Something that happened 2000 years ago that no one today has witnessed today.
Some say Jesus is only a myth and didn’t really exist
Jesus is mentioned in writings by both Jewish and Romans nonbelievers as having been an actual person Josephus a Jewish historian who wrote of the time of Christ and both Tacitus and Pliny men who held the highest offices of state in the Roman government with disdain wrote about Jesus.
In the earliest writings of Jewish rabbis they renounced the birth of Jesus as illegitimate
The Gospels and all of Paul’s letters were written within the lifetime of many who witnessed Jesus and easily could have refuted them but they did not
Some say Jesus didn’t really die on the cross just passed out from the torture
– Modern Forensics and medical research have described to us that no one could survive the type of torture Jesus went through from the beating with the cat of nine-tails to the crucifixion itself and then evidence of blood and water flowing out of their piercing His side (See “A Physicians view of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C Truman Davis Or “on the physical death of Jesus Christ”, Journal of American Medicine March 21, 1986
– Jesus death was never disputed by the Jews, neither his enemies nor his friends. Those who hated him try to cover up his death and resurrection through bribery.
Some say he didn’t rise from the dead
– His life was witnessed for forty days after the crucifixion
– the earliest creed pronounced by the church which included many who were alive at the time proclaims Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
So you are saying to me maybe Jesus did live, die, and resurrect what does it mean to me?
According to Psychology Today magazine, our greatest fear as human beings is death
The resurrection takes care of that one in a very big way
It shows us God’s absolute power over life and death
And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus is talking and he says….“Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
God spoke through King David in Psalm 139 when he said “And in Your book were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”…..all of our days are number by God life and death are completely in His hands.
When this life ends our new life begins with Him face to face 2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
To further emphasize we don’t need to live in fear of death or anything for that matter.
If this all happened then Jesus words are true
– He prepared a place for us in heaven John 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
– He promised us life and life abundantly…in a contrasting statement Jesus compares what life is like when we live a life trusting him versus a life of trusting in ourselves John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit confirms that not only does Jesus give life but He is life and gives it freely to anyone who believes
1 John 5:11,12 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
– friendship with God John 15:13-15 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. We must understand that God not only loves us…but he likes us as well
– Joy – with so much heart-ache, fear, and shear exhaustion He promised us joy John 15:9-11 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
It proves to us that Jesus is who he claimed to be
If He said he would arise from the dead and he did then you can count on everything else that he said to be true
This also deals with our second greatest fear as human beings….being abandoned, rejected, unloved
– he claimed to be God…John 8:58
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him.
every time Jesus used an “I AM” statement he was further emphasizing his divinity
“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)
“I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)
“I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6)
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
“I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)
“I am the door” (John 10:9)
“I am the living bread” (John 6:51)
“I am the true vine” (John 15:1)
“I am the Alpha and Omega” Rev.1:7,8)
One of His favorite titles for himself was that of son of Man
Daniel 7: 13,14
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
Jesus was not hiding his divinity but he was not arrogant to say of himself all the time…I am a teacher, Messiah, or prophet but the PhDs of the law knew what he was saying, they threatened to stone him, called him a blasphemer knowing exactly what Jesus was saying
– that God loves us
God loves us – John 3:16, 17 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Contrary to popular belief Jesus didn’t come to condemn anyone but the religious but to bring everyone to the truth of his love…then when we come to that truth we don’t need condemnation because real love draws us to him and away from sin, religious and all the things that makes us feel alone, abandoned, rejected
God ‘s love seen …“thief on the cross” –
– man recognized Jesus as Lord
– nothing he could do but ask
– today you will be with me
This is just part of the big deal about Easter…but now that you know this, allow me to ask a couple of questions
Believing the Easter story is true gives us hope that there is life after death and there is…we will all live eternally live the challenge is where? Heaven is based on believing that Jesus is who he said he is, a relationship with Him which in a relationship we are welcomed into His home as our new home because of relationship, not rules but love..Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you know him as a friend? If not we can make that right on the Easter morning
Second, you may have had a relationship with Jesus at a point but life happened and you forgot about keeping that relationship strong…let me tell you a secret….God hasn’t forgotten about you! He still sees you, He still knows you and loves you…prodigal son story Luke 15:11 – 32
Is it time for you to come back home?