Today is Easter Sunday &, as Christians, we have gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior & Lord. But even as we celebrate, our hearts are heavy with the realization that much is wrong with our world. Unrelenting hatred seems to rule supreme in the hearts & lives of so many & the fruits of terror are all too evident.
They listened as finally He bowed His head & said, “It is finished!” & “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” They watched as His body was taken from the cross & buried. All their hopes & dreams were buried with Him.
Friday & all day Saturday they mourned, until finally, on “the first day of the week, early in the morning,” the scripture says, some women made their way along the path that led to His tomb, wondering who would roll away the stone for them.
But when they arrived, they found that the stone had already been rolled away. And an angel there told them, “You’re looking in the wrong place. You’re looking for Jesus among the dead. He is not dead. He is alive. He is risen, even as He said!”
“He is risen!” That is what we celebrate this morning. When all the evidence is in we’re convinced that Jesus is alive. He is risen from the dead, & what a difference His resurrection has made!
B. The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is the great resurrection chapter of the Bible. In vs’s 1-11 Paul writes,
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received & on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, & that He appeared to Peter, & then to the 12.
“After that, He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, & last of all He appeared to me also.”
With that introduction, Paul goes on to present a tremendous testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. Then he turns his attention to us, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, & we will be changed” [15:51-52].