Share This Episode
Union Grove Baptist Church Pastor Josh Evans Logo

Passion Week // The Resurrection // Matthew 28:1-20 // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 3:54 pm

Passion Week // The Resurrection // Matthew 28:1-20 // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 80 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 16, 2024 3:54 pm

Happy Easter! In this sermon, Pastor Josh looks at the Resurrection of Jesus and what this means for us.

Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Amen. Amen. If you serve a risen Savior, can you say Amen today? And you guys can have a seat here today.

What phenomenal, phenomenal music. And listen, let me say Happy Easter to everybody. In fact, look to your neighbor and say Happy Easter. And listen, it is so good to see you here on Easter Sunday, on Resurrection Sunday. And I am so excited that you have chosen to be with us. We do recognize, just like Pastor David said earlier, we recognize that you could have been in a lot of different places today and you chose to be with us. And we are grateful for that. And I do want to say if you are a guest with us today, we want to just once again just thank you for coming.

And you could have been in a lot of different places. And here you are crammed in this auditorium with us. And we are super thankful for that. And so if you didn't on your way in, stop by our guest tent outside. In the seat back in front of you is what we call here at Union Grove a New Here card.

It's a green and white card. Can't miss it. Grab one of those.

Fill that out. And then if you can, just stop by our Welcome Center, which is right outside this door here. And there'll be a volunteer after the service ready to put a gift in your hands, just as our way of saying thank you for being here today. Well, it is good to see you.

It is Easter Sunday. I could tell by all of the pastel that is in the room today. OK. And listen, this is one of those days where I tell you I've seen some of you. I'm not going to call you by name.

You've never wore a suit jacket in your life. And here you are in one today. And but no, I love everything there is to about Easter. And I love the family traditions. How many of you have some family gathering today? Raise your hand.

OK. Many of us in here. And and so I love the family stuff. And if your family does an egg hunt and things like that, I love all of that. It's always fun. You know, we used to do that when we lived in Jacksonville, Florida, with all of our family and the cousins and things. And so we love that and we love the dress up. And it's one of those days where many of you don't want to embarrass any of you, but some of you probably color coordinated your outfits with your family and things like that.

And then you just wore what you were told to wear. I get it. And so it's one of those things. And I just want you to know that I love everything about about Easter. But as you go about your day and even as our day has already begun, don't lose sight of the real meaning of what today is all about. OK. And yes, we as believers get to celebrate the resurrection every single day.

But today is a day where we are reminded that he is risen. And I'm thankful for that. And that's what we get to do. So I think it's good for us sometimes to just take a day where that's all we're going to talk about. That's what we're going to sing about.

That's what is going to be the theme of everything that we do in this place here today. I did want to give a shout out today just to our Sunrise Service people. How many of you braved it this morning? You were here this morning. OK. A few of you. 7 a.m. Sunrise Service.

Can you believe that? And there's a few of you who didn't even know that time existed on the on our timetable. And there you were this morning. We had volunteers here. Some of them were here as early as five thirty to five forty five, setting up for that this morning.

And it was just great. All that we had a sound system out here and we were playing music and I'm loud as is. I don't really need a microphone, but you put a microphone in my face like we had out here. All of our neighbors woke up to the sound of my voice this morning.

And so they're probably not in our church service today or ever as a result. And but no, it was super exciting today. We had a great crowd this morning and a great crowd in here.

I do want to say and we're going to get into the message, but I had all this stuff I just wanted to tell you. I appreciate you guys kind of cramming in here today. I know some of you are sitting around people you don't know, possibly people you don't even like or care for. And here you are.

And you're sitting close to them. And Easter is one of those days, you know, where we got to kind of cram it in. I'm glad that we were able to fit everybody in here. We didn't need the overflow downstairs, which is exciting. And but you guys are here and just crammed in here like sardines. And that's OK. And and so it's Easter. So probably everybody around you took a shower. I don't know.

And so but hopefully they did. It is Easter and things like that. Well, if you have your Bible, take with me Matthew Chapter 28.

If you can turn there. If you didn't bring a Bible with you, it'll be up on the screen to help you out. And I wanted to make mention, you know, it's so many I love seeing guests and I met several of you for the very first time. I also love seeing families gathering and people coming with, you know, somebody, maybe their family member and things like that here on Easter Sunday. I appreciate each one of you coming. I did want to recognize one guest in the room.

That is awesome. And she doesn't want me to recognize her today. But I believe now I don't know where all of you are from or whatever, but I believe she came the furthest to be with us on Easter. All the way from Honduras is Miss Hannah. And it is so good to see you, one of our missionaries. And she surprised everybody in her family.

Let's give her a hand. And it is so you want to come on. Let's stand for just a second, Hannah, because you don't want to. And this is Hannah. And and so everybody say hey, Hannah. And you can have a seat. We're going to make you feel as awkward as we possibly can today.

And but no, she surprised people and came in all the way from Honduras. And Nicholas is over in the kids ministry today. We're super grateful that that they are here.

And so if you are with them, we support them and and to make sure that you go by and see her today. And I've never seen Roger in a better mood than he is today. And so it is excited.

I know they are excited about about that here today. Well, listen, Matthew Chapter twenty eight, if you're just joining us, we are finishing a series that we've been in over the last several weeks called Passion Week. And we've been taking each and every Sunday over the last five weeks.

This is week number six. We've been taken over the last five weeks, looking at every one of the events that led up in that final week of Jesus's life before the crucifixion and eventually the resurrection. And so we looked at the upper room experience. We looked at the Garden of Gethsemane. We looked at the trial of Jesus before Herod and before Pilate.

And we looked last week at the crucifixion. And then, as you know, today we are going to look at the resurrection here today from Matthew Chapter number twenty eight. And so we are going to read. This is a lot of reading. So I encourage you follow along.

I'll give some thoughts and commentary as we work through this together. We're going to read the entire chapter. So there's 20 verses.

And so we're going to work through this together here today. It says this verse number one, Matthew twenty eight. In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. Now, just to let you know, obviously Jesus had just been put into the tomb, into Joseph's tomb and buried him. And and at that point, they had put people together around a bunch of guards around the tomb as a result, because if you read in Chapter twenty seven, just a few verses before this, they were worried because Jesus had predicted that he would rise again. So they put people around that to guard the tomb. And so on the end of the Sabbath, here comes Mary and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. Here's what I want you to know up front, is that they were showing up at the tomb expecting Jesus to be dead.

Here's why why we know that. A couple of things. Now, the gospels are four different accounts from the disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And each one of them kind of give a different take on their experience in that day. We find that in the Gospel of Luke, they were bringing spices to anoint Jesus's body. Now you say, what in the world is that so different than what we do today? For them, this was very custom. This was a culturally acceptable and normal thing for them to anoint the body of a loved one.

Think of it like this is like for you. Many of you might even do this this week or whatever is you might go out to a graveyard, maybe the one out here or one that you have a loved one who is buried at. And you might put flowers or something like that on the grave. This is a couple of few days after Jesus died and was put into this tomb and that's what they were doing. And so but then we also know that they were expecting Jesus to still be dead because of the Gospel of Mark. They were discussing on their way there who's going to roll the stone away.

And so they were having this discussion about, hey, who's going to take care of this stone for us? And so they were not expecting. I know a lot of us think, well, well, Jesus predicted that he would rise again. So, of course, Mary and then we're headed there thinking this is the day and things like that. They were showing up expecting Jesus to do what every other person that had died did, and that's to stay dead. In fact, you know, one writer, I thought this was clever. This was funny. If you're into one liners, he said that nobody was showing up or he said nobody expected nobody there at the tomb because they were expecting Jesus to still be be dead there.

But here's what they found. Verse number two. And behold, there was a great earthquake for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him, that keeper, the keepers did shake. That's the guard, the Roman soldiers that were put there to make sure nothing happened. They were fearful.

They begin to shake and become as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye for I know that you seek Jesus, which was crucified. Verse number six. I want to read this together.

So if you would out loud, it'll be up on the screen or follow along with me. Let's read it together. He is not here, for he is risen. As he said, Come see the place where the Lord lay. Verse number seven says and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. And behold, he goeth before you into Galilee. There shall you see him.

Lo, I've told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy and did run to bring his disciples word. Now, a couple of thoughts about about those verses right there. Verse number six. When you know, well, when the angel rolled the stone away, I want you to understand something that that the angel was not rolling the stone away in order for Jesus to get out of the tomb. And here's why we know that is because you're going to see this if you follow along in the Gospel of John. When all the disciples, this is after Jesus's resurrection. Remember Thomas, who doubted and he just could not believe that Jesus actually did this and rose from the dead.

And so Thomas, who was doubting, they were all gathered there together, the disciples and Thomas was there. And we know that it says specifically in the Gospel of John, all the doors were shut and there Jesus appeared. You see, if Jesus wanted to get out of this tomb, he didn't need an angel to to roll the stone away. So the angel wasn't rolling the stone away in order for Jesus to get out. The reason the angel rolled the stone away is for the disciples.

And in this case, Mary and the other Mary to actually come in and to look and to see that Jesus indeed has has resurrected. And so when this happened, you can imagine the fear and the joy that we read about in verse number eight, as they they see that Jesus is no longer here and also the joy that comes quickly or that came with with that. The angel tells him something. He says, go quickly and tell the disciples what you just saw.

In other words, go quickly with this. Isn't it interesting that that at first the angel says come and see, but how quickly the messaging changed from not only come and see, but now to go and tell. And so in verse number eight, they quickly went with an urgent message that our world needs to hear. And everyone around us needs to hear. Your neighbors need to hear.

The people in Honduras need to hear the people at the uttermost parts of the world need to hear. And here's the message is that Jesus is risen, just like he said. Verse number nine. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying all hail. Now, I know that's not a term that we use a lot of times. I'm sure when you saw a loved one or family member that walked in here today, you didn't say all hail or anything like that.

Here's what you you probably would have said is what's up? A casual kind of hello. I want you to know that word in Greek, all hail. It actually can be translated the word rejoice. It's this idea that Jesus, when when he sees his disciples, he rejoice.

It's a casual, if you would, greeting from from him. And they came. And by the way, this verse is one of my favorite verses. You kind of overlook certain things because I think all the time. Verse number six is the one that we remember from this text the most. But I love what happened right after this as as they see Jesus, the one that just a few days ago. Now, remember this.

And I want to kind of stay on target. But this is so, so true and so good. If you remember right, Peter denied Jesus three times. You know that, right? But it says that the other apostles, all of them on the night of Jesus death, rejected him.

All of them. So so it wasn't just Peter. Peter gets kind of the bad rap in it. But every single disciple ran away from that night. And now they're all together. And here comes Jesus, the one that just a couple of days ago, they were denying before all of the Romans and the Jews.

I never knew this man. And now he's right before him. And he says, rejoice. And they hear his voice, the one that they just denied, the one that said he had come to take away the sin of the world. And look at what their response is. Their response is they came and they held him by the feet and they worshipped him.

Could you imagine that for a moment? You know, if you've ever traveled, you know, when your kids are really little and you went away for a long period of time or something like that, and you come back and your kids just they're maybe waiting by the door when they see they kind of run to greet you. And when they're small, they kind of grab you by the by the ankles and that kind of thing. And they just like, hold on. They're so excited. It's almost like that kind of picture.

Now, my kids are grown, so they don't do that. So it's more like my dog who runs up to me. And so he's the most excited in the house to see me every single time. And so but when you go up, you get that picture. And here in this moment, as Jesus is before him and he says, rejoice, they realize that he has risen just as he said. And their first response is to grab him by the feet and worship him. Verse number 10. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid. Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there shall they see me. And now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, of course they did, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave large money into the soldiers saying, Say ye, his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept. Isn't it funny how even in this moment they refuse to believe the truth?

They refuse to believe the truth that he is who he says he is. And he did exactly what he said he was going to do. And verse number 14.

And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him and secure you. So they took the money and did as they were taught. And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you all way, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

So here Jesus gives them the commission to go out and share the greatest news in all the world. He is risen. I want you to go back to verse number eight. This is the verse that we're going to look at for a few moments here today.

Verse number eight says this, and they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy. Those two phrase or those two words, fear and joy. We're going to look at that here today, here together. And those two words are not words that we put together very often, are they? They're not words where you think joy and fear, they they don't go together. In fact, many of you that have been afraid in your life or anything like that, you're not putting joy at the center of of that fear.

In fact, many of you would say it's the opposite, that they are separate words that don't ever need to be put together. But here, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary show up to the tomb and the angel tells them to go and tell this incredible news. The greatest news that that anybody the greatest news ever in history. And now here they are.

They're leaving. And the emotions that they are filled with above anything else is fear and joy. And I'm going to show you today how the resurrection of Jesus will produce both of those of those emotions in your heart. We should both have all of us should have both of these emotions when we think of the resurrection.

So the first thing I want to talk about is this. The resurrection of Jesus should produce fear in your your heart. Now, you're like, OK, this is not a resurrection message. Why are we why are we having to be fearful?

Now, here's what I want you to understand. Fear here is a little bit different in the Greek than than our English language. Right. When I was growing up, I loved the thought of being scared when I was a teenager. I loved when we would go out to scary things or watch scary movies or do one of those ridiculous, scary places to go and stuff like that.

I love those kind of things. Right. And stuff. But that's not the idea of fear here. I don't want you to think that that is the same idea that is happening here where they are literally afraid the way that you would think of being afraid is like.

In fact, the word fear in the Greek, it literally means this. They were alarmed. They were terrified so much to the point that they were trembling with the news of what they just heard and what they just saw.

And here's here's the thing, just to put it very plainly. Here's why they feared in that moment. And here is why the resurrection of Jesus should make every single one of us tremble. It should make every single one of us alarmed. It should make every single one of us a little bit fearful.

Here's why. If Jesus resurrected, then he is who he said he was. If Jesus resurrected, then he is who he said he was. And that news that Jesus being the son of God should make, that is the biggest news that every single one of us should tremble at the thought of that being true. You say, why is that? Why do we have to tremble at such news?

Because of this. It means that Jesus is the son of God. In other words, what they realized here in this moment, Jesus had been saying for all these years that he is the Messiah. He has come down from heaven.

And even then. And I love the disciples because I feel like they we can relate so well to the disciples from time to time, even after all of this. What does it say in verse number 17 after Jesus? There he is, the resurrected Lord and Savior in front of every single one of them.

It says that they rejoice. But at the end of the day, you know what some of them did? They doubted. They doubted.

They still couldn't get it. They still didn't really believe it. And because when you believe this, that Jesus is the son of God, it makes us tremble.

It should terrify us. In fact, the reason is, is when you look throughout scripture and you look at all the different sightings of Jesus, or you look at some of the moments where people really realized who he was. You know, I have to think about the gospels, the many miracles. You know what they did when when he spoke to the seas and he spoke to the wind and told it exactly what to do?

You know what they did? They marveled when they noticed it. And they were in shock, saying, what manner of man is this?

In other words, they're looking at one another saying, do you realize who we are dealing with? You see, when we realize who Jesus is, how about John? When he is getting a vision, you read about this in the book of Revelation, when he gets a vision of God, you know what happens to him?

He falls down on his face as if he were dead. You see, in the Old Testament, people, when when they were invited into the presence of God, some of them didn't even want to go because our wickedness and our brokenness and our sin and the presence of a holy, righteous creator, we might as well die in his presence. You see, the reason why the resurrection of Jesus for all of the for Mary and for the disciples, the reason why it was brought with such fear, such terror to the point of them trembling is because they realized Jesus is the son of God.

He is who he said he was. And they also, I believe in this moment, realize this, Jesus experienced the wrath of God for them. The reason why they were so fearful to the point of trembling is because in that moment, and I picture this, you know, as the angel told them, hey, come and see, they see and their minds are absolutely blown.

Right. And as you can imagine, and everything's there, all nice and in order. And they're thinking, this is not what we expected. And now the angel says, hey, fear not.

And which can you imagine? I'll tell you this. If somebody if I went out here to one of these graves and somebody wasn't there. Listen, the last thing I would want you to tell me is, hey, chill out.

Don't worry about it. You know, I'd be like, whoa, no, we're leaving. I am moving out of town. This is not where I'm going to be. OK. And so the angel casually says, hey, fear not. And then gives them this commission. Hey, go quickly, go quickly and tell the disciples what you have seen, that he is not here. And as they go, here's what I think they're thinking about on the way.

They're running and maybe jogging a little bit. And they're kind of they got all this news, their mind, you know, they're trying to talk and they probably can't even talk. And they're like, you know, what in the world has happened here?

But here's probably what they were thinking in that moment. Jesus is the son of God, but he also did exactly what he said he was going to do. He came to take away the sins of the world.

Knowing that thought alone, that Jesus suffered the wrath that they deserved. He became our suffering savior. He became our sacrifice.

He became your substitute. Knowing that was enough to make them tremble. It should terrify us that he is really who he is.

And he did exactly what he said he was going to do. But the second thing, not only should the resurrection produce fear in your heart. This is the one that we resonate with a little bit more. But the resurrection of Jesus should produce joy in your heart.

And here's why. If the resurrection is true, then Jesus had come to earth for them. You see, if the resurrection is true and that's what they realize when they start to understand and put all the pieces of everything that Jesus had taught and said he was going to do. When they put everything together and they left with fear and joy, it was a reminder. The reason why they were so full of joy is because they realized that the resurrection that Jesus came to earth for them, not to condemn them, but to rescue them. That's the point.

That's the point. That's why it was joyful is because here in this moment, he wasn't coming to present judgment to them. He wasn't coming to to send the wrath of God to them. No, he was coming to do the complete opposite. He was coming to be judged in your place and in my place. He was coming to experience the wrath that we deserve and the death that we deserved.

He was coming to experience all of that for you. And that should produce joy in your heart. Listen, we don't celebrate Easter because of our family. We don't celebrate Easter because it's a great time to go out and buy a new outfit. We don't we don't celebrate Easter for an egg hunt or for any of those things.

The reason why we celebrate Easter is because it is a reminder that Jesus has come for us and he has died for us and he has resurrected for us. That's the point. That's the point of the story. And this is why it should bring joy in your heart.

Here's why. A few things for you today, and I don't know everybody's story in here, but I hope this will encourage you. Guilt doesn't have to have the last word in your life.

You don't know why this is good news, why this should put a smile on your face, why you shouldn't you can be joyful regardless of what's happening around you. The reason is, is because because of the resurrection, guilt does not have to have the last word in our life. You see, what Jesus did is he took the guilt. You see, like for us, we got to understand that every single one of us, we were born into this world, into a family, a family of sinners. And because of our sin, here's what happened.

Every single one of us. That's every single one of you, parents, kids, they're really bad sinners in the other buildings. And here's the thing, every single one of us, we were all born into this world, into this sinner's family. And because of our sin, here's what the gospel says, we all fall short of the glory of God. Here's what that means, is that there's not enough good things that you could ever muster up to do in your life that can be good enough to reconcile you with the Father.

Nothing. And so all the guilt, many of you, think about it, when we do wrong, what happens? We're filled with guilt. You ever done that?

Right? You're filled with guilt and you can't make it right. Like I can remember as a kid, that's like the worst feeling when you've done something wrong to maybe your parents and you're just overloaded with guilt. I didn't do anything wrong as a kid, but that's a joke. But I can remember, I would get in trouble as a kid all the time.

And my parents were notorious for sending me upstairs to my room. And at first, you know, kids, they're tough. Like, man, I had every right. I had every right to do what I did. And that's not how I talked as a kid, by the way.

But you know, we feel tough and all this kind of stuff. Then I go upstairs to my room and I start thinking like, man, this is really not worth, you know, whatever. And I feel guilty because I shouldn't have done that. Yeah, they told me not to. I did it anyway. I started to feel guilty until I muster up kind of the strength and the courage to just walk down the stairs at my house and just say, hey, I'm sorry.

Right? But you know, that guilt is painful. The guilt of our sin is painful. You know what Jesus did on the cross for you? He took all of the guilt, every single thing that you've ever done right, the things that everybody in this room knows about, and also the things that nobody else knows about. And by the way, every single one of you have those things in your life that you're like, I hope nobody else finds out about.

Here's what I'm telling you. That guilt that all of us deserve because we were guilty before a holy, righteous God, Jesus dying took all of the guilt for you. He took it upon himself on the cross of Calvary. And when he resurrected, it means that the guilt of your life, it doesn't have to have the last word.

But the second thing is this. Sin doesn't have to have the last word in your life either. Like for some of you, shall you continue in sin? The scripture would say absolutely not. God forbid you consider continuing sin.

Here's why. It's because when Jesus died and resurrected, here's what he did. His resurrection gave you the victory over the sin in your life. So sin doesn't have to have the last word in your life. You don't have to consider or you don't have to continue in sin.

Here's a good one. The reason why we can have joy is death doesn't have to have the last word in our life either. Aren't you thankful for that? This morning we were up early and we were out here by our graveyard celebrating the resurrected resurrection. And we were we were grateful and we were praising God that because he resurrected, we one day will also resurrect. It's through his resurrection and believing in his resurrection that for us we can live forever. And death does not have to be your final end.

It doesn't have to be the end for you. In fact, you can go to the grave with hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have everlasting life in him. But the reason why is because he died and resurrected so that you can live again. You see, because of the resurrection, this is the good news for you. Because of the resurrection, we have hope that should produce everlasting joy. Because of the resurrection, we have hope that produces everlasting joy. Listen, I tell you this as a follower of Jesus, we can have hope beyond this life. We can have something we have something far greater to look forward to.

But here's what I'll tell you, because this has been all of our experience at some point in our life. When we hope in something other than Jesus, you're always going to experience disappointment. If your hope is in money, if your hope is in career, if your hope is in politics, if your hope is in any of those things and that's what you're hoping for, then you're going to be disappointed. That happens with everything that we hope in. Think about it this way, it happens in little stuff, it happens in big stuff. I was thinking about this when I was studying it, about disappointment. And we've all felt disappointment, right?

Haven't you been there where you hoped in something and you felt disappointed? Don't believe me, my in-laws all live in Jacksonville, Florida. And so we come and go and I worked in Jacksonville and so my parents live in North Carolina. So we're constantly traveling down I-95. In fact, when I went to or back forth up I-95, and so we do that multiple times a year. And when I went to college in Florida, that was my first time ever in Florida. I've never been there, never been to Disney World or nothing like that. And so when I went down there and I came back for the very first time, I began to see something that I looked forward to.

How many of you have ever seen one of these things? And listen, like for somebody who hasn't really traveled up I-95 a whole lot, I'm not going to lie to you, I was looking forward to seeing this place. And as I saw it, you know, it's like, hey, this place south of the border. And, you know, it's like 199 miles away.

And I'm excited about it. And every few miles you'd see another sign for south of the border. And for some of you that have traveled I-95, you love this, right?

At one time I think they had over 200 signs for south of the border on I-95. And I remember looking at this thinking, man, this has to be like the Disney World of the Carolinas that I'm going to experience. And I remember like seeing these signs, man, we're getting closer, we're getting closer, this has got to be incredible, there's got to be some awesome stuff there. And then when you get there, it's like this is the most, now if you're a south of the border fan and that's where you go on family vacation, I apologize, okay? But it's like nothing like what I expected, right?

When you see something like that where it's just like, man, this is going to be incredible and stuff, all they have is a huge sombrero that can seem from the road. But as I went there I'm like, man, this place is not all that it cracked up to be. And my hope eventually led to disappointment. Here's the point, is that for you if your hope is in anything but Jesus, if your hope is in anything but Jesus' death and his resurrection for you, I'm just going to tell you that it's going to leave you the way that I felt when I saw south of the border. It's going to be so disappointing, it's going to be a letdown, it's not going to be anything that you were expecting for it to be because money cannot fulfill you the way that Jesus can. Your career and your promotion cannot fulfill you the way that Jesus can. Popularity in school cannot fulfill you the way that Jesus can.

Sports cannot fulfill you the way that Jesus can. You see, Jesus can do something in your life far greater, and when you trust in him, when you trust in him, you can have eternal hope. In fact, one writer said it this way, life only has meaning if we have a hope that suffering and death cannot destroy. You see, life only has meaning if we have a hope that suffering and death cannot destroy. Billy Graham understood it when he said this, one day he was preaching, he said this, one day you will hear that Billy Graham is dead.

I'll believe it for a second, I'll be more alive than ever, I've just changed addresses. Here's the point, is that the resurrection of Jesus, it produces fear, but it also produces an eternal joy, an eternal joy that nothing can take it away from you. That's why the resurrection is so important.

So here's what I want you to do, this is what I always think when I preach, and I don't know everybody's story in this place today, I really don't, there's a lot of new faces, family members, guests, church people been in church your whole life perhaps, that kind of thing. Here's what we have to ask ourselves, every time the word of God is preached and especially about the resurrection, here's the question, so what? What does this even mean for us?

Why does this matter to me? Here's what I want you to understand, this means everything to every one of us. The resurrection is the greatest news in all of history. It is a matter, I want you to know this, if you don't know Jesus, I want you to lean in a little bit here as we close this thing up. This news of Jesus resurrecting is a matter of life and death for you. It is a matter of life and death, it's the greatest news ever.

You say, why is that? Perhaps, I get it, Easter, you might have slipped in and you don't know the whole gospel story. You don't know the gospel message. Listen, for a moment, I want you to realize why this is important and here's why, number one, without Jesus, you have no hope. If you slipped in here today and you're placing your hope, maybe I struck a nerve a second ago, and maybe you are placing your hope in your career, or you're placing your hope in popularity, or you're placing your hope in friends, or you're placing your hope in school, or you're placing your hope in your good works and what people think about you. You're placing your hope in you and you alone.

Here's what I'm going to tell you, it always leads to disappointment. Without Jesus, without placing your hope in Him and trusting in Him as your only way to reconcile your life to God, you have absolutely no hope. We've said this from time, the Bible is all about from cover to cover, it's pointing to one main narrative. It's pointing to this message that Jesus came to save sinners. That's the point. That's the reason why you're here. That's the reason why any of us are here. In fact, Genesis chapter one, I love to tell this because I hope that it makes the Bible make sense to you, but here's the thing, in Genesis chapter number one, we know the story God created the whole world, and here's what He did. He created man with this idea so that you could walk and talk with God, so that you could have a relationship with Him, so that you could be in fellowship with Him.

That's the reason why we were created in the first place. But all of that, He created the Garden of Eden for that. Genesis chapter three, Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. The relationship that they had with God changed. The fellowship that they had with God changed. And now they were cast out of the presence of God. They were cast out of the Garden of Eden. And now in between them, because of their sin and God, stood angels with flaming swords guarding the Garden of Eden. So because of their sin, there had to be a sword.

And by the way, because of your sin, there had to be a sacrifice. And so from the beginning of time, God, this whole plan, all the way from way back when Adam and Eve sinned, His plan all along is to redeem you and me back into that original relationship that He created us to have. And so all this time, the Old Testament stuff that you think is so boring, the tabernacle, the temple, those details, the reason is, is because God was creating places in His grand sovereign plan for Him to dwell amongst His people.

You see, that's what the Bible is. It's about God pursuing you and to have a relationship with you. Don't think for a second the Bible is about you trying to get to Him. No, it's not a story about you getting to Him. It's about a story, Him coming to you, not when you were looking for Him, but when you were rebelling against Him. That's the message of the Gospel. And so without Him, we have absolutely no hope. And so in the New Testament, Jesus coming, the reason why Jesus died is He became the sacrifice, that sword that stood between you and God, the sword of God's wrath, the sword of God's judgment.

He took it all on. And now because of that, the veil that was between you and God, the wall that was between you and God, you know what happened? Is now it was torn, it was broken in two, so that now I, through Jesus, through Jesus' broken body, I can now go into the presence of God, and the book of Hebrews says that I can come boldly into His throne.

Now why? Not because of me, but because of what Jesus has done for me. You see, that's the message of the Gospel.

And if you came in here today and you don't know Him, I want you to know something. You are firmly on this side, and in order for you to get to Him, the only way is for you to trust in the sacrifice. Jesus, the only way, the resurrection and the life, you have to trust in Him in order to be reconciled back to Him. But I'll tell you this, if you delay and wait, and Jesus comes back to get us what Jesus took for you, you're going to have to endure because you chose to reject Him. That's the message of the Gospel.

Without Him, we have no hope. So Jesus took your punishment upon Himself. He became your substitute, He became your sacrifice. So now, as a result, this is so good, this is the Gospel. Because He did all of that for you, you can now have a relationship with a holy, righteous God. But listen to this, Jesus was victorious over death, hell, and the grave, so that you and I can experience victory. We can experience victory. That means when you lose a loved one that knows Jesus, hey, it's not goodbye forever. We get to see Him again.

Why? Because of Jesus' resurrection. Because of Jesus' resurrection, we can have hope beyond the grave.

The work has been done, our choir sang about it, it is finished. That's the best news about Christianity, and that's what separates it from every other religion in the entire world. It's the fact that every religion that you research, here's what it's going to tell you to do.

It's going to tell you to do something. Hey, do this, live by this, follow this. There's always a step plan for everything else, and here's what I want you to know about Jesus. Jesus didn't say go out and do. He actually told us something far different. He said the work has already been done.

Everything, it is finished, all you have to do is believe and receive. That's it. You say, is it that simple? Yeah, yeah, it's that simple. It's simple for me as a five-year-old kid. When I was five years old, I trusted in Jesus as my Savior. I had ruined my life at five.

It's as simple as that. But listen, think about this. The thief on the cross, he deserved to die. He did die.

And Jesus, right before that thief died, said, you're going to be with me in paradise. He didn't have a chance to fix anything in his life. He didn't have a chance to go through any of the steps of membership. He knew none of the doctrines.

He knew nothing. But yet when we get there, he's going to be there. Why? Because of what he did with Jesus. Because of what he did with what Jesus has done for him.

And let me tell you this. The only reason any of us are going to live forever in the presence of God is determined by what we do with the man on the middle cross. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

There's something about that name. Would you pray with me? Heads bowed, hearts lifted in prayer. I'm going to ask our instruments to come. And they're going to play for just a moment.

And nobody's looking around. This is a time for people to do business with God. And here's all I want you to do today.

Here's all I'm asking for you to do. I just want you to open up your heart to whatever God is leading you to do. If you're in here today and you say, Pastor, I do not know Jesus as my Savior. I don't know him. And if I were to die today, I don't know if I'm going to be with him because I've never trusted in his sacrifice for me.

And I don't know him. If that's where you are here today, I just want you. Nobody's going to embarrass you. I promise you.

That is not my intent. But if you feel comfortable, would you please slip up your hand high enough for me to see it, long enough for me to recognize that if you don't feel comfortable raising your hand, I get it. Maybe make eye contact with me for just a moment. Give me a nod or something that you say, hey, listen, that's where I'm at today. I'm on the outside of God's presence. I've never trusted in him as my Savior. If that's you, anybody, anywhere, right now, wherever you're at, just make eye contact with me.

Raise your hand a little bit. And all I want to do is I want to include you in my closing prayer today. And then if you're in here today and you say, pastor, I've trusted in Jesus as my Savior. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm going to be with him forever one day because I've trusted in him and his sacrifice and his glorious resurrection.

If that's you, would you just by a show of testimony just raise your hand here today. Man, don't ever get over it. Don't ever make Easter about anything else. Look, there's a lot of fun stuff. Go with it.

Have fun with your family. But at the end of the day, the reason why we're celebrating is the resurrection of Jesus. He's the reason. He's the reason why we have victory. He's the reason why we have hope. He's the reason why sin and death and guilt and none of those things have to have the last word in our life. It's because of Jesus and what he's done for us on the cross and his magnificent and glorious resurrection out of the grave. That's what we get to celebrate.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 21:38:04 / 2024-04-16 21:57:17 / 19

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime