SUN RISE SERVICE
1 Corinthians 15:55
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: Every year the newspapers and magazine had articles and stories denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many discredit Jesus totally seeking to destroy the faith of those who believe in Him.
There is a group called the Jesus Seminar who meet twice a year to debate technical papers that have been prepared and circulated in advance. At the close of debate on each agenda item, Fellows of the Seminar vote, using colored beads to indicate the degree of authenticity of Jesus' words or deeds. Dropping colored beads into a box has become a trademark of the Seminar.
In 1996, they declared that Judas was not guilty of betraying Jesus. They presented the evidence from the Gospel writers against him...but the panelists declared it was highly unlikely Judas would have betrayed his master for 30 pieces of silver. Some concluded that probably the Apostles helped Judas if he did do it.
The attack in on the historical Jesus Christ and it is not new. They conclude that nothing the Bible says Jesus said can be trusted. The Jesus Seminar has published the Gospels marking in red the words they think Jesus actually said. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5-7 on two words are in read, Our Father, and Love your enemies.
Yet, these so called scholars do not agree with each other. Each has his own view and axe to grind and the only thing in common is they all seek to destroy the historical Christ Jesus and they all deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
They all have a problem though.....they have a question that they do not dare address....... This question is one of the oldest recorded questions in the world.
It is found in the oldest book in the Bible, the Book of Job:
Job further answers the question: "...all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come". The word "change" means "renewal." The fact is that Job was looking to be resurrected.
Isaiah about 700 years before Christ came, Prophesied of the most important event in the history of man.....
Isaiah 25:8 "He will swallow up death in victory and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces".
In Isaiah 26:19 "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
David said in Psalm 16:9 "Therefore my heart is glad, and by glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thy wilt not leave my soul in the grave; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
In the New Testament Paul writes to comfort those who had loved ones who had died:
Verse 57 says: "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"
We may be just ordinary folks, not perfect in any real sense. We may have little to boast of, and yet rich or poor, strong or weak, success or failure---in the worlds eyes--, those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior have the victory coming!!!
This is a wonderful message, a message of hope. It sheds a pure and all revealing light on man's greatest fear, on the greatest mystery.
God tells us this: Death does not have to be feared, there does not have to be any mystery!
This message must be understood by all who hear it that the SURE Hope promised in the Coming of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WILL BY SIMPLE FAITH TRUST IN HIM.
ROM. 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
What is the importance of Christ's resurrection?
Simply this: Man is a created being, made by God. Man is also a sinner. Each of us--none excluded!
That's why Christ's resurrection is important, man is a sinner and needs forgiveness of sin. Christ died and paid for our sins, that all men "could" have eternal life, if they would accept Salvation.
Job in Job 14:14 states his assurance of being resurrected, and being forever in the presence of the Lord. But also in 21:30, he states the chilling Truth, that "The wicked, are they reserved to the day of destruction? He answers: "they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath".
The vital part of trusting Christ, of taking Him at His Word, and by simple faith trusting Him for our Salvation, is the sure hope He has given us in that as He arose from the grave, and so shall all who trust in Him.
To those who trust in Christ and receive by faith His promise He says:
On that morning
As the sun rose on that Sunday morning, the two Mary's went to the grave to anoint and finish preparing Jesus' body. (Mark. 16:1-3)
With sorrow in their hearts, probably not looking forward to task, yet faithfully resolved to it.
When they arrived at the sepulcher, they found the great stone rolled away, and the tomb empty!
Even as the angels told them, "He Is Risen!" I'm sure they could not have understood the full implication.
Even as Christ appeared to them, they could not fully comprehend what had taken place!
You and I assemble here, come to worship the Savior, cannot I believe fully grasp what was accomplished almost 2000 years ago.
So many today, will attend Easter Services, showing off new dresses and suits, so many will attend church today who rarely ever attend regular services because it is a special holiday.
Many will attend and then go away, unchanged by the greatest Truth the world can know, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from their sin and from death.
Paul touched it, getting as close as we can in these mortal bodies, of what it means to know Christ Jesus as ones Savior, when he expressed the desire of his heart:
It is a great comfort to know that our Lord conquered Death and Sin, for us on that Old Rugged Cross. One Day, for sure - For some soon for other later, but for all in time, we will lay these old tired and sin laden bodies down. On that day which all of us will see, SOME who die having received Christ as their Savior, they will experience first hand the full significance of what Christ's resurrection really accomplished.
One cannot celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ without, accepting who Jesus is and why he came and went though the horrible task of paying the sin debt of the world.
What a glorious thing lies ahead for all who by simple faith are trusting in Christ.
In Acts 17:18, Paul preached on a mountain top in Athens, Greece:
The Scriptures say, "He preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.....V32 When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: but others said, We will hear thee again of this matter".
What a tragedy...that some mocked at the very truth that frees a man from the surety of death and hell.
Yet, there were those who listened, who sought after the truth...they took the first step in coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they sought to know more.
In closing let me read 1 Thess. 4:14, words of assurance to the Christian. Words of hope to those still in their sins, not yet trusting in Jesus Christ as ones Lord and Savior.
2 Tim. 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our savior Jesus Christ, who had abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel."
God is a wonderful and loving God. He did not make salvation complicated. He made it simple.
God's gift of salvation is free. You can not work for it, do good works to obtain it. God says in His Word that going to church, praying, participate in church rituals or any other good work...to obtain it.
It is just received in faith apart from any merit of our own. If we would believe in God's promises. If we would repent of our sins and by faith receive Him into our lives, to be our Savior, our guide through every step of life thereafter....He promised when death comes we need not be fearful, but see it as a door way leading to heaven and an eternity with Christ.