NO REGRETS: EASTER
Sunday, April 16, 2017
- Have you ever said something or done something that you regretted?
- Some of the things we regret, we wouldn’t want anyone in this room to know about. We wouldn’t want them up on the screen.
- Bible: Sin – and sin has a part to play in Easter
- If you’re not a Christian, you still have a moral code. Issue is still there. What do you do to resolve the things you regret? How do you eliminate the regret, guilt, or shame?
- We seek to resolve it by: Comparison (It’s not like I killed someone!), Justification (Everyone does it, no one’s perfect, I did it because [insert excuse here]), Balancing the Ledger (I’ve done a lot more good stuff than bad stuff)
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (879)
12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.
- The resurrection is central to our faith – it’s the key to the plot
- Without the resurrection, sharing the gospel is a waste of time and your faith is useless
15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost!
- Without the resurrection, crucifixion has no value \
- It would have been an incredible story of sacrifice, but it wouldn’t have accomplished what Jesus said He came to do – bring salvation to all of us
19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. (879)
- Without the resurrection, our faith is just a lifestyle choice, and people should feel sorry for us (and we should regret our decision)
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (879)
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. (879)
- Paul: Jesus death, burial, and resurrection were all predicted or prophesied by the Scriptures (OT).
- It’s not just that there was an empty grave without Jesus lying there. It was the physical witness by hundreds of people (Peter, disciples, over 500 people, James, apostles [other church leaders]), and finally by Paul.
- “Most of whom are still alive…” – this wasn’t long after the fact, when everything was hearsay. This was recent enough that most of the witnesses were still alive.
- One of the witnesses was James, Jesus’ half-brother / skeptic most of Jesus’ life but became a key follower and leader of the early church, author of the book of James in the NT – What happened?
- Luke in Acts 1:3 – “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (830)
- When they were going to replace Judas, a criteria was that person had to have seen the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:21-22).
- What if it was just a conspiracy theory? They were willing to experience incredible persecution, including beatings, torture, imprisonment, and for most of them death as martyrs for their beliefs. And on one cracked.
BIG IDEA: The resurrection is greater than your regret.
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (880)
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The ultimate end of sin is death / the resurrection has conquered death – swallowing it up and taking away its sting
- The resurrection is greater than our regret
- “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret of the past and fear of the future.” – Fulton Oursler
- Why do we celebrate Easter? Because the resurrection of Jesus eliminates our fear of the future and the regrets of our past.