Pulpit reflections

Pulpit reflections by Rev. Wayne James The Meaning of the Resurrection

The message which is at the heart of the Christian faith, without which there would be no Christianity, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That event is what we celebrate next Lord's Day. That historical happening is what Easter is all about.

I want to simply remind you of what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means.

The first thing that it means is that

I. Jesus is living

That is the Good News. Jesus is not a dead Savior but a living Lord.

John 20:8 says that the beloved disciple, at the tomb, "saw and believed." What did he believe? That Jesus was alive.

Verse 17 says that when Mary realized Jesus was there with her, she clung to his feet. Why? Because she was overjoyed that he was really alive.

Verse 20 says that the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Why? Because Jesus was alive.

Verse 28 says that when "doubting Thomas" saw Jesus, he cried out. "My Lord and my God." Why? Because Jesus had been dead and now he was alive again.

A second idea evolves from the fact of Jesus's resurrection.

II. He is Lord

Before the resurrection, Jesus was called "Prophet," "Teacher" and "Rabbi" (Luke 4:24, John 4:19, et al). After the resurrection, these terms seemed to be inadequate. One of the greatest consequences of the resurrection was that it gave a new dimension to the person of Jesus and called for a new title to describe him.

What title would these first Christians use to refer to this one which death could not hold?

Jesus is Lord. That was the earliest Christian confession � Christ is Lord. That was the heart of the earliest recorded sermon in Acts 2:35 where Peter declared, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." That was the one condition for membership in the earliest Christian church. Romans 10:9 says that "a person can be saved if he will confess with his mouth Jesus as Lord." That was the bold conclusion of the greatest Christian spokesman in Philippians 2:9-11. There Paul says, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."

What does that mean?

To say that Jesus is Lord means that he is our owner.

To say that Jesus is Lord means that he is our Master.

To say that Jesus is Lord means that he is our God.

We are to make him the true ultimate object of affection and love and devotion in our lives. We are to give our ultimate allegiance to him.

He has risen! Praise God, he really has. He lives!

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