Champions or Chumps?

Posted: April 28, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Three Days Lessons
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Champions or Chumps?

 Attention Funnel: Getting a Bad Gift/ Famous People who have Died

 Introduction:

  • People rise and fall… and then they are forgotten.
  • Even some of the most popular people are often soon forgotten after their death.
  • If Jesus was exactly like these people then we should feel and even act like those kids on Christmas morning.
  • We have been duped… given a false hope… told that we were getting a great gift, only to open it up and find… pickles.
  • But if Jesus is not exactly like these people… if he really is risen from the dead… then this truth should lead to changed lives and an incredible hope and confidence.

 Big Idea: Jesus’ resurrection gives us great confidence both now and in the future.

I want to cover two main things tonight:

  • First of all, how can we know the resurrection happened.
  • Second of all, why does it matter for our lives.

Main Points:

  • Jesus’ death is a comma, not a period.
  • Jesus’ resurrection is the hinge on which Christianity hangs.
  • The resurrection means we are winners in Jesus.

Jesus’ death is a comma, not a period. (Mark 16:1-8)

  • There are certain places in the Bible where chronologies are contained.
  • But the chronologies remind us of something important we already no… everyone lives and then everyone dies. Death is inevitable.
  • In the chronologies death is the period that ends the sentence of each person’s life.
    • Read Genesis 5:3-15.
    • Someone lives, has some children, and dies period.
    • What happened to Adam’s son? He dead. What happened to Adam’s grandson. Oh he dead too. What about Adam’s great, great, great grandson… Yeah he dead as well.
  • Death is a period. It’s over. It’s an abrupt ending to a short sentence that leaves us wanting more.
  • This is exactly what the disciples believed was the case with Jesus.
    • Where are they? Hiding with the doors locked (John 20:19).
    • They thought this Jesus was going to change everything, but now he’s dead. PERIOD. They got duped by a man who claimed to be the Messiah.
    • See this thing at actually happened before… where someone came claiming to be the Messiah, and they drew a crowd to themselves, and then they died and the movement collapsed (Acts 5:35-37).
    • Like an unhealthy meal where you eat too much… in the moment it feels good, but later it leaves you with unwanted pain and regret. These movements seemed great in the moment, but after the leader was killed they quickly dissolved.
    • Everyone believed it would be the same with Jesus… because after all death is a period.
  • But the incredible truth of the resurrection is that the Jesus death is not a period, it’s only a comma.
    • Jesus lived, and he died, and he was raised again, and he is currently in heaven at God’s right hand, and…
  • How do we know this?
  • A lot of people would admit that Jesus lived, but they would say he died and that was the end of the story.
  • Why do we believe that Jesus death was not a period? Is there any evidence for this claim that we make?
    • Empty Tomb – People knew where the tomb was. All the Jewish and Roman leaders would have needed to kill the early Christian movement was to produced Jesus’ body. That’s a bingo, checkmate, game over. Yet this never happened, despite how desperately the leaders try to crush the Christian movement.
      • Well couldn’t have the disciples stole the body? The Jewish leaders were afraid that this might happen and so they sealed the tomb and set a Roman guard of soldiers to protect the tomb. It’s highly unlikely to picture 12 frightened disciples overpowering a guard of Roman soldiers.
    • Witnesses –
      • There were lots of witnesses to Jesus resurrection. It’s not just like he only appeared to one or two people and so it could be written off as a hallucination. Rather, Paul tells us Jesus appeared to the 12 apostles, his brother James, and at least 500 hundred other people, most of whom are still alive. (1 Cor. 15:5-7).
      • If I’m making something up, say I want you to believe that I ate 50 wings in 10 minutes, the last thing I’m going to do is give you witnesses. Why? Because they can disprove it right away. “No way, he’s making it up. He only ate 10 wings and it took him like 20 minutes.”
    • The reaction of the disciples.
      • All but one of Jesus 12 disciples died as a martyr.
      • They were all willing to die, some of them painful and gruesome deaths, for the fact that Jesus was resurrected.
      • All they had to do to avoid death was say, “I made it up. It’s not true.”
      • But every one of them went to their graves maintaining it was true.
    • If we only had the witness of one of these things, we would probably have reason to doubt the truth of the resurrection… because after all you live, you die, period.
    • But we can with confidence say that for Jesus, unlike anyone else before him, the cross and death was not a period.

 Jesus resurrection is the hinge on which Christianity hangs. (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

  • If Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, Christianity is a hoax and a lie.
    • If the last 8 verses of Mark are not true… then us getting together tonight is a waste of time!!
    • It would be a little like getting together to plan a party that is never actually going to happen… it’s a waste.
    • It’s like sitting and watching a blank T.V. screen. There’s nothing on and yet you sit there and stare at it for hours on hours. People would rightly begin to question your sanity.
    • If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then Christians are insane… they are fools… giving their lives to something that doesn’t matter in the end.
  • BUT, If Jesus was raised from the dead, then to not worship and follow him would be utterly foolish.
    • To center your life on anything else but Jesus, would be foolish in this case.
    • We should give every ounce of energy we have to follow after this man.
      • Let’s say for a second that I tell you there is a 1 Million Dollars buried outside under the ground. If that is not true and yet you go out and dig, and dig, and dig, you would be looked at as fool.
      • But if it is true, and you never even break the ground with a shovel, you will be just as foolish.
    • To say that we serve a risen savior and live the exact same life we always did is contradictory.
      • To know a serve a man who defeated death should absolutely effect the way we live.
      • He should be of supreme value in our lives and worshipping and serving him should immediately become our ultimate goal.
      • Not only that, but if the resurrection is true, we should be quicker to speak of Jesus to others.
      • If I met Leonardo Dicaprio yesterday, I would make sure to tell my friends and often reminiscence on the moment.
      • And yet, I say I’ve met a man who conquered death, and yet I seem too often be ashamed and afraid to speak of him.
    • Apply:
      • The resurrection should compel us to worship Jesus.
      • The resurrection should compel us towards a life of obedience to Jesus.
      • The resurrection should compel us to speak of Jesus.

The resurrection means we are winners in Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:54-57)

  • The resurrection tells us that the victory over sin and death is won.
  • One day, there will be no more sin, no more evil, and no more death.
  • But Kyle, we still sin. And we still will all die.
  • Yes, that’s true.
  • But the victory has already been won over these things. If we place our faith in Jesus we are on the winning side.
  • David and Goliath.
    • What happens in this story?
    • David goes out on behalf of the nation. Every other soldier is shaking in their boots and tunic along the sideline. They are scared, cowardly, and, timid.
    • David does the impossible, he defeats a man who is twice his size, has superior technology, and has much more experience in battle.
    • Everyone else watches as David hits the giant with a stone, and then takes Goliath’s own sword and lops off his head.
    • Then what happens? Everyone claps, cheers, and goes home… NO! The Israelites shout and chase after their enemy. Fear is gone, courage replaces it. They are cowards no more, but bold soldiers.
    • Why? Because the war has been won. David defeated the Giant!
    • This fact moves them confidently into battle, to fight the enemy, and enjoy the plunder.
  • If our faith is in Christ, we are on the winning side. Our champion has defeated death. We, who are weak, scared, cowards… now are victorious.
  • Apply
  • When we feel the crushing weight of our sin… perhaps a sin habit that you just can’t seem to defeat and you just want to give up fighting it… we need to look to Jesus and remember the victory is already won. We are on the winning side. We make war against that sin with that the confidence that one day it will have no power over us.
  • We are all scared of being losers… it’s what keeps from taking chances, taking risks, living with courage and purpose.
    • We are scared to lose our friends approval and so we don’t say anything that might offend them.
    • We are scared of losing our own comfort and so we fail to act when God nudges us to do something uncomfortable.
    • We are scared of losing control over our lives and other people and so we do everything we can to try to keep in control.
  • But the message of the cross is that we are winners. We are victorious. We may not always feel that way and it may not always seem that way, but the truth of the gospel is that we are.
  • And those who are victorious no longer need to be so worried about losing.
    • They can risk their friend’s approval to speak about Jesus.
    • They can risk being uncomfortable in response to Gods nudging and commands.
    • They can take chances, and live boldly for God, because they know they are on the winning side.
  • If we went out into the Gaga Pit and I guaranteed you that you would win the game. You would not sit back and hide in a corner until it got down close to the end.  You would go out into the center, going for the ball, going all out. Why? Because I told you you’re going to win. To stay back and hide in the corner would show that you don’t really fully believe that.
  • When we reflect on the fact that death comes for us all… we need to remember the victory Jesus has already won. We are on the winning side.
  • And when we face death, we can be confident that it is not a period for us. It is simply a doorway that swings into incredible joy and the life that we have always longed for. 

So What??

  • Apart from the resurrection, we have no hope. Because of the resurrection, we have incredible hope in Jesus.
  • The resurrection should compel us to give our lives in worship and obedience to Jesus.
  • The resurrection means you win. You can live with boldness, courage, and confidence because the war is already won.

 

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