- Text: I Corinthians 15:1-4,14, KJV
- Series: Four Facts about the Resurrection (2016), Pt. 3
- Date: Sunday, March 27, 2016 — AM
- Venue: Trinity Baptist Church — Seminole, Oklahoma
- Speaker: Jared Byrns
- Download Audio: mp3
The following rough transcript has not been edited, proofread, or corrected. It is a draft transcript and is not certified to be true and correct. It has been produced by AI and may contain inaccuracies. It is presented here primarily to enable users to search the audio by keywords.
The whole reason we are here this morning is to celebrate the fact that his brother Ken sang about he is gone not another in the sense that he, he no longer exists, but in the sense that he was dead. And then when they went to the tomb that Sunday morning, he was gone. He wasn’t there, the body was not there. Because Jesus had risen again, we’re here this morning, to celebrate the fact that out of all the religions of the world, we don’t we don’t follow the teachings of a dead philosopher we follow after a living Savior, who died for our sins, and who rose again and who now lives to make intercession for us with God, the product, we’ve been talking for the last few weeks, I’ve been doing most of the talk. But we’ve been talking for the last few weeks about the resurrection. And he’s right I did get a little wound up last week I always do. I always do what I when I talk about the resurrection, this is one of my you know, every every preacher I think has a patent message. This is this one’s mine, the resurrection, I’ve talked to you about the evidence for the resurrection. We’ve spent the last two weeks going over some of the historical and scientific and medical evidence for the resurrection, how we can look back and we can see what did the historians who were alive at Jesus own time or there abouts? What did they say about it? And we can look and say, What does science tell us we should expect from somebody who’s undergoing crucifixion. And we see that all of those things line up with the with the crucifixion story. What did the Eyewitnesses say, at that time? What evidence do we have and we’ve gone over those things and have established three facts already about the crucifixion. One was that Jesus life and his existence and his death are historically verifiable, we can go back and we can be as certain and I’m telling you this, especially if you’ve, if you’ve not been here the last two weeks, you need to know this. And and at some point, I’ll have the I’ll have the audio those audio of those messages available if you’re interested in that. But you need to know that we’re not just here celebrating a fairy tale or it’s not a holiday about cute bunnies. The his existence and his death are historically verifiable. I can take you back through ancient Greek and Roman and Assyrian sources and look ins and Jewish sources, people who did not believe in Jesus Christ, hey, I think the Gospel accounts are great enough eyewitness accounts. But you can go back and see people who were not Christians who wrote about about the fact that Jesus lived, and he caused quite an uproar in Jerusalem and he was killed for so that’s that’s historically verifiable, we can look back and see what historians say and what history tells us about crucifixion, and, and the method of and the method of torture that he would have gone through, not only on the cross, but before the cross and we see that it lines up exactly, with what the Gospels tell us should happen. We’ve looked at the medical evidence and seen that, you know, all the things that body would go through, after the scourging and after being hung on a cross for six hours, what he would have gone through, he would have been in such shock from loss of blood, he would have folks everything that medical science tells us to expect we see. And so we’ve established at least satisfy in a satisfactory enough manner. For me, we’ve established that his life and his death are historically verifiable. The second fact we looked at, the second factor we looked at was that he was buried, and that his tomb was empty Three days later, okay, the resurrection story, the empty tomb doesn’t matter at all. If he wasn’t buried, no wonder the tomb was empty if nobody was ever in it, if it was empty to begin with, that’s not miraculous if it’s still empty Three days later, but we can look at history, we can look at the accounts, we can look at the fact that nobody had a reason to make any of this up. Because the guys who would have made it up the disciples looked really bad in the story. Compared to the women compared to Joseph Verma. Thea, they look really bad in the story. There’s no reason to believe this was made up and every bit of evidence to believe that it’s true. Even even the Jews and Romans didn’t deny the tomb was empty. They tried to cover it up, but they didn’t deny it. And so he was buried in the tomb was empty Three days later. And then the third fact is that he was seen alive again by dozens, numerous eyewitnesses, upwards of 500 people. I don’t know why I said dozen upwards. That’s a lot of dozens and upwards of 500 people saw him alive. And you know, not one of them ever recanted their story that we have any evidence up. Most of these people went to their grave say, Hey, we won’t torture you and kill you. If you’ll just admit that the whole Jesus thing that’s all made up. Yeah, no, I’m not gonna do that. You know, we’re gonna kill you. Right? Yeah, you know, it’s gonna hurt, right? They still wouldn’t deny it. Okay, so we’ve I think we can make a pretty strong case. Do I have video of it? Can I give you the forensic evidence? Can we go through and prove it like they do on CSI? No, we can’t. But we have more evidence for these things than we have for any other event in ancient history. If there’s not enough to believe in Jesus and the resurrection that he existed, that he died, that he, if there’s not enough evidence for that, you know what, there’s not enough evidence for Julius Caesar, there’s not enough evidence for a lot of other events and people from ancient history this morning, after we’ve discussed all those things, I want to bring you to the fourth fact because I told you, when I started into this a couple of weeks ago that there were four facts about the resurrection, that as I started studying this out myself, that really convinced me I already believed in the resurrection, I was raised by Christian parents raised in church raised to believe the resurrection. But as I told you, I got to college and realized not everybody believed that not everybody is going to cut you some slack if you don’t know what you’re talking about. And so I was really forced to dig in and study and see why do I believe these things? Are they? Are they as true as I’ve been led to believe, and these are the things that convinced me before fact of the resurrection is that Jesus resurrection led to changes that cannot be otherwise explained. So we’re talking this morning about the after effects, what happened after the resurrection, that only the resurrection, explain. The other day, my wife and kids and I were on our way to the city. And we had we had a limited time frame, we had somewhere we had to be at a specific time, which is not usually the case. But this would be the one time we got stuck in traffic. And I mean, bad traffic. I don’t know when was the last time you were on I 35 between Moore and Norman. But it’s it’s bad, even on a good day. And so we’re headed into the city from Norman and trying to get somewhere and didn’t figure in the evening, there’d be a lot of traffic, and we get up and we see red lights, three lanes of red lights in front of us and I’m in the far left lane. This is great. Well, we started thinking there must be a ramp must be erect. And then we see people trying to switch lanes and get over into a different lane. And we thought there must be there must have been a wreck, then we get a little further. And we’re crawling. I mean, we just crawl. When you can see the detail of glass on the highway, you know, you’re moving slowly. And we saw glass when we saw tail lights, and we saw this and that on the highway, there must have been a wreck. Then we get up and we see the highway patrol, and they’ve got their lights on and they’re making people move over. And we see a car that’s missing. Its front half, everybody looked like everybody had gotten out of it. It was just the front, like the engine area of the car was falling off. There must have been a wreck. we crawl a little further and we see another car that’s missing. It’s back half, there must have been a wreck. Did we see the wreck? I mean, did we see the wreck happen? No, we didn’t. We missed the dramatic events of the wreck. But you know what we could see the evidence of that, that car on car collision all around us, we could look at the effects and you put everything together and it spelled Oh, there was a wreck between two cars. Sometimes even if you don’t see the dramatic of it yourself. You can look back and say, Okay, I see this evidence I see this evidence I see this evidence, these things can only be explained by this event. And if you’ve not been with, especially if you’ve not been with us for the last two weeks, you may be wondering what is the point of all of this? Why? Why talk about this? Well, if you’ll turn with me to First Corinthians chapter 15. Paul explains why this is important. This is the very cornerstone of Christianity. And I had told the congregation the last two weeks that if the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, and is not true the way the Bible claims it, then you have you have me admitting that there’s nothing to Christianity, you have me admitting that Christianity is is pointless. And we should just board the doors up and go home, or maybe go home and board the doors up for the harvest. It’d be hard to get out. If we boarded them up first, go home, board the doors up, shut down. Go enjoy your Sunday, because there’s no point to any of this. That’s not just me saying that. That’s the Apostle Paul saying that. He said in First Corinthians chapter 15, in verses, starting in verse one, he says, moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received and wherein you stand, he said, I’m going to remind you of the gospel, you’ve already heard from me, you’ve received that you stand in, he says, by which also ye are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. He says, I’m going to remind you of what I’ve already taught you and what you already know, and what you already believe. And that message that has saved you, he says, In verse three, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, what I also heard is what I told you, and the Apostle Paul said elsewhere, that what he received, he received directly from the mouth of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t Peter. It wasn’t James, it wasn’t john, it wasn’t. It wasn’t anybody it was Jesus Christ, who told him these things, how the Christ died for our sins, okay, don’t ever miss that for our sins. He died for me. And for you. He didn’t get himself killed because he was a revolutionary, or because the people didn’t like him or this or that. Oh, I mean, all of those things contributed but the ultimate reason why he died was for our sins. He was taking the responsibility for my sins and your sins that would have condemned us before. Justin, Holy God, he was taking responsibility for those sins and took the punishment for them. So Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, just as the scriptures had said for hundreds of years that he would, and that he was buried. See, Paul notices the importance of the burial to the empty tomb is not impressive, if it was always empty, he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. Now, the scriptures also foretold and Jesus with his own mouth, were told that he’d rise again in three days after that he goes on and says that he was seen of Sisyphus that Peter, then of the 12, after that, he was seen of about 500 brethren at once of him, the greater part remain on to this present, but some are falling asleep. He says there, there are a few who have died. But there were over 500 brethren who have seen him, most of them are still alive, go ask them. You don’t believe me? Hey, believers, of course, they weren’t there in Jerusalem, they were hundreds of miles away in Greece. So we’re telling you, he rose again from the dead, you don’t believe me go ask the people who saw with their own eyes. And after that, he was seen of James that of all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen of me also, as one born out of Duke time. Okay, so then he goes on and talks a little bit more about the resurrection, we pick it back up in verse 17. He says, in a Christ be not raised your faith is vain your year yet in your sins. Let me say that again, if Christ be not raised, your faith is being you’re getting your sense. That’s where I take it from that if Christian admit, if the resurrection is not true, then Christianity is not true. If the resurrection is true, it doesn’t matter what you believe that you’ve ever been taught in church, you’re not saved, there’s no life after death for you. There’s there’s no hope in any of this. It’s just empty vein. And that’s a pretty bleak outlook to say that if the resurrection is not true, then there’s no point to any of it. But folks, I believe, as firmly as I believe that I’m standing in front of you today, I believe that the resurrection is true because of the evidence because of the evidence that we’ve already discussed. But because of the changes also that we’ve seen in the world, after the resurrection that can only be explained by the resurrection. And I want to take you through those things. Today, as we finish talking about these facts of the resurrection. The final fact again, as I said is that his resurrection led to changes that you can’t explain any other way. You can look at these changes. And you can say, well, maybe that happened for that reason, or maybe that happened for that reason, but you put them all together. And you look at all the the revolutionary changes that took place starting in Jerusalem in the 30s ad, and and how the world was turned upside down from that point, the world as a whole and the world. For those who saw this. I mean, the lives of people who, who claimed to have seen the resurrection, were changed from then on forever, as a result of what they witnessed. And you put all of this together. And folks, there’s no other conclusion that I can come to, that makes half as much sense as the resurrection. And like I told you last week with the idea that that became popular in the 1800s and early 1900s, that Jesus just sort of passed out on the cross and came to in the tomb and, and got better and walked out. Once you start picking that apart. It takes more faith to believe that than it does just to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross. When you start looking at other explanations for how these things happen. It takes more faith to I don’t have enough faith to believe these alternative theories. The first thing that we look at and see this is a big change that took place afterwards is the the disciples were suddenly bold witnesses in the face of martyrdom, they went out and you look at Acts chapter two, Peter stands up and preaches and he’s like a lion. I mean, he just tears into the Jewish religious leaders, he tears into the political leaders, he tears into the nation of Israel, and says, You know what you can mock us if you want, but the Son of God, the Messiah that you’ve been looking for, he was sent to you, and you took it with your own dirty hands. You put him to death, you killed him, but you don’t want it doesn’t matter that you killed him, because God, God allowed it to happen. And God brought him he stood there. And he stood down, he challenged the entire nation of Israel, knowing what they had just done to Jesus, what would keep them from doing it to Peter. And you might think, well, that’s an apostle, we would expect him to, of course, that’s his job. Where was Peter, just a couple months before he was hiding, he was hiding with the other disciples. They ran and hid. If you’re not familiar with the story, go back and read it. If you just turn to any of the Gospels, it Matthew, Mark, Luke, or john and you look at the last couple chapters in any level, it tells you the story, these men who were supposed to be Jesus closest followers, they ran an in Peter denied three times I don’t even know him. And the last time he cursed it, whoever it was, it said, I don’t know him. Peter was scared to death. They’ve killed Jesus. They’re coming for us to what takes somebody from acting so timid, and so afraid of his own shadow, and turns him into a giant of a man like Peter, who would stand up and stare down the entire nation of Israel for their sins and encounter with Jesus and I witnessed an encounter with Jesus who was dead and now is alive again is a pretty good explanation. I mean, there, I’ve heard it said that by about 25, you’re pretty much who you’re going to be in life. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Now God can change if he wants to, but personality wise, you’re pretty much who you’re going to be by 25 we don’t see radical changes in people’s personality just overnight for no reason, there’s got to be a cause. And it’s usually going to be a pretty big one. We look at the other apostles, we see Peter and john well, Peters one of them. But we look at Peter and john, just a couple, a couple chapters after Acts, chapter two, they’re going into the temple, to preach and to share Christ. And the man is at the gate, he’s crippled, and he can’t walk. And he’s asking for money, and they tell him silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give them to you, in the name of Jesus rise up and walk, they tell this crippled man, get up and walk, that would be insane if Jesus was dead, to say, in the name of Jesus, get up and walk and expect him to actually do it. But then he does it. And a crowd starts to form as you can imagine, they’ve seen something miraculous, and they start to gather, and the people say, what, what, what caused this to happen? And the Pharisees start to question then what caused this to happen? They talk about Jesus, and then the council comes in, arrest them. And when they’re put on trial, they start talking about Jesus again, these men became bold witnesses for Jesus Christ in the face of in the face of martyrdom in the threat of we’re going to kill you. And of the 11 remaining disciples of the 11 remaining apostles, 10 of them would die as martyrs. And john would live out his life and the person and yet it didn’t matter. You don’t go from being that timet, especially as a group from being that timid to, we don’t care, we’re going full force on this, and we don’t care who it bothers, unless something incredible. And that’s what they saw Jesus. And second of all, we see that skeptics and non believers were drastically converted. It wasn’t just his followers who said, Okay, yeah, Jesus is alive again. There were skeptics and non believers, who because they saw Jesus dead and buried, and then they saw him alive again said, Wait a minute, maybe he’s been right all along. You realize, Jesus had a brother named James, who did not believe in him during his earthly ministry, I just realized that in the last few years, he had a brother named James who didn’t believe in him. And His earthly ministry didn’t accept his claims to be God didn’t accept this claim to be the Messiah. But later, we see in the Bible, James is not only a Christian, but he’s one of the leaders in the church in Jerusalem. So he goes from saying, Yeah, that’s my brother, he’s not gone. Which I think any of us would look at our siblings and say, yeah, there’s no way that’s my brother. And I don’t believe he is who he claims to be, or whoever people claim he is. And then shortly thereafter, you’re one of the leaders of the organization that is proclaiming He is God, what happened in between point A in time and point B in time, all these eyewitness accounts and, and here in First Corinthians chapter 15. And it points out in verse seven, that he was seen of James, his brother, James saw Jesus alive again, after he was dead. Even in their day, they had skeptics that’s not new to 2016. Even in their day, they had skeptics, and they have non believers. And yet even in his day, with the skeptics and non believers, they had the the resurrection was so convincing, and so powerful, that these people were drastically converted and began to follow Jesus Christ Saul of Tarsus, what you may know him as the Apostle Paul, but Saul of Tarsus hated Christians started out became famous by arresting Christians and putting them to death. Nice Guy, huh, I’ve described him before is basically the Osama bin Laden of his day, we’re gonna kill the infidel, we’re going to get rid of him. And he had the papers to do it. And yet he comes around to be one of the greatest missionaries in the history of Christianity. And it’s because of a little story that took place in the book of Acts where he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus saw Jesus alive again, and his life was never heard of all we see were once observant Jews discontinued their animal sacrifice. Now, what’s the big deal about this? If you were convinced that you had to do XY and Z to get to heaven? I mean, if you were absolutely convinced, you’d been raised to believe that your family for 1000s of years have done that, and you believe that you had to do X, Y, and Z to get to heaven? Would you just stop for no reason? No. If I thought I had to kill a sheep or a goat or something to get into heaven, I’m gonna find a way to make that happen. And yet, all of a sudden, we see that these guys who followed him, you know, during his lifetime, they were going into the temple, they were worshiping. But something happened where Peter and James another James, who’s not Jesus, brother, Peter, and James, and john and the others, they quit with the animal sacrifices. There’s an entire book in the New Testament written by one of them, we don’t know which one, but we can tell by the way it’s written. It’s written by an apostle, the book of Hebrews. There’s an entire book in the New Testament that talks about how sacrifices don’t really do anything to earn you God’s forgiveness. That’s a radical change. And again, if you say, what’s the big deal, think about it in terms of that’s what they had been raised to believe was going to get them to heaven. You needed to be descended from Abraham and undergo all these rituals and these sacrifices, and suddenly, their entire worldview shifts, and they said, No, no, we’ve been we’ve been wrong. That’s not what it is. Well, we haven’t seen the full picture. That’s what it is. I don’t know about you, but it is hard enough for me to admit that I’m wrong about anything there. There is no taste one To me in this world and the taste of the words, I was wrong, and that’s even about stuff that’s not regarding my eternal destination, whether I go to heaven, it’s hard enough to convince me I’m wrong about little day to day stuff, right? Amen. But to change your mind about how you think you’re getting to heaven, there’s got to be a good reason behind that. And they just gave up the animal sacrifices because they didn’t need them anymore, because a perfect sacrifice has been offered. And they had seen him alive again, proving that the sacrifice was acceptable to God along the same along the same lines, these once observant Jews viewed the law no longer as binding, no longer viewed, the law is binding, the animal sacrifices were part of that. But think about the laws and everything they had to follow in all the boxes, they had to check off, you’ve got to do this, and your clothes have to be exactly like this. And your food has to be exactly like this. And you can only travel so far on certain days. And it would be exhausting. I mean, the only thing I can, the only thing I can compare it to today is trying to wade through the federal tax code. And we’re all probably guilty of some violation without realizing it, it was impossible to keep the Old Testament law, they thought that’s how they were going to get to heaven. But the whole point that they came around, eventually to the teaching that the whole point of the Old Testament law was that we couldn’t, that’s a radical shift in your ideas, to say, I’m going to follow this set of rules. And that’s how I’m going to get to heaven to come around to saying the whole point of this set of rules is to show me that they couldn’t get me to heaven. You don’t change your mind about something like that for no reason. And also, along with these other two once observant Jews abandon the Sabbath used to they were still observant Jews today will worship on the Sabbath starting Friday night at sundown through Saturday night at sundown. So most of it is Saturday. Well, the Sabbath is not Sunday, by the way in case in case you’ve thought about that called it the Sabbath. The Bible calls Sunday, the Lord’s day, but it’s not the Sabbath. Saturday is is the Sabbath, but we don’t observe the Sabbath anymore. Why not? Because they decided we’re going to meet together and we’re going to worship together on Sundays. Now, we’re going to make together on the first day of the week, instead of the seventh day of the week, wait a minute, we can just change God’s rules, we can just change what we’ve been taught for 1000s of years. Again, they thought that something they had to do to get to heaven was to worship on the Sabbath. That’s one of the 10 commandments for the Old Testament. The fourth commandment Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. And all of a sudden they get rid of the Sabbath day and say we’re gonna start meeting on Sunday, something pretty dramatic had to happen for that to for that to be the case. What happened on the first day of the week was the best day Jesus rose again from and to take these last three and to get you to see how, how solid what a big deal these really are. Okay, we’re sitting in a baptist church this morning. Sorry to shock you. If you didn’t realize that show of hands. How many of you were raised Baptist? Okay, most of us a good a good number of us. If you’re if you weren’t raised Baptist, that’s okay. We love you. And most of us in here, or at least a good portion of us in here were raised Baptist in June. I mean, there are different flavors and varieties of Baptist. But generally, we believe a lot of the same things for you to change some of those deeply held beliefs. What would it take? I mean, some of the things that we as Baptists believe salvation by grace through faith without work, the idea that, that you get to heaven because of what Jesus Christ did, and not because of any good you do and trusting Him as your Savior. That’s how we get to have and that’s that’s a basic principle of Baptist churches of Baptist teaching that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. And I know, I know, some people in Baptist churches today say, Well, no, it’s it’s it doesn’t mean okay. I’m not talking about liberal Baptists. But we believe the Bible is the Word of God that it means what it says it doesn’t change, hey, that’s something we believe we believe in baptism as, as a sign of obedience to Christ as a picture of the death, burial and resurrection and as and as a as a way of identifying with him and with his church. These are some of the basic things we believe not all of them, but these are some of the basic things we believe, what would it take to get you to change your mind about those? I can’t think of anything he would for me, it would pretty much take God’s showing up and saying, Wait a minute, that books been wrong. Here’s what I mean. It would and and even then it would be how do I know you’re really God? You know, I’m just it’s been so ingrained in me, for better or for worse, it’s been so ingrained in me, the Jews were even more serious about the religious education of their children. If you can’t think of anything that would change your mind, and I can’t think of anything that would change my mind. It’d be even harder for them for the disciples. And yet all these things change. something pretty drastic happened to cause did use understanding of God change. These people were devout Jews, they were, they were taught there’s one God which we still believe today. But in the in their religion, they were made to even recite every day the Shema, which is from the Old Testament, they were made to recite in Hebrew Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu. I should have started done that I forgot the words, but in English, it’s hero, Israel, the Lord our God is One, the Lord our God is one. They were made to recite that every day to be reminded, you don’t follow these pagan gods of the countries around you. It’s not we can Gods okay, as long as we worship Him, and we can worship these other gods, but as long as you know God is one, there is one God and He wants to be your only God and the only one you worship God is not interested in a friend. Have your heart and a fraction of your worship, he wants all of it, for them to go from saying, there’s one god period to saying there’s one God, and He reveals Himself in three persons, the three eternally distinct persons. There’s God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. And they’re all three distinct persons in the Trinity. And yet they’re all one God. First of all, it’s hard even for somebody who was raised up in that way of thinking, to wrap my mind around that. But for them to go from one god period, to one God in three persons is a pretty big shift, something had to change their mind about that something had to show them that Jesus Christ was gone. Now he was still dead in the tomb, there’s no reason for them to believe he’s gone. There’s no reason for us today to believe he’s God, if he still didn’t, folks, they saw his tomb empty, and they saw him with their own eyes alive again, their understanding of the Messiah change, we’re almost finished their understanding of the Messiah chain for 4000 years they had been looking for, for 3000, they’ve been looking for God to send somebody who was going to be the savior of the Jewish nation, but they were looking for a political singer. At this point, they were looking for somebody who’s going to kick the Romans out and restore a perfect kingdom on earth, who’s going to set them free, who’s going to do all these wonderful things. And that’s part of the reason that people turned on Jesus, they were ready to usher him in on Palm Sunday and make him king and get a week later, they were crucifying him because they realized he wasn’t the guy who was going to keep the Romans out. They were looking for somebody who was going to be that political leader, even his own disciples still up until the time of his crucifixion thought he was going to usher in that kind of Kingdom. And yet suddenly something else changed, where they began teaching about a kingdom that’s not of this world. And and the fact that he came as the Messiah as a sacrifice as a sacrifice to set God’s people free, not from the Romans, but from there soon. So radical change in their thinking of what they’d been expecting for 3000 years. And it changed in an instant, because they saw the Messiah alive again, then the Christians adopted a commemoration of Jesus death, they adopted the commemorations his death, what do we do at the Lord’s Supper, we break the bread. And we we read the passage where he talks about this is my, my body broken for you. And then we share the wine or the grape juice, and we read the passage that where he talks about this is my, this is the New Testament in my blood shed for you drinky all of it, and we have a commemoration of his of his body being broken and his blood being shed and us consuming, not the actual body and blood but symbols, reminders of it. It’s pretty morbid if we serve a dead savior if we serve a dead, isn’t it? If you have a loved one who died in some tragic fashion do you get? Well, let’s say let’s say I had a an uncle or cousin or somebody that I loved and they died in a cattle Stampede? Are we going to get together every year on the anniversary of their death and eat burgers and celebrate? Well, we might as revenge against the cows. But would we? What that would be morbid, wouldn’t it? It would be bizarre. What is it that took this this tragic event and made it something we could celebrate the fact that he loved it this morning, I asked my son on the way on the way out the door. He was still sitting there eating breakfast. And I said, he said something about it being an Easter I said and what does Easter mean? He said that Jesus not dead. And you know what, that’s the only thing that gives us that makes us able to celebrate the crucifixion as we do is the fact that he didn’t stay dead. And now we can come together as a celebration of his death and his burial and his resurrection, what he accomplished for us on the cross, because as I’ve said all along, anybody could go and get himself killed. And I don’t mean that disrespectful, but anybody could get himself killed. I could go to certain parts of this world and mouth off water, you know, something and get myself killed. And it wouldn’t prove that I had the power to save anybody. Well, he taught things and got killed for it. And then he rose from the dead to back up what he said. So now we come together and we celebrate his death because we And finally this morning, after the after the story of the resurrection, Christianity inexplicably exploded around the world. Now just because something just because a teaching grows doesn’t make it true. Two of the fastest growing religions in our country right now and Mormonism and Islam, and I don’t believe but just because they’re growing fast, that means they’re true. So Matter of fact, I believe they’re untrue. And it makes me nervous that they’re growing so fast. But when you look at a religion started by a conqueror, or somebody who promises who makes grand promises to his followers of about about even the hero now, it’s easy to see, it’s easy to see why religion would grow up around Muhammad and spread when they they said, you’ll go out and conquer the infidel, and they spread by the sword and it was a religion of power. It’s easy to see why that would spread and grow. It is not easy for me in human terms to explain why why people would be dying to follow a carpenter, a poor Carpenter from the backwoods of the Roman Empire, who got himself executed in the most dignified way possible, whose own followers deserted him in his darkest hour. There’s no reason to explain why Christianity exploded all throughout the Roman world, or why it continues to change lives today, other than the fact that Jesus Christ isn’t just a dead carpenter, but he’s the living Son of God, these people saw him alive again. And it changed their lives and it changed their world. And folks, I’m willing to listen to the eyewitness testimony of people who were there more than I am the theories of people who were here 2000 years ago and didn’t see it either. I’m willing to look at the the testimony of people who saw it and whose lives were changed because of what they saw. And folks, their testimony, and all of the evidence tells me that he died, and that he’s alive today. He’s not alive, walking this planet where we could see him, but he was alive long enough for them to see him. And then he ascended back to the Father with a promise that he returned for folks just as Christianity exploded throughout the world and lives were changed and people’s eternity was changed. He can change your life today as well. The whole purpose for him dying on the cross, as it said in First Corinthians chapter 15, was that he died for RCC each of us has sinned against the holy, each of us has disobeyed God. Sin simply means disobedient, God’s given certain rules that were to follow. And we either do things that aren’t in line with those rules, or we don’t do things that are in line with those rules. And God said, Here are the rules, and we’ve all disobeyed him. If you’ve ever told somebody, something that wasn’t true, you’ve sinned against God, if you’ve ever taken something that wasn’t yours, picked up a pen at the bank that you weren’t supposed to take. It’s a sin against God, even even a small one, we all sinned against God. Every day, I’m not telling you that to put you down, I’m saying I’m right there with you. We all sinned against God. And because God is holy God is a righteous judge. He can’t just ignore sin. There’s a penalty that says we’re supposed to be separated from him for all eternity. That’s what we end up deserving. And unfortunately, the only place for us to be separated from him for all eternity is inhale. So that sounds really harsh. God created us to love him and worship Him and be with Him. God created hell for the devil and his angels. God didn’t create hell for us. But we chose to rebel against him and be separate. So it’s on us. And so God is a righteous judge has to judge sin has to punish sin. And he just, I’ve given the example before, but I’ll give it again, if I were to kill somebody in the parking lot, just words on purpose, just run somebody down with my car or shoot them or something. And I were to stand before a judge. And he says, What do you have to say for yourself? And I said, Well, look at all the other people I didn’t kill, don’t get extra credit for that. And if the judge just looked at me and said, don’t do it again, go home to your family, we would want that judge voted out and run out of town on a rail. Well, God, By the same token is a holy and righteous judge, and our sin has to be done. It has to be dealt with. And we can spend eternity separated from God and hell after death, and war. There’s another way He sent Jesus to live a perfect sinless life to teach in such a way that he points us back to God, and then to take responsibility for our sins to bear our sins on the cross to shed his blood. He paid for those sins when He shed His blood on the cross and said, it’s finished. It’s paid in full. And then to prove it, folks, he rose again three days, and you now have a living Savior who conquered death for himself and conquered death for you and promises you eternal life promises you forgiveness of your sins, and promises your relationship with God the Father that you would not and could not otherwise simply because of what he accomplished on the cross. Now, how do you get you have to go to church or give money or do nice things for other people hope your good outweighs your bad. The whole reason he had to die is because we couldn’t do enough to erase the wrong. It’s simply a matter of believing that we’ve sinned against God and need a savior believing that only Jesus could die for our sins. Only Jesus could pay for our sins and asking God to forgive us because of what Christ if you’ve never trusted him before as your Savior to this morning to trust him. I invite you to believe in God’s promise and ask for God’s forgiveness. Don’t look to your own effort. Don’t look to the religions of this world look to a living Savior promises forgiveness.