Easter – The power of the Resurrection

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Jesus foretells his death and resurrection.

Matthew 17:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,
23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.

Disciples did not believe.

Luke 24:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”
8 And they remembered His words.
9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.
12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

The Chief Priest and Pharisees feared it.

Matthew 27:62-66 (NKJV)
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,
63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’
64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”
66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

The Guards at the tomb testified to it.

Matthew 28:11-15 (NKJV)
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’
14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”
15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Persuaded against their will

Mary Magdalene, Disciples, and Thomas.

John 20:1-31 (NKJV)

  • The Disciples had to have seen…Even Thomas.

Saul road to Damascus.

Acts 7:54-60 (NKJV)
54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

 Acts 8:1 (NKJV)
1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 9:1-8 (NKJV)
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.
8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

  • Saul took on his roman name of Paul
  • He wrote 2/3 of the New Testament
  • Acts has Paul preaching 13 sermons with 11 mentioning the resurrection.
  • The word used for “pricks” here is the Greek word “KENTRON,” and it means “a point (”centre“), i.e. a sting (figuratively, poison) or goad (figuratively, divine impulse)” (Strong’s Concordance).
  • A goad was a pointed stick used for urging on oxen, horses, and other beasts of burden.
  • Nothing could have turned Paul around except…HE SAW JESUS ALIVE on the road to Damascus.
  • His messages of the resurrection had enough proof to them that it convinced Jews and God fearing Gentiles, turning the world upside down to this present time.

Acts 17:6 (NKJV)
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.

Eyewitness accounts of the resurrection

  1. Two woman out side of Jerusalem                                          Matt 28:9-10
  2. Mary Magdalene                                                                             John 20:15-18
  3. Two travelers on the road to Emmaus                                   Lk 24:13-32
  4. Peter in Jerusalem                                                                         Lk 24:34
  5. 10 disciples in upper room (Doubting Thomas)                John 20:26-31
  6. Seven disciples fishing                                                                 John 21:1-23
  7. Disciples saw Jesus Ascend                                                       Lk 24:44-49; Act 1:3-8
  8. More than 500 people                                                                  I Cor 15:5
  9. James (unbelieving half-brother of Jesus)                          I Cor 15:7
  10. Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God     Act 7:55-56
  11. Saul (Paul) road to Damascus                                                   Act 9:1-7
  12. Soldiers account and bribe                                                         Matt 28:11-15

Disciples and Paul died a martyr’s death

  • Not just them but first hundreds, then thousands, then millions of believers.

Resurrection is the foundation of the faith.

1 Corinthians 15:1-20 (NKJV)
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up–if in fact the dead do not rise.
16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.
17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Romans 8:9-11 (NKJV)
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:19-23 (NKJV)
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Romans 10:8-10 (NKJV)
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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