I’m preaching a short 3 part series on the “Death of Death” (title inspired by John Owen!) at Cross of Christ Fellowship.
Here’s the notes for my first sermon “Problem of Death and PLAN of God.”
DEATH OF DEATH SERMON 1: The PROBLEM OF DEATH & PLAN TO OVERCOME IT.
Intro: Everyone of us faces a problem, and it is a problem that we cannot overcome: the problem is death.
-One day, each of us will die. It may come suddenly (last this week in IL 4 died in tornado), or gradually.
-You may be young, or old, sick or healthy, alone or in a group, while sleeping or awake, walking or driving.
-We can ignore it, or assume it is a long way off, but that will not stop it from happening.
-Death is ugly, real, unrelenting, and it comes to us all.
-Is there a way to find hope? Can anyone or anything overcome death?
-YES. Jesus Christ is himself the source of hope.
-This hope comes in a surprising way: through Jesus’ death.
-The death of Jesus brought about the death of death itself.
-Here is way to hope: Jesus himself, and his death.
-TODAY, we begin a 3 Sermon in Gospel of Luke called “Death of Death”
-We’ll consider together how the death of Jesus gives us hope in the face of death.
–NOTE: “Death of Death”: title for this series from a book with the same title by Puritan John Owen
3 parts: 1 (today): PROBLEM of death and PLAN to overcome it; 2 (Good Friday): Death of Death
-Part 3 (Easter): Death’s defeat
-My prayer: we would see again how wonderful, true, and life-changing is the salvation we have in Jesus Christ, whose very death brought about the death of death!
*Today, we consider the PROBLEM of death and PLAN of God to defeat it
I. THE PROBLEM OF DEATH
Is death a problem? In some worldviews, it seems the answer is no. It is just normal.
Chat GPT: Is death normal?
ANSWER: Yes, death is a natural and inevitable part of the life cycle for all living organisms. It is a natural process that occurs as a result of the aging process, disease, or injury. In fact, death is essential for the renewal of life, as it allows new organisms to emerge and flourish. While death may be seen as a negative event, it is a necessary part of the cycle of life and is therefore considered a normal and natural process.
–Death is normalized: “natural and inevitable…natural process”
–SCHAEFFER insight: we live in God’s world, so unbelieving worldview is unlivable in some area.
-Unlivable Worldview: We fight against death, we hate it, we wish it were not so.
-CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW: Death is NOT natural or normal. It is a result of the Fall & things gone wrong.
-God created a world without death
-Our first parents Adam and Eve sinned and death entered: Romans 5:12-14
-We ALL sin and experience’s sin’s consequences: Romans 3:23; 6:23
-DIFFERENT KINDS OF DEATH
1. Physical death; 2. Spiritual death: Eph 2:1-3; 3. Second death (hell): Rev 21:8
*IMPLICATION: Death is a great problem, and it is a problem that every sinner faces.
CAN WE OVERCOME DEATH?
-Human attempts: medicine, technology, uploading consciousness to computer to live forever. All fail: we die & forgotten!
–STNG; Vulcan Negotiator dealing with age related illness. Picard: “It’s ironic, isn’t it? All this magnificent technology, and we still find ourselves susceptible to the ravages of old age… loss of dignity… the slow betrayal of our bodies by forces we cannot master.” -We cannot defeat death: We need a savior who can defeat it for us. And that is what we have in Christ.
-Let’s consider today how Jesus PLANNED to save us from sin and death.
II. THE PLAN TO DEFEAT DEATH:
It was not long for death to arrive and impact the human race (1st parents), but God promised a way to overcome it.
-After the Fall, God promised one would come who would defeat Satan and His schemes (Gen 3:15)
-Through OT, many promises of God making things right: Isaiah 25:7-8
-This was to come through the Messiah, who deal with sins and defeat death (Is 53)
-Jesus is God’s plan to deal with our sin and overcome death!
Consider these 3 things from Luke where we see the PLAN of God to defeat Death through Jesus:
1. Jesus explained why He came; 2. Jesus foretold his death & res; 3. Jesus gave us a way to remember & understand
1. JESUS EXPLAINED WHY HE CAME (READ Luke 19:1-10):
Zacchaeus’ life was transformed by Jesus. We see the amazing grace of Jesus.
-Jesus explicitly states why he came to Earth: (19:10): Jesus came to seek and SAVE the lost!
-Saved from what?
-Sin and death!
IMPLICATION: Jesus knew why he came to Earth: to save the lost.
-This salvation was from their sins and death. Bring them back to God & give them eternal life.
*QUESTION: How would this saving happen? SURPRISE: It would happen through Jesus’ death.
-Jesus’ death and resurrection would bring about the death of death itself
-This is the key work that Jesus came to Earth to accomplish.
2. JESUS FORETOLD HIS DEATH & RESURRECTION (3 times):
Note the THREE separate occasions in Luke where Jesus explicitly foretells his death & res.
1 -Luke 9:21-22
21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
2 -Luke 9:43b-44
But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
3 -Luke 18:31-33
31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”
SUMMARY: Jesus very clearly foretold his death and resurrection. Jesus would suffer, die, and rise again. This was God’s plan to deal with our sins, bring us back to God and bring about the DEATH OF DEATH!
3. JESUS GAVE US A WAY TO REMEMBER & UNDERSTAND HIS DEATH (READ Luke 22:14-20)
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
–QUESTION: Why would Jesus give us a way to understand, remember and regularly reflect on this death?
-Because his death was remarkably important. It was a key event in the redemptive history
-It was at Jesus’ death that atonement for sins takes place
-We experience this through faith in Jesus.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
1. Trust in Jesus as our only ‘hope in life and death’: NCC 1.
-Jesus really does give us hope in the face of death. As Christians we need to keep coming back to this.
Bible Scholar KAVIN ROWE: “All of early Christianity pulsates with the hope of eternal life.”
-If you are not a Christian, we invite you to come to Jesus this morning.
2. Take heart in the face of others’ deaths
-Death is real, but Jesus’ plan to defeat death and bring us back to God is real too.
-Cling to Jesus in the midst of pain and mourning
3 Share the good news of Jesus with others
-ONLY Jesus can give us sure hope in the face of death.
-This is not a fairy-tale, this is reality. It is astonishingly good news.
CONCLUSION: Death is a problem we cannot overcome, but God has made a plan in Christ to overcome death and He was successful. Praise God for His grace and love for sinners! Praise God for death of death in the death of Christ!