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April 17, 2022 1:00 am
Many deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like a stone rolled in front of the tomb, they dismiss the resurrection through their indifference, naturalist and humanist theories, or even religiosity. But the conquering Christ rose in victory from death’s grip. His glorious resurrection paves the way for all who believe in Him to rise again one day as He did. Though many have tried, you cannot keep God in the tomb.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
The agony is no over the price has been. Our conquering Christ rose in victory from death's futile grasp and his glorious resurrection paves the way for all who believe in him to one day live again as he did stay with us from Chicago. This is The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching with pastor Erwin Blitzer on this resurrection Sunday. We conclude our series on come and see Jesus pictures of the Savior that teach us about his mission on earth will hear the wonderful music of the season with the Moody choir and orchestra, and later in our broadcast Erwin Blitzer will speak on, and see his empty tomb, the Moody choir comes now to open our service and worship. Jesus said these remarkable words he said I am the resurrection and the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believe it in the shall never die.
We honor him in his resurrection and ascension you join me as we pray and then we shall sing together father, thank you so much that Jesus is all that he claimed to be, and we pray that your blessed Holy Spirit would lead us now as we worship him and contemplate the marvelous power over death that he demonstrated in Jesus name, amen in your bulletins from Isaiah chapter 40 verses three through five. Please join me on the bold print a voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the Lord make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level the rugged places a plane, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed, all mankind for the amount a and D till we cast our crowns before him lost in wonder and praise going to ask you a question. I want a yes or no answer is he risen, I think you can do better than that is risen rightly shouted out all throughout the world.
The 28th chapter of Matthew opens with the interesting story of women who go to the tomb, intending to find the body of Jesus. Aren't you glad that they didn't find what they hope to find they found something much better, not the body of Jesus, but they discovered that Jesus was alive and some of you maybe have come here today because you wanted and inspiring worship service and we certainly had that, but I hope that you actually find something even better than that.
In these moments and that is that you personally are confronted with the reality of the living Christ. It's an interesting story in Matthew 28 because in the preceding chapter, the priests and the Pharisees.
They go to Pilate than they say. Pilate Jesus predicted that he would rise again to make sure that the disciples don't steal the body and pretend that he fulfilled his word. Make sure that the tomb is sealed so Pilate says to them. This is chapter 27 verse 65 you have a garden. He says goal. Make it as secure as you can so they went away and made the tomb secured by sealing the stone and setting a guard I'm amused by the phrase make it as secure as you can. Trying to keep God in the tomb like speaking to the sun and telling it. Don't shine anymore, or speaking to the oceans and saying no longer being wet. How are you going to keep God in the tomb of the Bible says in chapter 28 that an angel verse two descended from heaven and came and rolled the stone away and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was white as snow, and for fear of him. The guards trembled and became like dead man. I would think so, but I want you to know that the angel didn't roll the stone away to lead Jesus out. Jesus was already out because the molecular structure of his body was such that he was not limited by stones and by mortar Jesus Christ had already arisen. The stone was pulled aside so that the people could look in and see that the tomb was empty. That's why the angel that that and that the angel gives them two commands. First, the voices don't be afraid because I know that you are seeking. Jesus was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen. Just as he said in the first command is this come and see where the Lord lay come and believe the tomb is empty now. Many people don't like the empty tomb.
It started right here in the New Testament if we took the time to read verse 11 and Matthew 28, we discover that some people when they discovered that Jesus was alive, priests and the Pharisees are upset and they pay money to the guards and they pay this money and they say say that his disciples came and stole his body. That was the first live was told about the resurrection. How absurd. How would his disciples be able to overcome the guards pushed the stone away and steal his body and get away with it. Furthermore, they would not. Later on, preach the resurrection and be willing to die for it. If, in point of fact, they knew that Jesus was still dead so some unbelievers have said well the disciples wouldn't have stolen the body, but maybe his enemies stolen. What would they do with the body.
And furthermore, when the disciples preached the resurrection they would've produced the body and native said your liars because here he is in these dad others using their for tile imaginations have said well you know what really happened is that Jesus didn't really die completely. He just swooned on the cross and after three days in the cool tomb. He finally arose. I want to say here. Get a life. First of all, are you telling me that the Romans would've put them in the tomb without them being dad number one. They make sure that he was dead. Number two man was lacerated like Jesus was in the tomb. The three days he pushes away the stone and the tomb is empty. You have to be in the hospital for six months just to recover to be able to walk, much less inspire disciples to go about a change the world. The apostle Paul said in first Corinthians 15. He says that 500 people saw Jesus and many of them are still living were not talking about hallucination were not talking about the spirit of Jesus somehow arising were talking about the physical body of Christ whom later on in this passage that people touched and they said they held his feet were talking about a literal physical bodily resurrection. Alice Majel wrote no planet knows that this earth of ours bears as its chief treasure one forsaken grave that is the chief treasure on planet Earth one forsaken grave. So the angel said. Come see the empty tomb, and then the angel said in verse seven.
Then go quickly. First of all, come and see and then go and tell his disciples that he has arisen, tell his disciples that death is defeated, tell his disciples that the sting is been taken out just like it be that can only sting you once and after this tongue you, it has no longer a stinger can only threaten in the very same way the sting of death has been taken out and later on we discover in the New Testament that because he lives, we shall live also and we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is you want to know what kind of a resurrection body, you're going to have want you to know that I've already preached. Once this morning at a sunrise service in church here in the city and in the message. I pointed out a friend of mine and I asked everybody to look at them and because it was a small church you could see him, I suggest look at the body, he brought with them today. That's the body that's going to be changed. It's the body that's going to be like Jesus. The Bible says it is sown in corruption were all in the process of corrupting, but it is raised it in corruption. It is sown in weakness. You go to a funeral and that body is not only weakens dad. It sown in weakness but it is raised in strength. It is sown a natural body is raised a spiritual body. But there will be continuity and similarity because we will know one another in heaven.
You and I will be re-made, but the continuity will enable us to know each other.
Remember you are the same person after you die as you were before, with some substantial changes but you are the same person. And so what the angel said is no tell his disciples it's not the end Jesus has arisen and I love these words of the angel in verse seven he says that he has arisen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you into Galilee. Someone has said that Jesus is the go ahead God, he goes before us and he does that all the time. There is no place for God ever asks us to go, but that he has already been there.
Someday were all going to go to our tomb but but when we think of that tomb. We need not fear it because someone else has already been in the tomb and the one in whom we believe has triumphed over the tomb and because of that we participate in his triumph, the Old Testament days.
Remember when God let Israel through the desert.
Scripture says that there was a pillar of fire by night in a cloud by day. God says there is nowhere that you are going, but that I haven't gone before you. There is no dark room that God is asking you to go into but that it is a room into which he himself has gone your fears of tomorrow. Your anxiety for the future. God has been there and God is there.
Jesus is our forerunner. In fact it says in the book of Hebrews that he rose from the dead and that he ascended on high, and he went into the presence of God into the very holy of holies there awaiting us and the imagery of a forerunner is this that when a vessel was coming into a harbor. In ancient times, the forerunner would pop off the ship swim to shore with a rope that was on the ship he would tie that rope onto a very strong rock a big rock and then by means of the winch that vessel was brought into shore in the very same way, the winds may try to blow us off course your vessel in mind, the sales might be tattered. It may well be that the boards begin to create can the weakness begins to set in, and all of our diseases and our handicaps eventually get the better of us and even if that doesn't happen.
We shall die, but every single day. Jesus brings us one notch closer to the shore. He brings us where he is already in heaven, and he says I've crossed that river I've gone behind that curtain and here I am inviting you and leading you to be with me. He is the go ahead God.
In fact, it's the whole matter of death that separated the early church from the pagan you know that when plagues came to the early church and all throughout the land, and thousands of people died and there were cart loads of bodies that were pulled off a man by the name of Cyprian, a leader in the church in effect said these plagues are good. I read one historian who said that Christianity would never have expanded as it did where it not for those plagues, why it gave the Christians an opportunity to prove that they die differently than the pagans and Cyprian even said that we should not mourn for our brethren, he said that our brethren should not be mourned and I don't totally agree with that because Jesus even wept at the tomb of Lazarus, but I want you know the point that he's making. He says let's not wait for our brethren since they are not lost but sent before departing, they lead the way travelers to another country.
Let not the pagans see us mourn because we know that they exist.
On the other side, and we shall be with them. That's why the pagans said of the Christians. They carry their dead as if in triumph.
They know that it is not the end because they believed in a Savior, who is proven that he has power over death. We sometimes sing because he lives I can face tomorrow because he lives, all fear is gone, for I know who holds tomorrow and life is worth a living just because he lives Pilate said to the guards make the tomb as secure as you can know there may be somebody here today who wants to make that tomb secure.
Maybe there's someone here who would prefer a dead Christ the living Christ. Because if he is dead. You don't have to deal with him. You can ignore them and try to live without him. Make it as secure as you can. Philosophically, David Hume came up with an argument to try to disprove miracles and he thought that if his argument held water that Jesus would have to stay in the tomb while his argument did not hold water.
Then I think for example of people like Darwin who thought that he would have scientific evidence that we could do away with Christ and the miracles of the Bible and that we did not need Jesus and we could keep him in the two Freud took the stone of psychology and rolled it in front of the tomb and said that we can explain human behavior apart from God and apart from Christ. Voltaire took the stone of culture. He thought that man had progressed educationally in such a way that you no longer needed a Christ to intervene to save you.
But those men had been of no greater success than those guards who rolled that stone in front of the tomb and who set bad watch, because you can't keep God in a tomb, and there may be some of you here today who keep Jesus in the tomb, and by that I mean at a distance for other reasons, you may never have worried yourself about him or thought much about him. Maybe because of anger in your heart you been hurt by God you believe that God has not come through for you and you been hurt by some of God's children and so and so, in your heart today you are resistant to the possibility of meeting the risen Christ and and you just prefer that he be in the tomb. Some of you because of pride. You think that you can stand before God on your own and you don't need to Jesus because you're so healthy and you're so well and you think that even when death comes somehow you will manage like a man on a plane to whom I spoke with said when I stand before God. I'm in a stand on the basis of my own record while he blown away in a moment, in the presence of a holy God on the basis of your own record. Another man told me I'm going to do okay on my own no, you're not going to do okay on your own and then maybe even religion keeps Jesus in the tomb this past of flu season was pretty bad actually in the eye. Eventually did get a flu shot.
You know what getting inoculated means is that they give you a little bit of it to keep you from the real thing. That's the idea. There's some people who have enough religion to keep them from the real thing they say to themselves. I've heard it all. I've understood it all.
I gone through all the rituals. I know the story they say. Yet because of that they are kept from confronting the risen Christ and coming to know him personally and I'm saying today role that stone of religion away and get to Jesus would you do that and then maybe for others. There is the stone of indifference.
Just putting it off.
I don't need him someday maybe no. This is the appointed hour. I want to tell you that when Jesus died on the cross is death was a sacrifice for sinners and he died so that you and I might not have to die and eternal death in the Bible makes it very clear that only those who believe in him.
Only those who embrace them as many as received him, to those he gives the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name only those participate in his resurrection. The Bible says that there's a resurrection to life and there's a resurrection to eternal death and the dividing line is what you personally do with Jesus and right now in the balcony there. Some of you who are listening, who never responded to Jesus personally take all the stones away and say today I receive them as my Savior and those on the lower floor and those who may be listening by radio or the Internet. This is your moment to reach out and to say Jesus be mine. I receive you in a few moments were going to be singing a song which, if you were to sing insincerity would be the expression of your heart, you'd be embracing Christ as your Savior take all the stones away. Why because he lives because he lives. That's why kingdoms, and kingdoms go, but Christ lives centuries, and centuries ago in Christ lives. Skeptics live and skeptics die, but Christ lives. Stars shine and then the stars ceased their shining but Christ lives lifted up, was he to die. It is finished was his cry now in heaven exalted high hallelujah what a Savior on today's resurrection Sunday, Moody Church, our pastor looks or Brother message on come and see his empty tomb lasted eight pictures of the life of Christ in a series entitled come and see Jesus. We hope this series and today's service have been an encouragement to you are eight part series on come and see Jesus can be yours on CD for a gift of any amount, Moody Church, our our thank you to you will be a set of eight messages, you can hear and then pass on to others.
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