"The Proof is in the Pudding"
Intro: Madam Twinkle Toes
You see, in this story of Madam Twinkletoes, you can understand the burden and the agony that she was going through and experiencing. It was happening right before her very eyes.
But what a about Jesus? What kind of agony must a man be going through to begin sweating blood? The Gospel of Luke tell us that Jesus…
Luke 22:44 … being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Of course, most of us here know what Jesus had to endure. We know the end result of the trial, crucifixion, and brutality on the cross. But this prayer was all before then.
How could Jesus be in so much agony prior to any of the events that would take place later that day? That is, unless He really was Who he said he was. Did He really know what was to come?
There have been a lot of claims in history, but the biggest claim ever made in history demands and is followed by the greatest and most important if/then statement of all time.
You see, Jesus claimed to be Christ, the Son of God. That’s a big claim, am I right? You don’t make a claim like that and then have nothing to back you up, right?
What is unique about Jesus though, He backed it up His claims in so many ways long before the resurrection but was still not seen as the Son of God by so so many.
Jesus clearly displayed more than enough to prove His proclamation to being God’s Son before His death on the cross, but it would be what happened after His death that would seal the deal.
You see, this statement of Jesus, the biggest statement ever answered is centered around the question, “Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?”
If Jesus rose from the dead, then what?
That is what we will answer today. Why is the Resurrection of Jesus such a big deal? The truth behind that question has a lot of ramifications in our lives, whether you are a believer or not.
Some people may wonder how an event that took place over 2000 years ago may have any impact on my life today?
If Jesus rose from the dead, does it have any impact on my life when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed at night, when I go to school, when I go to work? What are the ramifications?
In Acts 18, you find Paul entering the city of Corinth and he goes out of his way to stress the importance of the Resurrection to the people of that city and the church established there.
It says that he “…he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks...” and it brought a lot of turmoil and people were constantly opposing him.
But, Jesus comes to Paul in a vision and tells him, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
Paul ends up staying there for 18 months and preaches the message of Christ crucified and it was a message that they struggled to hear. It was hard for them to accept. He even addresses it early in this letter.
In 1 Cor 1:22-23 he says, “22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles…”
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
In the end what Paul was asking the city of Corinth to ponder and what I am asking us all to ponder today is, “Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?”
Now I would say that the average American is probably familiar with the person known as Jesus. The majority are at least familiar with some of the basic stories of Jesus.
But it is His greatest claim that we ponder today. During His time on earth He made an incredible claim. He claimed to be the son of God. That is a big claim that demands a big answer.
Now had Jesus died and never defeated death, then He becomes nothing more than a man that did some good things, even miraculous looking things, but still dies as that man.
He is no different than anyone else, other than he might've had a great amount of influence. There are many who lean into a claim.
But if Jesus did come back from the dead, then everything He says about himself, that He is the son of God, the Messiah.
When you hear Him, you're hearing God; When He says that He is the way, the truth, the life, and nobody comes to God except through him; then there better be a big answer.
The ramifications of the Resurrection weigh quite heavily then, don’t they? If the resurrection is true then anyone or anything else claiming to be God, or a god like being, is false.
Now let's go back to the first century for just a moment. Let's say that you're one of Jesus's followers. All of his followers knew the claims that He made, and they knew them well.
I mean they saw Him at work in person, right? The at the end of His ministry, they see Him killed and treated like that of a common criminal of that day.
Now remember his followers have not forgotten that He said he would rise in three days after His death. So, you find yourself waiting. Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday.
At some point on Sunday morning Jesus gets up, comes out of tomb, and appears to you and hundreds of others. This is a big big deal, right?!
You would be amazed, overwhelmed, and shocked beyond all measure, because you know the ramification of what has just taken place.
In that moment, and in that time, Jesus exposed every false religion that remained, and his claim of being the son of God became very real, and the claims of all the others are seen for what they are.
Do you see the ramification of His death and then the Resurrection three days later? All other claims to deity still end with those individuals being dead, and not just mostly dead…dead dead.
My goal today is to help you see four direct ramifications that come from answering the question, if the resurrection happened, then what does that mean for all of us?
And those ramifications will be found in detail as we look at our passage this morning. But before we dig too deep, let's ask for God to help us understand. Pray and then read: 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
I love this quote from John Piper. I have shared it many times. “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him.” Therefore, whenever I see God at work, it satisfies my soul.
To me the greatest news in all the world is that God has designed a universe in which His God-centeredness is the foundation of my incalculable joy.
Now many will not preach this passage on an Easter morning because it feels like it’s carrying such a negative weight until the end.
The reason I chose this passage this morning is because of the importance that it holds in our current world situation.
This world is desperate for the truth and is finding it quite difficult to find that truth with self.
My prayer for you is to push back against our culture and allow the scripture to take root in you because I believe that the direct ramifications of the Resurrection leave us to be most satisfied in Jesus.
Paul told us that if Christ had not been raised from the grave then we would be a complete shambled mess as believers. But because Christ has been raised, we have much to celebrate.
The first answer that comes from question, “Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?” If the Resurrection, then ...
1. We are forgiven of our sins
In verses 17-18 Paul states, in a negative way, that without the resurrection we are still a people in our sins and our faith is nothing more than futile. Read: 1 Corinthians 15:17-18
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
Man, we as a human race are rough. God had to send His own son to die on a cross for our sins, so without Jesus, our situation is quite hazardous. He was not a criminal, yet he willingly went to the cross. Why?
It must be that our sinful nature and our sins are so deadly that they could only be atoned for by Jesus suffering the penalty of divine justice. We need our sins to be forgiven friends. All of us.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ serves notice that my sin, our sin, is so dreadful, that you and I are so deeply flawed, that nothing short of God’s only Son could pay for it.
Nothing short of the bloody and marred cross could break the power of sin in our lives and the lives of those we love.
He is on the cross, absorbing God's wrath toward David's adultery. He is absorbing the wrath toward your sinfulness and toward your children's sinfulness.
He is absorbing the wrath of your parents' sinfulness, and all the sins of all of those who would believe upon His name.
Jesus, on the cross, took on all our transgressions, again, across all time, across all people who would believe upon the name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus took on all those wrongs. He died according to our sins. He Himself bore the weight of our sins, and the apostle Paul said to the church in Galatia, Jesus became a curse for us.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
The perfect one becomes the cursed one The One without sin, and knew no sin, took on our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
No matter how hard we try to be better people, no matter how shiny we polish the exterior of our lives, religion says it will never be enough. But let me tell you something else. His death did not seal the deal.
The second answer that comes from question, “Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?” If the resurrection, then ...
2. Jesus has authority over life and death
One thing that is abundantly clear to me and should be for all of us not matter where we stand on this, Christianity stands or falls on this very event that we are celebrating today. Look again at Read: 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
I am not dismissing what Jesus did prior, but without the Resurrection it would be tough for me, or any believer, to be willing to live their lives, or give their lives for this faith.
You might wonder why I would say that. Really it comes down to this, if Jesus did not overcome the grave and defeat death, then everything he said was false.
But...you see that is an important word here. But since He has risen from the grave, and again I would stake my life on this, then we must see what He said as truth.
That means He has authority over all things, including life and death. Why does He have authority over all? If you have authority over life and death, you have authority over all things.
This is how he put it in John 10:18…
18 "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
No one has the power to decide that they are going to die and then get to come back again. No one can make that statement, yet Jesus did.
That statement holds no power without the Resurrection. So again, the ramifications of the Resurrection are grand my friends, because it granted Jesus authority over life and death.
The third answer that comes from question, “Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?” If the resurrection did happen, then ...
3. What was preached and still is today, is true
So, if we look at what Paul said again in verses 14-15, we see a negative mindset for preachers, don’t we? Read: 1 Corinthians 15:14-15
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
Because of the Resurrection it changes everything. What the apostles taught about the word of God, we can say positively, that because of the Resurrection, what was and is preached is true.
Many of us have been taught and our young people today are being taught that there are no absolute truths. Our world looks more and more fallen as this aim is being taught.
So, what absolute truth was and is preached that this world needs to hear today. Here is how it looks in Ephesians 2:1-5…
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
That’s talking about us, you see. That's you, and me. We are all a bunch of messes. You know what though? My two favorite words in scripture changes everything ... But God ...
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.
What the apostles preached in scripture was not so that we condemn ourselves, but that we recognize our need for a savior and turn our lives over to Him. What does that look like?
You admit what you are, a sinner, you ask for the forgiveness of your sins. In that act Jesus forgives you and you're saved. But you don’t stop there. So then what?
You follow through by living for Him and one of the first ways we do that is with Baptism! This is an act of living for him. "Why would I do that Derek?" I say why wouldn't you?
You were dead, and now you're not. That means that you are no longer slaves to sin. That's amazing news. He called us to baptism as a proclamation of faith and baptism is one of the first ways we can.
When Jesus came into the world to say, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), and then He rose from the dead, it vindicated everything He ever said prior.
The Resurrection demands and deserves a response. What has been preached already and will continue to be preached is truth my friends. Don’t let it pass you by. Respond to the Truth.
The fourth answer that comes from question, “Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?” If the resurrection did happen, then ...
4. We are not pitied
Instead of saying that we are to be pitied, we can look at our life and recognize that we are to be most envied because of the Resurrection.
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Sure, if Jesus had not defeated death, then all we are doing is a pitiful delusion. We look insane at the end of the story if Jesus did not rise! But he did! None of us want us to waste this life.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
20a But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead …We want to know that the way we lived and what we did mattered.
We don't want to come to the end of our lives and say it was pointless, useless, insignificant, or to be pitied. Paul was aware of this and ended the whole chapter to remind the importance of the resurrection.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Christ is risen and everything done in His name, by His strength and for His glory, is not in vain. It is enviable. Significant. Valuable. Eternal. Those who have died are alive!
This is the greatest news ever! We do not come to an empty end after a full and valuable life. We don’t end with zero, but we start anew with everything.
Paul says in verse 18 that because Christ is raised those who have fallen asleep in him—those who have died in faith—have not perished.
Therefore, in Him raising from the dead, we have eternal life with Him. Therefore, I urge you with all my heart this morning, to lift up your heart and sing with those on earth and in Heaven.
Let us cry out together today, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and worthy is the King who conquered the grave!”
Look it is going to happen at some point, but the choice to submit before it is too late is up to you, because his word tells us…
“...every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...” Philippians 2:10-11
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
You can run for a while, but don't wait to submit friends, please! He loves you too deeply and has given you an escape through His sacrifice on the cross.
The resurrected, bodily Jesus continues to extend the invitation. "Open the door, and I will come in, not with a list of things you need to get better at.
Open the door, and I will come in, not with a critique of how you've lived life so far.
Open the door, and I will come in, not with you-should-have's and you-shouldn't-have's, but I will come in and dine with you. I will come down and sit and eat."
heard the truth of the gospel today. You've heard that Christ has died for your sins. You have heard the ramifications of the cross.
You've heard that in His resurrection, all your sins can be forgiven. You have heard that there is no sin with more power than the cross of Christ.
You have heard that Christ has come into the world for this purpose, to save sinners. Unbeliever, you have not out sinned His grace. Christian, He's calling us to be more and more like Him.
Let’s pray: Father, I thank you for the opportunity today to again consider who you are, what you've done, how you redeem and rescue and ransom us, how you heal and shape and mold us.
I pray for my brothers and sisters this morning who are not walking in the Resurrection power that you've put in their hearts. I pray for a willingness to let go of pride and pursuit of your holiness.
I pray for those who are tuning in, maybe skeptical, not believers. I just pray that as the Word of God has gone out, your Word has gone out, and You, Holy Spirit, that You would help them see.
Help them understand what the death and resurrection of you 2,000 years ago has to do with them. Father, I pray that they might have eyes to see. It's for your beautiful name I pray, amen.