Psalm 77:14 “The Wonder of Christ’s Resurrection” (Easter 2020 Sermon)
“You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:14)
Intro: Today is Easter, which means we especially want to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And to do so, we are going to take our cue from the Psalmist who praised God and said in Psalm 77:14: “You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.” In the context of this verse, the Psalmist was remembering how God years earlier had miraculously delivered Israel from Egypt through the Exodus. God’s people were fleeing from the army of Pharaoh and found themselves pinned against the waters of the Red Sea. It looked like it would be their end; they could not escape and could not save themselves unless God saved them. And that is exactly what happened: God parted the waters of the Red Sea and Israel safely escaped and the waters returning when the army tried to cross minutes later. This was an amazing event, a WONDER of God’s love and power and grace. For believers in the OT era, it was the great wonder of God, one that is frequently mentioned in Scriptures.
But for those in the NT, the great wonder is the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God who came to Earth to rescue a people from their sins. God’s people, like the Israelites in the time of the Exodus, were in trouble and without hope: our sins have enslaved us and cut us off from a relationship with God; we can’t save ourselves; we need God to rescue and restore us and make us new. And that is what he has done in the resurrection.
When one considers the ministry of Jesus on Earth, one sees his preaching and miracles and healing. But the focal point of his ministry was his death and resurrection. All of his ministry was leading up to this. Jesus predicted it would take place and it happened just as he said it would: he was arrested and condemned and executed as a criminal on a Roman cross. He was buried in a tomb that was guarded by Roman soldiers. It looked like the end of Jesus’ ministry. But, on the third day, wonder of wonders: Jesus physically rose again! This was the first EASTER MORNING! When his followers saw him, their hearts thrilled with hope and their lives were forever changed. And as the apostles preached the good news of the gospel the resurrection of Jesus was frequently on their lips. Because the resurrection is a historical event with GREAT theological significance that gives us hope. It is true and WONDERFUL. And here we see what the Psalmist said, “You are the God who works wonders.”
This morning let’s consider the WONDER OF JESUS’ RESURRECTION together. God is the God who works wonders, and we see this especially when we behold the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We see this in at least 3 ways: 1. The wonder of God defeating death; 2. The wonder of God saving his people from sin; 3. The wonder of the new creation.
1. In Jesus’ Resurrection, We See THE WONDER GOD DEFEATING DEATH
The first wonder about Jesus’ resurrection is wonder of God defeating death.
-Why is there death in our world? The Bible teaches that death is not natural, but is a consequence of sin and the Fall. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created there was no sin or death in the world. They were called to trust God and walk in His ways, but sadly they chose to sin and distrust God. God said on the day they sinned they would “surely die” (Gen 2:17). And this what happened, when they sinned they experienced a spiritual death and later on a physical death. Now we all are part of this heritage of the first Adam: sin and death. (FAMILY TRAIT)
–Rom 3:23 ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
–Rom 6:23 The wages of sin is DEATH.
-NO human has been able to find a solution to DEATH. We can have the best medicines, the best doctors, be healthy and exercise, but in the end everyone of us dies.
-DEATH is something that we CANNOT overcome. We need God to overcome it.
GOD promised in the OT that death would one day be defeated: Isaiah 25:7-8
-Jesus is God’s answer to our DEATH problem.
–Jesus had NO sin, but died on the cross for our sins.
-Romans 5:8 God shows his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
-In his RESURRECTION we see the WONDER OF GOD DEFEATED DEATH.
-2 Tim 1:10: Jesus… “ABOLISHED DEATH and brought LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT IN THE GOSPEL”
–NCC: What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ TRIUMPHED over sin and death
APP: This Easter morning, let us BEHOLD THE WONDER OF GOD DEFEATING DEATH! You may die of COVID, or CANCER, or a CAR WRECK. If not, all of us will die. We need a hope and a SAVIOR that medicine and doctors could never give, and we see this in Jesus. Here we WONDER OF GOD, who in the resurrection of Jesus defeated DEATH.
2. In Jesus’ resurrection, we see THE WONDER OF GOD SAVING HIS PEOPLE FROM SIN
Jesus could have come to Earth and defeated death and not saved us. But he didn’t. He came in great love to save us from our sin and from death. In the resurrection of Jesus, we see the WONDER OF GOD SAVING HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SIN.
-SALVATION is through Christ alone—Only Jesus was able to defeat sin and death
–SALVATION is by grace alone—We don’t earn it, it is freely given to us in Christ Eph 2:8-9
–SALVATION from sin comes through faith alone: Rom 10:9-10
–Becoming a Christian, EXPERIENCING SALVATION, means a UNION with Christ has taken place, where a person is united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. He dies in our place but also rises for us. We are united with him in this.
–Colossians 2:13-14: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
NOTE:-“you who were dead in your trespasses”=spiritually dead
–“made alive together with him”=spiritually made ALIVE. Together with him
–Union with Jesus’ death and RESURRECTION. RAISED WITH HIM.
NCC “What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ triumphed over sin and death, so that all who trust in Him are RAISED to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come…”
– ALREADY NOT YET: If you are a Christian you have experienced the NEW BIRTH. You have new desires to love God and new hatred for sin. You walk in God’s ways and have been saved from sin by Jesus who rose in his RESURRECTION and triumphed over it for you.
APP: This morning it worth pondering God’s grace in our lives. For those who are Christians we can say that we have been RAISED WITH CHRIST spiritually. God has saved us from our in and spiritual death through Jesus’ death and resurrection. In the resurrection of Jesus we truly see the WONDER of God saving his people. God is the God who works wonders!
3. In Jesus’ resurrection, we see THE WONDER OF THE NEW CREATION
In the resurrection of Jesus we see the WONDER of God defeating death, and the WONDER of God rescuing his people from sin, but we also see the WONDER of the NEW CREATION breaking through in this world. When Jesus rose from the dead he brought in the NEW CREATION.
-1ST CREATION: The first creation is recorded for us in Genesis 1, when God made the heavens and the earth. Here God makes a universe out of NOTHING.
-The first creation is marvelous and majestic. We see God’s fingerprints all over it.
-The NEW CREATION is that which God has begun in Jesus: In the new creation God takes a SINFUL humanity makes a new humanity.
–Col 1:18 “He is the beginning, the first born from the dead.”=beginning of the NEW CREATION.
-Jesus is first of what is to come, and a guarantee of our own future.
-1 Cor 15:19-20: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been
raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
-“Firstfruits”=1st of the harvest that was to come. Show what it was like.
-Jesus’ resurrection shows what we have to look forward to: bodily, REAL
In Jesus’ resurrection, we see the WONDER OF THE NEW CREATION breaking in. God is making a glorious new people who reflect God the Son, free from sin and restored and whole.
CLOSE: In Jesus’ resurrection we see God work the WONDER of defeating death, saving his people from sin, and bringing in the new creation. God is the God who works wonders!