Sabbath 4/4/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “Resurrection-What a Difference”

Sabbath 4/4/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “Resurrection-What a Difference” I Cor. 15:1-11

Today the resurrection has made some transformations. As Christians we see that there is much wrong in our world today, with hatred, mistrust and terror. The disciples and fellow Christians watched their leader and Lord be nailed to a cross. They heard Him cry out that He was thirsty. They saw Him when He died on the cross, committing his spirit to the Father. They watched his body, Jesus’ body, being taken down from the cross to be buried. All their hopes and dreams were buried with Jesus. They mourned Jesus’ death.
Early Sunday morning the women found the tomb empty. An angel is telling them that Christ is not here but is risen. He is risen! That is what we are celebrating this morning. All the evidence is in and we are convinced that Jesus is Alive! He is risen from the dead and what a difference his resurrection has made. Christ died for our sins according to the scripture. He was buried and raised on the third day. Jesus appeared to more than 500 people all at the same time. Then He appeared to the apostle Paul himself.
We will be raised from our sleep (death) and our bodies will be changed. We will live forever with God and Jesus in God’s kingdom. With these words ringing in our ears, let us consider some transformations that the resurrection of Jesus has already done.

1) Transformation of the Cross: Before the resurrection, the cross was only known as an instrument of death. It was a terrible, horrible way to die. It was rough wood soaked with human blood. It was so horrible that the Roman Empire would not let any Roman citizens be killed this way. Crucifixion was only for slaves and enemies of Rome. But today, because of Jesus’ resurrection, many of us wear a cross around our neck as a piece of beauty. All around the world, the cross is seen as a symbol of hope and a reminder of God’s love for us.

2) Transformation of the Tomb: Before the resurrection, the grave or the tomb was looked upon as the final chapter. The closing of a great door and the end of everything. But now the tomb is looked on as an object of hope. All our lives we accumulate things that we think are important. When facing and dealing with death, what difference does the kind of car or clothes we have make? On one side of the resurrection the things we see are temporary. On the other side of the resurrection, there are the eternal things that we cannot see yet. The only things that we cannot see are the eternal.

3) Transformation of Life Itself: In the world there are voices of despair and hopelessness. We have terrorism present in our lives today. In New York and overseas there are voices of hatred and evil. There are diseases for which we have no cure. Children are being abused and people are sleeping in the streets. If you watch the News on TV too long, you can be filled with despair. This will happen if the only hope you have is the type of hope that the world offers. We can have no hope because the message of the world is despair.
In contrast, Jesus says that He has come to bring us life and that life more abundantly. He wants to show us how to love and bring us peace, joy and love. Jesus wants to give us a reason for living. Even if there is pain and sorrow, God gives us the strength to press on. As we press on, we find the strength that comes from Jesus and the Power of His Resurrection.

4) Transformation of Death: Before the resurrection, death was the end and final curtain call. All we could do was mourn for the dead. After the resurrection, we mourn with hope because Jesus is Alive and we will see our loved ones again. This is because as Jesus rose from the dead, they in Christ will rise again too. We have great hope because as Jesus is alive then we too can live forever. We have the promise of everlasting life because with Christ’s blood, our sins are forgiven. We will have Eternal Life. This changes our whole concept of death itself.
*** O Death where is thy sting?
*** O Grave where is thy victory?
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!