“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the pioneer of life,’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so.” ― C. S. Lewis, (Miracles, ch. 16)
Passion Week Outline:
Intro: Smart glasses: (https://spectrum.ieee.org/bosch-ar-smartglasses-tiny-eyeball-lasers)
Rome is the epicenter of the most dominant Empire of the era. They are the dominant world power...the believers may be saying "I do believe, but what does this look like in my context"? "Is my life going to look different, or feel different, or am i going to behave differently"???
The crux of the Christian message is on the resurrection:
“Put simply, the resurrection is not an ancillary doctrine, but is central to all the books of the New Testament. The resurrection is necessary to understand the Gospels, Paul’s letters, the [General] Epistles (James through Jude), and Revelation. It’s interesting that in the ordering of early Christian manuscripts, Acts proved to be quite flexible: it was sometimes grouped with the Gospels, sometimes with Paul’s letters, and quite frequently, with the [General] Epistles.” —Brandon D. Crowe, The Resurrection as a Landmark in Acts”
Romans chapter 6 shines the truth of the Resurrection into your context...
If you are a disciple of Christ: the resurrection is the premier grounds of a Holy Life… and an endless generator of life for your worship.
If you are an unbeliever, the resurrection gives you reasons why you should surrender your life to Christ today.
The resurrection helps you to see four life changing realities:
1. Only the Resurrection enables violent transition to Life (Rom 6:1-3)
1 John 4:9 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”
Jesus said: John 12:24-25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
1 Thess 1:8-10 “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
2. Only the resurrection enables radical Newness of Life (Rom 6:4b-5)
To preach Christianity meant (to the Apostles) primarily to preach the Resurrection. … The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought.” CS Lewis in Miracles, ch. 16
Phil 3:10-11 “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Eph 1:16-20 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,”
“In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.” Lee Strobel
3. Only the Resurrection enables total liberation of Life (Rom 6:6-10)
“Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look [in] yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look [in] Christ and you will find Him, and with Him, everything else thrown in.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, very last paragraph.
Jonah 2:1-6 “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.”
1 Peter 2:16 “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
Galatians 5:13-14 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
4. Only the Resurrection enables obedience and persevere in Life (Rom 6:11-14)
Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour.” THIS IS RESURRECTION. Charles H. Spurgeon
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
1 Cor 15:51-55 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?””
John 5:24-29 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”