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

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Two Reasons the Resurrection is a Necessity

Resurrection

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?

Resources

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

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How Can We Celebrate the Resurrection All Year?

Resurrection

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?

Resource

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