Jesus' Resurrection - The Easter Account
Welcome, Happy Easter. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene. I serve here at sea three church as your pastor, and indeed he is risen around 2000 years ago, time tested. But it seems, even though this has never been disproven, people are always trying to set out to disprove it for 2000 years, in addition to that people are coming up with their own worldviews today, their own religions, and it just seems like it's all based not in fact, but in fantasy. People can just make up whatever they want, it seems nowadays. So I heard a story about a guy who wanted to start his own religion. So he figures All right, here's what I'm going to do, I'll start my own religion. And I'll just make it all about them, right. So you're always going to be happy, healthy, wealthy, everything's always going to be good. Let's see if I can get people to sign up. So he does. People start to buy it a little bit. But things don't always work out that way. So he's not getting the following. He wants it's kind of a revolving door. And he realizes this is getting expensive, in a revolving door, keeping people in here all the time. So he hires a marketing firm, is great, and they're happy to take his money. And so they like tweak the religion a little bit there, he designed some stuff, well, you know, you got to change this a little. And so they kind of smooth it out and give them an app. All the modern things, all the marketing, and so he's kind of keeping people in there, but not the way he wanted, still not working. So one day, he's at the marketing firm, and he's angry, he's having an angry meeting with them, you guys need to do your job, I'm paying you a lot of money. Well, in the midst of this, in comes a delivery guy, hand chock full of boxes. And he kind of takes notice what's going on here, he takes some interest in it. And so he's like, unloading the boxes really slowly to listen. Right, you know, but quietly, mind his own business. They're going back and forth, and he just can't help it. He says, I got an idea. And the marketing firm guys are like, the delivery guy really go away. Just do your job and get out of here. But the guy wants to start his own religion says, Wait, you know what, I'll listen to just about anything right now. What's your idea? So liberal guy says, You got to get crucified. What? Won't I die? If I do that? Yeah. Just got to make sure you rise from the dead. It worked out really well for this one guy I know. couldn't help himself. Alright, so we don't need the left track. You guys. I think that was good. That helps me. So if you're new here, you don't know we're usually in a series we were in a really long series, we're looking at the entire Bible, all the bits and pieces of the Bible that nobody ever looks at. It's really interesting. But I managed to kind of tie it in and we looked at the crucifixion. We saw Jesus called it his exodus from the world. So I was kind of explained to you guys about how all these festivals, these holidays, they all tie in, and Jesus fulfills everything. What we did is we looked at the crucifixion. And this was mainly because I know a lot of people just can't get here throughout the week, much smaller crowd for Wednesday Bible study. And by the time Good Friday comes, it's like, you know, we have dinner plans. So if you do a good Friday service, it's kind of small. So I was like, You know what, we really need to reflect on this this week. And so we talked about the crucifixion. Last week, very somber. But it's good to think about we can't have Easter, the resurrection without the crucifixion. So we spend a lot of time talking about that. Now we're going to talk about the resurrection. I'm just going to focus on the empty tomb account. But there's some stuff that happens in between. So Jesus dies on the cross, and then all these crazy things happen. A lot of people don't think about a couple of different earthquakes, but there's an earthquake, the veil is torn the temple that separates man from God, there's no more separation, but a lot of people don't know that the saints if you're eating the Greek, the holy ones, they rise from the dead. All these people come out and start visiting feel. So the Roman centurion, they freak out. And they're like, this is the Son of God. And so you have here a Gentile acknowledging that Jesus death that He's the Son of God, kind of interesting. Nobody really talks about that. Then in the meantime, you have these two really just unlikely people going for the body of Jesus. They're going to bury him, Joseph of Anthea, and Nicodemus and there's these likes The secret followers of Jesus because they're scared of the religious leaders, the Jewish religious leaders, so they go in to get the body and they get like 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes prepared Jesus's body, they bury him in a tomb carved out of rock. Okay, in the meantime, you have the women. And so this is I'm going to kind of make this less confusing. There are a lot of Mary's there are many Mary's in this account. And so depending on what gospel account you're reading, it seems different. So it's just different mentions different perspectives. They're kind of watching, where's he buried, they see where he's buried. But the Jewish leadership, they're worrying. So they demand that the tomb be sealed and guarded so that the disciples don't steal the body, and then take it away, then they'll say heroes from the dead, and we'll be worse off than before all this is going on in the background. And now we get to Sunday morning, right? So you get early in the morning, the women arrive. Now, I'm not really going to get into every single one of the Mary's and how it probably works out. But you know, Luke will just be very generic about the women from Galilee. So it could be any number of women there. Right? So Mark finally gets to this part, Mary Magdalene Salaam and Mary, the mother, James, so many Mary's here. So what I did here, and this is this will be new to some of you who never been here before I made a chart. Anyway, the Bible is not in chronological order. So that can be confusing for people anyway, it's not in chronological order, you get to the Gospels, and it's four different perspectives angles, on Jesus's life and ministry. But one will come along and decide to give one detail the other another detail, in addition to the books not being in chronological order, they're not told in chronological order 30, they don't work that way, really. So even with us, in a certain event, it's almost like they're saying, Oh, well, Oh, yeah. And then Peter did that. But they don't give you the perfect and exact timeline. So this is a chronological ish. Look at these accounts, even scholars that kind of disagree about certain parts that this is most likely what happened. And so I want to point out a few things, especially about the women here that a lot of people really don't take into account. So the women, they can sit out now to prepare Jesus's body, right? So they want to find it, but then they're thinking like, oh, wait a minute, how do we roll the stone away? Right. So we're not going to be able to do that. And that's kind of the conversation going on. In the meantime, an angel appears, there's another earthquake, there's an earthquake, and angel appears and just frightens the garden. So they're like, and they think they just pass out. They're so scared, right? So the women continue on, and you have the women finding the stone rolled away, that's one face. So the stone is rolled away. It's a big tomb, or stuck stone on the front of the tomb. But you have these different kinds of sequences going on. So what probably happens is Mary Magdalene runs and gets Peter. So they haven't seen anything. Yeah, they just figure, well, you know, Jesus's body is gone. But the stones are all the way, Peter, come help. Then in the Gospel of John, you get this kind of I find it funny. But John places himself in a race with Peter to the tomb, it's kind of funny, and then he like wins the race and make sure that he says that. So it's kind of interesting, right. So he kind of peeks in sees what's going on, you know, the body's not there. But Peter, he goes in first. And there's linen wrappings there, especially the face cloth and it's nice and folded up. Why? Well, who's going to steal the body and take the time? Hold on, let me do their laundry. Okay, so like, imagine having your TV stolen, you look around and be like, Wow, but they did all the laundry and they folded the towels, right? Nobody's going to see, you got to think like modern, right? So why add that in there? That's why right there, no, someone's going to steal something and I can do your laundry. So it's nice and neat. There has not been stolen. Okay. But it's kind of interesting at this point. Because they go, they're like, Well, you know, John says, Yeah, I believed, you know, Peter out, and he didn't get the scriptures, right. So they went back home. There's later. That's interesting. Remember that one. So now you have the women kind of discovering two things. There's a man in a white robe. And this gets really confusing. And they see the man in the white robe, and they kind of discover the empty tomb, then two angels appear. And they just focus on one of the angels talking and when you mash it together at something like hey, you know, we know you're looking for Jesus here, who was crucified, but he is risen. Now, just think about something and we'll get back to this later. If you're in church for a long time, he is risen. He is risen indeed. Right. So you know that right? But a lot of people don't picture this. The angel is saying this to the women.
That's interesting. It's not Peter. Kind of funny. Alright, so we'll get back to that and the significance of that there's actually a very large significance. So then you have a scene and it's very hard to tell I'll either the larger group of women then leave to tell the disciples, or they're still there and then Mary's there and she's weeping. Why are you weeping? Right? The angels say, then they say what I just said. But then again, like, you know, why are we? Well, Mary thinks the gardener's behind it like, so if you've taken his body, just tell me where you're taking the body and she's weeping. And then she turns around, and he says, Mary, it's Jesus Rabona, which means teacher. And she claims to him like, don't claim to me, I've not yet ascended to my Father, right? So, my God and your God, so go tell the disciples what you've seen, she's going to do that she races off. Probably another scene, either the whole large group of women, or the group of women run into Jesus, either again, or they run into Jesus, and they worship Him. And basically, he says the same thing, go and tell my brother meet him in Galilee. Right. So that's interesting. So there's a couple of different rounds of this going on. But Jesus is first two appearances are two women. That will be significant later as we talk more about it. So you guys did that reason, anything really, really? Well? I mean, that's good. I got to say, all right. Okay, so yeah, that was a long section there. So Jesus does appear to others, on the amass Road, clear person, friend. So there's a few other appearances that go on here. Thomas, the disciples, different appearances we go along. So we're just going to get to this though. They eventually come to believe these people. But here's what Mark says Mark 16, nine, after Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning. The first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples who are grieving and weeping and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive, and she had seen him, they didn't believe her. Afterward, he appeared in different form, to two of his followers were walking from Jerusalem into the country, they were rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them. Still later, he appeared to the 11 disciples as they were eating together, he rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief, because they refuse to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead. And using now, if we look at what happened between Jesus's appearance to the women, and that may us encounter, we see this, Matthew 2911, as a woman were on their way some of the guards went into the city, and told the leading priests what had happened, a meeting with elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe, they told the soldiers, you must say Jesus's disciples came during the night while you're sleeping, and they stole his body. If the governor hears about it will stand up for you, and you will get in trouble. So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their stories spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. Indeed, they still tell it today, this lie that going on people trying to dispel this whole thing, and they come up with their theories. People are trying to take down Christianity actively. But for those who are like, Oh, no, it's nothing new. It's been going on right from the beginning. So it's interesting. I'm not into a lot of Christian movies, because they're usually kind of low budget and cheesy. Let's just be honest about it. So the other thing is like, I'm a real Bible nerd. And like, think of your favorite book, say, the Bible, of course. Right? Right. But your second favorite book, you know, and you know everything about it, then someone makes a movie about it. And it's annoying, right? Because they get stuff wrong. And you're like, No, no, no, no, no, like, it's wrong. So but that's one thing for some person, right? You get Harry Potter wrong, whatever, right? someone's like, whatever. series. But you get Jesus wrong. I'm not happy, I get really unhappy about that. So I just generally don't like, like Bible movies. I don't because they usually get something wrong. And I'm like, like, not good at all. But there's this one movie called case for Christ. And it's a true story about a guy named Lee Strobel and got a picture like a lawyer, investigative journalist. And the basic premises he sets out and just true to disprove Christianity is like, that's it. I'm going to disprove it smart guy. Get rid of this religion. Right? Okay. So he goes and sits out and interviews all these people and some of them are just, you know, they're real famous people like William Lane Craig Gary Habermas, like scholars I like to listen to, and you know, he's going through the thing. And he ends up flipping and becoming a Christian. He sees all the evidence and he's like, Oh, this is true. And he becomes a believer and writes the book. I have a little pamphlet if you want one of their services, it's a condensed version case for Christ. The movie is called The Case for Christ. And so it's actually a really good movie. It was well done, well produced. And it's just excellent. During, especially during these times when people are trying to knock Christianity, but here's the thing. The real important thing is the resurrection. So he's like, okay, basically, how do I take it down? How do I just prove it? Well, you just prove the resurrection. If the resurrection didn't happen, no Christianity, you just got people going around trying to be nice, because Jesus was, Okay, anybody can do that. Right? The resurrection. That's it, and all hinges on that. So going back to the Bible, you know anything about the Bible. Let's see, everybody in here has heard First Corinthians at a wedding 13. I've heard that. So frame of reference, Paul's writing to the church in Corinth, there's actually a lot of problems there. So it's kind of funny that they read that at a wedding because you hope that there's going to be no problems in the wedding. Anyway, context guide, you go ahead a couple of chapters, and Paul starts talking about the resurrection. It's important, some are saying, it didn't happen, or it's not going to happen, or it's not, you know, whatever. So he needs to teach him about the resurrection. So first Corinthians 15. One, let me now remind you to your brothers and sisters of the good news I preached you before you welcomed it, then and you still stand firm in it. This is the good news that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you unless, of course, you believe something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me, Christ died for our sins, just as the scripture said, He was buried and then was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the scripture said, he was seen by Peter and then at 12. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been might say untimely born in your virgin born at the wrong time, I also saw him. Paul lays out the facts. These are the facts. And we'll get back to this in a minute or two, because it's really important. He's laying on simplifying the gospel and saying, These are the basics guys, this happened. We have witnesses to this. Now he continues First Corinthians 1512. But telling me this, since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? Four, if there's no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles, would be lying about God, we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised in your faith is useless, and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost. And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world a lot of gravity there, right? Almost repetitive here. Our hope is not in this life, it's in the resurrection. Important. But this is extremely important. If the resurrection didn't happen, your faith is worthless, you are wasting your time I'm wasting mine. That's what Paul's saying. Right? So indeed. Just like back then there are those today, or setting out or saying it didn't happen. Your faith is worthless, you're stupid, right? So that's what's going on in the world today. And then so back to Peter, after Peter gets it, so he writes a couple letters that make it into the New Testament. So Peter knows this that people are going to be doing this also. At this time now there are people suffering for being a Christian they're being persecuted, tortured, Harbin, we get to Nero they're being set on fire for what they believe these fiery trials that you're experiencing. So amidst this and probably a little bit before that time, Peter is just encouraging them, right? Yes, you're going to suffer just as Christ did. You're called to it, but encouraging them, he's giving them hope. He's also telling them how to deal with these people. Do we start normally see, Peter got that one wrong? He tried to like, cut Malcolm zero off Jesus had to heal it right. So wrong, the wrong way to do it, Peter. So now Peter gets it.
So here's what he says first, Peter 313. Now, who want to harm you if you're eager to do good, but even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks you about your hope is a believer. Always be ready to explain it. But do it in a gentle and respectful way. So here's the reason he threw that in there. It's faster. I know why. But the word is apologia in Greek. So it means to make a defense, you're making a stand, you're making a defense about something. And when you say the word like, if I'm telling you guys, hey, get ready to make a defense, what comes to your mind? We're going to have a fight. Right? That's what comes into your mind if you got to defend yourself while you're in a fight now, okay, so let's go. Now that kind of defense. So this is why Peter like, but wait, wait, but do it in a gentle, the opposite of fighting, gentle and respectful way. So what's the idea here? Well, I've said this before here, I've never won an argument. I've never won an argument. Never just never happen where you go away. Okay, you know, the best. The best that ever ends is, that's fine. We have to agree to disagree. That's the best, but usually not. There's, like, all kinds of arguments. So I'm done. I'm done arguing, right. So the only one I'm going to like do the apology with is like someone who comes in actually just wants to hear what I have to say and listen, otherwise, whatever, you know, and I told you, like Ezekiel and Paul, the blood is not on my hands. Like, that's it. I'm not arguing with you anymore. Right. So Peter knows that that's how we get he knows that right? So you Okay, listen, explain this Christianity stuff, but love them. Love them, honor them. You just got done saying honor authorities, and the king or the emperor, the guy who's burning you honor him. It's really important, right? This is how we do it. We love people into the faith, really important. So he knows to say but do it in a gentle and respectful way. Really important You catch more flies with honey. So disciple making is really important. So here we get to the how I'm going to say disciple making, you're making more followers of Jesus is important. So Jesus, there isn't Jesus will tell them this. I'm Matthew and Matthew 28. Right? Go and make disciples of all your prayers. You might say nations, but you can change it to ethnicities, right? So Ethnee, the word in Greek is ethnic. It gets translated Gentile sometimes because they're different ethnicities, peoples nations. But it's not just going like, hey, we need you to go to this specific place, you know, the Holy Spirit will take care of that. But now it's not just open to the Jews. It's open to all people. Now. Everybody knows getting in Ethnee is the word in Greek ethnicities. So it was important to Jesus. We want more wheat than weeds. We want this thing to grow. We want it to spread. It's important. Now, not everybody's a missionary. But to the people around us. We want to spread it we want to love our neighbor, right? So not everybody has that gift not everyone's an apostle a cent one, right? Not like a title we should have today. Something we do. Not everybody but love your neighbor. Right? That's, that's how we get them over to this side. Just love them. That's it. So that's the point now is we're going to do today because there are a couple different categories of people. And especially if you're new, right, so you're skeptical, a lot of people struggle with their faith. We saw through this series Peters struggle with his faith, people struggle with their face a little bit. And so we learned Romans 1017 faith comes through hearing the gospel, faith comes through hearing, just got to get in here. And you need to understand and have reasonable faith before it goes down here. It doesn't start here. It starts with the facts. What did Paul just do? He gave them what he didn't say, just believe, because I believe now, he gave them the facts. Again, it's not the way it works, right. So that's not faith. There's like a reasonable fit. So faith comes through is defined in the Bible faith comes through not just faith. Faith comes through hearing, hearing the words about Christ, right. And so then it gets in here. So for you if you're a skeptical today, and that's okay. And a believer, kind of like you're struggling a little bit, you have the TV on too much turn it off, and right, unless there's like a Jesus movie playing. But anyway, you know, you got this stuff in your head and in the world. It's like, it seems convincing. He seems smart. He has a lot of money, he must know what he's talking about. And just, you know, just gets all scrambled up. But I said to you before the church and if you're new here, the media is designed to agitate a weaker faith. That's what it's designed to do. It's just everything. Everything out there is designed to make you worry about your stuff. Lets it rip, boil it all down. Worry about your stuff. Jesus says what? The opposite. Don't worry about your stuff. This focus on the heavenly prize. That's it right? You're going to rise from the dead. That's way better than your car, whatever it is you think is cool right now. That's it. So you got stuff in your head. So let's look at the facts. I want to present a few of the facts to you guys. If you brought an unbeliever with you. It's okay, like we have food afterwards. And there's plenty of nice places to eat stop things Think about where you're going to get food afterwards. Alright, so it's okay, but maybe you just don't believe and you're like you got dragged here. I'm going to give you some facts, right. And so hopefully someone will sink in, I'm going to like, scatter some seeds, and we'll see if any sinks in here. So this is something we're worth kind of talking about, because people don't often think about it. And if you haven't studied other worldviews, so just really quick. You know, I didn't, I wasn't like born a pastor. I'm not a pastor's kid. I'm like that. I was born Catholic, and we were extremely religious. And if you're Catholic, that's totally cool. It's fine. Just as long as you believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you're good to go. Any of that other stuff that you're doing fine. Protestants do a lot of stuff, too. You might worship the Pope, they worship Martin Luther, you both got your problems. And you just like stop. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Yes, you're good. You're getting it right. So we're good, right? But maybe you just don't believe any of that. And you know what, a lot of this has turned you off. Maybe you don't want to believe because these Christians are crazy. They're judgmental. They're hypocritical. All they do is argue. Yeah, that's actually totally true. But you know, I want to give you some stuff. So here's the first thing when you're exploring worldviews I didn't start out again, isn't he was a PK Catholic fell way away from the faith. I was actually in Satanism. At one point, Tao isn't like everything. I've studied all of them. Right. So that's it. And in Pastor school, you got to look at them all, too. So the interesting thing is this, this is what it really boils down to, is that when you look at Christianity, I shouldn't say all it boils down to when you look at Christianity, it's based on witness testimony. That seems like obvious like, of course, it's going to be, but it's not. When you look at other worldviews, they're not. So you can knock off quite a few of them by the Start by some guy has some kind of experience somewhere, right? Or says he does. And then nobody sees it. There's no evidence, there's no facts. He goes and tells a bunch of people who just believe him. That's it. That's how you get at least two major worldviews right now. That's it, or three. And they just believe him. That's it. And that person writes a book or writes it all down. And everyone just believes what that person wrote, because I said, so. Christianity is not designed that way. Never was. Christianity is based on witness testimony. It's one of the very few, I'm not going to say like the only because I don't know of every single worldview. But I would say probably the only worldview that's based on witness testimony, and certainly the only one that's based on a pile of witness testimony when we compare it to other things. So that's really, really important. Now, when you look at the New Testament, a lot of people just don't understand what it is. The Bible isn't like, just written straight through it, right? No, it's made up of different books. So the New Testament was talking about that. Keep it simple, 27 books, and scholars will call these books, witnesses, if you listen carefully to a lot of scholars, they'll say, Oh, they're witnesses. Because they're witnesses. That's what they are. Right? So it's very, very important here to understand that the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They're ancient Greco Roman biographies. That's their literary genre, about the life and ministry of Jesus. They're witnessing to him. They knew him or knew people who knew him. Matthew Levi, the tax collector, and apostle capital A apostle. He knew him mark, probably a young boy at that time we read about him in Acts and his mom. So Mark saw some of this stuff, right? Luke, Dr. Luke, a traveling companion of Paul, he interviewed everybody for his accounts, important, John and apostle. He's the guy who won the race. So John, he knew Jesus in the flesh. He's our witnesses, writing about Jesus, Dr. Luke gives us x, then you get 13 Letters by the apostle Paul, he's writing to churches as a witness to people who are witnesses, some of them some of them, people who are not. Right. So then you get what Peter Hebrews, we don't know who wrote it, but whatever. Right. So James, Jesus's brother, kind of a witness. Right. Peter definitely witnessed two books from him. Three books from John again, John comes in Jude, one of the apostles, witnesses, John, again, prophetic book, Revelation. So they're witnesses. Now,
what's really interesting is the women. They're witnesses and now in today, I was actually talking to my wife about this. And she says, it's still remarkable today. Because she's like, men are chauvinist. So like, yeah, that would be really remarkable that you can I was like, you know, today women are doing everything. And I can't remember what I was watching and someone was challenged to like name like more than two superhero movies were like, the women were the star and they were like, Oh, there's more than that. Go through the list and like, direct this to me. in superhero movies, right? So it's still kind of uneven. And my wife pointed this out. It's still remarkable today that the women are the witnesses. It's still remarkable. But back then it's even crazier. Because women were not allowed to be witnesses in a court of law. So if you had a woman, she can stand up for you, you can't bring her in? No. Now think about this for a second. Think about this. Let's go back a little bit. So what's one of the charges may have been the Bible, they just made it up. Okay, if you're going to make up a story, okay. Right, Peter. So instead of the followers of Jesus, you'll have so much faith, burying their Lord. They have to Pharisees don't really like to Jews doing it. There were secret disciples, not at all proud. So they're flipped at this point. What? That's kind of embarrassing on their part, isn't it? But then the women, the women are the first witnesses. Go tell the disciples, even Jesus says to him, go tell the disciples, like, you know, he's he knows they don't believe so he's like, whatever. I'm not talking to them right now. Right? He didn't say that. But anyway, they're the witnesses. And they're not believed right away. And that's kind of natural, right? Not today. But then it would have been natural. That's extraordinary. So a lot of scholars will point to this and say, this, they're including all this stuff, because it really happened. They're just sitting there going, this really happened, even if it's at a cost to them of great shame and personal embarrassment. That happens in there. So there's one thing to think about witnesses. So it's also written during the witness period. Here's the other charge. The Bible is like a game of telephone. And it just got passed on passed on passed on. It was written hundreds of years later. Wrong answer. I just told you, it was written by witnesses in a witness period. Now that might not seem like a big deal today. Because on your phone, you have everything that is happening in the whole world as it happens, right. So it's right there. That's not the way ancient history works. It takes a while papers really expensive, they dug it's just nobody was writing things immediately afterwards. And in fact, this is true. So I've done this before. I do like to do this on Easter, because a good one, but Alexander the Great. So I know everyone here is like, here we go again. But if you're new, just you know, you don't have it memorized. So listen. Alright, so Alexander the Great, right. If you challenge someone like Do you believe that he existed? Right? It most people are going to go Yeah, of course. Okay. Well, here's the thing, the things that we have written for Alexandria that we are in possession of, right, so you have life of Alexandria by Plutarco. written around 100 ad. What's the problem with that? Well, if you know anything about Alexander, he died in 323 BC 400 years that way? Back. So you have Alexander written about in the library of history, the 300 years, so you're waiting 300 But really 400 years to get anything like the Gospels, and there's only one of them? That's it. One, one thing written. And we wait, the author is waiting 400 years later, he's not a witness. That's all we have for the early stuff for Alexander. That's it. But you just said you believed in him, no problem. All right, you got 27 witnesses to Jesus, all actual witnesses in a witness period. What's more credible, this is why Lee Strobel flipped. Wait a minute, when you look at the documentation for anything else, and that time in history, the New Testament blows everything out of the water, just the sheer volume. You think about Plato, you heard him, Aristotle, you got like seven and 47 of their works. That's it. Homer's Iliad, I think is like the highest one outside the Bible. There's like 680 Something copper copies of Homer's alien. Right? You might know what that is. But that's it. That's a lot. Nope, the New Testament 6000 And we're finding more all the time 6000 manuscripts. That's crazy. And they're all like a 95% agreement with one another. That's really hard to do. They're copying by hand. They're getting it right. It's just like little nuances. Nothing changes the story. There is literally nothing like it in ancient history. If we can believe any of that other stuff. We have like 6000 words. Right? So 27 Witnesses 27 More times reason. Whatever you want to do, however you want to put it to believe this, to believe this. So there are your facts, a wealth of information. I want to go back to First Corinthians. When you go to First Corinthians it's very interesting letter because it's an interesting letter, all the stuff going on. But also, it's one of these letters. If you're a poli game, you're arguing with the professor, if they know what they're talking about, if they know history, they will tell you first Corinthians, even secular scholars don't believe Jesus will acknowledge that it's written by Paul. It's a real historical letter. He's somebody important in the church, the people he talks about are real. Secular scholars will acknowledge this, they'll give you that one. In other words, they'll say it's all real. They just stopped short of the resurrection. So scholars call this like historical gold. There's nothing else like it. This is probably written about 25 years after the cross and ancient history, absolutely nothing even close. Nothing. It's unbelievable. It's a primary document. So if you study history at all, you're like, Whew, that is good. So, really important. Let's go back to it. Look at it. First Corinthians 15, four, he Jesus was buried, and He was raised from the dead. On the third day, Justice Scripture said, he was seen by Peter and then the 12. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, although I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him so now that you know that you look at it a little differently. Hopefully, he's pointing to go ask, go ask, go ask 500 people, some are still alive. This is no lie. This is no lie historians, even if they don't believe in Jesus, like this is this is a primary document. He's calling out the witnesses. This is a big deal in history. And it's incredible, because when you look at like Alexander the Great, the author can't do that. There definitely will definitely dead. Right. Right. So that's it. Paul can and this is something in ancient history just does not exist. It's unique to the New Testament. So here are the facts. Let's let the sink in for a close today. Jesus claimed to be God. He claimed to be God. This is a fact people say he didn't. They don't know what they're talking about. I and the Father are One says that John. He claimed to be God, he got him killed. The high priest. That's what that's the final thing. So when he asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? I am. Doesn't sound like he's saying anything there. But if you know your Bible, go back to Exodus 314. That's the name God assigned himself when he was talking to Moses. What do I say you are? I am. There's power in those words, when Jesus says it, I am I am heat, people fall down. Power. I am. And you will see the Son of Man, seated to the right of the power coming with the clouds of heaven is recalling Daniel seven, say, I fulfill that scripture, I am God. I am the king of the eternal kingdom. And it gets him killed. They know what he's saying. It's clear. Jesus's existence and death are documented historically, not just by and that's enough, the New Testament or authors, that's plenty. But other historians Tacitus Josephus acknowledges existed he died, Ignite, acknowledge, but then we see Jesus rose from the dead, and we have more evidence to the resurrection than anything else in this time period in history. It's a fact. That's it. Here's the really amazing thing if that isn't mind blowing. This was all predicted in the Old Testament in many, many ways, and Jesus fulfilled it all. Amazing. So what does this mean to you? Believers? If you're a believer, we'll get the application then you can eat if you're
almost always No no, no, no, no, no, no, no, don't talk about pizza again. It's very easy to get me talking about pizzas like no problem at all. So I get like, just like I did now she's like, she talked about pizza again. For believers, right. So here's your obligate, here's what your homework. Everybody would get out there and spread this good news. The statement people have to stop saying especially if they're Christian, my religion right so you know my principles. Something is between me and Jesus said Jesus never said Jesus never. It's a personal thing only right. So it's like, it's just between I should clarify between me, like, not between me and anybody else. Wrong. Wrong. Okay, we may not all be apostles except once we are all commanded. We are all commanded to share our faith with others. There's a command. It's not optional. Jesus puts it in kind of a scary way. Right? Says you deny me. And furthermore, don't acknowledge me before, man. I won't acknowledge you for the Father. What? So I'm trying to like scare anybody today. Like, he's ruining Easter toe like I ruined Christmas. I'd ruined the holiday. I did I successfully ruined like, no one's coming. Next. Try not trying to ruin Easter, right? But anyway, it's true. I got to say, I have to preach the truth. That's my job. Right? So it's true. Don't deny Jesus. Alright. Get out there and love people in the faith do so kindly and gently. Love to find an opportunity to love someone and then tell them why you're doing it. I am a horrible person. There is only one good person he died for you and me. So that we can rise from the dead. There you go. It's going to sound weird. So you might want to just like love him a little bit before you hit him with all that. Snow reason you got to do it. Okay, now, here's the if you're new. If you don't believe, if you're hanging in the bell, you're like, Oh, no. Still not convinced? He's kind of a funny guy. Sometimes not. But I don't believe him. Don't right. So go read your Bible. You don't have to believe me. So I see people here with their Bibles, chicken, my work could be lying to you. But here's what I'm not lying about. Christ brings greater purpose than our own. When we serve the Most High King, that's it. We're working for the best of the best. Nothing better than that. And here's the thing. We do these other worldviews. We engage in these other things. We try to make ourselves Gods the problem in the first place in the garden. And here's the thing, people, you will always disappoint you. Others will always disappoint you. When you put your faith or your hope in stuff in people and other things like that you will always be disappointed. You will always be disappointed. You can't think of one worldly thing that I'm not going to knock down. It's a worldly thing. It's going to rust and destroy. So you want to store your treasure in Heaven with the Lord. He never disappoints, never. So if you're tired of that, living a life void of real purpose, you don't feel like you have a purpose. And you're not got a purpose. But you know, there's this other thing that I've been working really hard to do. I am good. But when I get there, I'll be better. Okay, let's see how it works out. You struggling with that you're tired of being in relationships with others that are shallow or wrong relationships with sin, which is just Compounding this feeling. Just anxiety, regret, shame and it goes over and I'll just change the other person. I'll change the other thing but you keep going through the same cycle again and again. If you want true meaning, serve the eternal King. He'll never he's not going to stop being on the throne. He's the king. That's it. You can't be disrobed, you will never be disappointed. A lot of that stuff will just go away. And it should. You're invited into a relationship with Jesus. If you're not already this morning, I invite you into a relationship with Jesus and into relationship with the family of faith. Those of us who believe this who works for the king. We love you doesn't matter what you've done, where you've come from. They can tell my story be like, Wow, I don't care. I do care, but I'm not holding it against it. Sorry. If you struggle we have people that are a part of this church we treat them as family right so everyone's got the weird uncle and like, you know, kid that's not doing so good. good, we're good though, like, you're still kids, right? You're still like it. So it's alright, land of misfit toys like so it's fine. We embrace that here we embrace everyone's kind of at a different stage, right? We embrace that. That's the family of faith, we love you doesn't matter. We love you. It's all good. You're welcome here. Jesus offers us a better purpose. And as he rose from the dead, we live with the joy in the hope that we too, if we believe in Him will also rise from the dead. And that is what Easter is all about. So you're invited. So I want to do a little something here. So you just heard the gospel, you've heard the good news about Jesus Christ. And if maybe the information starting to make its way into your heart a little bit, I want to invite you into a prayer, a simple prayer. If you're a longtime Christian, you already believe it's nice to reaffirm our faith sometimes. And we all struggle here and there. And so I'm going to invite you to reaffirm your faith together with me. All right, so let's pray this prayer. Father, I know that my sins have separated me from you. I'm surely sorry. And I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me. And help me to avoid sending again. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead. He's alive. And here's my prayer. I devote myself to Jesus, Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart. From this day forward, please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey you than to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus's name, I pray. Amen. So, before we close, I'm just going to, I got to tell you some of the things that we do here, if you're new, and invite you to lunch. If you're new here, you don't really know about us. I think Tony's here telling you ahead. So, they'll tell you kind of give you some instructions. We'll sing one more song and you can be on your way. That's okay. But just want to let you know, kind of some of the things that we're doing here, next steps. So, if you're a local, like, okay, great, except that Jesus, what now, if you're local here in Naples, or you live kind of close within driving distance. What we do here, there's plenty what next opportunities for you here. So, we operate here as the body of Christ. So, we have a gigantic staff, you know, my wife works. So, you know, like, we try to get you guys operative in the body of Christ doing things, right. So that's really important to be plugged in. We don't want you to do in life alone. And there are so many different things that you can do so many different things. We run a building here, it's a 17,000 square foot building, a lot goes on. So, it takes a lot to do that. If you've ever been a part of anything like that. One of the things that we do is our cafe. So, I encourage you even if you have lunch plans, I totally get it is the stairway there and the stairway there go up to the cafe. It's a really cool kind of community center doesn't look churchy. It's kind of neat. And we're going to have food up there. It's big. ZD. And I hear it's delicious. Okay, inside joke. But anyway, so we got food that's going to be gone. So a pastor likes to go blessed are the pizza makers. That's what I say. Anyway, it doesn't say that. But I say that. So we do a lot of things for the community in our cafe. It's a connecting point, right? So a lot of people like to like go burn up if I go in church, or they're worried they're going to get hit with the bait and spiritual is going to be weird. So it's not weird. You saw I'm weird, but it's not really that weird. So we use our cafe, we have a heart for those in recovery, those in need those experiencing homelessness, there's actually a problem in Naples. It's just one that all the politicians like sweep under the rug. I know I'm honoring my politicians, but guys get to pick it up and answer my emails.
Right. So there's, they'll never watch it. But there's, there's problems here. And Naples doesn't like to acknowledge the problems and a lot of people if you're visiting. That's why right. So if you're on vacation here, like I didn't see any problems. Exactly. But there are lots of problems. Even wealthy people have problems. And so that's why we have a heart for people in recovery from addiction because that's one of our big problems. Y'all drink too much down here. So there's two, two drinks, too. And that's it. Jesus drank I know it's the first miracle pastor. Yeah, but now, right anyway, big problem. Right? If you can't Don't, none better. But we have a heart for those who are saying, You know what, this is mess my life up. I want to get better. And so the cafe we open it up for people, they can have recovery meetings up there. And it's kind of cool, because doesn't feel like a punishment. It's a nice, cool place. We serve really, really, really, really good coffee up there. It's because my wife basically design the whole thing. So I got to say that anyway. So we like to work with other nonprofits and organizations. And so people in need, practically, yes, donations help, they help, but they're going to the right place to go into the community, right? So nonprofit, we're dealing with a lot of people either in need, or the other places that they can use our place. We had a movie day of mental health organization came in here, and they showed everybody a movie. And then we had they had lunch up there in the cafe. So we're like to do things show love you, when the school districts I showed one time, you know, that they actually we donated some supplies the kids actually needed. And he got greedy, it was feminine products for middle school kids, you know, and but we sent him everything they needed. And they wrote us a letterhead and acknowledged God. A secular school acknowledged God, thank you for showing the love of God in this community. That's how you do it. So I'm not saying we're like the best or anything. But that's how it's done through love. Right? So that's what we're all about here. So if you're local, you're going to be told how to connect with us, please do that. And I want to get to know you. For those who live afar. Just a couple quick words, and then I'll close today. If you made that decision in your heart, here's a really important thing. All right, get a Bible and read it. Alright, so I preached from the NLT. I'm a Greek nerd, the best translation is the original. I like to read that. But even with that being said, I know. Like, it's hard to understand, right? So getting an LT or something that makes it easier to understand. It'll give you the general point and read your Bible. Don't believe anybody. Just read your Bible, don't believe me? Go home and check all my work. That's, it's funny, they actually do that here. It's really funny. I don't mind at all. Because the Bible tells us to do that. We're supposed to be reading the scriptures, right? We need to understand it. It's also God's love letter to us. That's what this is. Right? We don't want to ignore it. We want to read it. This is this is our Eternal Father wrote this year. So come on, you know, God, Holy Spirit inspired, not going to get technical on us. But anyway, this is it, basically. So read this. That's important. Then get yourself to a church, you need community, church cannot be done alone. The very word means assembly, it means to assemble. So this whole doing church from home thing, that's not church, that you cannot do that. It literally means to assemble with the body of believers. You we, we help each other through this walk, we're here to help one another and encourage one another. And that's important. The devil, he wants us by ourselves, right? So But no, we need to do life with others and get ourselves in a community. And then get yourself plugged in serve. When you look for a church. Really important things. It's not about the production, it's about the people. If it looks like a show, it is. That's it. If you feel like you're being entertained, that's not good. And it's cool. You can go to a Christian rock concert and go to other things, and have that experience. But that's not church. That's not church. That's a show. And so, and here's the other thing. Now, you got to give me like three chances, right? But if the pastor doesn't know you, he's not your Pastor. Pastor doesn't know you and you've been there for a while. Give me a break, guys. Like it takes me like a few times. Because what happens? I get done with this. It's kind of draining mentally, right? So I get done with this. And everybody's like, Oh, and I'm like, I don't remember one single thing. Anybody just said to me right now, it's a lot, right. But you know, if you know me, I'm trying. I'm trying to get your name in a month or so. Like, that's it but everybody who considers themselves a member here. You ask them. They know me. I know something about them. Right? We know each other. We're friends except you guys who like to dart out the door like that. I'm not that fast. Okay, so I'm getting old. But anyway, anyone who wants to? We know each other. We're friends. We hang out we eat together up there. I'm your pastor. I text you. Sometimes you don't like and you stop right but write down my number ask them. We talk Monday through Friday seven to seven. Don't bother me on Saturdays I'm trying to rest. But anyway, find a place where the pastor's not trying to be a rock star or rich, great. Somebody maybe been there done that or never even cared about that. They want to be your pastor for real. All right. That's what you're looking for. Relationship this way, relationship that way. A generous church, a church that places Jesus in higher importance than any one else. Thank you for coming this morning. I'm honored that you took the time. Spend your Easter with us again. You can tell me your name up in the cache after the service. I'll do my best to remember it for next year. I going to start taking pictures of you. It's going to get weird. All right, so you made it. Happy Easter. He is resin thank you for coming. God bless you all