WHY JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 11, 2010

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).


The tomb of Buddha has a body in it. The tomb of Mohammed has a body in it. The tomb of Jesus is empty. The great theologian B. B. Warfield said:

Christ deliberately staked His whole claim…upon His resurrection. When asked for a sign He pointed to this sign [His resurrection from the dead] as His single and sufficient credential (The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, Baker, 2000, p. 865).

The British evangelical C. S. Lewis called the resurrection of Jesus Christ “the central event in the history of the earth.” Therefore, I can think of no greater subject to speak on this morning.

The old hymn “The Strife Is O’er,” which Mr. Griffith just sang, gives the account of Christ’s resurrection beautifully and meaningfully:

The three sad days have quickly sped;
    He rises glorious from the dead:
All glory to our risen Head. Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of Hell;
    The bars of Heaven’s high portals fell:
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell. Alleluia!

Lord, by Thy stripes which wounded Thee,
    From death’s dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee. Alleluia!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(Translated by Francis Pott, 1832-1909).

Without the resurrection of Christ there is no Christianity, because Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Christ makes real Christianity different, unique, among all the world’s man-made religions. It is fitting to speak of the resurrection of Christ this morning for two reasons:

1.  First, because His resurrection from the dead gives us hope.

2.  Second, because His resurrection from the dead divides all time. As the Chinese Christian author Watchman Nee put it, “Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection” (The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, ibid.).

 

This morning I will speak for a few minutes on “Why Jesus Rose From the Dead.” I will focus on five of the great benefits you can receive from the resurrection of the Saviour.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

And God raised Jesus from the dead to give you, among others, these five things.

I. First, God raised Jesus from the dead to give you repentance.

Through the teachings of medieval Catholicism and, among Protestants, through the teachings of Charles G. Finney, most people today think of repentance as something you do. But the Bible plainly tells us that repentance is a gift given to us by God through the resurrected Christ:

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel…”
     (Acts 5:30-31).

So, repentance is something you are given by the resurrected Christ.

The word “repentance” means “a change of mind.” When the risen Christ gives you a change of mind, it results in a change of your whole life. The Bible says:

“Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [your sins]” (Acts 3:26).

In the act of conversion, the risen Christ changes your mind, which “turns…you from [your] iniquities [your sins].” Real repentance comes as a gift from the living Christ to you. He shows you that you have been living a sinful life. He shows you that your heart is against God. And then Christ changes your mind, so that you love God instead of rebelling against Him. That is the change of heart and mind that Christ gives you, when He gives you repentance.

“[God] sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [your sins]” (Acts 3:26).

Before you are converted, you think that repentance is merely giving up a few sins and coming to church. But when you are converted, the risen Christ will give you a whole new “change of mind.” You will hate the sins you loved before – and you will love the God whom you rebelled against in the past.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel…”
     (Acts 5:30-31).

II. Second, God raised Jesus from the dead to give you the new birth.

The great Reformer John Calvin said:

Although we have complete salvation through His death, because we are reconciled to God by it, it is by His resurrection, not His death, that we are said to be born to a living hope [I Peter 1:3]. (The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, ibid., p. 864).

Listen carefully to I Peter 1:3,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively [living] hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3).

We could translate this in modern English as “[God] has caused us to be born again…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” God has “begotten us” or caused us to be “born again” through the resurrection of Christ.

If you want to be converted, you must be born again. This is not something you do. The new birth is something God does in you through the resurrection of Christ. God gives you the new birth by the resurrection of Christ. Unless God gives you the new birth by the risen Christ, you will remain a lost person, because you cannot make yourself into a “born again” Christian. Only God can give you the new birth, “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

In Ephesians we read a clear description of this:

“Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).

The whole act of giving you the new birth is from God. He makes you alive “together with Christ.” The resurrection of Christ gives you spiritual resurrection from dead religion, to serve the living and true God with new life – which comes by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

III. Third, God raised Jesus from the dead to give you justification.

The Bible says that Christ:

“Was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

We are told a little later in Romans that “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9). So, historically speaking, justification comes through the Blood Atonement of Christ on the Cross. Justification means that God counts you as though you had never sinned when you believe on Jesus. God gives you justification and counts you as never having sinned through the death and Blood of Jesus on the Cross.

But practically speaking, this justification is made available to you today through Christ’s resurrection.

The Bible says:

“Who was delivered [to the Cross] for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

The justification purchased by Christ on the Cross becomes a reality to you through faith in the risen Christ.

“Therefore being justified by faith [in the risen Christ], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

What does all this mean to you? It means that you are not justified by believing in a dead Christ. When you believe in the risen Christ, His death and His Blood cleanse you and make you just and sinless in the sight of God.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

IV. Fourth, God raised Jesus from the dead to take His Blood into the Holy of Holies in Heaven.

In the Book of Hebrews we are given a clear picture of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament high priest, who took blood into the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle, to atone for the sins of the people. The Bible says:

“But into the second [the Holy of Holies] went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered…for the errors of the people” (Hebrews 9:7).

Then later, in this same chapter, we are told:

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us”
     (Hebrews 9:11-12).

In his popular commentary (Thru the Bible) Dr. J. Vernon McGee plainly explains that Christ took His own Blood into the Holy of Holies in Heaven and sprinkled it on the mercy seat there. That Blood has been preserved incorruptibly there for you according to I Peter 1:18-19.

God raised Jesus from the dead to take His incorruptible Blood into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, where it is preserved right now to wash your sins away.

When we sing, “Are You Washed in the Blood, in the soul-cleansing Blood of the Lamb,” we are not singing about Blood that ran into the dirt around the Cross and was lost forever. We are singing about Christ’s Blood which God, in His sovereign power, raised up to Heaven. Jesus took the Blood with Him when He rose from the dead and went back to Heaven. Then Christ put that Blood in the Holy Place in Heaven. It is there right now to wash your sins away! Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb? Are your sins forgiven, are they white as snow? Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb? God raised Christ to take His Blood into Heaven so your sins could be washed away by it.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

V. But fifth, God raised Jesus from the dead to become your High Priest in Heaven.

The Bible says:

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).

We do not need a minister who calls himself a “priest” to mediate between us and God. Every Baptist has a priest – Jesus Christ – up in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is our priest – and He is the only mediator we need between us and God, according to the Bible.

In Romans eight we read:

“It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God [in Heaven], who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

This verse tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead and took Him back up to Heaven to pray for us. I believe that you are here this morning because the risen Christ is praying for you. When you get converted, it will be because the risen Christ was praying for you. And He will continue to pray for you throughout your life. The Bible says:

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).

You see, it is the resurrected Christ who saves you “by his life.” We do not worship a dead Christ. He is alive – up in Heaven, on the right hand of God. And because He lives, He can save you – if you trust in Him. “We have heard the joyful sound, Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Spread the tidings all around. Jesus saves! Jesus saves!” Jesus is praying right now for you to be saved.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

Christ was raised from the dead by God

 

1.  To give you repentance.

2.  To give you the new birth.

3.  To justify you.

4.  To take His Blood into Heaven, to wash away your sins.

5.  To become your High Priest, and pray for you.

 

Do you want to be converted and become a real Christian? Then you must come to Christ in Heaven, at the right hand of God. You must come to Jesus – and He will convert you and save you. The Bible says:

“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
    The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun. Alleluia!

The powers of death have done their worst;
    But Christ their legions hath dispersed,
Let shouts of holy joy outburst. Alleluia!

The three sad days have quickly sped;
    He rises glorious from the dead:
All glory to our risen Head. Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of Hell;
    The bars of Heaven’s high portals fell:
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell. Alleluia!

Lord, by Thy stripes which wounded Thee,
    From death’s dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee. Alleluia!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(Translated by Francis Pott, 1832-1909).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Acts 5:27-32.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Strife Is O’er” (translated by Francis Pott, 1832-1909).


THE OUTLINE OF

WHY JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30).

I.   First, to give you repentance, Acts 5:30-31; 3:26.

II.  Second, to give you the new birth, I Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:5-6.

III. Third, to give you justification, Romans 4:25; 5:9, 1.

IV. Fourth, to take His Blood into the Holy of Holies in Heaven,
Hebrews 9:7, 11-12; I Peter 1:18-19.

V.  Fifth, to become your High Priest in Heaven, I Timothy 2:5;
Romans 8:34; Romans 5:10; Colossians 3:1-2.