Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Happy Easter and Welcome to Ridgecrest and our Resurrection Celebration! This Sunday represents the greatest event in human history. And not just for Christians, but for the entire world for whom Jesus died.

Commenting on this extraordinary event, historian Paul Veyne in “When Our World Became Christian,” though referring to himself as an unbeliever, extols the message of human dignity that we find in the sacrificial love and death of Jesus by writing: “[In the gospel, a person's life] suddenly acquired an eternal significance within a cosmic plan, something that no philosophy or paganism could confer ... The pagan gods lived for themselves. In contrast, Christ, the Man-God sacrificed himself for his [people] ... Christianity owed its success to a collective invention of genius ... namely, the infinite mercy of a God passionate about the fate of the human race, indeed about the fate of each and every individual soul, including mine and yours, and not just those of the kingdoms, empires and the human race in general.”

It is the reason that Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3)
As we celebrate our risen Savior today let me remind you of three vital truths:

The resurrection is historically stable...

Some have speculated that the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was a myth that developed later on — long after the actual incident of His death. If this were true, it would be a good reason to doubt the story. No one would have really been able to verify the long-past events. But the accounts that were written about Jesus came within a few decades of the crucifixion, and the stories in those accounts circulated for years before they were written down. All of this happened while people who were part of the events were still alive to verify or refute the story.

The resurrection is eternally significant...

If Jesus remained dead, that would be the end of it, and you would have no hope. Not only did He need to die for you, but He needed to defeat death for you, too. Only because of this do you have hope of living in the eternity He promised you, with sin and death gone for good. Because He lives, His followers will live even after they physically die. If you are a follower of Jesus, death has been defeated and has no lasting power over you.

The resurrection is personally sufficient...

The Bible makes clear that when you become a follower of Jesus, you begin a relationship with Jesus. This relationship does not depend on what you do but on what Jesus did. All people are all sinful by nature and unable to keep from doing wrong. Because of that, all people deserve God’s wrath. But Jesus took that punishment for you. Even though He was without sin, He died on the cross instead of you and me and when He rose from the dead it declared His work was sufficient to appease the wrath of God on our behalf.

If you have never trusted Christ to be your personal Savior, there has never been a better time than today. Listen carefully, I’ll explain at the end of my message how you can meet Christ personally. And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

Christ is Risen,
Pastor Ray
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