)
5. It is an appropriate subject even on "Easter Sunday",
just as sermons:
a. On thankfulness are around Thanksgiving
b. On mothers are on Mother's Day
-- Even though churches may not celebrate such holidays
With that thought in mind, allow me to use this opportunity
to review the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the Christian. It's significance can first be seen by considering...
I. IF CHRIST WAS NOT RAISED:
A. GOSPEL PREACHING IS VAIN...
(1 Corinthians 15:14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.)
1. The preaching of the apostles is empty, meaningless
2. Because they proclaimed nothing more than a fairy
tale, a story of fiction
B. OUR FAITH IS VAIN...
(1 Corinthians 15:14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.)
1. Our belief in Christ would also be empty, meaningless
2. For our faith would be in a lie, a story of make
believe, not truth
C. THE APOSTLES WERE FALSE WITNESSES... (1 Corinthians
15:15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of
God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.)
1. They swore that God raised
Jesus from the dead - Acts 2:32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all
2. They claimed to spend
40 days with Him after the resurrection, eating and drinking with Him - Acts 10:39-41And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and
hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen
before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from
3. There is no way they could have been deceived or
mistaken; either they told the truth or they were deliberate liars, deceivers, and frauds!
D. WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS... (1 Corinthians 15:17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.)
1. It would have been a liar or lunatic that died on
2. No such person could have provided a sacrifice that
was holy and without blemish
E. BELIEVERS HAVE PERISHED
AT DEATH... (1 Corinthians 15:18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ
1. Their faith would have been in a false Messiah
2. They would have had no atonement for their sins
3. Dying in their sins, there would be no hope
F. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE
PITIED... (1 Corinthians 15:19If in this life only we have hope in Christ,
we are of all men most miserable.)
1. Because we believe in a false Messiah
2. Because our faith in Him leads us to refrain from
much worldly pleasure
3. Because we are often ridiculed or persecuted for
As Paul makes it clear, the resurrection of Christ
is foundational to the Christian faith.If Jesus is not raised, then we should
not be Christians!Now let's examine the significance from another angle...
II. IF CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED:
A. IT VERIFIES OUR JUSTIFICATION... (Romans 4:24-25 But for us also, to whom it shall be
imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised
again for our justification.)
1. Jesus claimed His blood would be adequate - Matthew
26:28Forthisismybloodofthenewtestament,which is shedformanyfortheremissionofsins.
2. By raising Jesus from the dead, God demonstrated
His acceptance of Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins! - Romans 8:33-34Who shall
lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Itis God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? Itis Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who
is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
B. IT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER
AVAILABLE TO THE CHRISTIAN... (Ephesians 1:18-20The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in
the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who
believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set
him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,)
1. Power available at our
conversion - Colossians 2:11-12In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision
made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism,
wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of
God, who hath raised him from the dead. - 1 Peter 3:21The like figure whereunto
even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of
the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
2. Power available to live
the Christian life - Romans 8:11-13But if the Spirit of him that raised up
Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit
that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after
the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. -Philippians
2:12-13Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence
only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. -Philippians 4:13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: -Ephesians 3:20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh
in us, -Ephesians 6:10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and
in the power of his might.
C. IT GIVES US HOPE CONCERNING OUR OWN RESURRECTION...
(1 Peter 1:3Blessed 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,)
1. His resurrection gives
us a living hope! - 1 Peter 1:21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him
up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
2. Especially concerning
the resurrection of believers! - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14But I would not have
you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For
if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
D. IT DEMANDS OUR COMPLETE
LOYALTY... (Romans 14:9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived,
that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.)
1. He was raised and then
exalted to become our Lord - Acts 2:32-36This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof
we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the
Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself,
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of
Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. -Ephesians
1:20-23 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but
also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and
gave him tobe the head
over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that
filleth all in all.
2. Thus our lives and service
belong to Him - Romans 14:7-8For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth
to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore,
or die, we are the Lord's. - 2 Corinthians 5:15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died
for them, and rose again.
1. The impact of the resurrection of Jesus should not
go unfelt in our lives...
a. As a historical event it has everlasting implications
b. For both the believer and the unbeliever
2. The believer must never lose sight of the significance
of the resurrection:
a. Do our lives demonstrate that we serve a risen Lord
b. Do we possess the hope, peace, and strength that
the reality and power of His resurrection gives to the Christian?
3. The unbeliever also needs to examine the significance
of the resurrection carefully:
a. It verifies the deity
of Jesus, that He has all authority - Romans 1:4And declared tobe the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of
holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: -Matthew 28:19Goyetherefore,andteachallnations,baptizingtheminthenameoftheFather,andoftheSon,andoftheHolyGhost: -Acts 2:36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
both Lord and Christ.
b. It verifies the truthfulness of what He taught,
1) No one can come to the
Father but through Him - John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, Iamtheway,thetruth,andthelife:no
2) His blood was shed for
the remission of sins - Matthew 26:28Forthisismybloodofthenewtestament,which is shedformanyfortheremissionofsins.
3) He came to offer abundant
life - John 10:10Thethief 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.
4) He went to prepare a
place for us - John 14:2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
5) He shall come again -
John 14:3AndifI go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
6) There will be a resurrection
of the dead and ensuing judgment - John 5:28-29Marvelnotatthis:forthehouriscoming,inthewhichallthatareinthegravesshallhearhisvoice,Andshallcome
forth;they that have donegood,untotheresurrectionoflife;andthey
that have doneevil,untotheresurrectionofdamnation. -John 12:48He that rejectethme,andreceivethnotmywords,hathone
that judgethhim:thewordthatIhavespoken,the sameshalljudgehiminthelastday.
c. If Jesus rose from the dead, then one must believe
in Him! - John 8:24Isaidtherefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
May we never forget "The Significance Of The Resurrection
of Christ" in our lives!