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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   The Meaning of Resurrection - Easter Service    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   John 14: 6
Date
   2009-04-12



Passage

[John 14: 6]
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today is Easter. Easter is one of the biggest Christian feasts.
People share eggs with pretty decorations to celebrate and have Holy Communion. We have the Easter Cantata and we experience the emotions of Easter.
But the most important thing in celebrating Easter is to remember the true meaning of resurrection.
We should not carelessly overlook it thinking it is just one of the feasts that we have once every year.
Resurrection is such an important element in our faith. We even say that the Christian faith can be expressed as "the Faith of Resurrection".
So, we should understand the meaning of resurrection.
At this time, let us once again remember the meaning of resurrection.
Listening to the message, I hope you will understand the true meaning of resurrection from the heart and it will fill you with grace. Furthermore, I hope you will have the proper purpose of life and that of your Christian life.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be filled to overflowing with the emotion of the resurrection and you will march forward towards the heavenly kingdom.

Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what is the meaning of resurrection?
First, it is true life.
You and I all were destined to death, for we were all sinners.
The apostle Paul deeply understood the rules of the spiritual realm and he spoke clearly about it.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death." As said, the final outcome of sin is death.
No human being can be exempted, because all are born as descendants of Adam who sinned. All people also commit personal sins.
Just as the Bible says there is none righteous, there is no one who is righteous. There is no one who can solve the problem of sin by himself.
But the Lord saved us from this death. He paid the price of sins of all mankind by taking the cross.
But, after dying on the cross He came back to life! He became the first fruit of resurrection. If we accept this Lord as our Savior and believe Him, we will not face the death caused by sin. We will live forever in the kingdom of heaven.
It's just as 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."
Brothers and sisters, how vividly do you feel that you were moved from death to eternal life? And how thankful are you for this?
Most people do not think about their own deaths, but in fact, death is a clear reality. Death has been the pain of all mankind throughout human history.
The process of dying also gives us pain. We can feel the pain of it by seeing people aging, or those who struggle against terminal diseases.
It's not that the death alone is painful. Death also causes another kind of pain called separation.
But if we, all of mankind, face only physical death, it will be all right, because the pain of death will fade away as time passes.
But the death that the sinners will face is not only physical death.
They will face a spiritual death as well as the physical death. They will also be receiving eternal punishment in Hell.
And we once all had to face this spiritual death. But the Lord gave us true life. Now we can live in the kingdom of heaven forever without dying forever because we gained true life.
Of course, even those believers who are saved face the physical death. But even though they face death the Bible does not say they are dead, but 'asleep'.
1 Corinthians 15:20 says, "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep."
Those who are asleep are those who believed in the Lord during their earthly life and were dead and buried. At the time of the Lord's second coming, they will resurrect before those who are living welcome the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
At this moment, the dead and buried bodies will change into a resurrected body and unite with their spirit. How emotional this moment will be! They will be filled with rapture just by the fact that they will not die again.
After these people resurrect, those who are living will then be caught up in the air.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, "Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
Those who do not face the physical death will be caught up in the air, and their bodies will change into spiritual bodies that will never perish.
This spiritual body is not just imperishable but it is truly beautiful.
Those who are still living on earth are more thankful for they have the hope that they will meet the Lord alive!
Brothers and sisters, when people escape from life-threatening situations or dangers, they give a sigh of relief saying they were close to death.
So, when we have escaped eternal death, what an incredibly happy moment it will be for us!
We gained true life through the sufferings and resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus is the sure promise of the true life that He will give to us.
I urge you to give thanks from the depth of your hearts to this Lord who has saved us from death and given us true life.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the meaning of resurrection, secondly, is true love.
When we preach the gospel we preach the love of God.
We say "God loves you!" Then, some say they cannot believe that the invisible God loves them, and they don't open their hearts that easily.
But we know about the love of God very well. God did not love us only with words; He showed us clear evidence.
The evidence is the sufferings of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus took the cross to save mankind who were sinners. What is the reason He did it? It's because He loved us.
Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
We were supposed to die, but Jesus wanted to save us. He wanted to give us eternal life and the heavenly kingdom.
So, He took the cross. He did not just love with words, but He gave us everything with His actions.
And by resurrecting He proved that His love was true. His resurrection proves that He had no sin at all.
Jesus resurrected because He was innocent and He couldn't be bound by death. It means He loved us so much that though He was completely innocent, He took the punishment of death on behalf of sinners.
We can also feel the great love of God the Father through the resurrection of Jesus.
Who planned this providence of salvation of the cross? It is Father God. Adam forsook the love of God by committing a sin.
As a result he became a man of flesh and according to the spiritual rules he had to die. Furthermore, all his descendants who were descendents of him had to face death as sinners as well.
But then somebody paid for the price of this sin. It is Jesus, who is one with God in origin.
God prepared Jesus even before the time began to solve this problem of sin.
And when the time came, He sent His one and only Son Jesus to this lowly earth for us sinners. God let Jesus be killed at the hands of the sinners.
He did it to restore life to these same sinners.
This was not possible to do without love. Human beings are just God's creatures and as the Creator, God can destroy them at any time.
But His love never changed. Even when the people committed sins He loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to solve the problem of sin for us.
Then, what is the ultimate purpose of planning this salvation of the cross?
It is to gain true children who would share the glory of God together with Him.
Namely, God planned all these things to give us the heavenly kingdom and eternal life and to share His love.
He clearly showed us His love by sending His one and only Son to this earth and fulfilling the sufferings on the cross and resurrection.
The true love contained in the resurrection is still shown in the same way today, some 2,000 years later.
This true love is shown through God, the Holy Spirit.
When we accept Jesus Christ who died on the cross as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into our heart.
Then, our dead spirits are revived through the Holy Spirit. When we live by the word of God with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will become spiritual children of God more and more.
We will die to sin completely and live to righteousness.
But because today's world is full of sins, there are so many people who do not acknowledge God. They blaspheme against God and run towards death.
Even after accepting the Lord and gaining eternal life, they commit sins again that lead to death.
But the Holy Spirit is interceding to God so that even these souls who are supposed to die, and who have dim chance of salvation, will receive life again.
Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;"
As a shepherd, I take care of many sheep, and I see some people who commit various sins.
I am so heartbroken to see those who willfully commit sins knowing the truth and those who commit unforgivable sins.
I earnestly pray to God to forgive their sins and let them live.
I pray with the kind of heart that I would be willing to pay any price so they can go to the heavenly kingdom.
When I pray so earnestly, sometimes God opens the way to let them gain life again. And the joy of receiving a soul back cannot be described.
My heart just as a little shepherd is like this, and how joyful our God the Father will be! Even the worldly people say the greatest love is the love to sacrifice oneself for others.
They acknowledge that if a person can give even his life, his love is true.
They also dream of loving with such a love. And Jesus showed this greatest love by taking the cross.
He also confirmed that His love is true by Him resurrecting. And who did He love? It is you and I.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will fill your heart fully with this love in the resurrection so that you will later stand as beautiful brides of the Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, resurrection also carries the third meaning, true faith.
Jesus believed God would certainly fulfill the providence of the salvation of the cross. And so, He could obey with joy. Namely, He fulfilled the providence of salvation completely by taking the cross.
Of course, Jesus also faced some situation where it seemed things were not going as planned. He was persecuted and He even faced many threats to His life.
When He took the cross, He had to be forsaken even by God and become completely alone. It's because He had to take the cross in the place of sinners.
He couldn't call on His most beloved Father, as 'Father', but only as 'God'. But until the last moment when He gave up His Spirit on the cross, He completely trusted God.
He believed and hoped that He would resurrect and enjoy the glory with God together after the sufferings of the cross.
If we wholly trust God like Jesus did, we can also live in faith, not compromising with the world.
To wholly trust God is to believe in God who will also give us our resurrection and the kingdom of heaven.
Those who have this kind of faith will not put their hope in this earth that is only transitory.
They don't love this world that will perish and disappear. They cast away sins every day and because they have hope for the eternal heavenly kingdom, they try to become sanctified.
Also, in any kind of sufferings, they work faithfully for the kingdom of God until death. Their faithfulness will never change.
I believe in God who has given me eternal life before death, and so I also believe that He will fulfill all the visions that He has given to our church.
Sometimes we have had to endure persecutions and sufferings. Personally, I was threatened in my pastoral ministry. Our church also encountered difficult situations.
But I never doubted God. We were same as dead when we saw the reality of things, but when we wholly believed in God, the miracle of resurrection took place for us.
No one dies without having committed sins. But when we had to suffer without sinning, God gave us blessings through those sufferings.
Brothers and sisters, 2 Timothy 3:12 says, "Indeed, all who desire to live Godly [lives] in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
You sometimes may face persecutions and hardships in your personal life or in your ministry. But even at these times, I hope you will firmly trust in God who will give us resurrection and hope for the glory that He will give you to later.
You are the witnesses of the Lord who resurrected. You had no life living in sins before, but you were born again by meeting the Lord.
You give birth to spirit through the Spirit every day, and you are changing into a man of spirit. You also have seen and experienced the power of the Holy Spirit that revives and recreates the dead, dead cells and tissues and nerves.
Therefore, I urge you to take hold of more beautiful heavenly dwelling places by force with stronger faith and hope.
Also, I urge you to become workers of the Lord who will fulfill the visions of this church together.
Above all, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will surely show the evidence of the Lord who resurrected and who is living.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, people say men are animals that forget. It tells us the nature of men who forget very soon even the things that should not be forgettable.
But there is one thing we must never forget. It is the sufferings of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. Today, we reflected on the meanings contained in the resurrection of the Lord.
Resurrection means true life, true love, and true faith. Among these three meanings, especially, I hope you will keep the love of God in your deep heart.
Isaiah 49:16 says, "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."
As said, God has never forgotten His children even when they committed sins and left God. He forgave them and opened the way for them so they could come back to Him.
God does not forget even the children who left Him and He inscribes them on His palm. This is the love of the Father God. I hope you will keep the love deep in your heart that you will never forget it.
I pray in the name of the Lord that on the day you meet the Lord, you will be able to confess with tears of joy before the Lord that it was this love had led you all the way there.

[Amen]

 
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