He Has Risen!

April 22, 2019

Pastor John Hering

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,

2 Timothy 2:8

When the women arrived at the tomb early Easter morning, the angels greeted them with three life changing words of truth:  He Has Risen!  And then one of the angels told them that this miracle should be no surprise to them:

“Remember how he told you!”

Luke 24:6

Awe yes!  Remember, Remember, Remember.  How many times did Jesus say this to his followers during his ministry?  Probably not enough not enough for followers who are described in Scripture as being

“slow to believe, afraid, people with doubts arising in their minds”

Luke 24:25

Remember!  St Paul also told young pastor Timothy: “Remember!” These were some of the last words that St. Paul was inspired to write. His work on this earth was nearing the end as he was waiting to suffer a martyr’s death at the hands of the Romans.  What does a person who is about to die think about?  Childhood memories? Memories of teenage freedom? Professional accomplishment?  Friends?  Family?   And what is on the mind of St Paul?

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.”

Compare this to the rituals, rites and routines of most religions.  At the heart of the Christian faith is remembering!  The main message is not “Go and do!” but rather remember what all God has done for us.  Not you must do, but rather

“See and Believe!”

That is why we are here this Easter morning.  Not to hear something new, but to remember the great things our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us so that through faith in him we may have forgiveness of sins, eternal life and deliverance from the devil.

What else do you really want to do this morning?  Have a yummy breakfast?  Watch the kids hunt for Easter Eggs with excitement?  Or go to the empty tomb through the eyes of faith and gaze inside and ponder with amazement what this means for us?  There really is nothing for us to do this morning regarding our salvation.  Our gracious God has done everything for us.  He lived the perfect life we could not.  He died the perfect death we deserved.  He rose in victory to prove all that he as already done for us is complete and guaranteed!  Indeed, all who receive what God’s has to offer through faith is eternally blessed, for he

“gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

1 Corinthians 15:57

Therefore, on this glorious Easter morning let us

Remember Jesus Christ

Raised from the Dead

Remember Jesus!  God himself gave this name to his Son, which means “Savior.”  Jesus came as our Savior in the quietness of a stable in town of Bethlehem on a violent mission. He came to engage in battle with the forces of hell.  Every step along the way Jesus undid what Satan had done: he healed the sick, drove out demons, raised the dead.  But it was on Good Friday that the battle reached its final, decisive hour.  There on the cross Jesus and Satan went head-to-head for the eternal possession of your soul.  It was a struggle to the death.  And by the end of the day, Jesus the Son of God was dead in a tomb.  Satan laughed.  God waited. Then it happened.  Jesus came back to life.  Satan’s power was defeated.

Remember Jesus Christ!  Christ (in Greek) is the same name as Messiah (in Hebrew).  The name means “Anointed one.”  This is the one God told Adam and Eve about.  He is God’s hand-picked offspring of the women anointed to be our Champion.  He is the promised Messiah about whom all the prophets spoke and who fulfilled all those prophesies perfectly.  This is God’s One and only Son who has God’s full approval.  So Remember Jesus Christ!  Remove all doubts.  Open your ears and listen!  God appointed Jesus not just to suffer and die.  God appointed Jesus Christ to rise and live forever and ever.  God’s Chosen One has all power.  He rules all things.  He has the power to save all.  He forgave all your sins.  Believe!  Yes, Remember Jesus Christ….raised from the dead!

Remember Jesus Christ….raised from the dead.  Did you hear what I just said?  If there is one word in what I just said that may cause you doubt, more uncertainty, more fear than any other word, isn’t it the word: DEATH!  Everybody knows it a part of life.  We all know it’s coming—to young friends, to family, to spouses, to children, to you and me.  I know I’ve preached sermons to remind you that the greatest fear is caused by the unknown that you can’t control.  The problem is death is very well known, and while we might be able to push it off for a while, we can’t stop it.  Why?  The fear of death comes from the knowledge of sin.  This knowledge of sin comes from our own conscience or from the Bible’s 10 Commandments.  Everyone, deep down, knows there is a God that is holy and just. Deep down all know that we have failed to live a holy and sinless life in perfect love for him and every other human being.  Scripture adds to our knowledge and fear of death when it bluntly draws the inevitable conclusion for us:

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”

Romans 3:23

Talk about real fear!  We were created to live in perfect harmony with God, but our failure to respect God with our lives, failure to love God above all things, failure to trust in him during troubles, trials and rebellion against his holy will bring on God’s sentence of judgment: “Guilty!  You deserve to go to hell!”  What will we do?

Yes, Remember Jesus Christ….raised from the dead!  Yes, when Jesus died he died with your sins nailed with him to the cross.  When Jesus died he paid the penalty you deserved.  And today we remember Jesus who came alive because all our sins have been paid!  Dear Friends in Christ—your sins are forgiven! They were buried with Christ.  But, now Jesus Christ is alive!  This is proof that God has accepted his sacrifice!  Believe it!  That’s why we are celebrating today.  Look what God has done for you!  Lean on Jesus Christ with your life, your soul, your eternity!

Yes, Remember Jesus Christ….raised from the dead!  In 1930 there was a Russian communist leader named Bukharin who spoke to an assembly on the subject of re-education. His subject:  Atheism.  He spoke with persuasive words and great eloquence as he aimed his heavy verbal artillery at Christianity.  After his attacks of argument and ridicule he looked over the crowd and viewed what seemed to be smoldering ashes of people’s faith and asked, “Are there any questions?”  One man arose, asked for permission to climb the stage and stood next to the communist.  He calmly looked over the audience and then shouted the ancient Orthodox greeting, “Christ is Risen!”  The vast assemble arose as one man, and the response came crashing like the sound of an avalanche:  “He is Risen Indeed!”

I feel so sorry for those who don’t have what we have.  Our world is becoming more and more cold toward Jesus Christ.  They come up with all sorts of reasoned excuses to avoid the truth.  They say when you die, that is simply the end.  Others say you are re-cycled into this world as another part of the life-force.   You’ll recognize these folks at the graveside, where everything seems so meaningless, so final for them.  It is precisely at the moment that our Christian faith holds on to the promise Jesus gave:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die”

John 11:25

This is our hope, our comfort, our peace and even our joy—even in the darkest moments of our days in this world– Yes, Remember Jesus Christ….raised from the dead!

There is one more point to make before we close this Easter sermon.  St Paul wrote,

Remember Jesus Christ….Descended from David.

You all know David.  He is the most famous Old Testament king.  Jesus is a descendant of a king about which God said through the prophet Daniel,

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end”

Daniel 6:26

Jesus is our King of kings and Lord of lords.  Heaven is his throne and earth is his footstool. Jesus commands and rules all things.  This King uses his power to protect you according to his good and gracious will.  In this same letter to Timothy Paul wrote,

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen”

2 Timothy 4:18

You see, there is another reason for great rejoicing this Easter morning!  We Remember Jesus Christ….Descended from David.  Jesus came out of that tomb as the Son of God with all power and authority.  But, he also came out of that tomb as the Son of Man, the descendant of David!  Jesus was fully a human being, just like you, who came out of that tomb!  By his rising from the dead we get to see the glory that will one day be ours!   One day Jesus Christ will return with all his angels, with the trumpet call of God, to call us out of our graves to enjoy heaven with body and soul forever!  We will be who we are, just as Jesus was, but we’ll be different.  The young person who died from some disease or tragic accident, the aging body that has gradually revealed our weakness and decline, the person with hurts, pains, handicaps, illnesses, diseases and even death—will all be gone!  We will be freed from shattered dreams, disappointments, failures, shortcomings, sadness and grief.  We will be the princesses and princes of the King!

Here are the promises of our God.

“We will all be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

We will be just like the Descendant of David when he came out of the tomb as Job confessed,

“After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;  I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me”

Job 19:26,27

Yes, we will have a glorious body like Jesus has.  “Who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Phil 3:21).

There are a few things in life that I will never forget:  1. When my wife walked down the aisle at our wedding.  2. When our children were born.  3. When the women went to the tomb that Easter morning they heard three words that changed their lives.  He is Risen!  We have also heard these words this morning.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel.

This is the truth.  This is the Good News!  This is the Easter Gospel!  It is God’s own message of forgiveness, peace, hope and joy to you.  Angels spoke these words to the women.  St. Paul was inspired to speak these words to you.  So, this Easter morning and every day, remember!  Remember what God has done for you.  Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  Amen!

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