After The Resurrection



Good morning and welcome.  I thought of having the title. “He is risen, now what?” But I decided on simply, “After the Resurrection” as the title.

Many are gathering throughout the world this morning to celebrate what has come to be known as, “Easter.”  Some only head to a house of worship a couple times each year.  Predominantly Christmas and Easter.  If you are here this morning and this fits you, we want to extend a special welcome.

Some get all decked out with bonnets and bowties. Get the kids cleaned up after eating dry hard boiled eggs and mushy, squishy yellow peeps. Then try to keep the kids calm from their sugar high during sermon time.

I looked at the origins of Easter and how it evolved into what is observed today.

The first place I searched is the Bible.  The word Easter is found only once and that is in the King James Version. (Acts. 12:4)  The New King James doesn’t have it. It instead uses the word Passover.

Other translations use the word Passover.  The Greek word, pascha has been translated as Passover.  Since there wasn’t a Greek word for Passover it was transliterated from the Hebrew word pesach. Thus the controversy.

This word is found 29 times in the New Testament.  The King James translates it only once as Easter in Acts 12:4.  All other prominent translations use Passover.

The first century early church was made up of Jew and Gentile.  The early church was formed during a time of transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

The Jewish Christians of that time still observed the Passover.  There is no record of any of the first century Christians celebrating what we have come to know as Easter.  What was and still is observed is communion.  A time of remembrance of the sacrifice, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Although there is a lot more that can be said about the origins and merits of Easter, we will be discussing instead, the importance of, and our relationship to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus the Christ.

This holiday that was created by man, may have had good intentions, but to what it has become has no basis in scripture.  Bunnies, colored eggs, baskets with plastic grass, and candy may make for a fun day for the kids.  However, we should never cheapen the resurrection by confusing the two events.

A lot of people are gathered this morning with good intentions.  To reflect on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can’t help but notice that so many books and movies have been written and made to bring us to the cross event. 

The horrible torture, the mutilation and savage death of Jesus.  Most movies end with the empty tomb signifying the resurrection.

In fact, every year thousands of people climb the Italian Alps passing what’s known as the “stations of the cross.” They seem to end at Golgotha the site of the crucifixion.

 If one ventures past this sight you can come to a place representative of the empty tomb.  However, most go no further than the place of the scull. 

Why are so many only willing to go as far as the cross and not the empty tomb and more importantly, “beyond!”


Not just in movies and books, not just in the Italian Alps, but spiritually speaking, when it comes to Jesus’ death burial, and resurrection, many stop at the empty tomb and go no further.

Some choose to not consider the relevance of the resurrection because it cannot be explained through natural means. The Apostle Paul addressed this thinking in his letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor. 15:14)

“14; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.”

Our faith rests on the resurrection of Jesus.  The resurrection did not happen naturally, but rather miraculously.  

We have a short clip that demonstrates what we are talking about this morning.

(show clip)

This clip does a great job in showing a true likeness of what Jesus went through and why, but like so many stops at the empty tomb.

Why stop there?

The good news is that Jesus rose from the dead and set in place a way of our salvation.

What did the resurrection accomplish?  While hanging on the cross Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “It is finished” He wasn’t saying that this is the end, that this is all there is.

 But instead, what He was sent to earth to set in place has been acomblished.  And His resurrection is our proof!

What has been accomplished through the resurrection is the way, the truth, and the life.  Jesus through His resurrection has succeeded in providing us the way that leads to the truth that gives life.

When He said, “It is finished”, He didn’t mean, “Stop the presses, and end the movie”, that’s all there is.

His resurrection was a once for all time event.  Mankind has struggled with separation from God since the fall in Eden.  The resurrection establishes a new era in which the relationship between God and man has been restored.  This was signified by the miraculous ripping of the temple veil as recorded in scripture.  This veil separated the Holy of Holies from all except the High Priest.

 However the ripping of the vail signified that because of the resurrection of The Lord Jesus all now can have a direct and personal path and connection with God. A relationship with God!

What would life be like if there was no resurrection?

Let’s take a few minutes to first consider how this would have affected the early disciples:

Picture that first Sunday.  The disciples seen Jesus crucified and carried off to a tomb.

 The women went with the approval of the other close disciples to prepare the body of Jesus.  They would only do this if they knew Him to be dead.  They saw Him die.

Just think of what was racing through the minds of the disciples at that moment.

To many their faith was shattered

Things had not gone as they expected

They woke up that Sunday morning to one of the worst feelings that they ever had experienced

It seemed like God had forgotten them

It seemed like God had not answered their prayers

It seemed like they were alone

It seemed like life would never be the same again

It seemed like they were in a hopeless situation

They were afraid and fearful for their own lives

They even locked themselves away in room to hide

All these feelings and more weighed heavy on them because they at that point didn’t understand what had just happened.  They thought with Jesus dead what they had given their lives to was now over.

If there would not have been a resurrected Lord that would have been an awful predicament that they had found themselves in.

The women who went to attend to the body, as we read in scripture, found the tomb empty.  For a brief moment this was the final straw.  Their minds troubled with what had happened to the body of JesusThinking to themselves, “First they torture and murder Jesus then they take the body?”

 However, they were about to be the first to discover a world changing, a life changing miracle had just happened. 


(Read Mark 16:5-10 & 14)

What a powerful section of scripture!  Our entire faith rides on these few verses!

Can you imagine how those first disciples must have felt to discover that Jesus was no longer dead, that He had in fact rose to life!  They had to feel a great weight lifting from their hearts.  The joy that now rushed through their veins.

Jesus knew how those disciples felt.

He knew their faith was shattered

He knew the guilt and shame they experienced

He knew the terrible feelings they had about deserting Him and betraying Him when He needed them most

He understood their personal fears about their own safety and lives.

He understood the shame, guilt, sadness, disappointment, and fear.

The good news for them and us is that Jesus understands and knows our fears, our disappointments, our shortcomings, our struggles, our emptiness, our longings, our loneliness, as well!

The scriptures inform us that Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” Those comforting words are fulfilled through His resurrection.

We read in Philippians chapter 2; He emptied Himself from the Godhead and lowered Himself as a man.  Even to death on a cross. 

But He didn’t stop there! He rose from the grave, He conquered death, He won the victory!

The good news? Because of the resurrection we too can share in His victory!

What is the significance of the Lord’s resurrection?

1 Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”


One of my favorite verses in scripture can be found in Hebrews chapter 4 verse 12 {For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

To some this may seem as a curse. 

No matter how hard you try…

You have not hidden your fears from Him

You have not hidden your guilt

You have not hidden your shame

He sees your tears of sadness

He knows all your disappointments

This is not a curse but a blessing!

He wants to restore your faith right here and right now!

When I say you I mean you and me.  All who would accept the resurrection of Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior will be saved!


If you’re not sure about this just take a look at the Apostil Peter.

Can we imagine how Peter must have felt after denying and lying that he ever knew Jesus?

After running and hiding and not even standing with his friend Jesus at His most trying time!

After doing nothing.

Taking no risk to keep his word.

Taking no risk to help his friend whom he loved.

Taking no risk for the one that had him walk on water

We could go on with what Jesus had done for him.

Peter’s guilt must have been overwhelming.  And now that Jesus has risen from death to life Peter must have felt alone and broken.

Thinking that there is no way that Jesus would accept him back into His fold.  But we learn different.  Jesus forgave Peter, welcomed him back and gave him a charge to “feed My sheep.”

All of us can learn from this that Jesus will forgive any and all sins.

How and why? Because He rose from death to life!

Some here this morning may be hiding overwhelming guilt.

Maybe you feel God has rejected you because of your behavior.

Perhaps some think themselves unworthy, unwanted, or not needed.

Maybe you feel as though you have lost your place with God.

All of us need to come to the realization that God through the resurrection of Jesus is a Restorer!

{Jeremiah 30:17}  “For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord because they have called you an outcast saying, “It is Zion, no one cares for her.”

Have you ever felt alone or that you were an outcast? God will through the power of the Lord’s resurrection restore you!

God’s love for us has never been as a result of our actions!  Now that’s some good news.  I believe that if God’s love towards us relied on our actions, we would all be in trouble.


If we had not failed in our pursuit of joy on our own, we would not have entered a place where God could reach us with His grace.

This is exactly what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

When we take stock in the resurrection we realize that we could never do for ourselves what God through the resurrection has done for us.

Peter at his lowest point in life, feeling alone and rejected, wondering if Jesus would ever give him a second chance.

Jesus asks Peter and us an important question. “Do you love Me?” (3 times)

Peter said yes and the Lord restored him.

Each one of us should consider that question and answer it truthfully.

Do we love the Lord?  If our answer is yes then we must, like Peter, do what the Lord has commanded. “Feed the Lord’s sheep!” Who are the sheep? Everyone! God sent Jesus for all not just a select few.  While hanging on the cross Jesus uttered, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

 Jesus didn’t ask the Father to only forgive those who have been following Him, but to forgive “all.”  His resurrection accomplished that.  His message is for all!

Perhaps, like the early believers, you feel like your faith has been shattered, or that nothing seems to go as you have planned.  Do you feel as though God has forgotten about you.  Do you feel alone, hopeless, or fearful of what lies ahead in your future.  

As a result of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, any shame, any guilt, any sadness, any disappointment and any fear that you or I may harbor needs to be laid at the foot of the cross!

Believing and trusting that all has been accomplished that the Lord through His resurrection was sent to earth to do.

 Just as Jesus knew the heart of Peter He knows our hearts as well.   He wants to heal our heart.  He wants us to lay all our troubles and concerns before Him.  Remember His words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”


To those gathered with us this morning that up until today have not considered the resurrection of the Lord Jesus the Christ, we are about to stand and sing a song.  You now have the opportunity as we stand and sing to come forward and accept the resurrected Lord as your Restorer and as your Savior.  You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I?”

Jesus died and rose again so that you too might die to self and rise again through the waters of baptism a new person, a forgiven person, a restored person, a saved person.  A child of God gifted with eternal life!

If you decide that you want to have Jesus as Lord of your Life but you’re not sure what it means to come forward during this song we are about to sing, let me explain.  You walk up to the front and have a seat and we will ask you if you believe that Jesus is Lord and that you want to accept Him as such.  When you answer yes we will first have a prayer for you then we will baptize you in the name of Jesus.  You will then come up out of the water a child of God.  It’s that simple. 

Maybe you would like to learn more before making that decision.  That’s ok.  We have several people for you to choose from to have a bible study to aid you.  Just let someone know.  Again, it’s that simple.

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