Talks in this series were recorded and made available during the corona virus pandemic.
Coronavirus – Is there HOPE?
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- Sermon Notes
Coronavirus – Is there HOPE?
The Evidence for the Resurrection
Do you see the two extremes at Easter? Jesus died. A cruel, unjust death. But, the Bible tells us that on the third day he came back to life! Millions believe that! Bit like the sad and the glad we see daily amidst the Covid 19 crisis…
At first glance we can forgiven for thinking dead people don’t come back to life. But we are not talking about a normal person when we consider Jesus. And if we really do wish to be rational then we must take seriously what’s been written about him. There is in fact more evidence that Jesus came back to life than that Julius Caesar even existed! Interesting within education what gets taught as fact as what gets taught as “some people believe that”… so here’s why we take seriously that claim, then in a bit we will consider what can mean for us as we ask if there can be… hope.
- Jesus predicted His Resurrection. Even though His followers did not understand what he was telling them at the time, they remembered his words and recorded them. Anyone can predict they will one day die… but NOT that they’ll come back to life again, and certainly not when!
- There was no corpse and the tomb was empty. Opposition only had to produce a dead body to shut up the first Christians… but they couldn’t.
- There was no shine for Jesus – in his day shrines were made for holy people who had died and their bones were placed within the shrine, but there was no shrine built for Jesus. Why? As there were no bones to be found because his body had been raised!
- Jesus made numerous appearances to His followers. List who? At one time Jesus was seen by more than 500 at one time. Some may argue that a few people could have agreed to a deception, or even have been hallucinating, but how can you explain the collaboration of 500 people?
- The unrelenting faith of the disciples convinces me of the Resurrection. Those followers who were once so afraid that they deserted Jesus now courageously proclaimed this news, risking their lives to tell the world that Jesus was alive. Their bold and courageous behaviour does not make sense unless they knew with absolute certainty that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
- The growth of the Christian Church confirms the Resurrection. Peter's first sermon, uneducated as he was, stirred people to receive Jesus as their living Saviour. "That day there were added about three thousand souls added to their number" (Acts 2: 41). Today, there are hundreds of millions of believers.
- The testimony of those millions of transformed lives through the centuries shows the power of the Resurrection. This is the most conclusive proof for the Resurrection of Jesus – the power of a changed life… none of us when we have experienced that reality can then deny what we know to be true!
Because of Jesus coming back to life… there IS and can be hope. Here’s why. 10 reasons.
- Death is not the end
- There can be hope for something after death
- The Bible can be seen as trustworthy
- Our lives can now have a purpose because this is not all there is
- We can know that Jesus was who he claimed to be
- We can know that he must have been God
- We can have reason to believe that he is still alive now
- We can have reason to believe that he is interested in us right now
- We should live in the light of eternity and not just for today
- We need to make a response to him – was he a liar, lunatic, or LORD…? The benefits are open to all, but only those who accept the invitation are going benefit from the benefits!
As well as all of that, the Gospel accounts speak into our lives in the here and now…
I want to mention just 3 things briefly…..
We place our faith in what Jesus did and we act on what he says.
The angel reminds the women what Jesus has done, “just as he said.” They hadn’t really heard it or taken it in.
If Jesus said he was going to die and to raise on the third day then, as Son of God, guess what he did…?
Followers of Jesus have a story to tell – what’s yours?
If you are not a Christian today, you can be. “But I don’t believe!” Then how do you react to the stories of others who ‘do’ believe and have a story to tell? They must either be deluded, lying, or telling the truth…??? Bit like who Jesus is…
Takes a lot of faith to conclude that all the millions of people who have a story to tell that has changed their lives… are ALL wrong!!!
God wants us to know His peace this Easter
Jesus said, “Peace be with you”. It was a typical greeting, but carries far more here. The disciples are terrified, confused, angry and without purpose. Ring a bell…???
They have so many questions but no sense of direction. Into that world, Jesus comes to where they are and says… “Peace be with you” (Luke 24: 36, John 20: 19).
Maybe this is what God wants to say to you amidst all you’re feeling right now?
Whether it’s Coronavirus or anything else, with God there IS always hope! But what do we do with that ‘hope’ and how do we then respond? Something must come from within us.
Easter is about new life – a ‘Fresh Start’. How…?
A = Something to ADMIT. B = BELIEVE. C = COMMIT.
If you’d like to know more or have any comments, we’d love to hear from you!