Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program

But Christ has, indeed, been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

The New Testament teaches that the same Jesus Christ was crucified and was buried and was raised on the third day. This happened to fulfill the Scriptures. Christ’s resurrection declares his deity, assures us of his acceptance of this, proves his victory over death and the powers of darkness, gives us a living hope and a victory over death, and guarantees our resurrection.

The Bible promises that some day Christians will also rise from the dead and receive a new body like Christ. In fact, when a person becomes a Christian he or she is already experiencing the power of the resurrection, a new life. Resurrection power is available to all people, my friends, yes, to all who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was prophesied in the New Testament. My friends, the psalmist declared, “Because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your holy one, that is Jesus, see decay,” Psalm 16:10.

Oh, my friends, the power of the resurrection is our theme of study today, a wonderful study. Will you join us as we look to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 28 verses one through 10? Share with us as we read.

After the Sabbath at dawn on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and going to the tomb rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid, yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said.

They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.”

In God’s word, Matthew 28 verses one through 10, we read the story of the resurrection. What joy, oh yes, and what peace and anticipation we can have because of our risen Lord.

The angel who announced the good news of the resurrection to the women gave them four messages. One, do not be afraid. Oh, my friends the reality of the resurrection brings joy, not fear. The second message he gave them was: He is not here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is alive with his people. And then the third message was: Come and see. Oh, yes, the women could check the evidence for themselves. The tomb was empty then and, my friends, it is empty yet today. And the fourth message: Go quickly and tell. Yes, they were to spread the joy of the resurrection and we, too, are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection.

The story has been told about a school teacher and her teaching about the resurrection of Jesus. We understand this event occurred in the 50s. The school teacher asked her students to make a list of three great living people. One little girl listed these three. President Eisenhower, General MacArthur and Jesus Christ.

The teacher responded to the little girl by saying these words, “Now only two of the great people you listed are still living. President Eisenhower and General MacArthur are still living, but Jesus Christ is dead.”

Oh, with no hesitation the little girl politely said, “Oh, yes, ma’am, I understand that Jesus Christ is living because God raised him from the dead.”

Oh, my friends what a wonderful truth that little girl had learned and was able even to teach her teacher.

Do you realize there are many people today who doubt the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead? How sad it is that many people do not believe in Jesus Christ as being the Savior and Lord. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive? Oh, yes, every child of God does believe that. My friends, God’s children believe with all their hearts that he is a risen Lord. He is alive and we know he lives. Yes, he lives today because of his resurrection and because he lives in our lives.

Jesus’ resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. Why? Well, my friends, just as he promised Jesus rose from the dead. We can be confident, therefore, that he will accomplish all he has promised. Secondly, Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God’s eternal kingdom. Think about that, my friends. And the third reason why we can be certain, we can be certain of our resurrection because he was resurrected.

You see, death is not the end. There is future life because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And the last consideration: the power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life and the resurrection is the basis for which the Church’s witness to the world stands firmly today. Jesus is more than just a human leader. He is the Son of God.

The women seeking Jesus discovered, in fact, that he was not in the tomb. The angel said to the women, “I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

It is so true that the resurrection is a historical event, but the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind, was buried in a tomb and was raised from the dead, still brings a response of joy to mankind. In a world of darkness there are people seeking Jesus. Yes, because of the resurrection there is light in a dark world.

My friends, the angel of today can say to people, “I know that you are looking for Jesus.”

Yes, a non Christian has sought for fulfillment in life, security, status, prestige, but all such things really fail to bring joy and peace or fulfillment. And, unfortunately, even some who are professed Christians are living with a self righteous attitude and they seemingly have forgotten the reality of the resurrection of Jesus.

Now to the non Christian, let us plead with you today. Acknowledge the fact that Jesus is a risen Lord and know that he was crucified for the sin of the world. Oh and believe that, indeed, he was raised from the dead for our justification. You need not die in your sins. Oh, no, you can receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and you can be raised to walk in the newness of life.

Perhaps we speak to some today who do not realize that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than just a symbol. But, my friends, the fact is when one is baptized into Christ this, in itself, is symbolic of one dying with Christ and one being buried because he or she is for the few seconds covered with water. That is a burial in the watery grave, if you will, and he is raised symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus to walk in a new life.

Oh, yes, how wonderful it is for one to really acknowledge the fact that he or she has been buried with Christ who died to self, was buried with Christ and raised to walk in the newness of life.

And then to the professed Christian who no longer has the joy of the resurrection, oh, my friends, we need to hear what the Word teaches us. If you were raised together with Christ at being baptized into Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is seated on the right hand of God.

Oh, the power of resurrection. It has changed many lives and many lives continue to be changed. We who live in different parts of the world, perhaps, can appreciate the fact that there are many religions. There are very few religions that acknowledge the fact that Jesus was crucified for the sin of the world and that he was buried and that he was raised from the dead.

A famous preacher was traveling in Egypt with a high government official and this Egyptian was educated, refined and cultured. Turning to religious matters the preacher said and we quote, “We believe that God has given to man three revelations of himself,” end of quote.

“We, too, believe that,” said the man who was a Muslim. We believe that God has revealed himself in the works of creation.”

“We, too, believe that.”

“We believe that God has revealed himself in a book, the Bible.”

“We believe that God has revealed himself in a book, the Koran.”

“We believe that God has revealed himself in a man. That man is Jesus Christ.”

“We believe that God has revealed himself in a man. That man is the prophet Mohammed.”

“We believe that Jesus died to save his followers.”

“We believe that Mohammed died for his people.”

“We believe,” said the preacher, “That Jesus is able to substantiate his claims because he rose from the dead.”

The Muslim hesitated, then his eyes fell. And finally he replied, “We have no information concerning our prophet after his death.”

My friends, Jesus Christ is supreme because he is the only one who ever conquered death and triumphed over the grave. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves us? Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves the world? Isn’t it wonderful, indeed, to know that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son and that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life?

Dale Offutt lives in Evansville, IN  He is a  retired  preacher.