I’m sure that many of you heard some wonderful sermons on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ yesterday and I pray that they made you reflect upon the significance of it. I had the privilege of watching the below video and I believe it is one of the best sermons on the resurrection that I’ve encountered. I appreciated how Mr. Reeves brought out that there is no real gospel without the resurrection. Too many gospel messages lack any mention of the resurrection.
How often have we heard preachers proclaim the message of the gospel by stating to their audience that they “need to get saved to go to heaven“. I have heard many messages with this catch phrase and people literally telling me after their conversion that they were “going to heaven”. I think we have also all heard the gospel messages preached throughout the years with some preachers being very Christ-centered and others being unfortunately very man-centered. There are preachers who begin with God while others seem to spend their time focused upon man. God loves you and sent His Son into the world to die for you or Just come to Him as you are have resonated from pulpits on many occasions. Obviously different people have different ideas of preaching the gospel and what content to include.
Now, before I continue, I want to emphasize that there is nothing necessarily “untrue” about some of these phrase. I think it is perfectly legitimate to say that if a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ that they are saved and they are going to heaven. Christ is central to the gospel and there are many things we can say about Christ, His work and the need of sinful men during a gospel presentation. We could also mention such things as God’s Holiness, the fall, man’s deadness in sin, repentance, faith, grace, the new birth and especially the death of the Lord Jesus. The death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely central to the whole Christian message and is so interrelated in His person that the two cannot ever be separated. To speak of the gospel without speaking of Christ and His death is not to be speaking of the gospel at all. The proclamation of the gospel is expressed only through Jesus Christ alone.
One element that the bible is saturated with and that is often neglected during the proclamation of the gospel is the resurrection. You will hear it mentioned once a year during the “Easter” season when people flock to church on that particular Sunday but during the rest of the year many churches are left without any mention of it. There are two main dynamics to the “resurrection” that are generally ignored; the first is to withhold speaking about the glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the other is not speaking about the resurrection of the saints at the end of the age. Both these elements are so significant that I am often left wondering why they are so infrequent during ministry and the gospel message. Let’ take a look at both of these.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was [d]about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You [e]the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the [f]Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning [g]with Moses and [h]with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”