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 He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
By Rev. Michael Packard

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That was the standard greeting of the early church. Whenever two Christians would meet they would remember the glorious fact that Jesus rose from the dead, that He proved that He was who he said He was, that He had authority in heaven and on Earth, that He had authority over death, hell and the grave. Whenever they would meet, one would greet the other with "He is risen!" and the other would respond, "He is risen indeed!" What a glorious greeting.

Today's message is entitled

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Let's Bow our Hearts before the Lord

Lord Jesus, we come before you, in awe of the promise you fulfilled in your life, death, and resurrection from the dead. Thank you Lord for the hope you've given us, that after our brief time on this world is over, there awaits for us an eternal destiny beyond all that we can dream. Thank you Lord, for loving us so much that you would not be in heaven without us, that you would come to the Earth to teach us, then lay down your life willingly to save us, and then to rise from the dead to be our great high priest and intercessor. Thank you Lord for offering salvation as a free gift to all who would believe. Lord we believe. Help us to lay hold of the promise, and turn our lives to you. Help us Lord to follow you, and worship you today. Help us lay aside every weight that hinders us, that we may run the race you have set before us, and win the prize you have for us at the end of the race. Jesus, we lift you up today, and we remember. Today we celebrate. In Jesus name, for your honor and glory. Amen

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central event in human history.

It is the fulfillment of God's redemptive plan for mankind, foretold in prophecy throughout the Old Testament, from Genesis, through Malachi. From the sin of Adam, mankind was separated from God, and God, in His love began a series of events which ended in our reconciliation with Him. The Old Testament is the story of His redemptive plan for mankind. Throughout the Old Testament God carefully lays out His plan, which we see unfold through the lives of the patriarchs, the prophets, the kings, and people. The lives we see recounted either are directly in the lineage of Jesus, or are symbolic of His life and sacrifice, and resurrection. The Psalms of David, the writings of Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, and the rest, and indeed the amazing story of Jonah are all prophetic, they point to Jesus, and His mission on Earth, to His death, and to His resurrection.

Here's some excerpts from David's Psalms:

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. - Psalm 2:7 (NIV)

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. - Psalm 16:9-10 (NIV)

Isaiah had a lot to say about the Resurrection of the Redeemer, and of our resurrection:

he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." This is what the LORD says-- the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel-- to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: "Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."- Isaiah 49:6-7NIV)

Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'" - Isaiah 62:10-11 (NIV)

"The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. - Isaiah 59:20 (NIV)

But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. - Isaiah 26:19 (NIV)

Here's my favorite passage in the entire Bible: It's Isaiah 53:3-12. Every time I read this I get shivers up and down my spine. Nowhere in the scripture is a more eloquent description of what Jesus went through to save us:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. - Isaiah 53:3-12 (NIV)

What a powerful testimony of the sacrifice of Jesus, of His death, His burial, and His resurrection, and this was written 700 years before the event!

Here are the words of Jeremiah:

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.- Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NIV)

And the words of Daniel:

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. - Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)

And those of Zechariah:

"'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. - Zechariah 3:8-9 (NIV)

"On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. - Zechariah 13:1 (NIV)

Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection were the purpose of His ministry on Earth.

The Crucifixion was not a surprise to Jesus. It was a climax of His ministry, and everything He said and everything did led to the cross. But it did not end at the cross. He knew that He was the Lamb of God, the sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. He preached good news to the poor. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He taught and rebuked and corrected and spoke the truth in love, but the cross was always before Him, and after that the resurrection from the dead. He spoke plainly of the cross, and of His rising from the dead. These were events that were going to happen, and He planned His ministry around those events.

Jesus reminded His disciples of the events of the Old testament that were prophetic of what He was about to fulfill in the immediate future. In the most familiar verse of the Bible, John 3:16, Jesus reminded them of the bronze snake Moses erected in the wilderness that saved all the people who were bitten by venomous snakes because of God's wrath. It was a prophetic symbol that He was to fulfill in the salvation of mankind:

The story is in Numbers 21:9,

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. - Numbers 21:9 (NIV)

Jesus said:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:14-17 (NIV)

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." - John 12:31-32 (NIV)

Jesus reminded them of Jonah, who was in a huge fish for three days, then was vomited out and after that the whole city of Nineveh repented and was saved.

He said:

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. - Matt 12:40 (NIV)

He rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes for asking Him for a miraculous sign from heaven to validate His authority, citing the events in Jonah. He said:

"A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. - Matt 16:4 (NIV)

"The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here." - Matt 12:41 (NIV)

He reminded them of the manna that God sent from heaven to feed the people of Israel who were wandering in the desert for 40 years. It also was a sign to the generations of what Jesus would do for them. Jesus said:

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." - John 6:51 (NIV)

Jesus gave them examples from their everyday lives - of the shepherds in the field. He said:

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. - John 10:11 (NIV)

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45 (NIV)

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. - Matt 16:21 (NIV)

"We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" - Matt 20:18-19 (NIV)

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. - John 14:19 (NIV)

When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief. - Matt 17:22-23 (NIV)

Jesus made plans around the resurrection.

Just a few hours before His arrest in Gethsemene, He told His disciples what would happen that night, that the disciples would be scattered, but that He will rise from the dead and meet them in Galilee. He told them:

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." - Matthew 26:28-32 (NIV)

The resurrection really happened.

Just as it was foretold in the Old Testament, just as Jesus proclaimed it as a eminent event in His ministry, on Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead! Each Gospel gives an account of the resurrection, and since each was written from a different perspective, each gives unique details to the record of the event. Here's an ordering of the accounts:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my br others to go to Galilee; there they will see me." While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. - Matt 28:1-11 (NIV)

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. - Luke 24:12 (NIV)

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) - John 20:9 (NIV)

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. - Luke 24:13-16 (NIV)

The two men were sad and told Jesus about what had happened and that they had hoped that He was the messiah, but He was crucified. Now some women said that He was raised from the dead and they didn't know what to think.

He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. - Luke 24:25-27 (NIV)

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. - Luke 24:45-48 (NIV)

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." - John 20:19-21 (NIV)

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." - John 20:24-29 (NIV)

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. - Acts 1:3 (NIV)

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."" - Matt 28:16-20 (NIV)

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." - Acts 1:9-11 (NIV)

The most important event in history happened for you.

Jesus came to Earth to save you from your sins, to reconcile you to God, to teach you His ways, to guide you along the path to righteousness. He came to be pay a debt He did not owe, because you owed a debt you could not pay. He died on the cross for your sins, and rose from the dead to sit at the right hand of God, to be your great High Priest, and to be your Intercessor before God. He lives forever to be your personal Lord and Savior and God and Friend.


He is risen! he is risen indeed!

Share the message with someone this week.

Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, thank you, for your word and your life. Thank you for paying our debt on the cross, and rising from the dead to give us hope for a future in heaven with you. Thank you, gracious Lord for saving us from destruction. Help us, Lord to remember today and always, your love for us, and the amazing grace you've shown us. That while we were still sinners and enemies of God, you died for us. You purchased us with your own blood. Help us Lord Jesus to grab hold of the free gift you've given us, to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help us, Lord to share that gift with the lost. Help us, Lord to be the love of God, the light of the world, and the salt of the Earth. In your name alone, Lord Jesus, for Your honor and glory. And everybody said&ldots; Amen

Rev.Michael Packard
Copyright 1999 Practically Righteous Ministries - All Rights Reserved


Be the love of God, the light of the world, and the salt of the Earth

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