How Does Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, and Ascension Benefit Us?

I don’t normally post my sermons on the blog, but Easter is an important day. 

Easter is a time for Christians to celebrate the resurrection. It is also a time to reflect on the benefits we receive from Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Find out what those benefits are and more in this week’s message.

Scripture: John 16:1-28


Two Reasons the Resurrection is a Necessity


Yesterday was Easter Sunday – the day Christians all over the world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

But why? Why celebrate the resurrection? Why was it necessary? There are at least two reasons the resurrection is a necessity.

Two Reasons the Resurrection is a Necessity

(1) The resurrection was necessary to prove Jesus’ death actually satisfied God’s wrath.

In Philippians 2, we learn that Jesus is glorified. He is highly exalted and made to be our king because He humbled himself on the cross.

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php 2:8–11)

Jesus wouldn’t have been resurrected and made our King, He wouldn’t be exalted, if His sacrifice wasn’t sufficient and satisfied God’s wrath.

So Jesus’ resurrection was a necessity because it proves His sacrifice was sufficient to pay for our sins. Without it we are all still damned to hell.

(2) The resurrection was necessary because without it we couldn’t experience eternal life.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians,

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:20-22).

If Christ had not raised from the dead, then we wouldn’t either. Death is the end. Eternal life doesn’t exist. Heaven doesn’t exist.

Thankfully that isn’t true. Thankfully the resurrection happened, which means this world isn’t the end for us. Eternal life is to come. Life in a perfect world, ruled by a perfect King is to come. There is hope. There is something for us to look forward to.

Question for Reflection

  1. What reasons would you give for the necessity of the resurrection?


Post adapted from my sermon: The Seriousness of Sin and the Necessity of the Cross and Resurrection


How Can We Celebrate the Resurrection All Year?


Yesterday was Easter. If you went to church, you celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today, you can still celebrate the resurrection.

In my sermon yesterday, I challenged the congregation to celebrate the resurrection all year long. The way we do that is by living as resurrected Christians.

What do I mean by resurrected Christian?

In Romans 6:1-14, Paul tells us, when we profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are united to Him. His death becomes our death. His burial becomes our burial. His resurrection becomes our resurrection.

When God looks at believers, He sees a people who have already suffered His punishment, already died, and already been resurrected, which means He no longer see us as sinners who deserve punishment. He sees us as He sees His Son. He sees us as those who have been resurrected.

For those who have been united to Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, the penalty for sin is paid. The power of death is broken. They are resurrected to live in newness of life.

When we obey God’s commandments, live as if our old man has been crucified, the power of sin broken, as those free to serve and worship God, we live as resurrected Christians. When we live as resurrected Christians, we celebrate the resurrection everyday of our lives.

Three Ways Our Union with Christ Applies to Resurrected Christians

(1) Resurrected Christians know why they can obey God.

Christians don’t obey God because somehow they try harder than non-Christians. They obey God because:

(1) Sin is no longer their master.

They have been set free from sin.

(2) As well as their heart has been changed.

They have new desires. One’s that direct them to know God’s commandments and obey them.

So then resurrected Christians know why they obey God. It is not because they have pulled up their bootstraps and manned up. It is because of their union with the resurrected Savior.

Practically, this is important because if we believe the only way we can obey God is by our own efforts, we have setup a system that causes us to forget that our union with the resurrected Savior is what empowers us to obey God. That is going to cause us to be frustrated because we can’t obey God in our own power. To try to do so is futile. We must be united with the resurrected Savior.

So you may ask yourself:

  1. Why do I obey God?
  2. Is it because I try hard?
  3. Or is it because I know the bonds of sin have been broken and my heart has been changed?

If we are resurrected Christians, the second will be true for us.

(2) Resurrected Christians do not continue to live a life of sin.

This doesn’t mean we will not sin; we will. Instead it means our lives will not be characterized by sin. We will do all we can to follow God’s commandments.

  • We will read and know God’s Word.
  • We will gather with other Christians to discuss and learn His Word.
  • We will ask others to hold us accountable.
  • We will flee from sin.
  • We will know our struggles.

That is not to say that we will not be disobedient to God from time to time as Christians. Rather, it is to say that the continual pattern of a resurrected Christian is obedience to God.

So you may ask yourself:

  1. Is my life marked by continual obedience to God’s Word?
  2. Have I been faithful to live for God since I professed Christ?

If you are a resurrected Christian, then you will continually obey God.

(3) Resurrected Christians are motivated to obey God by the gospel

This means they do not obey in order to pay God back or earn their salvation. They understand they have been made a new creation. They know that the old man has been laid aside. They understand they are now freed from the bondage of sin and Satan. They know this has occurred because of God’s grace.

So instead of obeying to pay God back or earn salvation, resurrected Christians obey because they are free and thankful. They are overwhelmed with the thought that Christ would die for them. They are overwhelmed with the knowledge that they have been freed from the bondage of sin, Satan, and death. Their gratitude and freedom then motivates them to obedience.

So you may ask yourself:

  1. Am I thankful for Christ’s death and resurrection?
  2. Am I thankful I have been freed from the bondage of Satan, sin, and death?
  3. Does my gratitude and freedom motivate me to serve God and obey His commandments?

If it doesn’t, then you might want to consider whether or not you are a resurrected Christian.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you live as a Resurrected Christian?



The Valley of Vision: Resurrection

Jesus is Risen from the Grave


Great was the joy of Israel’s sons
    when Egypt died upon the shore,

Far greater the joy
    when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed in the dust.

Jesus strides forth as the victor,
    conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing might;

He bursts the bands of death,
    tramples the powers of darkness down,
    and lives for ever.

He, my gracious surety,
    apprehended for payment of my debt,
    comes forth from the prison house of the grave
    free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.

Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering is accepted,
    that the claims of justice are satisfied,
    that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
    that his wrongful throne is levelled.

Give me the assurance that in Christ I died, in Him I rose,
    in His life I live, in His victory I triumph,
    in His ascension I shall be glorified.

Adorable Redeemer,
    Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
    art ascended to highest heaven.

Thou, who as man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,
    art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.

Once, no shame more deep than Thine,
    no agony more bitter, no death more cruel.

Now, no exaltation more high,
    no life more glorious, no advocate more effective.

Thou art in the triumph car leading captive Thine enemies behind Thee.

What more could be done than Thou hast done!
    Thy death is my life, 
    Thy resurrection my peace,
    Thy ascension my hope, 
    Thy prayers my comfort.


The Valley of Vision, Resurrection, 86-87 (leather edition edition)


Colored Eggs, Scavenger Hunts, or the Resurrection

Resurrection Empty Tomb Jesus

What comes to mind when Easter is mentioned? For many it might be the thoughts of family gatherings, colored eggs, and scavenger hunts. Easter, however, is about more than our family, our fun, and ourselves. Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Why is the Resurrection Important?

(1) It proves all Jesus’ claims during His earthly ministry were true.

As the climax of the biblical story, it proves that Jesus is the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God, the Savior of the World.

(2) It provides salvation for the believer.

Jesus’ resurrection brings all those, who believe by faith that He is their Savior, into a right relationship with God (Rom. 4:25). In Jesus’ resurrection we are vindicated and made sons of the Living God (Gal. 3:26). As well as, we are freed from the bondage of sin, which means we should not let sin reign in our bodies any longer. We must put all unrighteousness to death by the power of Jesus’ resurrection (Rom. 6:11-13).

(3) It provides eternal life for the believer.

Death no longer has dominion over the Christian. All those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, will be resurrected to a new and eternal life, and given a perfect body that is not subject to aging, weakness, or death (1 Cor. 15:50-57). Whereas, all who reject Jesus as their Savior will experience eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:5-10).

The Proper Response to the Resurrection

In Matthew 28, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb of Jesus where they meet an angel. The angel shows them the empty tomb and tells them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. On their way to tell the disciples, they meet Jesus on the road and fall down and worship Him.

The two Mary’s provide us with the proper response to the resurrection.

  1. We are to go and tell others of Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for those who believe.
  2. We are to worship Jesus as Savior and Lord.


Jesus’ resurrection proves all that He said is true. It vindicates us from our sin. It mends our relationship with God. It frees us from the bondage of sin. It allows us to live in accordance with God’s commandments. As well as Jesus’ resurrection provides us with a new body that will never die, age, or experience decay for all of eternity.

As a result, our proper response is to tell others about Jesus’ resurrection, and to worship Him as Lord and Savior.

I pray that we will contemplate more fully the resurrection of Jesus this Easter Sunday.



For He Has Risen, as He Said!

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. The day we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This Easter I have the privilege of preaching on the resurrection at Sycamore Baptist Church, where I am now the Lead Pastor. I will be preaching over Matthew’s account of the resurrection. In that account, the angel of the Lord tells the two Mary’s who come to the tomb:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.”

Their dialogue tells us that Jesus knew about His crucifixion and resurrection. It was not a mystery, nor was it plan B.

Jesus’ Announcements of His Resurrection

Jesus actually announced His resurrection several times during His ministry:
  • In Matthew 12:40, He compares Himself to Jonah saying that as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days, I will be in the grave three days.
  • In Matthew 16:21, we learn that “Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
  • In Matthew 17:23, 20:19, and 26:32, Jesus again foretells His death, and in Matthew 26:32 He even tells His disciples where He would go after His resurrection, which is Galilee.

What does this tell us?

It tells us that Jesus’ resurrection was not unplanned, nor unknown. In fact, His death, burial, and resurrection was and always has been apart of God’s sovereign plan. God knew Adam and Eve would sin in the garden, even before the foundation of the earth since Ephesians 1:3-4 tells us that we are chosen (predestined/elected) before the foundation of the earth to be blessed in Christ. In other words, we are chosen before the earth even began to be saved from our sins through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So we learn that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection were apart of God’s plan from the beginning and Jesus knew this plan and shared it with His disciples.

What does Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplish?

His death and resurrection accomplishes salvation for all those who repent of their sins and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Through His death He paid the price for our sins, taking on the wrath of God, and dying the death we deserved, so that all those who believe in Him would be reconciled to God and could experience eternal life.

His resurrection proves all He said was true. In the resurrection, God places His stamp of approval on all of Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, the Savior, the Chosen one, as well as His cross work, which means that His death really does cover our sins. His death really does reconcile our relationship to God. His death really does provide us with eternal life. We should recognize that and worship Him.


So this Easter, do not forget the resurrection. Amidst all the fun with friends and family hunting Easter eggs, cooking out, and dressing in your Sunday best, do not forget that this day was planned from before the earth began. Do not forget that this day Jesus our Lord and Savior was resurrected from the grave. Do not forget that this day all that Jesus said about Himself was confirmed, when His hand began to twitch in the grave and life was breathed back into His crucified body. Do not forget to worship the Lord, FOR HE HAS RISEN, AS HE SAID!