1. Hello listening friends, how are you today?
2. We are glad you tuned in today.
3. I am going to talk to you this time and next time about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. In fact, those of you who are listening consistently remember that I told you several times ago about Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, and Easter Sunday like the three-legged stool of the Christian faith.
5. And today we come to the third leg of the stool.
6. There can be no true Christianity without the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. If there is one word that summarizes the Christian faith it is the word resurrection.
8. Every Christian congregation must be called the community of the resurrection.
9. And the difference between a live, vibrant, worshipping congregation and a dead, lifeless church is the fact of the resurrection.
10. A congregation that stops at the other side of the cross is sad and sorry and without hope.
11. But believers whose faith is anchored in the literal physical resurrection of Jesus is a celebrating, joyful, worshipping community.
12. For the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our only source of joy in a broken, dark, and uncertain world.
13. The resurrection is the essence of the good news.
14. Therefore, we rejoice that the Lord has risen.
15. It is obviously true that the cross for us Christians must stand at the very heart of our salvation.
16. Through the cross God did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
17. Without the cross there can be no salvation.
18. But it is possible for anyone to gaze at the cross and miss the gospel that saves.
19. It is possible for anyone to look at the cross and stay at the wrong side of Easter.
20. The cross is our symbol,
21. Not the dead figure of the crucifix.
23. Because the risen Christ who trampled upon it and broke it beneath his feet.
24. And that is why Paul said, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, our faith is in vain.
25. The fact is that there would be no New Testament had it not been for the burning conviction of the disciples of the certainty of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
26. The resurrection is not a mere appendix the faith.
27. It is the overpowering, magnificent good news.
28. Therefore, we rejoice for the Lord is risen.
29. There is no darkness that the power of the resurrection cannot eliminate.
30. There is no despair that the hope of the resurrection does not smite.
31. There is no agony that the assurance of the resurrection does not relieve.
32. There is no fear that the courage of the resurrection does not overwhelm.
33. Through the resurrection, God has extracted from the lives of Christians, the malignancy of evil.
34. He extracted the potency of sin.
35. And the sting of death.
36. And the challenge of uncertainty.
37. I have met many people who are often tired out, depressed, and feeling the strain of life.
38. People who feel inadequate for life and are worried about the future.
39. But Easter means that the living, radiant Christ is walking at your side.
40. Comforting you.
41. Assuring you.
42. Helping you.
43. And touching you.
44. There are other times I meet people who are afraid of death and what is on the other side of eternity.
45. Easter means that the one who died on the cross has returned to tell us all about the glory down yonder.
46. For on Easter, Jesus broke out the seeming permanence of death.
47. And that breakthrough was a sign of what lies ahead for all who follow Jesus.
48. It is a sign of God’s ability to break through every form of barrier.
49. Every hindrance.
50. Every grave that stands in his way.
51. Through the resurrection, Jesus is telling us the following.
52. I can break through any barrier in your life that hinders you from living a full life.
53. Just trust me with all your heart.
54. Let me tell you a story.
55. In the days of the Soviet atheism.
56. There was a story being told about Breshenev’s funeral.
57. At that time you will remember, there was a coldness and hallowness which invoked the funeral procession.
58. Because atheists have no comforting prayer,
59. Or spiritual hymns,
60. Or a mention of God.
61. This was an officially atheistic state.
62. But one man who stood close to the casket said the following.
63. He said that Mrs. Breshenev came for her last good-bye and he saw her tracing the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest.
64. This man said I was stunned.
65. Evil had its day on Good Friday, but Sunday was coming.
66. For if the power that was strong enough to get Jesus out of the grave.
67. Mighty enough to shatter and confound the demonic forces.
68. Creative enough to smite death with resurrection.
69. Then why are we not holding our heads high?
70. Why are we crushed under the burden of worry and fear?
71. Why are you discouraged and frozen in your tracks?
72. Why are you depressed and despondent?
73. Rejoice, for the Lord is risen.
74. Do you not realize that the very power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is working in you?
75. That this power is available to you.
76. Well let’s take a moment and read Ephesians chapter 1 verses 17, 18, and 19.
77. On Good Friday, the Lord was wounded, bruised, burdened, and bound down with human sin.
78. Cut off from the land of the living with everything seeming to be lost.
79. The world thought that the hopes and the dreams were dead and done with and defeated.
80. But God with one act of power,
81. By the sheer energy of grace of God brought Jesus from the dead.
82. But now forever, that same power is available to you and me and to all who put their trust in Jesus.
83. To often we are gazing permanently downward.
84. We are obsessed with seemingly useless things.
85. We often think we can rely on our own intellect and our weak efforts.
86. We too often concentrate on what is humanly possibly rather than what is possible for God.
87. We too often sit down and calculate our assets and our liabilities.
88. And we conclude that our liabilities outweigh our assets.
89. And there we sit.
90. I want to make a confession to you.
91. If I had operated on the basis of my assets and liabilities I would not be speaking to you today.
92. For my liabilities are always far more than my assets.
93. But I believe in the God who has the power to resurrect the dead.
94. I believe in the God who can turn every liability into an asset.
95. I walk with a risen Christ who is not hampered by my problems and liabilities.
96. I realize that the risen Christ is standing there beside me with the gift of supernatural power and I know it is yours for the asking.
97. You don’t believe what I am telling you.
1. Then explain to me how that little group of men in the upper room.
2. Ordinary, fallible, bungling, and blundering men were able to turn their world upside down.
3. None of them had an outstanding personality.
4. It wasn’t that they had an official backing or impressive credentials.
5. They were not illustrious patriots.
6. But all they had was the power of the resurrection.
7. And that’s everything.
8. What about you?
9. Do you say, that can’t apply to us today?
10. Do you say, this is for the great men and women of God of the old?
11. Do you say, well we have many problems today?
12. Do you say that this kind of power is not for this generation?
13. Then let me ask you this.
14. Has God changed?
15. The writer to the apistle to the Hebrews of chapter 13 verse 20 says the following.
16. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ that great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will.
17. Surely you don’t think that this power which took Jesus out of the grave is going to be baffled by your little problem.
18. Surely you don’t imagine that the God who has done this magnificent resurrection will find our needs and anxieties too much to deal with.
19. Surely you don’t think that the God who broke through the last darkness of the universe is going to confess himself impotent to provide your release from what is causing you pain.
20. Listen to what Hebrews apistle said again.
21. He who brought from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ shall he not today if you ask him work in you.
22. Ah, but there is one condition here.
23. There is one catch.
24. Before the power can work in you.
25. Before that dynamic reality can lay hold of you.
26. Before our spirits can know the baptism of power.
27. There is one thing you must do.
31. You cannot just add this power to your own power.
32. You cannot have this power in your life to be among other powers.
33. To receive this power, you must empty yourself of your own self-importance.
34. You must empty yourself of scheming and manipulating.
35. You have to empty yourself of your self-centeredness.
36. Let me illustrate this with you.
37. In 1977 a man by the name of John Badel-Bokasa.
38. He was a former French paratrooper.
39. He proclaimed himself Emperor of Central African Republic.
40. This new nation was founded in 1960 and had a population of 2 million people.
41. It was listed among the 25 poorest nations in the world.
42. The average income $155 when Bokasa took power.
43. Despite all of this Emperor Bokasa held an inaugural gala that cost 30 million dollars.
44. He had a six-foot diamond encrusted scepter.
45. A 24-foot red velvet carpet.
46. A two-ton gold-plated throne.
47. His 2,000 guests were served hundreds of pounds of caviar and 24,000 bottles of champagne.
48. All flown by a chartered plane from France.
49. Despite of the poverty of his people and the extravagance of his coronation, Bokasa said the following.
50. One cannot create a great history without sacrifice.
51. Now this is a true statement, but listen, who made the sacrifice.
52. The emperor did not.
53. The people did.
54. When he was ready to sacrifice for his people Jesus did not squander the little they had instead he gave himself as a sacrifice.
55. His life was real.
56. His beating and his crucifixion were very real.
57. There was no road to Easter for Jesus except through Good Friday.
58. The same thing with us.
59. There can be no resurrection power until you are willing to sacrifice what is near and dear to you.
60. We cannot experience God’s energy and power in our lives while we still hold onto what God is saying for us to hand over.
61. And this is the condition.
62. You cannot say, ask my brother, he should sacrifice or ask my sister, she should sacrifice.
63. And still somehow want to be blessed.
64. I want you to ask yourself this question.
65. With the supernatural force and power waiting to be used.
66. And with the power of the resurrection of Christ available to you.
67. Why should your life ever be helpless and maimed and impoverished and defeated?
68. Is it that you are unwilling to travel the road that Jesus traveled?
69. Ask yourself that question.
70. I think the ultimate secret of the resurrection power was given in those words.
71. The dearest idol I have known.
72. Whatever that idol be.
73. Help me to tear it from thy throne.
74. And worship only you.
75. Will you claim that resurrection power today?
76. It is my prayer that you do.
77. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.