The Effects of the Resurrection: Part One


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Sermon Notes

The Effects of the Resurrection
Mark 16:1-8
 
Last week we preached about “Glory in the Suffering of Christ”. All Christian suffering is for the glory of God and sake of man. Today we will set our sights on the “What the resurrection of Jesus Means to Us” or the effects of the resurrection. Suffering is part of the story. It is different color paints in the hand of a master artist. Years ago, I went and saw “art live” it was a Christian ministry where an artist told a story from the bible all the while drawing, and at the end it all came together and made a beautiful picture. I remember trying to guess what the seemingly aimless brush strokes would be, but only got the full picture when the artist had completed his work. Our suffering is a stroke-by-stroke work of art, and when it is finished we will see the beauty in it all, but for now we trust the Artist.
When Jesus finished suffering for the sins of the world he was buried, the disciples scattered, and hope that He would be the deliver of His people vanished. But that is not all of the story. Jesus rose again and suffering became glory, death lost its sting, the disciples banded together, and the New Testament Church was born. The question we will answer today is what the resurrection of Jesus means for me today.
 
Mark’s account
The eight verses in Mark are full of shock and awe moments. The stone missing, the angel is in the tomb, the message that Jesus had risen, and the commission to tell the disciples about all about it. The resurrection is exciting, but it is so much more. Jesus coming forth from the grave sent a powerful God honoring shock wave through two thousand years and billions of people. Nations have been shaped by this one event. Minus the resurrection from the Christian faith the effect may not exist and if an effect did exist it would be a ripple in a pond and not a tsunami from the ocean. What effects does the resurrection have on us today? When we talk about the resurrection of Christ it means so much, here are a few things it means:
 
I. It Means Christian Suffering is not a Punctuation (Matthew 28:5-6; Luke 24:39; Revelation 1:18)
Take a moment and reflect on where you are. Tell yourself “this is not it for me”. This is because of Jesus’ resurrection. There are three points I want to make here that are real and encouraging;
A. You will suffer (1 Peter 5:10; 2nd Timothy 3:12)
 
This is just a reminder from last week of a reality that we must all face. Christians are not exempt from sufferings. Physical and emotional pain exist for every believer. Suffering is observed in the perfect sinless life of the Son of God and if the perfect Man experienced pain in this sin cursed world we can conclude that everyone of us will suffer as well. I say this for two reasons:
1. I want you to understand that salvation is not for those looking for a smooth ride in life, but for those who want to follow Jesus in all seasons of life even the suffering ones.
2. I want each person to understand that suffering comes to you when are doing everything right. Too many Christians get swallowed up in the “God is mad at me” attitude. I hope that each person here, when they suffer, trust God more and does not doubt God more.
B. You will Die (Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 90:12)
 
The life of Jesus teaches everyone that they will die. Moses prayed that God would teach him to value his days so he may live wise. Moses simply said, “teach me that I will die, that I may value every day”. When you ride past a grave yard, which there are many, it is a reminder that people die. I remind us of this for two reasons:
 
1. To keep eternity in perspective. Remember that every word, every action, every thought, every dollar you earn, and every feeling you have may be the last before you die. Then everything will be called into account before God. Live with purpose is my plea today, and not for any purpose, but with the purpose of pleasing God.
2. To keep you wise- Thinking we have all the time in the world is a foolish fantasy. I am saying this to burst your bubble that you may move to the fortress of truth and wisdom. Bubble’s are not safe places to live.
C. They will not last (John 11:25)
 
Lazarus suffered from sickness and died. His sisters were hurt deeply. All seemed lost, but then Jesus showed up and death lost its sting! You will suffer, you will die, and you will rise again because of the resurrection of Jesus! God’s love story toward His people is not you will die period, or you will suffer period, but it is you will suffer (COMMA), you will die (COMMA), and you will rise (EXCLAMATION)!
The resurrection of Jesus teaches us that the suffering of Jesus was simply part of His eternal glory. His immense agony was a plus sign in the equation of God. (Revelation 1:18) Jesus has a title He shares with John, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen”! Because Jesus lives, suffering is only a temporary mode that has positive effects in eternity!
The late Stephen Hawkins accredited his success with his suffering. He said he drank to much and worked too little before he found out he had ALS. Reflecting on his suffering and success he said “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero,” he said, “one really appreciates everything that one does have.” (James Dobson, New Man October 1994 p. 36)
Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of tobacco stores worth several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man’s banker said, “You’ve done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,” replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter’s Church in Neville Square.” (Bits and Pieces June 24 1993 p. 23).
Will you view your suffering as a comma and your resurrection to come as an exclamation?
II. It Means Joy and Revelation (Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:32)
A. Joy in a Graveyard (Matthew 28:8)
 
Christ’s resurrection shows us that joy can exist in the most depressing places of life. I have been in several grave yards, and none of them were places of joy. I recently saw a picture of a gentleman I went to church with years ago. His son died a few years back and he was at the graveyard thanking God that resurrection day was soon to come. It was a sad picture, mixed with some joy. Without the resurrection, this man would have zero joy at his son’s tombstone. The ladies that went to the graveyard on resurrection morning found hope where it had been completely absent. They came upon great joy in the most somber place on earth. Because of Jesus rising again we to find joy in our darkest hours!
 
B.Revelation in our Sorrow (Luke 24:39)
 
The disciples discovered, in their sorrow, revelation they had not seen. The scriptures they had been taught came to life, and questions were settled. What would the resurrection be (Mark 8:31-32) was a unsettled question among them, but with Jesus rising from the dead the curiosity is settled and hope sinks into the heart. Paul taught that if the Spirit that raised Jesus dwells in you then your mortal (physical) bodies will be raised from the dead. That is a great revelation that takes believers through the darkest hours of life. Christian pain and suffering brings us closer to God through revelation. As we are suffering with Jesus and being made comfortable to His death we are strengthen by His resurrection.
 
The first two Scottish missionaries sent to the New Hebrides Islands were killed and eaten by cannibals on the day they arrived. After that it proved difficult to find missionary volunteers. Even when John G. Paton agreed to go, well-meaning people in the church tried to dissuade him. One elderly man warned that he would be eaten by cannibals. Paton replied, “I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.” After fifteen years of fruitful ministry, almost everyone on the island of Aniwa where Paton ministered was converted.
 
What powered this man to go to a dark place? The Joy and Revelation of a Resurrected Savior.
What motivates you to worship God every Sunday? What powers you through life’s darkest hours?
 
III. It Means an Impossible Mission is Possible (John 20:21)
 
The task to go into all the world was not possible until the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. If the Pharisees had it their way, it would be go spread all the law unto the world to create a legalized merit system to be accepted by God. They would have created a legal world, but not a saved world. The nations would have been schooled on right and wrong without ever being able to perform what they knew. Before Jesus the tools to go unto the world and preach the gospel were not at hand, but with resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Spirit, the church has been equipped and motivated to spread the message that being right with God hinges on believing in Jesus His Son.
The message is simple. Jesus traded places with you. He died instead of you, He suffered the wrath of God in the stead of you, He was forsaken in the stead of you, He was buried in the stead of you, and now has the power to raise you from the dead! It was His life given to me and mine given to Him. Guilty given to Him and guiltless given to me. Accepted given to me and forsaken given to Him. Cursed given to Him and Blessed given to me! Through Jesus, God has adopted all that believe as children. This is the great message we proclaim, yet it would carry no weight if Jesus has not suffered, died, and rose again.
 
A. Empowered in Weakness
 
The weakest point of Peter’s life is when he thought Jesus was gone, but the resurrection changed that and he stood tall 50 days later and preached to multitudes. Today we discover that the resurrection of Jesus still powers people today. It sends people places they never would have went, causes people to speak when they would have been silent, and causes people to keep going when it seems they should stop. 11 scared disciples changed the entire world because of a possible mission being made possible by Jesus’s resurrection.
Today I believe that reaching all the nations of Barnwell is possible because of Jesus’s triumph over the grave. I believe your children will be saved, marriages strengthened, and those that you bury in Christ will rise again. The resurrection powers my hopes and prayers, and I hope that it does yours as well.
A little boy and his father were driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bumblebee flew in the car window. Since the little boy was deathly allergic to bee stings he became petrified. His father quickly reached out, grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand, and then released it. But as soon as he let it go, the young son became frantic once again as it buzzed by the little boy.
The father sensed his son’s terror. Once again he reached out his hand, but this time he pointed to this hand. There, stuck in his skin was the stinger of the bee. “You see this?” he asked. “You don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve taken the sting for you.”
The Christian does not need to be afraid of death because Christ has taken the sting out of death and sin.
Do you believe Jesus took the sting out of death with me that we may share the gospel with all people?