This Easter Sunday, Pastor Chris shared powerful message of hope in Jesus. No matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, a newcomer or a regular, this message is for you! While there is overwhelming evidence of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection two thousand years ago, the evidence of His deep, personal love for you is alive today. We place our hope in Jesus grateful for His sacrifice, empowered by His resurrection and hopeful for His return.

The four stages of resurrection belief…

1. Is this a fabrication?

John 20:1–2 (ESV)
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

2. What are the facts?

John 20:3–9 (ESV)
3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

The Facts of the Resurrection…
• Execution of Jesus
• Empty tomb
• Eyewitness experiences

1 Corinthians 15:5–8 (ESV)
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

• Explosion of the early church

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 (ESV)
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

3. Is the Resurrection Personal?

John 20:10–16 (ESV)
10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and exclaimed, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

Matthew 10:30 (ESV)
30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Because of the resurrection, you can have…
• Freedom from your past.

Romans 4:25 (ESV)
25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

• Power in the present.

Ephesians 1:18–20 (ESV)
18 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

• Hope for the future.

1 Corinthians 15:53–55 (ESV)
53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 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.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

4. How do I respond to the resurrection?

John 20:28 (ESV)
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Biblical Salvation:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Agreement
  3. Commitment

Baptisms here…

John 3:16 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Discussion Questions:

  1. The first stage of faith is realizing the resurrection is more than a fabrication. Are there ways that Jesus’ resurrection still seems unreal or impersonal to you?
  2. Because of the resurrection, you have freedom from your past, power in the present, and hope for the future. Share with your group how each of these is true for you specifically.
  3. Biblical salvation involves knowledge, agreement, and commitment. If you have not yet decided to follow Jesus, which one of these seems to be a hang-up for you? If you are a follower of Jesus, how can you continue to acknowledge, agree with, and commit to Jesus?

Application Question:

  1. Last week’s application question was to read through the crucifixion story. This week, sit with the Lord and read through the resurrection in Scripture (John 20). How is the Lord asking you to respond to the resurrection? Is it to acknowledge Him? Maybe to agree with its power? Or to make a fresh commitment to live for Him?

Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am