What If Jesus Is Dead?

Sermon Notes –Jesus was dead

Please note that these are the Pastors actual sermon notes. Depending on time/Holy Spirit/How Well It Goes they may or may not get to all the things on this list. These are posted for SEO and also because some people like to follow along. Enjoy.

• Today is easter!
• Glad you’re here- best day of the year to be in church- Historically- low Sunday- come back!
• Maybe you’re here under duress- let me share with you why you’re here- and why we get together every sunday
• About 2000 years ago- there was a man named Jesus- there were religious leaders who arrested Jesus for blasphemy. Sanhedrin (religious court) found Jesus guilty took him to roman governor sentencing.
• no basis for a charge against Him, Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death as an insurrectionist.
• Roman soldiers beat, mocked, and crucified Him on cross. His lifeless body was taken down from the cross, covered with a burial cloth, and placed in a newly cut tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea
• A large boulder sealed the entrance to the tomb, and Roman guards were stationed there to ensure that Jesus’ body was not disturbed.
• At dawn, three days later (on Sunday morning, “the first day of the week”), a violent earthquake shook the tomb. An angel of the Lord appeared and rolled away the stone.
• Terrified at the sight of the angel, the guards were paralyzed. Some women followers of Jesus subsequently arrived and discovered the empty tomb.
• They encountered the angel, who informed them that Jesus was not there, for He had risen from the dead.
• Hearing about the women’s encounter at the tomb, some of Jesus’ apostles also found the tomb empty later that morning.
• Everyone was convinced that Jesus died, rose, appeared to the disciples and then went to heave\
• The book of Hebrews 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
• He paid the penalty for our sins- all of humanity
• 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
• Now- we Christians- believe and place our Faith in Jesus as the one who earned our way to heaven

• But what if Christ didn’t raise from the dead? What if we’re all here this morning on a fluke-
• 14 Corinthians 15:14-19 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable
• This is a damning scripture if its true- we’re all here wasting our time and lives-
• There are six things in that account, six history-changing facts Paul says would have followed if Jesus had not risen from the dead. Let us look at them.

• 1. Preaching a waste of time
• without the resurrection, he says, all preaching would have been a waste of time.
• That’s a pretty horrible thing to think about- I sat down and thought about it- I think I have conservatively probably preached about 1500 sermons in my life.
• Some napkin math will tell you for 10 hours a sermon that’s about 625 full days- Doesn’t include colleges
• Think of all peoples times- I wasn’t preaching to an empty room- 50 people x 15000 hours = 8.5 years
• All meetings like this, all the messages you have ever heard or read, all the Christian books you have read, all the tapes and the radio and television broadcasts of the gospel you have listened to would have been a total waste of time had Jesus not risen from the dead.- You’ve studied and read and learned
• Some people may argue that there is still a lot left to Christianity without the resurrection
• He had that great sermon the mount- that was some good stuff- he did some miracles- said nice stuff
• But the point Paul is making- without the resurrection, not one of those things would do us the least bit of good, because there would be no power we could lay hold of, and obey.
• The teachings of Jesus would only condemn us more. They would only reveal how far, much farther away, we are from the mind and heart of God than we ever thought.
• The death of Jesus would but hold out to us an empty promise that could never be fulfilled, and which we could never lay hold of, so we would be even more despairing. Without the resurrection all preaching would be in vain.
• It would be the proclamation of empty promises

• 2. The Christian Faith would be useless
• And, without the resurrection, all Christian faith, Paul says, would be useless.
• V 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
• Why go to church? Why invest in the lives of other believers? Why pay tithes? I’ve easily paid more than 100k in tithes in the past 20 years- We talked about sermon time- what about serving time? Can’t even count those hours! Why go to bible study? Why serve? Why serve in the Childrens ministry? Why show Christian restraint? Why not rob steal and break all the 10 commandments?Why read your Bible? Why love on people? Why listen to worship music? Why be faithful to your spouse? Why not hurt people?
• Why believe that God is there to help you? Why pray? Why believe that he answers prayers?
• All that would be worthless, useless. It would be only a kind of religious game.
• Life would be reduced to grim, stark realities, with no hope now or later.
• We would just be playing a ridiculous religious game where we are pouring into something and its found empty when we’re done
• Filling up the pool without the plug- IT HELPS IF YOU PUT IN THE PLUG- if not- its empty!
• If Christ didn’t raise from the dead- our faith is empty- the whole thing is a SHAM
• What pessimism! What despair! What darkness! That is what we have left when the resurrection of Jesus is taken away.

• 3. We are liars
• 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.
• Then if the resurrection is untrue, the apostles, Paul says, are the world’s greatest liars:
• We misrepresent God- testify that Jesus raised from the dead and he didn’t
• The fathers of our Christian faith- namely the 12 disciples and the early apostles should be regarded as con men. Evil doers such as Stalin and Hitler- not revered as holy men of God
• If Jesus didn’t rise- they are hypocrites, and worse than that they are deceivers who have led us into gross darkness and gross error.
• Now, after twenty centuries of the preaching of these things, they have undoubtedly won the title of the world’s greatest liars.
• That is what Paul says. You cannot avoid that, if there is no resurrection, because the apostles staked their reputation on the fact that Jesus had risen from thedead. THEY DIED FOR THIS TRUTH died for a lie

4. We are going to Hell
• . 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins
• This might be the worst thought of them all- our faith is futile and we’re still in our sins
• The Billion of Christians all over the globe are not forgiven of their sins and are not going to make it to heaven
• If Christ is not raised, then all our sins of the past are still with us; we are still in our sins.
• This means that even granting that there is a God, then we must stand at last before him and give an account of all we have done
• And there is no way of escaping the justice with which God would deal with sin.
• There is no hiding place, no hope for mercy, no loving Christ to say, “I’ve paid the penalty on your behalf; I’ve taken your place; I’ve loved you and given myself for you.”
• When we stand before God we will get everything that we deserve for every evil action or thought that we have had.
• Every evil thought. Every evil action. Every evil deed. We will be given our just reward for our deeds

• 5. There is no Heaven
• 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
• Paul says those who have died are dead
• All those loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord, we thought, whom we hoped to meet again, we will never see again.
• Our children, our parents, our friends, those who have been taken suddenly, those to whom we bid a weeping farewell with the hope that one day we would meet them again in glory, we will never see again.
• A terrible silence has fallen; they are gone forever
• The comforts of the after life- the promise of an eternal reunion with Christ- nope- everyone is just dead
• That’s a pretty scary thought- that this life that we live- is the only life we get- there is no heaven
• That’s pretty scary- quite sad- if this isn’t the

• 6. We Need Pity
• 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable
• basically that says- if our hope in Christ doesn’t work past death- we need pity
• you pity people who experience misfortune- but people who were duped? Super pity@
• Even the present is changed.
• We have to give up our beautiful dream and go back to coldness, selfishness, drabness, grimness, and darkness.
• And it is all made worse by the fact that we once thought we had escaped; we once thought we had a hold of something so beautiful, so marvelous, that it gave us great joy and peace and glory and blessing.
• But if there is no resurrection all this crumbles and is taken away from us; our darkness is all the darker for that. “We are of all men most to be pitied.”
• Would you like to live like that? Well, millions do today.
• Every one who does not know the reality of a risen Lord has to live every day of his life on that basis.
• That is why the world seeks so desperately to try to find some anesthetic that will dull the pain of an empty, aching heart.
• That is why people keep trying to get caught up in a continual round of noise and action that will not let them think about life because they cannot stand life without these things.
• Well, thank God for Verse 20:

• 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.
• What a transformation that verse makes! That means that the most fundamental fact of our life, of our history, of the world, is the resurrection of Jesus.
• That being true, it is the darkness and the grimness and the death which are unnecessary.
• Those who live that way are living in a delusion, for the great, striking reality of all history and life is, “Jesus has risen from the dead.”
• this is the fundamental factor of faith. That we will be resurrected in a new glorious body in heaven!
• When you confront the glorious fact that Jesus rose from the dead it answers all the doubts.
• It means that we too can rise with him.
• All the unfulfilled desires of our life and our body can be satisfied in a glorious new body, fitted to make life more real than we ever dreamed it could be.
• What a hope this is!
• I understand- some people question the validity of the resurrection of Jesus- because they weren’t there.
• you have to understand- Starting on that original Easter Sunday and extending over a forty-day period, Jesus appeared alive to specific individuals and to small and large groups of people.
• He appeared to friends and enemies, believers and unbelievers, women and men, in public and in private, at different times, and in different locations.
• The New Testament describes His postresurrection encounters with Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), Mary and the other women (Matt. 28:1-10), Peter (1 Cor. 15:5), two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), ten apostles (Luke 24:36-49), eleven apostles (John 20:24-31), seven apostles (John 21), all the apostles (Matt. 28:16-20), five hundred disciples (1 Cor. 15:6), James (1 Cor. 15:7), all the apostles again (Acts 1:4-8), and finally, later, to Saul, who became Paul (Acts 9:1-9).
• The Bible is clear that Jesus was resurrected!
• Five strands of evidence throughout the ages for proof of the resurrection
• 1.The Empty Tomb- his body wasn’t stolen, there wasn’t a twin brother, Rome killed derelict gaurds
• 2. Post Crucifixtion appearances – The accounts of the Bible are from people who saw it
• 3. Transformation of the Apostles – they went from an unsure group to a solid believing faction
• 4. The emergence of the Christian Church- It spread rapidly because people were set free!
• 5. Sunday Became a day of worship- previously- jews worshipped on sat- 2000 years later- still on first day of week

What does it mean to you?
1. Preaching Not in Vain- preaching breaks the yoke of bondage
2. Christian Faith is useful- millions of lives have been transformed by the truth
3. We are not liars- we speak the deepest most sincere truth of them all
4. We are not going to hell- we have full assurance of our salvation and eternal destination
5. We will see those in Christ in Heaven- we will be reunited with those who are in christ
6. We do not need pity- Don’t allow yourself to feel less than-

put your faith in him today to forgive you from your sins, redeem you from death.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit and live for him!

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