On Easter we traditionally look at one of the Gospel accounts of that glorious morning when the disciples discovered the empty tomb and realized that Jesus had risen from the dead. But this Easter we break with tradition.
In this sermon we explore at an event that took place just a couple weeks prior to Jesus’ own resurrection when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It’s a story that shows us the three significant points about the resurrection of Jesus and its relevance for us today: the resurrection near, there, and here:
- The Resurrection Near: Jesus is the key to resurrection life. This is an audacious claim; Jesus doesn’t say that he has the keys to resurrection life, but that his is the resurrection life. Either he’s raving mad or he’s lying through his teeth; or, he is exactly who he claimed to be. The Resurrection and the Life come near to us in the person of Jesus.
- The Resurrection There: Jesus is the key to resurrection life beyond death. When most of us think of death, we either deny it or sentimentalize it. But the Bible treats death differently. Scripture says that death is the enemy, that it is unnatural, and that (incredibly) death is defeated. Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for the sins of the world, to defeat Satan, and put death to death forever. The Bible tells us that one day God will renew this universe and death shall be no more.
- The Resurrection Here: Jesus is the key to resurrection life here and now. He claims to offer the kind of life that eve death cannot touch. But the problem we all have is that we are disconnected from God, choosing to do life our own way. The result is that we are dying inside. Jesus, God’s own Son, came and took our death on the cross; he died in our place and for our sake, bearing all of our sign and shame. And because he rose from the dead, we can be right with God. Through this sacrifice, Jesus become the resurrection life that will flood into us now and forever.
Takeaways: Is the resurrection life real to you?
If you can’t answer that question affirmatively, you can make a choice today to accept eternal life. It’s simple: admit that you’re a sinner, believe that Jesus has done everything to make you right with God, and commit your life to Him as your Savior and Lord.
John 11:20-28, 32-44