Friday, April 18, 2014
“Because He Lives…”
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It’s Friday, April 18, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day (Luke 9:22).
Preaching Jesus Christ is not complete unless we preach the resurrection. What happened atop Calvary’s hill is a beautiful picture, but a bleak one unless it is accompanied by the picture of the empty tomb! Yesterday, you and I looked at the results of Jesus’ death. Today, let’s look at the results of Jesus’ resurrection.
Because He Lives…
1. I have CONFIRMATION. Jesus’ resurrection confirms that there is a resurrection from the grave! Notice these three confirmations that Jesus’ resurrection offers us:
First, the resurrection confirms the truth of Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” I know that Christianity is true – and, thus, that the Christian life is a life worth living – because Jesus’ tomb is empty. Think of the millions of people who identify themselves religiously by human names and who, in some cases, even flock to the tombs of their beloved leaders to worship and pay respect. Christians don’t have any need for such actions – Christ isn’t there! His tomb is empty!
Second, the resurrection confirms that there is a future state. Jesus sought to comfort the hearts of His disciples as He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1). He proceeded to tell them about heaven. He described the many rooms that are in His Father’s house. Then He said,
…if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3).
Jesus promised us that there is a future state, and He promised that He has gone to prepare a place for the righteous.
Third, the resurrection confirms that the dead will rise. Hear John 5:28-29:
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Because He lives, I have confirmation!
2. I have TRANSFORMATION. Jesus’ resurrection has transformed my outlook on life! Notice three ways in which this is true:
First, the resurrection dispels the darkness of the grave. Because of eternity, Paul was able to look at death as a victory! In the great resurrection chapter, we read:
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).
Second, the resurrection means that Jesus conquered death. The Hebrews writer says that Jesus released those who were afraid of death and who were subject to a lifetime of the bondage of sin. Jesus conquered the grave! Jesus conquered sin!
Third, the resurrection means He has brought life and immortality to light. 2 Timothy 1:10 says that Jesus has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Because He lives, I have a transformation in the way that I see life! Life is now all about Him and about being with Him eternally in heaven when this life is over (Col. 3:1-2).
3. I have MOTIVATION. The resurrection gives me the motivation that I need to seek Him first.
First, the resurrection shows proper priorities. “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:11 says.
Second, the resurrection gives us hope. How pitiful would our existence be if this life were all that there is! We would run into the complex that Solomon ultimately faced in Ecclesiates: life is vanity and grasping for the wind! But, because of Jesus, life not only has purpose, it also has hope! Paul says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Cor. 15:19).
Third, the resurrection motivates us to bear our trials for His sake. Have you ever suffered for Jesus? Maybe you have endured verbal persecution for the cause of Christ. Perhaps you are listening to this and you have experienced something worse than verbal persecution because of your faith in Jesus. In 2 Timothy 1, Paul points out that his motivation for enduring trials rested in Jesus:
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2 Tim. 1:12).
Let’s wrap it up: Jesus died that we might live. Jesus lives that we might live eternally in heaven. How do we respond this type of love? I think this song sums it up pretty perfectly:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all!
Memory Verse: That love is echoed in our memory verse this week:
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
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I’ll meet you tomorrow for the Q & A Saturday edition of The New You. Have a great weekend!