Date: April 9, 2023
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Series: The Power Of The Cross
He is risen. I did not require the Texas version of that him to be sung today, George freely chose it. All right, so listen with me. Now as we come to think about the resurrection. I want you to know that every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday for those who are in Christ. So I we meet on Sundays. It’s why we worship the Lord, because every Sunday he has risen. But we joined with the church through the long hauls of history. In celebrating love for is called Easter. We call it the festival, the resurrection and the festival, the Incarnation, celebrating both the resurrection of Jesus and the birth of Jesus. So it’s fitting that we come together one Sunday, a year and put particular focus on the resurrection, even while we know that every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday.
So listen now to Luke 24. Luke begins his account of the resurrection by saying, but and I love that he says, but because it’s a way of saying not just the sentence or two that came before that, but this he’s saying, all of the cross and the grave and the tomb and the death had occurred. But what comes next, but on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared, and they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. But when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead, He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified. And on the third day rise, the two angels that stood at Jesus tomb there in the way, Luke tells that story, and Luke 24, are telling these ladies, something really important, what they’re saying is that the resurrection is something Jesus had talked about, not just the crucifixion, but the resurrection is something he had talked about to help them understand that it is the central event in all of God’s telling of history, everything that he had determined to do, from eternity past into eternity future, all centers on this moment, therefore, they’re saying to the women who come to the tomb, don’t you remember that Jesus had declared you that all of this had to take place, not just that he would die, but that he would be risen? Church, we’ve come together today to think specifically about the power of the resurrection. Now over the course of the last several weeks, we’ve been talking about the power of the cross, we’ve been thinking about its substitutionary work and its work and bearing the wrath of God for us. We’ve been thinking about how it reconciled us to God the Father, when Jesus shed his blood on the cross, and how it redeemed us from the power of the devil, and from enslavement to him. We’ve thought about each one of those things. Historically, we think about the resurrection as God’s signature, which says, all of those works, I accept, the full payment was paid Christ’s work was sufficient. The resurrection is the evidence, it’s God’s way of saying, I put my stamp of approval on the work of Jesus, to be able to accomplish all of those things, to pay your penalty in his death, to bear my wrath fully and completely for sin for all those who would be redeemed, to reconcile you, to me in the right relationship. Not only that, but to redeem you from the power of one who hated you and was cruel to you, under his thumb, you were but I’ve purchased you, and you belong to me. The resurrection is God’s way of saying, It is finished in the work of Christ. But more than that, here’s what I want you to understand. As you come today, and as I come to think about the resurrection, we’re coming to think about something that demands and calls us out of halfhearted following of Jesus, it calls us out of fear and into confidence. It calls us into hope and joy, the resurrection is more than just God’s stamp of approval. It comes with a power all its own stemming from its ability to seal all the work that was done at the cross. But even further, it bears a power upon our lives. I want you to understand and walk in that path because here’s the thing, church, if you are a follower of Jesus, your life is supposed to be marked by the power of the resurrection. You are supposed to everywhere you go every day, every breath you take, bear, not just the marks of Jesus, humility and sacrificial love of the cross. You are to also bear the power of the resurrection in your very body. You are to be filled with it and the confidence that comes from it and The joy that comes from it, and the hope that comes from it, and the full hearted following of Jesus that comes from it. So maybe today you came because it’s Easter Sunday, not what we’re supposed to do. We’re here for tradition. But I pray that you walk out of here convinced that the resurrection is supposed to mark every moment of your life. The resurrection of Jesus is powerful. It dictates the direction of all history. It makes a calling upon your life. It works at the tiny level of an individual human heart, and the cosmic scale of all of creation. It dictates what happens in each of those spheres, and everything in between. That is the miracle of the power of the resurrection. Philippians 310, one of my favorite verses, says, I want to know Christ. If it just stopped there, that would be that’d be sweet and rich. But then he tells us something Paul does about how we know Christ. How is it that we shouldn’t know Christ, if I want to know Christ, and the very next thing he says is what do you see their church and the power of his resurrection? In other words, what he’s saying is, I don’t know Christ, until I comprehend, and bring in the power of his resurrection, into my understanding, and into my heart. If I’m going to know him, I got to know him and the power of his resurrection. Then he says, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. So do you see the cross and the resurrection, they’re saying, if you want to know Jesus, if you’re a person who is given to Jesus, a person who is fascinated by Jesus, a person who loves Jesus, a person who wants to know Jesus and spend their life knowing him more, you need to know him the power of his resurrection, and then the humility of a sacrificial love on the cross. You don’t know Him until you know Him in His cross. So you know Him in His resurrection. So I want to think with you today, specifically, we’ve been talking about the cross.
Now I want to talk about the resurrection with you and the power of that resurrection. Now, we got another service after this one, so I can’t give you 20 things. But we could just go and go and go, all right, I’m gonna give you three, okay, and they’re gonna go big to small, actually, we’re gonna go big to small to big again. Right? So I want you to think with me about the power of the resurrection, and its claims upon our lives. So the first claim the resurrection makes the first demonstration of power, is what we find in Romans chapter one, verse four. It’s this, that the resurrection declares the truth to the world. The resurrection declares the most fundamental truth to the world. Now, there are lots of things that are true, but nothing is truer than what the resurrection declares. Listen to what it is Romans, chapter one, verse four, Paul puts it very simply, he says, Jesus was declared to be the Son of God, in power, according to the spirit of holiness. How was he declared to be the Son of God, by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Paul begins his letter to the Romans that way, I mean, that’s the fourth verse of the entire book. The reason he begins there is because he wants them to understand the linchpin that the resurrection is, it’s deep importance to their lives. He’s saying you are to be a person marked by the resurrection. The thing I want you to know, is the first thing that that resurrection has done is it shouts to all the world, that Jesus is not just a man, he’s not just a good teacher, he’s not just a wise sage, he is the very Son of God. The resurrection is the declaration of it. Romans, chapter one, verse four, just burn that in your minds, because the thing church that I want you to see is that what the resurrection is declaring is not first something to our individual lives. It’s declaring something to the entire world. I was walking last night and praying for us this morning, asking God to fill us with love for his son asking for us, that we have helped from the spirit to see him clearly from his word. As I was praying, I was walking by these houses, and I just couldn’t help but think every one of these houses your resurrection is shouting into the sky. It is shouting into the universe, and it is shouting into every one of these homes, that Jesus is God in the flesh. The resurrection declares it now, we need to understand something there before we move on. It’s this is that Christianity does something that in the world’s eyes would be very foolish. It bases every one of its claims on an event that can be either historically verified or historically denied. Think about this, every other world religions makes all kinds of claims about salvation, about the nature of the world, the nature of God, how someone is reconciled to God or knows him. All kinds of claims, but essentially, all of those claims boil down to whether or not you believe the person who’s delivering In the message, and the only thing the message, the only thing that is that the message is based on is what they tell you. So you either take it, or you leave it. But Christianity doesn’t just base itself on things Jesus said, It bases itself and hinges upon Jesus historically claiming that he rose from the dead. If he didn’t, none of its true. If he did, all of it is true. That’s a big bet to make. Yes. Especially when the most powerful army in all the world and Rome had to do nothing more than roll open a tomb, take a body out of a grave and show it to all the people who were claiming that he’d been raised. Why wouldn’t they have done that? Because he wasn’t there. Because he was not dead. He was alive. It is a historical event. Paul tells us in First Corinthians 15, if he was not raised, then we’re still in our sins. We should be pitied more than anybody else on the earth because we’re fools. Why are we sitting here 2000 plus years later, still proclaiming that He rose from the dead. Because no one through all of history has been able to disprove it. Because it happened. We believe it. We don’t base it because of somebody saying something. We base it on an actual event that happened. What God is saying through Paul in Romans, is that the resurrection is shouting to everyone. Listen to me. He’s God. He is risen. No one else has done it. Has any other religious leader been raised from the dead? No. Has any other wise teacher been raised from the dead? No. Jesus has been raised by the Father, and He is alive. That’s the first thing that it teaches us the resurrection shouts to the whole earth, the truth about who Jesus is.
The second thing the resurrection does. Now let’s get down into the small cellular individual heart level. Because the resurrection declares to you today, something really powerful. It’s that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ. And the resurrection is the verification of that. So whatever you are facing today, some of you are walking in here, in deep turmoil and trouble in your life. Some of you are walking in in moments of peace. Whichever it is, or somewhere in between. You are met by the love of God, nothing can keep you from getting from that getting to you, from his love coming to you. Now, listen, I don’t mean, nothing can convince you that he doesn’t love you. I mean, nothing can keep you from the experience of his love in any and every circumstance. His love can be experienced today. In fact, here’s the miracle of the resurrection, and the cross. The things that in the past would have convinced you he didn’t love you. Now become the very place where you experience His love most. They now become the very center of your experience of His love. Let me tell you what I mean. Romans, chapter eight, verse 33, and 35 through 35, says, Who shall bring any charge against God’s let? It is God who justifies who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died more than that, who was raised. So there’s the resurrection. Then what’s the conclusion he’s going to draw from all this? Who is at the right hand of God who indeed is interceding for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? You see, what Paul is saying is, because Christ was risen from the dead, because he is raised, he is alive. Therefore not even death can keep you from the experience of His love. Not just I know he loves me, but that His love will show up. His comfort will show up in the very moments of famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword and all the things that are most difficult than in the past would have convinced us. I’m not sure I’m loved. Those things now become the space, the place where because of the resurrection, the love of Christ enters into those moments and ministers to you. You become more convinced you are loved by Him and more full of joy and more full of hope. I’m not suggesting those things are easy. I am suggesting that when you encounter them, Christ is with you. Because he’s alive. Think about what a difference that makes nothing in all of this world can keep God’s love from you. Now, it may be relatively obvious why that’s so important. But just think about the experiences of being loved in your life and how foundational they are for you. The love of a parent, I was saying about this with a man, the man is my wife. One of the things I wake up every day so thankful for is I wake up convinced that she loves me, I don’t, I don’t wake up and doubt her love, whether we’re in a fight or whether we’re doing great, I never doubt that she loves me. There is something so foundational, and so crucial to that love. It changes my behavior changes the way I live, I walk out the door, convinced that she will be faithful to me and I want to be faithful to her. I walk out the door convinced I want to guard my eyes and guard my mind. I walk out the door wanting to work hard to provide for my family, I walk out the door, wanting to be someone who grows and selflessness and kindness. Why? Because there is this foundation of love in my home that I’m walking out of. I’m so convinced of it. So certain of it, that it changes the way I live. I don’t do things I shouldn’t do and I do the things I should do. It’s all rooted in knowing I’m loved. Yes. How much more when it’s God’s love. The love of a spouse is a wonderful thing. The love of God far richer, far greater. That’s why I want you to see Church. The resurrection today is not just like it’s Easter, let’s talk about Jesus rising from the dead. No, listen, the resurrection makes it certain that you are loved today. You can carry that with you no matter what. No matter where you go. It works at the cosmic level, and says Jesus is God to the universe. It works in your heart and says, Don’t forget that you’re loved. I’m here risen from the dead to show it to you. So you’d see it and know it, and live in the confidence and the joy of it. So that’s what we need to understand. No, we do not live meaningful lives until we live convinced of the love of God.
Last thing I want to point out about the power of the resurrection, big to small, and then kind of a mix of big and small. I guess the last thing that we see that the resurrection does is that it guarantees a certain future in the world. For us, it guarantees a certain future in the world. For us know maybe you’ve never thought about this. But I want you to understand that what Christianity says is because of the resurrection, we know what the future will be. Christianity makes a claim to know everything about the future, not like whether you’re going to eat a ham or turkey sandwich tomorrow. Or an Easter ham today, which I hope you’re eating and Easter ham today. Not that but it makes a claim to say we know where all of this is going and how it ends. We know absolutely with certainty what will happen in the end. The reason we know why is because Jesus rose from the dead. It says that’s I can guarantee you, this is where the world is going. I can guarantee you this is the future that you have. If you’re in Christ. So look at it at both the grand level and then at the individual level. First Corinthians chapter 15, verse 20, which is kind of the the pivotal New Testament text on the resurrection. It says this, talking about the resurrection of Christ, it says, but in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Then look what he the conclusion he draws from that in verse 24, is this. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after destroying every rule and authority and power, you get that what Paul has just said as a prediction of the future, yes. He’s saying this is what’s going to happen. I’m telling you now, Jesus rose from the dead. As a result, there’s going to come a day where Jesus is going to return and he’s going to take the kingdom, which is to say all the authority in the earth and all the rule and reign in there. And he’s going to submit every earthly power underneath and to the Father and deliver that to him. Why can he do that? Because he rose from the dead. That’s a really big claim. All of world history is dictated by the resurrection of Jesus. We believe if you’re in Christ, that this day will come and our certainty of it, the resurrection of Jesus, that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that he will take the kingdom and all the kingdoms of the earth underneath that and deliver it to God and say now, the rule and the rain forever and ever of all people for at all time is yours. That’s what Jesus is able to do because he rose from the dead. But there’s one other little hint there. That’s not just at the grand global level, but at the very individual level. Did you hear what I said, when I read, Christ was raised from the dead, and he was the first fruits of all those who would be raised. This is mirroring what he says in John chapter 11.
If you remember his friend Lazarus has died. Lazarus, the sisters, Mary and Martha are distraught to Jesus, if you’d been here, he wouldn’t have died. Jesus asked the question, he says, Do you believe that your brother will rise again? Martha says, I believe he’ll rise again in the resurrection on the last day. Do you remember what Jesus’s response is? I am the resurrection and the life. In other words, the resurrection is here, standing in front of you embodied in a person. It’s not just a Sunday event. It’s now and it’s here, because I’m here. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the resurrection life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live? What did he just say? Bring those two texts together. Now church, what he just said is His resurrection guarantees that all who believe in Him will also be resurrected, will also be raised. Not only is it the guarantee that the world is headed in a certain direction, it’s a guarantee that you if you were in him, will head in this direction. This is what’s true of you. Both at the global scale at the individual scale, the resurrection of Jesus reminds us of something and here’s what that here’s what that boils down to First Peter, chapter one, verse three, talking about the resurrection for you now, church family listened to me for you. Plus, it’d be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His great mercy. It was his mercy that did this. He has caused us to be born again to a living hope. How? How is it possible that you today can be full of hope that can’t be killed? That’s what a living hope is? Yes. Oh, that cannot be taken away can be stripped from you can’t be stilted, can’t be taken, ripped away, put to death. cause you to be born into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Do you see how pivotal the resurrection is to your daily life? He is saying church family. This is not a nice thing to think about on Easter Sunday. The resurrection is to be central to your life, you are to be full of hope. You’re to be full of joy. You are to endure trial, and to persevere. How do you do all that? Because you are filled with the power of the resurrection. Romans chapter eight says the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead now lives in you with that same resurrection power, coming to bear every moment of every day, throughout your life. It is a certainty. It is a certainty that in the same way, the resurrection guarantees the direction of the world. It guarantees that you will one day be raised if you are in him. I want to just let’s just really make that as crucially pivotal as we can. Some of you lost someone this year, may have lost a parent, a spouse. I know every Sunday when I look at there are people some of you are losing someone precious to you. Everyone you’ve lost, who is in Christ, you will see again, they will be raised just as you will be raised. That’s how your life is full of hope. How do you meet death with hope? It only happens if you believe in the resurrection only happens if you know the death has not had the final word. The resurrection has the final word. That’s what Jesus claims in his death and in his resurrection, not just sealing the work of God in substitution and in reconciliation. But declaring power for believers today. Tomorrow and the next day until he returns and brings the resurrection and all its finality to bear upon our lives. Now, let me say one last thing, and then we’re gonna sing again. I want to remind you, because Easter Sunday is a tricky one. For pastors. The reason is, I mean, gosh, I’ll talk about the resurrection all day. I used to when I was like 13. I thought it was kind of corny or hokey. When the church would say he is risen, and everyone will respond. He’s risen indeed. Now I’ll say that 50 Times today if people will let me i couldn’t care less. I just want to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Because he’s not dead, he’s alive. It just I wake up with joy flooding my heart. It’s the first words out of my mouth. I want to be he’s risen. He’s alive. He’s not dead, my Savior, my king, and what I love more than life itself, he’s alive. But I want you to not just come for a nice little Easter tradition and go, yay, we talked about that He rose from the dead. I want you to take hold of that power. So let me just share with you. Just very quickly, how do you do that? How do you take hold of that power of the first as you have to believe friends, if you are not in Christ, the power of the resurrection does not fill you. The power, the resurrection is not yours, the power of death still reigns over your life, but the power of the resurrection is available to you and you don’t have to do anything for it. Other than belief. Here and believe. Christ, the Lord is risen, and it makes a claim on your life. I’m urging you to respond with belief. See it for what it is, open your eyes and see stop fighting against it. Stop resisting it, stop thinking other treasures in life are more valuable than that nothing is more valuable than a resurrected Savior. All the future depends on it. Not only that Romans 10 tells us if we believe in our free will if we believe in our heart that no if we confess with your mouth, Jesus, Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, then we will be saved. And I want to hit the other part of that confession, which is to say this, talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Talk about it to yourself in the mirror, talk about it with your family, talk about it with your friends confess, declare it out loud, and there’s something powerful in confession. There’s something powerful in saying out loud what Jesus has done and who he is much more than just holding it in your mind. Considering it in your heart. Do that too. Yes. But speak it out loud. Have you noticed the power you feel moving through you when you confess the truth out loud? When we sing the truth out loud together? Do you feel power in that there’s power in confessing what is true and speaking it out loud. Serve others, you want to be full of the power of the resurrection, God will fill you with that power as you live your life to serve others. As you use the things he’s given you to serve others be full of the power of the resurrection through service. The last is be a friend. Relationships are hard and they take power from on high to do them well. So if you want to be full of the power of the resurrection, you will experience the power of that resurrection as you commit your life to serve others and care for them and love them as a friend sacrificially and faithfully over the long haul. As you do that. Watch the power of the resurrection take hold of you and your ability to take hold of it increase.
Let’s pray together now. And sing again, in joy to the risen Savior. For Jesus, we love you. We thank you for your finished completed work at the cross and we thank you that it was made final through the resurrection. Father, thank you the Galatians one tells us that you raise the son in your power because you approved of his work. You declared it sufficient. And so today I pray that you would cause the power of that resurrection to fill us move through us that we’d be full of joy and hope and love all the things that it comes to bring. Would you receive our praises now in Jesus name we pray, amen. Let’s stand together church and sing.