Resurrection Sunday 2020
This is the audio version of our Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday message. In the live version we had a few technical issues and a text from Mark that I couldn’t find. Later I was able to edit the recording and fix a few things, though I doubt too many were paying that much attention to detail.
At the beginning I mentioned John Stott’s book, ‘The Cross of Christ”, and quoted what he said about Holman Hunt’s painting called, “The Shadow of Death” (The Cross of Christ, p.17).
Then I quoted Mk.10:32-34; Jn.10:17-18; 19:10:11; Isa.50:6-7; Lk.9:51 and Isa.53.
Next we went to some of Jesus’ words from the cross from Matt.27:45-46 and Jn.19:30. Then we went to an early prediction by Jesus of His death and resurrection found in Jn.2:13-22. All this was to show that nothing took Jesus by surprise, and that He was always in complete control, trusting in the Sovereignty of God in every detail of what happened in the events surrounding the cross.
Well if all those details were true – the fact of His resurrection be just as true, and yet the disciples were slow of heart to believe, as was pointed out in Lk.24:1-49, in which Christ made several appearances after He was raised and expounded the Scriptures to His disciples, opening their minds and eyes, and opening the Scriptures to them. And then ultimately commissioning them to go and preach the Gospel.
This Gospel was spelled out for us in 1 Cor.15:1-8, and in vv.12-19 Paul agues why it is absolutely essential that Christ rose from the dead, and that if that was not a fact then the whole ministry of preaching was a sham.
The disciples preached and prayed with the view that all the things that had happened were the fulfilment of God’s Foreknowledge and Determined Purpose (See Acts 2:22-24; 4:27-28), and the fulfilment of Messianic Psalms including Ps.2.
Finally we looked at Paul’s preaching in Athens, amongst a very religious people, and how he told them that God has appointed a day by which He will Judge the world by The Man whom He appointed, and that He marked this Man, Jesus, by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31). Then Paul, continued on with this message of repentance and faith in Christ, when he explained in 2 Cor.5:14-21 that we the believers have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation. That is that rebel sinners like us must be reconciled to God. He will forgive our sins and give us His righteousness.
Do you find it hard to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? The Bible says the opposite – that it was not possible that He should not have been raised up! Have a listen and see what you think!
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