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Easter 2009 - Hope!
Miles McPherson - April 12, 2009

Message Recap

If Jesus Christ really died and rose from the dead and He offers salvation freely, why are there people walking around in despair?

The penalty for sin is death, but Jesus paid the penalty for us. Therefore, salvation is available to you! Pastor Miles asked us all to imagine: you're sitting on a plane in Coach, cramped between two people with bad breath, but there is a seat waiting for you in First Class! All you have to do is accept the free gift.

In Luke 24, it is discovered that the stone of Jesus' tomb has been rolled away and Jesus is gone. In verse 12, we find Peter amazed at what he sees, 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. Peter realizes how significant the resurrection is. Jesus' resurrection holds the same impact and wonder for us today; it is the foundation of our entire belief system, for if Jesus did not rise, there is no such thing as Christianity.

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up-if in fact the dead do not rise. 1 Corinthians 15:14-15

There are many religious beliefs out there, but Christianity is the only one that can offer you eternal life, because Jesus Christ is the only one who conquered death. All other religious leaders are dead. If you believe in someone to give you eternal life but they themselves don't have it, they can't give it to you.

There are many religious beliefs out there, but Christianity is the only one that can offer you eternal life, because Jesus Christ is the only one who conquered death.

As this passage in Corinthians continues, the good news is revealed: Christ did rise from the dead, and He offers us this same life! Eternal forgiveness and victory over death are available to you today - a free ticket to First Class.

Pastor Miles then returned to Luke 24:13-21, where two disciples are traveling to Emmaus and discuss the events of Jesus' death with the risen Jesus himself (but his identity is concealed to them): "… 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." (v.20)

These disciples are disappointed because they had the wrong expectation of God. They did not expect Jesus to suffer, die and be resurrected, but rather to be a mighty, unstoppable earthly leader who would end all suffering and persecution of Israel.

Some people today have the wrong expectation of Jesus also. They show up at church on holidays, keep out of legal trouble, and expect blessing from God in the form of riches, power, success, or relationships. They are ultimately disappointed, as they are not focused on God, but on themselves. God desires us not to simply put in our time at church, but to be in relationship with Him, follow and submit to Him, trusting Him with every aspect of our lives.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Only God can give us sustainable joy. If you don't have a solid relationship with God, you spend time chasing things that can't fulfill you. But when you have abundant life with God, you realize all the earthly things you seek ultimately mean nothing.

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3

Not only does Jesus love you and want to liberate you, but He has said that He goes ahead to prepare a place for you. You're sitting in Coach, you have an opportunity to go up to First Class. If the plane is going down, but first class will be ejected and saved, what will you do?

It's your choice! God's done everything he can do. Are you going to take advantage of Jesus' free gift and place your hope in His promises?

Easter 2009

Christianity offers us everlasting life because Jesus Christ alone conquered death.

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