God’s Act of Grace and Victory, Sermon, Easter Sunday, 04/21/2019

Ps. 118:1-2;   Luke 24:1-12

Happy Easter! Our Savior Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! Easter is the highest season in the Christian church. Our Expressions at Easter indicate that Easter is supposed to be a happy time; It’s a time of rejoicing because of what God had done for us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the gospel of Luke, Women discover the empty tomb of Jesus. At the rising of Easter sun, three women come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices. The women did not want to use the spices for embalming Jesus’ body, but for anointing it as a sign of love, devotion and respect. The two angels asked the women why they were looking in a tomb for someone who was alive. The Scripture said, “The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised” (Lk.24:5). They did not expect a resurrection even though they must have heard Jesus say several times, and on the third day rise again. God raised up Jesus and moved the stone. Man could not do it, not the stone of death. All the king’s horses and men would not be able to conquer death. This was God’s act of grace and victory.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the central fact of Christian history. On it, the church is built; without it, there would be no Christian church today.

Why is the resurrection so important?

  • Because Christ was raised from the dead, we know that the Kingdom of Heaven has broken into earth’s history. Our world is now headed for redemption, not disaster. God’s mighty power is at work destroying sin, creating new lives and preparing us for Jesus’ Second Coming.
  • Because of the resurrection, we know that death has been conquered, and we too will be raised from the dead to live forever with Christ.

*The resurrection helps us find meaning even in the midst of great tragedy. No matter what happens to us as we walk with the Lord, the resurrection gives us hope for the future.

Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden, when Jesus died on the cross. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

Because Jesus rose, his death for our sins was validated and we can be forgiven. Because he rose, he lives and makes intercession for us. Because he rose and defeated death, we know we will also rise. By the resurrection of Christ, we receive eternal life. Though our physical body will be turned to the dust, our soul will be clothed with a mysterious body, when God calls each one of us into heaven.

In his book, “A Big Picture of Heaven and Hell”, Dr. Andrew Park, who is a professor of theology at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, he has been studying near-death experiences since he had an out-of-body experience himself during his first year in college. He shared the Heavenly Life. ln heaven, people can never be hypocrites, for all can see the minds and lives of others as they are. The all-revealing light that emits from Christ in glory gratifies the righteous with the utmost joy to be in the kingdom of light. There their goodness is evident to all and it proliferates more and more, for nothing can thwart their growth, and everything sustains them and assists them. In heaven, jealousy dissipates. People are glad to see the spiritual increase and glory of others and put their efforts, at all times, to serve one another without any ulterior motives. All the countless gifts and blessings of heaven are for the common use of all. People think of keeping nothing for themselves out of selfishness. God, who is love, is seen in the persons of Jesus sitting on the throne in the highest heaven. His throne appears as the center of all things.”

Dear friends! Heaven is the place where our soul rests forever. The Scripture says, “…there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.”

Our faith depends upon Jesus’ resurrection. Christ has abolished death and the glory of eternal life with God awaits those who have claimed life in Christ.

Jesus said, “l am the resurrection and the life those who believe in me, even though they die will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” We will live forever with the risen Lord in heaven. Heaven is as certain as we trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus says, He is the only way to God the Father. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

There is no other way to get to heaven except through Jesus Christ. Suppose we are in a strange town and ask for directions. Suppose the person asked says: “Take the first to the right, and the second to the left. Cross the square, go past the church, take the third on the right and the road you want is the fourth on the left.”

The chances are that we will be lost before we get half-way.

But suppose the person we ask says, “Come, I’ll take you there.” In that case the person to us is the way and we cannot miss it.

That is what Jesus does for us. He does not only give advice and directions. He takes us by the hand and leads us; He strengthens us and guides us personally every day. He does not tell us about the way; He is the way.

God sent Jesus Christ a means of salvation so God could save all humanity from their sins. The only begotten Son Jesus was raised from the death and provides us eternal life.

SALVATION IS QUITE INDIVIDUAL. WE NEED PERSONAL DECISION WHETHER WE ACCEPT JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR. GOD IS THE FATHER WHO CAN NOT BE HAPPY UNTIL HIS WANDERING CHILDREN HAVE COME HOME.

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