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Now That Death Is Dead - Easter Sunday 2017

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead changes everything. If this world had not been redeemed by God, then no matter what was learned or discovered or thought or accomplished here on earth, it would all end in death. But the resurrection means the death of death. Death is no longer the unstoppable, inevitable, universal, end of existence for everyone and everything. Death is dead, because Christ overcame death by rising again. Because Christ is alive, and since His new life fills everything, the heavens and earth will not be eternally destroyed, but renewed, and filled with God’s people in their new resurrection bodies. Because Jesus is making all things new, everything that happens here on earth matters for eternity.

The resurrection changes everything, but that statement is too big for us to take in, so here are seven particular ways that your life should change right now, now that death is dead:

The first has to do with faith: Now that death is dead, believe in Jesus. Believe that He is the Son of God. Believe that He has atoned for sin and overcome the devil. According to Romans 1, the resurrection is making a declaration about Jesus: because He rose, His identity as the Son of God is confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt. Ever since Jesus rose from the dead, there is no longer any excuse for unbelief.

The second point relates to fear: Now that death is dead, don’t fear death! If you fear death, then the resurrection offers you good news: the horrible slavemaster who kept you in his chains of fear fought Jesus Christ to the death and lost. As 1 Cor. 15 says, death is swallowed up in victory. Jesus came to destroy the one who had the power of death and set free those who were enslaved by fear, and that’s exactly what He accomplished when He walked out of the tomb that Sunday morning.

The third gift that the resurrection gives has to do with grief: Now that death is dead, don’t grieve hopelessly. 1 Thess. 4:13-14 acknowledges that Christians still grieve, but in the middle of our grief, Jesus offers us resurrection hope, and that hope is not sentiment or wishful thinking; that hope is a reality, because Jesus rose from the dead, and He will raise us too. So now that death is dead, do not grieve as those who have no hope.

Fourth, Jesus’ resurrection places a holy obligation on your mouth: Now that death is dead, “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.” That’s Psalm 118:17, and that’s your job. God opened the tomb; now you should open your mouth! In Acts 10, the disciples were chosen as witnesses to the resurrection and commanded to preach to the people and testify about Jesus. Now that death is dead, tell others about judgment and forgiveness through the resurrected Lord.

Fifth, the resurrection and sin cannot coexist. Now that death is dead, stop sinning! Romans 6 says that because you are united to Christ, you share in His life. You joined Him in death through baptism, and you’ve been raised with Him to new life. And here’s what that means: sin is for dead people, but you’re alive. Never think for a moment that Jesus died so that it wouldn’t matter what you did. No, Jesus died and overcame sin and death so that you could stop sinning and dying. Now that death is dead, you are dead to sin and alive to God.

The sixth application of the resurrection comes from Col. 3:1-2, where you are told that the resurrection changes your mindset, your though patterns. Stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, wear, how you will pay that bill, whether your latest health crisis will kill you. The resurrection means that when your life is consumed by concerns about things here on earth, unless whatever you’re worrying about has the power to put Jesus back in the grave, you have better things to think about! Stress is a signal that you’ve forgotten Christ’s resurrection and yours, so remember this: now that death is dead, set your mind on things above.

Seventh, now that death is dead, rejoice and be glad! Psalm 118:24 says: “this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” What day is Psalm 118 talking about? It’s talking about the day where just a few verses earlier the psalmist said: “I shall not die, but shall live.” Resurrection day is the day the Lord has made for us to rejoice and be glad in. So be genuinely, really, truly happy that Jesus rose! Do what happy people do – sing, dance, eat, drink, laugh, rejoice! Rejoice that death is dead and Christ is alive! Be glad that your enemy is defeated, and your Savior is risen! Rejoice that your faith is founded on fact! Be glad that fear is gone! Rejoice that tears of grief tarry for the night, but rest in hope that joy comes in the morning! Be glad to testify that forgiveness is found in Jesus! Rejoice that sin no longer has dominion over you! Be glad to set your mind on things above! Now that death is dead, rejoice and be glad, because Christ is risen!

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 by CJ Bowen