We welcome everyone to our services today as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We remember this day as the most important day in the history of the world. Many great men have lived and died since God created the world, but no life and death has meant as much to people in every age and on every continent as that of Jesus. The birth of Jesus was a miraculous, significant event; His life was remarkable for its perfection and its miracles. His death is memorialized because His blood was the offering for sin—but His resurrection is the most important of all because it validates the eternal purpose of God. The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval on the work of Christ for the redemption of man.
The resurrection defines Christianity. It is the foundational underpinning of all the doctrines that comprise the Christian faith. Christianity is a wonderful religious system as it concerns morality and the inter-personal relationships of humans; but without the resurrection there is no more hope of eternal life than found in any other religious system. Life beyond the grave is a component of all the major religions because every person has the innate sense that this life is not the end. Coupled with this sense of eternity is the belief there is a God and in some way we are accountable to Him. Of all the world’s religions, Christianity is unique in that it addresses the corruption of the human nature and offers a way for humans to be just with God.
How to be sure of justification is a puzzling matter for religion. Ancients would go as far as offering human sacrifices to appease the wrath of their gods, and even then they were not sure it had actually been accomplished. Christianity is the only religion that offers proof that God is satisfied and peace with God is attainable. The offering of Christ as a sacrifice for sin is the method by which God is satisfied, and Christ’s subsequent resurrection from the dead is God’s statement that He accepted the offering. Paul said in Romans that Christ was “delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification” (4:25). John wrote that Christ is “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). “Propitiation” is the appeasement of wrath.
This means the resurrection is the indispensible key to the knowledge that it is possible to have a relationship with God. For this reason, the resurrection was accompanied by “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3), including over five hundred eyewitness accounts (1 Cor. 15:5-8). It is possible to know with certainty that we can be just with God. Christianity is also unique in this way because it is a verifiable, objective faith. There are no unsubstantiated claims.
We are blessed that God has revealed His plan for our salvation in this way. Although “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1), the object of our faith, Jesus Christ, was seen. He was born, He did live, He did die, and He did arise from the grave. These are indisputable facts. Faith for us is not a leap into the dark. We celebrate today with confidence in the risen Lord!
Pastor V. Mark Smith