Romans 8:11

 

There was a couple from Minnesota who decided to go to Florida for a few days to thaw out during one particularly cold winter.  Since both spouses worked, they had difficulty coordinating their schedules, so they decided that the husband would leave a day earlier than the wife.  The man arrived at his hotel with no issues so he decided to email his wife and give her an update. He was in such a hurry to get down to the pool he mistyped her email address.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. She sat down at her computer and saw she had received some new emails.  She began reading and let out a loud scream, fainted and fell to the floor; her son rushed in and found his mother on the floor; he glanced up at the computer screen and saw the following message:             To My Loving Wife: I’ve just been checked in. Everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then.    Your Devoted Husband   PS: Sure, is hot down here.

 

Two lessons – 1. Get with the times and quit using email   2. Make sure you type the correct address

At least if you send snail mail to the wrong address it will come back to you.

 

Would you scream and pass out if you got a message that made you think you were going to die tomorrow and go where it is really hot?
If you thought you were not going to go to Heaven when you died you would make some changes. I have only met one person in my life that wanted to go to Hell, because he thought it was going to be a party.  He was young and didn’t understand the seriousness of what he wished for.  Almost everyone wants to go to Heaven.  We all want to go to Heaven.  That is why you are here today, you know that it is important to worship Jesus and remember that He died on the cross and that He arose three days later.

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus (Hosanna – Praise His Name).

As Christians, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus every day. We live in the joy of His salvation and in the blessings of His grace.  That doesn’t mean that life is always smooth and without troubles but we know God is on our side and nothing will separate us from His love.  That is what we have been learning as we have studied Romans 8.
Romans 8:11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

 

If God raised Jesus from the dead He will raise you from the dead.

Does God have the power to raise the dead?

God had the power to create the universe in six days.

God had the power to create life, He created Adam and Eve.

If God created life it is easy for Him to restore life.

 

Remember the Valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37) (played song, Come Alive at beginning of service)

God can take a valley of dry bones and make a living, breathing army.  God was giving Ezekiel and the people of Israel hope while they were in exile in Babylon.  God was going to resurrect the nation of Israel.  We can see a double meaning – God has the power to restore dry bones and we know God has the power to resurrect us on the last day, the day Jesus returns and blasts that trumpet.

 

God has the power to raise the dead. Jesus raised the dead while He walked on earth and even His Apostles raised the dead in His name (Peter & Paul – Acts 9:36-42; 20:9-12).

 

We have all been to a funeral, we have experienced the deep grief of losing our loved one; a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a grandparent. Just mentioning death brings hurt.

Put yourself in the funeral procession, everyone is in their cars headed to the cemetery, you arrive at the cemetery and the pall bears are carrying the casket to the grave site and all of a sudden Jesus is there. Jesus tells the mother to quit crying and He walks over to the casket.

 

Luke 7:12 As (Jesus) approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14  Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16  They were all filled with awe and praised God. ”

 

That would be our reaction also. Praise God!  Our loved one is alive.

I am sure mom did not let go of her boy for a long time.

 

A similar thing happened at Jairus’ house.

 

Luke 8:49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.” 50  Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53  They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54  But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. …56  Her parents were astonished.

 

Her parents were in disbelieve – Jairus had left his dying daughter to go find Jesus and beg Him to heal her.  I can’t explain the pain of watching your child die and not being able to do anything, watching your spouse grieve, watching your kids, and family in shock and confusion.

On this side of the cross we can pray to Jesus but Jairus had to leave to find Jesus.  A brisk walk and some fresh air did a dad good, he was doing everything he could to help his little girl.  But while he was gone his little girl died.  Someone had to go find dad and tell him she was dead.  Like King David’s servants no one wanted to deliver the bad news.

A close friend found dad and took him by the neck and said, “She is gone.  Let’s go home, your wife needs you.  There is nothing Jesus can do now.”

Dad fell to his knees and cried out and then felt another hand around his neck, “I will heal her. Let’s go.”

Dad thought, “I want to believe that Jesus can heal her but I am realistic, how can He bring her back to life?  I am weak, I can hardly walk.”  Then I see my wife in a heap on the floor next to our little girl.  Jesus talks to her and she stands up – wow, praise God.  I run and hug her and don’t want to let her go.

 

Who is this Jesus that can bring a dead child back to life?

I have personally seen that power twice with my own kids.

Michael was not breathing and the nurses were trying to hide their anxiety.  I prayed and God extended his life 7 weeks.  Yes, Michael died again but we had him for 7 weeks.

Sarah lay dying in the hospital bed with no hope of recovery without a heart transplant.  She received her heart after being on the transplant waiting list for only 60 hours.  The heart, Brandon’s heart, that beats within Sarah today almost 17 years later was rejected by two teams of doctors for other kids.  Sarah was third on the list.  Praise God!  He brings life from death.

 

I have read two stories this week of teenagers who had critical brain injuries and the doctors did not expect them to recover. One was in a coma for 3 days and the other in a coma for 5 days.  Parents and family by their bedsides letting them go.  Grieving over a life yet lived.  Then “miraculously” unexplained by the doctors both teens opened their eyes.  One asked for mom and dad and the other one signed I Love You.

 

These experiences are the closest thing I can think of to a modern-day resurrection.

Grief to hope / despair to joy

The power of God, the power of the Resurrection.

 

It is hard to believe if you don’t see it with your own eyes.

That is why it was hard for the disciples to believe Jesus rose from the dead when the women came back and said the tomb is empty. That is why it was hard for Thomas to believe when the 10 disciples told him Jesus was alive.

That is why it is hard for people to believe today – I get it – It is hard to believe unless you see. Unless you can believe the person, who did see it.

You read a news story and think that can’t be true and with so much Fake News floating around you are probably right.  But if you trust the news source you may think that is hard to believe but I will accept it.  Then you can do more research on the subject and determine the truth of the story.

 

We can believe the record of Jesus’ resurrection because we can trust the Bible.

We can believe because we have historians who recorded facts about Jesus’ life and death and that His followers claimed He was alive. We will look at some of these tonight but let me give you one example now.

 

Lucian of Samosata was a 2nd-century Greek satirist known for his wit and sarcasm. Even though Christians were the object of his snarky, he affirmed certain details about them:

“The Christians … worship a man to this day – the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…. [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.”

(Lucian, “The Death of Peregrine”, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4., cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.)

 

Lucian in his mockery told us that Christian’s worshipped a man who was crucified because of what He taught.  If Jesus was not a historical person or was not crucified Lucian would have made fun of Christians for believing a in a fairy tale.

 

The Bible is a trustworthy account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Because of

 

We can believe in Jesus resurrection because we see that the disciples’ lives were changed.

The disciples went from hiding behind a locked door after Jesus was crucified to be willing to die for preaching that Jesus was alive. People will not die for a lie.  The disciples had firsthand knowledge that Jesus was alive, that fact changed their lives.  Every one of the Apostles were tortured and killed because they taught that Jesus was alive, save John who survived being boiled in oil to die of “natural causes” while in exile.

 

Matthew – killed by stabbing as ordered by King Hircanus

James, son of Alphaeous – crucified

James, brother of Jesus – thrown down from a height, stoned and then beaten to death at the hands of Ananias (circa AD 66)

John – tortured by boiling oil, exiled to Patmos in AD 95

Mark – burned during Roman emperor Trajan’s reign

Peter – crucified upside-down by the gardens of Nero on the Vatican hill circa AD 64

Andrew – crucified on an “X” shaped cross by Aegeas, governor of the Edessenes, around AD 80

Philip – stoned and crucified in Hierapolis, Phrygia

Simon – crucified in Egypt under Trajan’s reign

Thomas – death by spear thrust in Calamina, India

Thaddaeous – killed by arrows

James, son of Zebedee – killed by sword in AD 44 by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judea

Bartholomew – beaten, flayed alive, crucified upside down, then beheaded

 

The resurrection of Jesus changed the lives of the Apostles and thousands of others who were witnesses to Jesus’ crucifixion or who was alive and living in Jerusalem at that time of Jesus resurrection. Thousands of people who had firsthand knowledge of the truth put their trust in Jesus.  Even priests who had much to lose left their profession and heritage to follow Jesus who was crucified and resurrected.

 

Acts 6:7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

 

There is enough evidence to believe in a risen Savior named Jesus. Will you believe?

Because you believe have you been changed?

Changed from living for self to living for Jesus.

As a Christian you have God the Holy Spirit living in you.

As a Christian you have the hope of Heaven

 

Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in him, …10  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11  and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 

If you want to be resurrected from the dead and go to Heaven then you must surrender your life, your will to God’s and consider this life and all it offers as rubbish. Then you will know the power of Jesus’ resurrection through a changed life.

 

Are you ready to surrender your life to Jesus today?

Are you ready to have your sins forgiven today?

Then come forward as we sing and be immersed into Jesus.

Be buried with Him in baptism and raised to a new life in Jesus.