Series: General | Title: You are Enqueued for Resurrection | Sermon by: Pastor Balan Swaminathan | Location: House of Intercessory Prayer Ministries, Halifax, NS Canada | Date: Sunday April 01, 2018
The resurrection of our lord Jesus Christ gives us hope.We are not hopeless people in this world.We are full of hope that we are already in the queue for resurrection.
A very interesting scripture passage in John 11:17-27. Context is Lazarus died and Jesus was informed that your beloved Lazarus died. Bible says Jesus came after four days to find out where Lazarus is.In olden days people use to bury immediately after death as there was no way to em-bomb or freeze the bodies.So Lazarus was already buried.As Jesus was making his way to the tomb, Martha came running from there. A very interesting conversation between Jesus and Martha.
John 11:17-27 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
We come across an interesting conversation between Martha and Jesus. Jesus looking at Martha in that hopeless situation.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.(John 11:25). Looking at Martha:
- Jesus did not say that resurrection is a process of that will take place sometime in future.
- Jesus did not say that God will raise him one day
- Jesus did not say that you need to do certain things: Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnan yoga, & Raj yoga in order to rise from dead.
- Jesus did not say to do any necromancy techniques to gain access to the underworld spirits to raise them through spells.
Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Resurrection is not something yet to come, Jesus is the resurrection. If you have Jesus, you are not made to die. Because death has no hold on you. If we have Jesus in our lives, we are made to live.
There are three aspects of Resurrection:
1.Resurrection is possible
I want to impress the fact that resurrection is possible. With the help of word of God ,we are going to understand the resurrection is possible. I want to take you you to the couple of old testament incidents. There is a story written in the grave of Prophet Elisha.
2 Kings 13:21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.
Elisha died, flesh is already gone and only bones are seen. The moment dead body touched the bones of Elisha, the man revived. Who was Elisha? Elisha was a prophet called by God. As Elijah was walking & he threw the mantle over Elisha and calling him into the ministry to serve God. He was a man of God. He was a prophet. At the time Elijah was taken up to the heaven, Elisha was waiting for that moment, where God was calling him. As he was waiting he saw Elijah was taken up into the heavens. Elijah’s mantle fell on the ground & Elisha went and took the mantle. He went back & parted river Jordan. Elisha received the double portion of the anointing that was upon Elijah. That anointing continued to remain in the bones of Elisha. Now a dead body touches the bones of Elisha & we see Resurrection taking place. Resurrection is possible.
Ezekiel’s Dry bones, in Ezekiel 37 we read, Ezekiel was taken to the valley full of dry bones. As Ezekiel was prophesying over the bones, bible says there was a rushing sound, sudden noise, rattling & sinews came over the bones of those dead people and over that flesh and over that flesh was covered with skin. Ezekiel prophesied again looking at the winds. He spoke to the fore winds & breath came into those dead bones. They started standing as mighty army, as bible says. Resurrection is possible.
What about Lazarus? Died since four days & buried in the tomb.Jesus came in front of the tomb and was standing in front of the tomb. Jesus said,”Lazarus come forth.” The dead man started walking. Resurrection is possible.
2.Resurrection is certain
Resurrection is also certain. 100% resurrection is going to take place. How do I know that, because Jesus rose from the dead.
Matthew 28:1-8 1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ is our hope:
1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. If Christ is not risen, 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
Bible says if Christ has risen from the dead, God is going to raise us.Resurrection is so real. God wants us to know that we are going to rise one day. Sometimes we don’t think about it & at times even if you think about it, you don’t understand. At times you think about it and understand but don’t believe it. God wants us to believe in resurrection. One of the most basic foundation doctrine of Christianity is, resurrection of the believers.
1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
God raised Jesus from the dead & God is also going to rise those who believe in Lord Jesus Christ, from the dead by the same power. What was the same power? The power of the Holy Spirit. So as Christ has risen, resurrection is certain.
3.Resurrection is promised
Not only resurrection is possible, Not only resurrection is certain, Resurrection is also a promise. Every promise of God comes true. So many promises God made to the children of Israel, so many promises God made to the gentiles, so many promises God spoke to the disciples, so many promises God made through the prophets in old testament. Every promise that God made the generation, it came true.
What will happen when we die? When we die, where do we go? We need to know this. Paul writes, to be absent from this body, is to be present with Lord. He really means that resurrection is going to happen. In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul is saying, You are already in the queue.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Christ already rose from the dead as a first fruit, then those who belong to Christ at his coming. Bible says Jesus is going to come back. Bible says Jesus is going to come in the mid air to take the church. That’s why Church is important, that’s why we need to get ready as the same way bride gets ready to meet the bridegroom. That’s the comparison between Jesus & the Church and Bride & the Bridegroom.
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Christ is the first fruit. Those who are died in Christ, they are going to rise when he comes in the mid of the air and then who are alive and who belong to Christ, they are going to be transformed in a moment & we will be like him.It gives hope for you and me.Graves are going to open one day – those who are died in Christ are going to rise.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection (resurrection of the believers).Over such the second death (eternal death) has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Bible talks about resurrection of believers.Both believers and unbelievers are going to rise.Resurrection of believers is going to take place first. As the church is caught up in the heaven, they are going to go to the heaven and come back to this world to rule this world for thousand long years.The thousand year reign of Lord Jesus Christ.Then eventually, before the white throne judgement happens, all the wicked will rise too, because they need to come before white throne for judgement, the throne of God. God is telling us Resurrection is not only possible, it is not only certain, it is promise to you and me. God wants us to walk in that assurance.
Paul was screaming and saying 1 Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
- Death has no control over our lives.God wants us to believe that.Life on this earth is fleeting, just going to disappear.
- Before you open your eyes and close your eyes, life is gone , number of years are gone, the days since we are born its all gone, 30 years ,40 years, 50 years, 60 years, 70 years its all done , its all gone.
- Even people don’t remember us anymore. But the fact is we are going to live forever. Because word of God promised us saying that you are going to rise the same way, the power of God came upon the dead body of Lord Jesus Christ and rose & brought life into the dead body, same way when we are gone, God is going to rise you & me one day. That is HOPE.
- How do you think people give their lives for Jesus.When there is persecution, even though the majority runs away. There are couple of then standing there, willing to give their heads to be chopped off. How is it possible, because of the HOPE OF RESURRECTION.
- Are you worried about silly things of the world? Its all going to go away. Do not worry about the things of the world. But worry about your own lives and see, are you worthy to stand before God?
I want to summarize:
- You are not made to die, you are made to live.
- Resurrection is the hope of Christianity.
- God wants us to live as if we are going to live for ever. Not to worry about simple things of this world.
- Death is going to be transfer. Promotion from earth to eternity , nothing else for a child of God. When they die, they receive death with gladness.
- Death is not going to hurt at all, because sting of the death is broken at the cross.Its going to be easy. We will make it, because Jesus already broke the sting at the cross.