Because Jesus was Resurrected from the dead we have the promise of being resurrected also.

1 Kings 3 / 1 Corinthians 15:54

As we read our Bible reading this week we read about a King – a king who was the wisest King (1 Kings 3:12).  A King who had it all.

His people were in awe and the nations around him sought an audience with him (1 Kings 3:28; 4:34).

King Solomon was great and he started well – as a young king he asked for wisdom to guide God’s great nation.

God granted him wisdom and he wrote more than 3,000 proverbs, we have many of them in the book of Proverbs today.  One most of us know is:

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Solomon trusted but not always. He allowed the influence of others, his pagan worshipping wives, to lead him to turn his back on God for a time.  But in the end Solomon knew what was important and instructed others and himself.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Are you here today and you have never wavered in your faith or faithfulness – excellent – don’t ever let the influence of others or the influence of good things pull you away from what is most important.

Most of us are here today and have wavered from time to time in our faith and our faithfulness.  We know what is most important and that is why we are here today.  We want to make Jesus the most important part of our life.

Let’s help each other keep Jesus as the most important thing in our lives.

Solomon said, “Fear God and keep his commandments”

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

It is not always easy to Love God and follow His commands but that should be our goal.

As we depend on Jesus daily it will be easier to follow Him.  As we worship together and serve together we will be able to encourage one another in our growth and faith.

We are here today to remember what Jesus did for us nearly 2000 years ago but also to thank Him for what He does for us every day.

Society is celebrating Easter – just another spring holiday – a great day to be with family and eat too much.  A day for bunnies and eggs.  That is sad if that is all they know.  Make sure you let others know that today is not about an Easter bunny who gives eggs but of the King of kings who forgives sins.

We celebrate the Resurrection – the anniversary of when Jesus conquered death.  As Christians we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus every Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus every day.

Jesus’ resurrection means we are forgiven and free.

Jesus’ resurrection means we don’t have to fear death.  The grave has been conquered.

1 Corinthians 15:52 … For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. … 54 … “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” … 57 Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise God!

We walk in freedom and victory because of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave.

Jesus is Alive!  He is alive and active in our lives today.

He is with us in the middle of the difficulties of life.

Jesus’ last words were: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

God is with you – Do you know that He is on your side?  Do you know He loves you?

Do you know He wants the best for you?

Romans 8:34 … Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus died and was raised to life and He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  WOW!

Nothing will separate us from His love.  He loves you just the way you are.

The only question is will you return His love?

Do you understand that Jesus left the glories of Heaven to die on an old rugged cross?

Philippians 2:6 (Jesus), being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

That is how much Jesus loves us – willing to leave the perfection of Heaven, become a servant and die on a cross.  He knew the resurrection plan of the Father but He still had to suffer.

At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry He cleansed the Temple.  The religious leaders had turned God’s house of prayer into a den of robbers.  They leaders questioned Jesus’ authority.

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”

Jesus was speaking of His death and resurrection but the leaders thought He was talking about the Temple building.  The Temple has connections back to Solomon.

Solomon built the first Temple in 939 BC and it stood for nearly 400 years until it was destroyed by the Babylonian army.  After the Israelites were released from 70 years of captivity Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple.  After about another 400 years the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 62 BC.  When Herod the Great came to power he restored the Temple to gain the favor of the Jews.  It is “Herod’s” temple that Jesus cleansed – at that time in AD 28, they had been restoring the Temple for 46 years – but “Herod’s” temple would not be finished until AD 63, just 7 years before it would be destroyed again.  By AD 70 the Jews had taken control of the city and Titus, and the Roman armies came in and destroyed the Temple for the final time.
Each Temple was destroyed because the people turned their backs on God.  God removed His blessing and allowed foreign armies to come and desecrate His Holy Temple.

There is not man made physical temple today.  Why?

Because we are God’s temple –

All Christians together are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

The Apostle Paul also tells us that individual that our body is a temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Just like the three Temples in the past were destroyed because the people where not faithful our temple will be destroyed if we are not faithful to God

That doesn’t sound like good news – the Good News is that Jesus came to die on the cross so that we are not destroyed because of our unfaithfulness.  Jesus took our punishment.

That is why Good Friday is good – It is not good because we celebrate the death of Jesus but because His suffering brings us peace – forgiveness – hope.

Good Friday is good because Sunday is coming.

Jesus’ death has meaning because of His resurrection.

Three men died on a cross that day.

We worship only one, because He did not die because of His own sin, but He died because of our sin.

The other two men died that day as a consequence of their sin.  But they too had different ends.

One died in rejection, the other in reception.

One thief said, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us” (Luke 23:39)

The other thief said, “Lord, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.”  (Luke 23:42)

So that day three men died.  One died in sin and is suffering for eternity.

One died to sin and is with Jesus as Jesus promised.

And one died for sin.  He took our punishment and gave us life.

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died for you – today as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection you can be resurrected too.

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

Come just as you are and let Jesus give you a new life and the promise of a resurrection into Heaven when your days on earth are done.