What The Resurrection of Jesus Means

Bible Book: Matthew  28 : 1-8
Subject: Easter, Resurrection; Everlasting Life; Empty Tomb, The

WHAT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS MEANS

Dr. J.Mike Minnix, Editor, PastorLife
Introduction

Matthew 28:1-8

The word spread through the streets, “Jesus is dead!” Surely the Roman soldiers sent the word quickly to Pilate. “Jesus is dead!” He might have asked, “Are you sure?” They had no problem answering him, “Jesus is dead.”

His followers heard the word and how their hearts must have fallen. His enemies heard the word and how they must have rejoiced. For some He was just another victim of the Roman system of capital punishment.

Jesus is dead! The Pharisees must have said those words with a sly grin. At last, they thought, he is gone, and they were rid of this pestilence.

The Romans had several poetic ways of describing death.

1. Sickle

A sickle was used to cut grass, weeds and grain. Once the sickle passed through the blade, all was lost and no life existed.

2. Jailer

This pictured a jailer placing a person a cell and throwing away the key. No escape was possible.

3. Crushed Flower

A flower, once crushed, cannot be returned to bloom or to life.

4. Broken Harp

Once broken, the harp offered no pleasant sound – no life – no joy. Death was the breaking of the harp.

To the Roman mind, Jesus was dead and He was never to return.

The disciples whispered the words in dark rooms where they were hiding, “He is dead.”

His mother must have recalled the words the angel said to her at His birth, “Of his kingdom there would be no end.” Now she whispers, “He is dead.”

Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb, and the tomb was sealed by Roman guards so that no question was possible regarding His death. Guards were stationed at His tomb to ensure that no foul play would take place – His body could not in any way be removed. Friday turned into Saturday with weary guards taking turns guarding the tomb. I’m sure they asked, “How long are we going to have to guard the tomb of a dead man. For heaven’s sake, what do they expect? Do they think someone can move that massive stone? Do they imagine that He might rise from the dead?” Such a question was likely followed by laughter.

Saturday passed and at 6:00 PM that evening, Sunday began. Of all those thrilled by the death of Jesus, surely Satan was most happy. This was a dream come true for the slew-footed demon head. His desire to acquire the glory due to be given to the Lord was now his, or so he thought. Actually, a rumbling and stirring occurred at day break on Sunday.

Jesus is not dead – HE IS ALIVE.

When the women went to the tomb, they found the stone rolled away and Jesus had risen. At first it must have seemed implausible – impossible. Yet, He was not in the grave – He was alive – HE IS ALIVE!

No wonder Paul penned the words, “Where, O death, is your sting?”

Today we celebrate the victory Jesus won over death and the victory He gives to those of us who have placed our faith in Him. Jesus said, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive evermore. (Revelation 1:18)”

Think with me for a moment on this Easter Sunday of the importance of resurrection and what it means.

I. The Resurrection Proves that Jesus is Who He Said He Was

Look at John 10:17-18, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

One proves what he says about himself by what he does. Without the resurrection, the words of Jesus cannot be trusted. He is exactly who He said He is. He will do what He said! He keeps His Word because He is the Living Word. This fact secured forever the veractiy of Jesus and the worthiness and trustworthiness of God's Word. We live in a world of lies. Fake news is everywhere. But, there is One you can believe - Jesus is The TRUTH.

II. The Resurrection Promises that our Resurrection Will Take Place

We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”

The resurrection of Jesus gives us the assurance that all those who die in Christ will live with Him forever. That is exactly why it was important for Jesus to reveal Himself to His disciples after He rose fromt he dead. You realize, of course, that Jesus could have risen from the dead and ascended to heaven without revealing Himself to anyone. He could have, but He didn't. He rose and appeared to His followers for the express purpose of giving them peace and assurance concerning their own resurrection. Those disciples, like so many in the world today, went out to face torture and death for their faith. It was important for them to know that life beyond the grave is real. The risen Lord gives each of us that assurance today. What a Savior we have!

III. The Resurrection Provides our Future Inheritance

1 Peter 1:3-5 reminds us that the resurrection of Jesus grants us a living hope which is reserved in heaven for us by the power of God that raised the Lord from the dead. Your home in heaven, and all that goes with it, is based on the power of God that raised Christ up from that grave! John 14:1-6 is true, there is a home waiting for us because the risen Lord procured it and provides it through His resurrection power.

We cannot imagine what awaits us in the heavenly kingdom, but the resurrection of Jesus tells that He keeps His Word and that He has a place prepared for each person who places faith in Him. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." Christ rose and ascended, and part of His purpose was to go prepare a place for us. Wow! A place just for you - a place just for me. The risen Lord is proof that a home awaits us in glory.

I read somewhere recently that most people in America will move more than 7 times during their lifetime. My wife and I have moved 20 times in the 56 years we have been married. Most of that was in our early marriage when I was in the Army, then during our years of study and ministry while getting my college and seminary education, and then also in ministering in different places. It always takes some time to get used to a new place - a new home - a new town - new neighbors - new friends. Let me tell you something I believe very deeply. When you get to heaven, you will be more at home than ever you have been in this world. The moment you arrive it will be a "place for you".

IV. The Resurrection Powers our Walk With God Today

We serve a risen Savior! We are not just living for Jesus – He is LIVING IN US. Without Him, I can do nothing; but, with Jesus, all things are possible. The risen Savior is with those who have trusted Him.

We read in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

I don’t live the Christian life in my power, but rather I live it in His resurrection power.

What are you facing in your life? As a Christian, you are never alone. You have a friend closer than a brother. You have a presence and power in you that transcends energy, space and time. You can do all things through Him (Philippians 4:13). Lift up your head and your heart. Jesus lives and His life is in you.

Conclusion

A little girl spoke of the Savior and how much she loved Him. A man said to her, “My dear, little girl, you have no idea what your talking about.  There have been many who claimed to be the savior.” She answered, “Well, all I know is that the one I believe in is the One who rose from the dead.” Amen!

Do you believe in Him? Sadly, there are many who have never trusted in the risend, living Savior. Often people will attend an Easter service simply because it is a special day – a family day – and we are so glad that means that many of you came to church on this unique Christian occasion. But, most importantly you need to KNOW the risen Lord. This is not about religion or church, it is about a living, risen, reigning Lord who loves you and desires that you have eternal life. Do you know the risen Christ? You see, Jesus came, not just to save us from a terrible judgment but to also grant us a meaningful and beautiful life in the here and now. Turn from you sin, place your faith in the risen Lord and He will save you, keep you, and take to live forever with Him one day in the future.

Also, however, let those of us who know Jesus recommit out lives to Him. He came to give us life and that more abundant. Let me tell you an interesting story that was told by Warren Wiersbe,

William Randolph Hearst once read of an extremely valuable piece of art, which he decided he must add to his extensive collection. He told one of his agents to find that piece of art to pay the price necessary to buy it. So, the agent went in a search for this wonderful art object and he sought the piece in all the great art houses of the world. After many months of meticulous searching, the art object was found. It already belonged to Hearst – it was in one of his warehouses and he didn’t even know it.

So many Christians are searching for more joy, peace, purpose and direction, and don’t realize that in Christ you have the riches of heaven already at your disposal. The risen Lord is in you – He is with you. Come again to Him today and recommit your life to the living Lord!