Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Importance of the Resurrection

I am getting ready to preach my first Easter sermon, and I feel a little overwhelmed. For the past few weeks we've been seeking to answer the question, "Why did Jesus have to die?" We've looked at the following bad news/good news facets of the cross:

Week 1
Bad news: We are in bondage to sin and cannot escape on our own
Good news: Jesus died to redeem us from the bondage of sin

Week 2
Bad news: God's response to sin is wrath and judgement
Good news: Jesus died as a once-for-all atonement for our sin, appeasing God's wrath, forgiving all of our sins (past, present and future), and cleansing us from all unrighteousness

Week 3
Bad news: We have sinned, and the penalty for sin is death
Good news: Jesus died in our place for our sin. Therefore we do not have to pay the penalty.

As I have been working my way through this, a new question has emerged that I'm going to try to address this Sunday. The Cross has humbled me. It is truly beautiful and amazing. In some ways it would be enough to say that Jesus is my Savior, that He did all of these things for me. My life would be changed. I would no longer be the same.

So what's the purpose of Easter?

My text will be 1 Corinthians 15, and the key words for me have been "of first importance." Paul shows us why the resurrection of Jesus is vital to Christianity. In verses 12-20 he gives shows what things would be like if Christ hadn't been raised from the dead. He shows that this can't just stop with the Cross.

The Resurrection also sets up the New Creation (which harkens back to the Creation Mandate found in Genesis 1). With the Resurrection, Jesus is not only Savior of the world but also King of the World. And He has called us to be ministers of reconciliation in His Kingdom!

No comments: