Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday: He Is Alive!

He is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!

   A most interesting statement that the Early Believers would say was “Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!”  Another would be: “Even so come Lord Jesus!” Both reflect the Resurrection of Jesus.

   That theme was central to the teaching of the early church and all through Church History.  When it became second or third level in the teaching and of interest and when it almost disappeared, then the Church suffered a decline in Her impact in the society. The Miracle of all miracles.  When the Power of God’s resurrection was missing in the teaching and preaching of the Message of Christ, the Church lost the foothold in people’s hearts and minds.  He is Risen!

Point One:  It affects my life.
   How had this Resurrection affected me? I now have Hope in the Risen Lord.  If He is raised from the Dead, than I have my sins covered.

It works like this.  God restores a dead and dying mankind through the willing sacrifice of God’s Son on the Cross. 

 At the cross, all the sin of the ages was placed on the heart of the sinless Son of God, as He came the racial representative of all humanity. From the cross, salvation flows to every believing soul. This is the Gospel, the greatest good news the world has ever heard. The Person of Christ: Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension. Basic Christian Doctrines, Carl F.H. Henry, ed. p. 139.

   So what does it do for us?  In short, that is the wrong question. So many times, people today want something. What is in it for me? What can I get of it? Do I get something back? How can this benefit me?

Being selfish, that kinda works for me.  I am sure it might be that way for you as well.  However, when it comes to THIS point, we need to step back and give room for Him to work.  Give room for Him to take center stage.  Life is not all about me: not all about what I could get out of life.  Life is ALL about HIM.  Who He is!  His Character.  His Holiness.  His God-ness. True, there are verses that say that IF you do this and that, you will GET that and this. But the whole meaning of the Gospel is that This Good News starts and finishes with Him.  His good news to Mankind—to you and me—is that He is Lord.  IS that He has power over life and death.  Is that He offers Forgiveness to all who call on Him.

   In 1 Cor 15:19-26, Paul describes what Resurrection meant to him:
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. 24 Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 

   As a Believer, I must give my attention to this teaching!  Again, it is not a Viking Style selection.  I will only choose what is pleasing to me.  When I put my trust in this One who died for me, I took the whole package.  The blessings along with the hardships.  The growth along with the pain of living.  The promises along with the results of my disobedience.  All for His Glory!

   We look at the story of this resurrection and we will see the result of God’s plan for all us humans.  He loves us.  His wish and His plan for our lives is for us to LET this resurrection really work into our day to day lives.  For us to live like His is alive. He is at work in Tohoku. He is at work here in Enoki-Cho.  last night, we heard of a 78 year old who wants to be identified with Christ in Baptism!

Point Two:  He is Faithful.
1 Cor 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

   Have you ever had a pet, esp a dog?  They are the most faithful of all friends.  Even after a long absence of being away from our dog, he remembers me and wants to please my every wish.  Faithfulness is a sought after quality in humans as well.  In a marriage, faithful is not only expected, it is a command of God on the couple.  When  one partner fails in this, the relationship is deeply tested. In friendships, there MUST be Faithfulness, otherwise, no trust will grow and the friendship will not survive. 

   Is it any different with you and God?  We know from the Bible that God is called the Faithful God.  We read about His Greatness.  About His Faithfulness.

   And He has a plan to show us His faithfulness.  He has, as this verse strongly says, CALLS us into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Because of His faithfulness, the Father did not let Jesus decay in the grave.  Because of His faithfulness, He called Him out of Death’s grip and set Him free.  God is Faithful.  Do you find that to be true?  Tell us why you believe that to be true?

   In closing, two verse that point to His Great Faithfulness.  One is Luke 1:27  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

The other is Romans 10:17.  The Source of ALL Faith.  Comes by hearing the spoken Word of God.  Like right here, right now, you are all called to believe this message of God’s Faithfulness. Do you hear me?  Can you believe?

This whole teaching is true as it is based on the fact of the resurrection of Christ!

The dying Jesus is evidence of God’s anger toward sin, but the LIVING Jesus is proof of God’s Love and forgiveness!