What If?

What if Jesus didn’t really rise from the grave? What if Jesus is a liar? This is a provocative thing to think about, but it begs the more important question; what if Jesus DID rise? What if He IS alive and what does that mean for us today? Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 15:1-34 as we dive into the story of the resurrection and ultimately answer that monumental question, ‘what if?’

Date: April 1, 2018
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: Easter 2018

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

Easter 2018: “What if?” 1 Corinthians 15:1-34

INTRO> This is is! This is the moment this is why we are here! We are dealing with the most contriver man in human history and I’m not talking about our president, I am talking about Jesus Christ! As one preacher says, “More songs have been written about him, more book written about him, more paintings painted of him, more statues built to him than any other person in human history. Our calendars revolve around him and the biggest holidays celebrate him.”

APPLICATION> And here is why this matters to you, you have to make a decision about this. The implications of this are far to important, If this is true, this changes everything.

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Big Idea> The resurrection of Jesus Christ requires a response from you.

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APP> I know what some of you are thinking, “Yea yea yea… I’m just here and I’ll deal with that later, that’s not really a big deal to me.” Well… you are wrong. Jesus doesn’t give you that option about him, as a great scholar once said, “He is either a Lunatic, a liar or he is Lord.”

APP> Delaying a response is denying a response.

CONTEXT> Jesus doesn’t give you the option to be lukewarm about him and neither does the Apostle Paul. This guy went from chasing Christians down, to having them arrested, to having them killed, to being a Christian and writing almost the entire NT. How did he doe that? What happened? Easy… The Resurrection. He is writing to a church, some scholars consider this to be the most important chapter in the bible! And he is answering a question that they asked or statement, “There is no resurrection…” Paul handles that.

1) What if the resurrection isn’t true?

          • Paul lays out a number of conclusions if the resurrection isn’t true, I am going to focus on 3.
  1. We are wasting our time. “is in vain” that word vain

means “empty.” Paul is saying that the resurrection is not A PART of Christianity, the resurrection is the HEART of christianity!

B. We are liars v15. “we are misrepresenting God.” Paul says that this is so serious that if we teach this, we are calling God a liar if it didn’t happen! Look at we he also says, in v19We are to be pitied”, he even says that we are fools! *ILL> How appropriate on April Fools Day?! Do you know the history behind April Fools?! Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

C. We are doomed.v17 “If  hasn’t been raised Christ you are still in your sins…” Paul says that if the resurrection isn’t true then sin isn’t payed for, but wait… what does that mean? *ILL> Receipt and payments, my wife. God raised Jesus!

APP> The resurrection is a giant receipt across history.

“Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” v32b

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Big Idea> The resurrection of Jesus Christ requires a response from you.

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2) What if the resurrection is true?

        • Now Paul shifts his train of though with the words “But” this is one of the greatest “But’s” in ALL of the Bible, if this is true… what does this mean?
  1. Jesus is God. v20 “But in Fact he has been raised, the first fruits..” If Jesus has been raised from the Dead then he is God! You gotta understand something, when people came back to life in the miracles in the Bible, those are called “resuscitations” why? Because they died again… Jesus Christ, is ALIVE TODAY! Physically somewhere!

Statements Jesus said about himself:

                • Jesus predicted his death and resurrection. (John 2:18-22)
                • Jesus said he came from heaven. (John 6:38)
                • Jesus said he always existed. (John 8:58)
                • Jesus said he was equal with God. (John 10:30)
                • Jesus said he was the only way to heaven. (John 14:6)

B. Death is Defeated.v21-24 “For as by a man…” Paul is telling us that the greatest enemy for everyone is death. Guess what? Everybody in here will die… happy easter. That’s because of the fall! let me illustrate..

*ILL> This is a picture of a preacher named R.A. Torrey from the 1800’s he graduated from Yale and was a smart man. He told a story about how he literally saw v21 come true. He was apart of a climbing team but that day he was watching another team climb, they where all tied together, the last man on the end lost his footing and began to fall, as he fell he saw the jarring effect and the next man he was tied to, began to fall, the man at the very top saw what was happening, as another man was pulled off, this man swung his pick as hard as he could into the mountain, then RA Torrey heard the snap, the ropes began to tighten around this man and began to choke him, he heard a rib break, the weight of all the other men falling was falling onto this man. He stayed steady as the other got their footing.

APP> Adam is the first man that slipped pulling all of us down, Jesus is the last man, taking on every one else’s “lostness”

C. We are Fearless. v32 “Why do I fight beasts in Ephesus” this is such a weird verse! History tells us that early Christians where fed to the lions in the Coliseum in Rome. History records that Paul was forced to participate in these games.

APP> Paul is saying, if the resurrection is true, what do we have to fear? Many of you are riddled with anxiety, Paul says the answer is the resurrection!

Big Idea> The resurrection of Jesus Christ requires a response from you.

CLOSE> I want to close with this. This year sports history was made in the NCAA tournament when a team raked 16th beat the #1 team. UMBC beat #1 ranked Virginia. It had never been done in history! You know what everyones response is.. .”Man, I would of loved to have put money down on UMBC!” Well, one man did. Eric Barger, who was a UMBC alum, placed $800 bet and won $16,000!!

Application> Imagine if he had known they where going to win, he would have bet everything on it!

Are you willing to bet your life on the resurrection? God did.

Close by giving to response times:

  1. Invite people to come forward, pray and speak with a counselor.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man who he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

Big Idea> The resurrection of Jesus Christ requires a response from you.

2)  Give instructions for those who are believers to come forward and partake in communion. Give instructions for communion.

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