Easter Sunday Service | Mount Zion Church | 21 April 2019 | I AM The Resurrection and The Life | The Great I AM Series | John 11:20-27
Gospel of John recorded 7 “I AM” statements of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: I AM the bread of life; I AM the light of the world; I AM the door; I AM the good shepherd; I AM the resurrection and the life; I AM the way, the truth, and the life; and I AM the true vine. Each statement brings us into a deeper and stronger relation with Jesus as we know more about His love also His plan for us. Now we are going to have a deeper look about the resurrection and the life. Jesus Christ introduced Himself as the ONLY ONE who able to arise His people. As today we have a Easter Sunday service, this theme will really relate since Jesus is the first fruit of resurrection and He will fulfil His promise to raise us at the last day Jn.6:54.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:20-27 NKJV
RESURRECTION: BAD NEWS THAT TURNED INTO GOOD NEWS
Mary and Martha were very sad as Lazarus was dead and had already been in the tomb for four days. Many of the Jews came to comfort them concerning their brother. They were greatly saddened just like all people will feel when they lost someone. All disciples also felt the same feeling when Jesus died upon the cross. Death is always become the great enemy naturally for people in general. But Jesus came to bring a new understanding even highest perspective for us to see death totally different.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says, “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 1Corinthians 15:22-27 NKJV
Death is the last enemy to destroy and Jesus already done it for us! Death is swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ 1Cor.15:54-57. As a new creation in the Lord we are not supposed to fear anymore with death. Through His death upon the cross, Christ destroy devil, who had power of death, and RELEASE those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage Heb.2:14-15. We must not see death as the end of everything, since death is actually the beginning of the new things: life in eternity! When Stephen was being stoned to death, he said: “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God Ac.7:55-56!” Paul said: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain Phil.1:21.” Paul had no fear even his blood already being poured out and the time of his departure was at hand. He had fought a good fight, he had finished the race, kept the faith, and he was ready for the crown of righteousness 2Tim.4:6-8. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints Ps.116:15. The news of death is no longer bad news for the children of God as we see a new hope is ready for us.
WHAT IS RESURRECTION?
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. John 20:3-7 NKJV
The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body 1Cor.15:42-44. Resurrection is the total transformation of our natural body (even already rotten and decayed) to be conformed to His glorious body, and this is happened by the working of God Phil.3:21. Our body will not be left here down in the earth. Joseph gave a really good example how he respected his body and asked his descendants to bring his bones back to the land of promise and not to be left in Egypt Gen.50:25. He did it by faith Heb.11:22. The tombs of believers will be opened and found empty as an evidence for all people that resurrection is real Mat.27:52-53.
There were lots of miracle of resurrection recorded in the Bible. We may call this as the miracle in ministry (Elisha raised the son of Shunammite woman, Lazarus raised, the young man at Nain raised, Tabitha raised). But, the true resurrection began in Jesus because His body was transformed from the natural body to the glorious body.
WHEN AND WHERE IT WILL BE HAPPENED?
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1Thessalonians 4:15-18 NKJV
The resurrection of the believer’s body in general will be happen in the same day when the rapture happened. The Bible told us that the dead in Christ will rise first and then those who are still alive will be caught up together in the clouds. We may call this as the big harvest! This will be a great exodus for the believers as people who left behind may not find even any remnant of the believers! This will become a great and bold evidence how God respects His people with the highest treatment and LEFT NOTHING in this world! This will be happened globally everywhere in all the world.
Another resurrection also already happened in the days when Jesus was resurrected. We may find in Matthew how the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and they were coming out of the graves, went into the holy city for a moment, appeared to many Mat.27:52-53. We may call this as the first fruits of the resurrection and this was happened locally in Jerusalem and Israel.
HOW THIS WILL BE HAPPENED?
This process of transformation will never be able to be understood completely with our logic as this process happens supranatural! Paul wrote: “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body 1Cor.15:42-44.” The glory of the Father which raised Christ from the dead will also raise the body of believers Rom.6:4. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies Rom.8:11. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. This majestic process will happen simply because we believe in Jesus! Jesus said: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day Jn.6:39-40.”
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Resurrection is real and that’s become the hope of all believers. The Bible explains the resurrection very detail so that we can build our hope upon the truth and our faith about resurrection is not going to be shaken with anything. The first fruits of resurrection already happened so that we can understand and believe more that God is able to raise the death body even transform it into glorious body.
Insights and impressions:
We are waiting for that wonderful moment when Jesus will come again for the second time, the great resurrection will happen and quickly followed by the rapture. Our lowly body will be transformed into glorious body. No more sickness, no more weaknesses, we can see God face to face!
Paul explained about resurrection in the whole chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians. Then he concludes this explanation with this well-known verse: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord 1Cor.15:58.” Whatever we do let’s do it with all of our heart, do not give up, do not lose heart, knowing that our works will follow us into the eternity Rev.14:13. Let’s encourage each other to always abounding in the work of the Lord. AMEN.