SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:12-21
What is the greatest consequence that followed the greatest event in the history of the world-the death and resurrection of Jesus? It is the institution of the church. The effect of the death of Jesus was the formation of the church. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then nothing here matters, and the pieces of a larger life become worthless. If this life is all there is, and there is no judgement that what is written in Romans does not matter.
Romans 2:16,”This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” The event has kept the church alive in the world as the greatest power for good for more than 2020 years.
Today, what does church mean? How do we worship together? We can worship in person, on ZOOM, or over the phone. There are so many ways to spread the word of Jesus’ resurrection! The greatest event as a result of the resurrection was the founding of the church. The church was built on a ROCK!
Matthew 16:18-20 “So I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things that you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow in heaven and the things that you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.” Something happened on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. A new date and time was created. There was a new dimension to the human soul. It gave a new opportunity to have that very soul saved. It is why we celebrate Easter today!
This morning I want to talk about Easter in terms of accounting. When most people think about going to heaven, they count their good deeds. God, as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus, doesn’t do it that way. Years ago, there was a CEO of General Electric named Jack Welch. Dan Rather interviewed him on 60 Minutes and asked Welch, “What is the toughest question that you have ever been asked?” Welch thought for a moment and the responded, “The toughest question that I have ever been asked is ‘Do you think that you will go to heaven?'” “How did you answer that question?” Rather asked. Welch replied, “It’s a long answer but I said that if caring about people, if giving it your all, if being a great friend counts, then, despite the fact that I’ve been divorced a couple of times, and no one’s proud of that, and I haven’t done everything right all of the time, I think I got a shot. But I am in no hurry to get there and to find out any time soon.” Do you see what he is saying? He’s keeping score!
Jesus, through his death and resurrection gives us the ability not to HOPE, but we can choose to KNOW!
Romans 3:22-23 “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all of them that believe: for there is no difference. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The frank truth is this, our books don’t balance but Jesus allows us to balance. We don’t need to worry about our book of life if we believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross and his resurrection. Our Lord is a living Lord who faced sin and death and laid them low. The arms that were stretched on the cross are uplifted this morning, and we should feel uplifted by what he did for us. That is our true accounting in the eyes of God!