Resurrection Power & Possibilities

Matthew 28:1-10

Introduction: Resurrection Sunday, the greatest day on the Christian Calendar. Why?

Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is About:

I. Assurances – verse 6

v. 6, ‘He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead just as he said would happen. Come and see.’

Question? Why is the resurrection so important?

  1. First, the resurrection witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting of death and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ is also important because it validates who Jesus claimed to be, namely, the Son of God and Messiah. According to Jesus, His resurrection was the “sign from heaven” that authenticated His ministry (Matthew 16:1–4). The resurrection of Jesus Christ, attested to by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3–8), provides irrefutable proof that He is the Savior of the world.
  • Another reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ is important is that it proves His sinless character and divine nature. The Scriptures said God’s “Holy One” would never see corruption (Psalm 16:10), and Jesus never saw corruption, even after He died (see Acts 13:32–37). It was on the basis of the resurrection of Christ that Paul preached, “Through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin” (Acts 13:38–39).
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ not only validates His deity, but it also validates the Old Testament prophecies that foretold of Jesus’ suffering and resurrection (see Acts 17:2–3). Christ’s resurrection also authenticated His own claims that He would be raised on the third day (Mark 8:319:3110:34). If Jesus Christ is not resurrected, then we have no hope that we will be, either. In fact, apart from Christ’s resurrection, we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of eternal life. As Paul said, our faith would be “useless,” the gospel would be altogether powerless, and our sins would remain unforgiven (1 Corinthians 15:14–19).
  • Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and in that statement claimed to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Christ, no eternal life. Jesus does more than give life; He is life, and that’s why death has no power over Him. Jesus confers His life on those who trust in Him, so that we can share His triumph over death (1 John 5:11–12). We who believe in Jesus Christ will personally experience resurrection because, having the life Jesus gives, we have overcome death. It is impossible for death to win (1 Corinthians 15:53–57).

The Scriptures and Jesus himself established a Savior who would be raised from the dead (unlike any other before or since).

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A prophecy that was used by the apostles when they first began proclaiming Christ’s resurrection is found in Psalm 16 (note Acts 2:25-28; 13:35-37).

The first eight verses of this fascinating psalm are best understood as coming from the lips of Christ as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest and crucifixion. But then He prays: “My flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:9-11). These verses speak poetically first of His burial, then His descent in the spirit into Hades, followed by His return into His body resting in the tomb before decay could begin, then His resurrection and ascension into heaven to be seated at the Father’s right hand. This verse, incidentally, contains the first of 21 references in the Bible to His present position at the right hand of God the Father.

https://www.icr.org/article/prophecies-resurrection/

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v. 6, ‘He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead just as he said would happen. Come and see.’

Jesus is not a fraud! The proof of His Resurrection gives me assurances.

Assurance = a positive declaration intended to give confidence! It is a promise or a pledge; a guarantee.

Application: The Resurrection gives me assurances that I am:

  • Genuinely Saved
  • Secure
  • Loved
  • That I belong (to Him)

Transition: The Resurrection is About:

II. Opportunities – Verse 8

v. 8, ‘as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And now go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen and going ahead of you to Galilee.’

Applications: Whenever and wherever Jesus shows up, opportunities abound!

  • To Move forward
  • To move ahead
  • To believe and find hope

v. 8 ‘Frightened but also filled with great joy.’

Application: What Jesus was providing was an opportunity for the disciples to not only be assured of their salvation but also of what God had for them as individuals and as the Christian community moving forward.

Yes, it can be a little scary and intimidating, but also exciting and full of complete satisfaction and joy!

Transition: The Resurrection is About:

III. Possibilities – Verses 9,10

v. 9-10, ‘And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.’

  • For a crowd of thousands of hungry people, Jesus provided sustenance.
  • Where leprosy had covered bodies, Jesus brought healing.
  • Even when Lazarus who had died, when Jesus showed up, life was restored.
  • Where marriages are struggling, Jesus can bring help, hope, and restoration.
  • When children go wayward, Jesus can bring the prodigals home.
  • Where anxiety and depression turn up like a flood, Jesus can bring peace.
  • In the midst of turmoil, Jesus can Calm the storms.

Transition: The Resurrection is About:

IV. Completion – Verse 18

Verse 18, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth, go…’

  • Make disciples.
  • Baptize them.
  • Teach new to obey.

‘And be sure of this: I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.’

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