He Is Risen!
Posted on 04/16/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
Today we gather together in celebration, to celebrate the fact that we do not follow a dead man. The author and finisher of our faith is alive today, in the flesh, and he sits at the right hand of God.
I hear people trying to compare the Christian faith to various religions, saying the Bible is equal to any writings which claim to be spiritual, and Jesus is equal to any teacher or prophet who has lead people into various systems of belief.
Our answer for them is first of all, our faith is NOT religion. It is relationship. The Holy Spirit is not in some far off place waiting for us to go through some sort of ritual before we can gather a few specks of deity dust to add to our holiness.
Rather, God desires a deep, personal, intimate relationship with us. That's why Jesus came to die on the cross, taking all our sins upon himself, so that the sin which separates us from God could be taken out of the way and we could have unbroken fellowship with God.
Many people have propegated lies, but how many groups of people have been tortured to death still refusing to tell the truth about some fantastic story they made up?
When we read that a watch was sent to guard the tomb, we're not talking about two sleepy men; rather, we're talking about a sizeable group of highly-trained, armed soldiers who fainted and fled from the tomb when the angel of the Lord rolled away the stone and Jesus stepped back onto the scene.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that just maybe Jesus is no ordinary man. Just maybe he is who he said he is. Just maybe all the prophecies he fulfilled are right in saying he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Just maybe when he said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me," he was telling the truth.
Just maybe when Jesus said, "all who came before me were theifs and liars," he wasn't being conceited or close-minded, but was simply stating the truth.
If he can rise from the dead and ascend bodily into heaven, then he has accomplished what no one else has ever done.
No one gets up after crucifixion, especially after having a spear thrust into his side, where blood and water flowed, showing that his heart had literally broken.
I proclaim to you today that we serve a living God! He is who he says! He is who Scripture says he is! He is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords!
If you are following any other besides him, whether it is Buddah, Mohomid, Oprah, or your own mind and will and emotions, his call to you this morning is this:
"Come to me, and I will give you life! I will give you abundant life! And no one will be able to snatch you out of my hand."
Meet the living Jesus today. And for those of us who already walk with him, let's share him with those around us. He didn't just come for me. He didn't just come for you. He came for the ones next to you, and yearns to fellowship with and breath life into them.
You don't have to wait for an altar call to make things right with God. You can have peace right now. You can have your slate wiped clean right now. You can have a brand new start, a brand new lease on life right now.
Scripture tells us, "If that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, it will bring life to your mortal bodies, if that Spirit lives in you."
Invite the Spirit of God to live within you now, and partake of the abundant and radiant life God created you to enjoy!
Whether you've known Jesus all your life or have never met him, whether you're walking with God now, you've strayed away from your relationship with him, or you have not yet started that amazing relationship with Jesus, everyone pray with me today.
Let's pray: "Jesus, I believe that you are alive! I believe that you paid for my sins on the cross, and I ask you to forgive me for my sins, and wash me clean. Come into my heart Jesus, and make everything brand new. I will live for you, show me how. Thank you Lord. Amen!"
If you prayed that for the first time, or rededicated your life, tell someone around you that Jesus is your Lord.
Scripture tells us, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved!"
Make sure you talk to one of our ministers and we'll point you in the right direction to develop that relationship with Jesus, and to know that when you take your last breath, you will be forever in the presence of the Lord!
Let's stand to our feet and worship our risen Savior! Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's worship our King!
** to worship with us, visit livingsounds.org **
LORD I LIFT YOUR NAME ON HIGH
Lord I lift your name on high
Lord I love to sing your praises
I'm so glad you're in my life
I'm so glad you came to save us
You came from heaven to earth
to show the way
From the earth to the cross
my debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
from the grave to the sky
Lord I lift your name on high!
BECAUSE HE IS RISEN
I live, I live, because he is risen
I live, I live, with power over sin
I live, I live, because he is risen
I live, I live, to worship him
Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!
Because you're alive,
because you're alive,
because you're alive, I live!
THE RESURRECTION SONG
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
Christ is risen from the dead
The angel up on the tombstone
said he has risen, just as he said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
that Jesus Christ is no longer dead!
Joy to the word,
He has risen, hallelujah!
He's risen, hallelujah!
He's risen, hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
Christ, he will reveal it now
The angels, they all surround us and
they are ministring Jesus' power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
for this could be your glorious hour!
Thank you Lord, that you did not stay in that tomb, but you came out of that grave! The tomb is empty! And thank you that as we get on the cross with you and die to our old lives, our old ways of doing things, that we can also rise with you and step out of the grave we've been living in our whole lives!
You may be seated, as we read from God's Word.
Let's read from the Gospel according to Luke, starting with the first verse of chapter 22, and then we will close with prayer.
And as we read, keep in mind that in Old Testament times, the Passover celebrated the night that God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt by killing the first-born males in every house. He instructed his people to put the blood of a spotless lamb on their door posts, and when death came it would pass them by unharmed.
This was a shadow of things to come, as Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, was slain for you and for me during the feast of Passover, so that by covering the doorposts of our hearts and lives with his blood, eternal death will pass us by unharmed, and we can enjoy everlasting life!
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Jesus to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.
Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”
The Lord said to Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
Then Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance.
Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”
But he denied Jesus, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”
And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”
Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.
As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.”
But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?”
So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”
And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”
Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”
So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”
When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
Then he questioned Him with many words, but Jesus answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.
Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;
no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas” — who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.
So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.
But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and gambled for them. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their chests and returned. But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”
And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.
And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And you are witnesses of these things.
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
The ministry team can come stand at the front now, as we all stand to our feet.
Lord, thank you for your Word, and for the life you offer us through Jesus.
If there is anyone under the sound of my voice who has not come to know Jesus, or who has strayed from a close walk with him, I pray that you bring them in to the Kingdom, Holy Spirit.
Break through any walls put there by circumstances, by past choices, by abuses and wrongs done to them, and by lies the enemy has told them.
And to you who need to come to Jesus today, or who need to come back to a close walk with the Lord, pray with me now:
"Jesus, I confess you as the Lord of my life. Forgive me for my sins, and wash me clean. Bring me into a close walk with you, so we can have intimate fellowship together. I open the door of my heart Lord, not waiting to clean up my life, but just as I am. I can't make myself clean anyway Lord, so I surrender myself to you and ask you to make me clean and right before you. Thank you Lord. Amen!"
This altar is open for prayer. Come speak in IM to a minister, or simply kneel and pray.
After this time of ministry we will all meet next door for a time of fellowship, so don't go away!
May God bless and keep you, and cause his face to shine upon you. And may the life of the risen Savior give you peace. Amen!