Christ has RISEN
This is the story of Easter…or is it ?
For some of us gathered here tonight this is the case, for some its only have the case and for others it may have not even been about the Risen Christ this Easter. I would like to ask you to share your story of Easter with those sitting in the circle around you – you might be sitting with friends , family , strangers or even those whom you dislike or have seen as your enemy. I want you to take the moment and share your highs and lows of this Easter.
LETS SHARE OUR EASTER EXPERIENCES WITH EACH OTHER
So what after sharing and thinking of the highs and lows and the overall story of Easter have you concluded as the STORY you share or shared of it ?
Yes, that is correct – have as a generation and as a people have vast variations of the Easter Story. For some it was about taking a break from the busyness of this word, for others it was time to go visit family and eat good food , being happy and joyful, for some it was sad cause it was the first without a loved one being there or some spent it in hospitals…
Can those who you tell your story to actually believe you ?
Where is the test of the truthfulness of your story ?
It is more trustworthy when we can ask more then one person to give us an account of what happened.
But i understand that you may argue that people have different perspectives and ways in which they might have seen you
That my friend is exactly why its more trust worthy- there must be more then one account of YOUR Story that is seen by different people at different times due to the fact that they will might tell the story by phrasing it differently but the facts stay the same , the story-line remains the same , its always based on the golden thread of trustfulness. The story you tell , is backed up by how many share the same story. They can trust your testimony. And we read the scriptures now we will see how Paul proves and shows us the element of the story of the Risen Christ and how the story has been preached and its not left people unchanged! It has an effect! It changed peoples hearts – even those who were the “baddest” sinners.
1 Corinthians 15 (NIV)v1-11
The Resurrection of Christ
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance a : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, b and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
THIS IS IT>>>
I can see the truth about Easter- The message of the Risen Christ
The message that Apostle Paul reminds us of he mentions in verse 1 that he wants to remind them- the brothers and sisters that might have forgotten what the message of Easter is about – the brothers and the sisters that might have no longer believed the story because the going got tough for Christians- especially in the early stages- we will look at what why they would forget just now.
he wants to remind them of the gospel He preached to them- as their leader that was also saved by Gods grace on the road to Demascus…
He reminds them of the message they received and on which they have taken their stand. Now what is he implying by this you may ask ?
He reminds them of the testimony of their faith and belief in Christ and the story that of him being raised from the dead and that He lives to save us. How be defeated the Roman Empire , the Jews, everyone who was denying Him and His Lordship over all…they took stand said we Believe HIM! We believe HIM , We believe Him . We believe that He will set the captives free . We believe God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whomever wants to come into faith may do so
We believe what the scriptures said…Paul reminds them of what they stand for. I want to ask you today- can i also remind you of this act of grace that also might have taken place in your live where you were lost but Jesus found you ? Is that still the message of Easter that you live out ?
He says in verse 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance a : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
Dear brother and sisters…is this your Easter and Life Story that you tell and can others testify and say , yes that brother ans sister is saved by that gospel, they hold firmly onto the word- Jesus- that was preached to them.
And if not- then otherwise , you have believed in vain says the Apostle.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance a : that Christ died for our sins. If you are here tonight and you have not yet received this message – i want to invite you to receive and be saved! Call upon the name of Jesus and be saved!
That what he has been preaching is all about reflecting on WHO JESUS SAID HE ( JESUS) IS. JESUS is WHO HE SAID HE IS! HE IS THE RISEN CHRIST.
The message that has been preached to all of us
That it is all about the Risen Christ
That it is about the fact that He brought healing to this world , that all who so ever believe in Him might have
That it is what was on the lips of those who were there, those who heard and those who still hear today . Look at this . Paul says that, yes that message that has changed your life is trustworthy and truthful , its been told for generations and generations and we ought to continue doing it otherwise all we said we received and believed is in vain.
We read in verse 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, b and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born
We are saved by God . And these above mentioned names are some of the first that saw THE RISEN CHRIST and that passed on this message .
But just like Paul who lived after Jesus had ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God where He will come from for the second coming we also have not seen or lived with the RISEN CHRIST but we have met Him on our journey and we trust that He will meet so many more here tonight or when you go and share this gospel with them. That all may come to repentance.
We’re told that Thomas demanded evidence and the other disciples didn’t. Moreover, we should denounce the reasonable faith of the former and imitate the blind faith of the latter. After all, Jesus said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29) . I want to tell you that the RISEN CHRIST STILL SAVES US even though we were not there. Its not about us being there but Him being here and in our Hearts!
The story of the RISEN CHRIST has the impact to change lives
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
No here are some ways in which you can go and spread this MESSAGE of the RISEN CHRIST so that by the Grace of God they can also come into an eternal relationship with the RISEN King.
1.THE MOMENT OF GIVING…
Give your life!
Give the account of what Jesus did in your life – share the gospel
Give your resources so that those who take the gospel to the world can do it
Give your life for it because if we really believe that it is no longer i that live but Christ that lives in me we are to live that way. Give yourself so that the spirit can lead you as you connect with people and share the gospel by means of how you give yourself for the cause of Jesus
At work, varsity , the out reaches , the worship events , the moments that may seem small but they are big because you gave them the opportunity to meet the RISEN CHRIST
2.THE MOMENT TO WRITE MY NAME WITH THOSE WHO ALSO DID SO…
Be bold in your truthfulness of living for this cause. Write your name on the board that contains the list of those who shared and preached the Message of the RISEN CHRIST
Be part of community based projects to get this message out and write your name up for this cause
Worship Him, your worship is your life-style
Sing and give praises to God for what He was done in your life and get friends and family to also worship with you
(I recommend that you go give theses songs a listen
_This is amazing Grace by Phil Wickham
_Mighty to save by Hilsong
_Cornerstone by Hilsong
_Touch Of Heaven – Hillsong Worship
_My Heart Burns for You by Hilsong
_Speak to Me by Keri Jobe)
4.WE GO OUT AND WE SHARE THIS MESSAGE_HIS STORY
GO PREACH the STORY OF THE RISEN CHRIST by testimony , by showing how great He is , His grace over your life, that He saved US!
Share the gospel and tell the world that Jesus lives and that your life is the truthful testimony and evidence of this story! May your story of Easter be the STORY OF THE RISEN CHRIST!