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Bible Verse

"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

Saturday, April 4, 2015


By Pastor Mark Taylor

Video links to this Sermon

The Resurrection Makes A Big Difference - Part One
All of the natural world talks about the resurrection.  This time of the year we can see plants that look like they were dead come to life as leaves, flowers, and green grass.  Just a few weeks ago the grass was brown and lifeless.  Today, on Resurrection Sunday we see new life all around us.
That must have been what it seemed like to the disciples and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ just three days before His resurrection. 

 “Now, brothers and sisters, 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."  I Corinthians 15: 1-3).

The Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection was not a quite observation by only the twelve disciples and a few of His friends.   “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”   Matthew 27:51-54

“He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

Before His resurrection, the cross was known only as an instrument of horrible death, rough wood soaked with human blood. So terrible was this form of execution that the Roman Empire prohibited the crucifixion of Roman citizens. Crucifixion was only for the worst of slaves & enemies of the empire.

But today, because of His resurrection, we wear a replica of the cross as a piece of jewelry, a thing of beauty, for all around the world the cross is seen as a symbol of hope, & a reminder of God’s love for us.

And what about His tomb? Before the resurrection, for most of the world, the grave was looked upon as the final chapter, the closing of a great door, the end of everything.

But because of His resurrection, we can rejoice today that beyond death is where life really begins, & it will never end. That makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why we spend so much time worrying & fretting about material things?  Before the resurrection, death was the end. Before the resurrection, death was the final curtain call. Before the resurrection, all we could do is mourn as those who have no hope.

But after the resurrection, when someone dies, we mourn because we have lost a loved one. But we mourn as people who have great hope because Jesus Christ is alive, & the promise of Scripture is that if He is alive, then we, too, can live forever.  “Do not sorrow, even as others do which have no hope.”  (I Thessalonians 4:13).   Our sins are forgiven by His shed blood, & we have the promise of everlasting life. It changes the whole concept of death itself.

Paul wrote, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord." (I Corinthians 15:55,57).  You see, the resurrection makes the difference.

Then there is the transformation of time. Before the resurrection, time was a limited thing. The Bible talks about the breath of life that we have in our nostrils, & then it is gone. And there is no promise that when we exhale that we will inhale again. Life is brief indeed.  But on the other side there is Jesus & eternity, & that changes the whole purpose & meaning & scope of our life.

Have you been hearing the voices of hopelessness & despair that seem to be so pervasive today?  If you watch & listen very long, you can be filled with despair. And if the only hope that we have is the hope that this world offers, we have no hope because the message of this world is despair.

In contrast, Jesus said, "I have come to bring you life, & that more abundantly, to show you how to live, to bring you hope & joy & peace & love, to give you a reason for living." (John 10:10).  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.”  (John 15:11).

One of the greatest human abilities is to alter how we look at things in our life.  This means that no matter how difficult your life may become, you will always have the power to rise above suffering.  The act of choice is so powerful, that we can choose to live a new life - a resurrected life.

Whatever your problem is today, because of the resurrection, there is hope for you.  There is the possibility of new life for your dreams. and hope as you look at new life all around you.  I would encourage all of us not to look at this Sunday as just another holiday, but a message from Heaven of God’s love for all of us.  Today you can begin to make better choices that will lead to true happiness.  This begins from within, like a seed in the ground.  

Let the Lord Jesus Christ walk with you as He did His disciples after His resurrection.  None of us ever remain the same.  We are always changing as the new growth in spring does. We can allow life’s weeds to grow up all around us and not experience our resurrection, or we can thrive instead of just survive.  New life is a choice.  Allowing the Lord to give us new life is also a choice.  He showed Himself alive to many who loved Him after His resurrection, and today He is still showing Himself real to all who seek Him.