April 7, 2012
(Teaching notes for Easter, 2012 by Rev. John Gishler)
These words “He is Risen!” announced a change in human history. No longer would humans have to live their lives in fear of the inevitability of death. If the promise of Jesus to rise from the dead after three days was true, all the other promises of Jesus were also true. Easter is a time to celebrate this Good News. Two very important questions arise:
· Can we really believe God raised Jesus from death?
· What does the Resurrection mean for us in our lives?
1. Can we really believe God raise Jesus from death?
· Modern people have questioned this since the Enlightenment
· Modern people are skeptical about miracles – believe in their heads but don’t really believe in their hearts
· Critical issue - our Faith in the reliability of the Teachings of Jesus as Lord and Saviour depend on the Resurrection
· Without the Resurrection Jesus is at best a wonderful teacher
· The alternative is fraud – Bible gives us no middle way
· Evidence of no body – we can be sure the religious authorities who had Jesus crucified would try to refute the Resurrection
· Evidence of the Bible – authentic confused human account (alternative of a fraud would be much more grandiose)
· Evidence of changed lives – post-Resurrection Disciples were changed men – confident, fearless, determined, ready to die
· Evidence of our own experience – many of us have personally experienced the supernatural or know someone who has and have no difficulty believing in the Resurrection
· The news of the Resurrection is so good it is hard to believe – why it is called the Good News
2. What does this mean for my life? (WIIFM): Resurrection Life