Celebrating the Wonders of the Resurrection
Study Guide, April 17, 2022
Pastor Clay Olsen
Of all people of the world, God’s people are to celebrate life…especially God’s gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. And of all Sundays, Resurrection Sunday is a day to celebrate our Lord of life and the wonders of the Resurrection. Last week on Palm Sunday, it was a day that “Hosanna” was the shout of the day. And today, Resurrection Sunday, is the day that “Hallelujah” is the shout of the day.
‘Hosanna’ is from the Hebrew words ‘yasha’ and ‘anna’, meaning ‘save now’ or save us’. And ‘Hallelujah’ is a transliteration of the Hebrew words ‘haleluh and yah’, meaning ‘praise ye yah’…or ‘praise ye Yahweh’. So, some things might be Greek to you, but this is all Hebrew! Praise ye Yahweh!
Another way we can connect Hosanna and Hallelujah is by the Cross itself. Notice our majestic cross over here…When we look at the Cross there is the horizontal beam…we think of Jesus’ death on our behalf, of the atoning sacrifice of His sinless life in paying our sin sentence in our place. And we know that He completely paid the full price of our debt, since He said “Tetelestai!”, “It is finished!” Our sin penalty was ‘paid in full!’ Amen? But then there is the vertical beam…and we think of Jesus’ words: “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. He will be killed, but three days later He will rise from the dead.” Mark 9:31 NLT The horizontal beam of the Cross says, “It is finished” and the vertical beam says, “He is risen!”
But that’s not all that Jesus said about His own resurrection, for when He was telling the people that He was going to rise from the dead, He told them this: John 10:18- “No one can take My life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” NLT Another version says, “I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.” The only reason Jesus Christ was able to be put to death on the Cross was because He voluntarily allowed it. Jesus was in charge of His sacrifice!
Plus, who again was it that raised Jesus from the dead? In Gal 1:1 we find the Apostle Paul revealing this: “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)…” NKJV So God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. And then in 1 Peter 3:18 the Apostle Peter informs us: “Christ Himself suffered when He died for you, and with that one death He paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but He died for people who are guilty. He did this to bring all of you to God. In His physical form He was killed, but He was made alive by the Spirit.” ERV So God the Holy Spirit also raised Jesus from the dead. And then when talking with the religious leaders about what was going to happen with His bodily death and resurrection Jesus said: “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Jn. 2:19 NASU So again, Jesus reveals that He Himself will raise Himself from the dead. So in answer to ‘Who raised Jesus from the dead?”…Each Person of the Trinity was involved in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. So, think about it, all three Persons of the Trinity were involved in Creation, all of the Triune Godhead were involved in salvation, and each of the Trinity was involved in the resurrection.1 What a wonder of wonders!
English Educator and Historian Thomas Arnold stated: “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind, which is proved by better evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, like everything else that God has done and said, was right out in the open for believers and skeptics alike to come and see, to inquire and investigate, to examine all the facts and then, just like Thomas after Jesus revealed Himself to him in His resurrected body, Jesus said: “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:27-29 NASU
The Resurrection says, ‘He is risen!’ And because He is risen, like Thomas, everyone should now say, “My Lord and my God!”…and to then trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. And for those who do, Jesus pronounced His blessing upon them…upon us! “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” We have not physically seen Jesus yet, but we have seen Him in the revelation of the Scriptures, and we have seen Him in the wonders of Creation, and we have seen Him in the witness of our soul and conscience, and we have seen Him in the works of our lives and the lives of God’s people throughout history. And, yes, one day we will physically see Him as well. Are you getting ready for that?
Just like God’s creation, Jesus’ resurrected body was and is a physical body that one can see and touch and feel is real! And once again, how moving to realize that Jesus will be the only one in Heaven with scars on His hands and feet…for He was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed to take away the sins of the world…to take away our sins…and make us His own forever family.
And then, remember, Jesus appeared to more than 500 people at one time. It’s like the Apostle Paul said, ‘none of this was done in a corner!’ God’s works are right out in the open for all the world to see and witness. The Resurrection was no secret…Jesus traveled all over the area, revealing His resurrected body to hundreds of people. In fact, the ripple effect of Jesus resurrection also created a startling, yet amazing celebration in Jerusalem. You think the raising of Lazarus caused a stir…imagine what this did for the journalists at the Jerusalem Post…for Matt 27:52-53 records this: “The graves opened, and many of God’s people who had died were raised from death. They came out of the graves. And after Jesus was raised from death, they went into the holy city, and many people saw them.” ERV
How do you think the Pharisees handled this? Remember, with Jesus they spread a story that the Disciples of Jesus had stolen the body. Well, Jesus was soon to ascend to Heaven, but it’s like God saying… “So, you think you covered up the story of Lazarus and also now My Son’s resurrection? Let’s see how you handle these dozens and dozens of resurrected people running around Jerusalem.” That’s not a Scripture verse, just an implication there… But the false teachers thought they had ridden out the wave of the Resurrection, but then came this tidal wave of resurrected people going back and walking all around Jerusalem from out of the cemeteries.
But you see, that’s where the world just keeps stumbling and bumbling in all its attempts to discredit the miracles of God, like Jesus’ Resurrection. They somehow forget…God is really into proving Himself and His words. He’s been proving His Godhood and His Sovereignty and His Saviorhood since the beginning of the world. Proving His Words and His works is what God specializes in! Just because the world refuses to acknowledge God’s proofs, they cannot refute God’s proofs that He is the Creator and Lord of this world and mankind’s only Savior! That’s why over one third of the Bible is prophecy. Prophecy could also be called ‘Proof-ecy!’ Or ‘Proof-you see!’ God has purposefully given prophecies and had them recorded to prove to a rebellious world that He alone is God and Lord of all. Do you remember what God said in Isaiah 46:8-10- “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure…” NASU
God has been telling mankind about man’s future from the beginning of life on Earth. God has been telling the whole world how this whole world is going to work out from the beginning of this world. Remember, Jesus kept telling His disciples and everyone else that He was going to die for their sins, be buried for three days, and then rise from the dead. Again, God is into prophesying what is going to happen and then proving it all true! God has even told every person on earth how their life is going to work out. They will either be raised to eternal life to live with their Lord and their Savior, or they will be separated to live forever apart from God if they rejected or neglected to repent and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. God has already declared the end from the beginning for everyone’s life. And as sure as every other prophecy that has been fulfilled, so every other prophecy of God’s is going to be fulfilled. And we pray that each one here today has turned to God to follow Him and have trusted in Jesus as your own personal Savior. Be sure you have asked Jesus to be your Savior while it’s still called ‘Today’.
And that’s another wonder of the Resurrection. Again, on the Cross Jesus said, “It is finished!” And at the Resurrection God the Father said, “Amen!” The mission of providing for our salvation was completed! Again, Paul put it this way: 1 Cor 15:17-20- “And if Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins. And those in Christ who have already died are lost. If our hope in Christ is only for this life here on earth, then people should feel more sorry for us than for anyone else. But Christ really has been raised from death—the first one of all those who will be raised.” ERV Yes, the Resurrection proclaimed victory over sin and death. It proved that everything that Jesus said and taught was all true. In fact, it proved that everything in the Scriptures were all true…from every prophecy to every promise. No one ever should put a question mark where God has put a period. God’s Word is all true and sure, and will surely come to pass, just like Jesus’ resurrection came to pass.
And so now…now with our new life in Christ, new life for each day for eternity…we have new hope. Since Jesus is the Blessed Hope, and since His mercies are new each morning, each day we have new hope. As hopeless as much of this world has become, our hope is found in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Our hope is built upon the solid rock of our Savior and God. Every day we can have new hope because Jesus is with us every day, and He is ‘our hope’!
Now, with our new life in Christ, we also have new peace. It is certainly not well with the world, but with Jesus, it is well with our soul. You can rightly sing about that day by day because it’s all true, no matter what comes your way…high prices, hateful people, worrisome health, stressful times…it may be all wrong with this world, but because Jesus is our peace and our present help in time of need, as well as our Savior from our sins and from this world…still, it is well with my soul. The most important part about you is safe and secure and heading for Heaven, where all God’s resurrected family will call ‘Home’ forever!
And that’s why resurrected people can now also live with new joy. For ‘joy’ is not primarily an emotion, but primarily an ‘admission’…an admission that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. When the worst in this life is but a ‘gateway to gain’, then you have nothing to lose…for in Christ you have ‘everything’ you need for eternity! As the missionary and martyr Jim Elliot so wonderfully stated: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Have you ever thought about the fact that everything in this life is ‘extra’ because in Christ you have everything you need? When you have everything you need, in Christ, then everything else is ‘extra’. Our salvation in Christ is complete. Our relationship with Christ is complete. And our citizenship in Heaven with Christ is complete. It is well with my soul, INDEED!
So dwell often and long on the many wonders of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It proved everything and it provides the power to now do everything we need to do while we prepare to join our Resurrected Savior when we rise to our forever new home…Heaven!
- Who resurrected Jesus? Gotquestions.org