Je­sus is alive, He is risen!

Sunday Trust - - SERMON - Bishop Dr. Charles Olowo­joba is the Gen­eral Overseer of Dayspring Bible Church World­wide with HQ in Abuja, Nige­ria & Pres­i­dent, Dayspring Chris­tian Min­istries Int’l. Web­site: www.dayspringcmi. org e.mail: dayspringcm2000@ ya­ Help lines: 0803515051

The res­ur­rec­tion of the Lord Je­sus was not an ac­ci­den­tal oc­cur­rence. It was planned by God. It was pre­dicted in many places in the Old and New Tes­ta­ments. Je­sus him­self pre­dicted it and the an­gel re­minded those who came look­ing for him in the grave of it. Matthew 28:6 “6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.”

The bod­ily res­ur­rec­tion of Je­sus Christ from the dead is the crown­ing proof of Chris­tian­ity. Ev­ery­thing else that was said or done by Christ and the Apos­tles is sec­ondary in im­por­tance to the res­ur­rec­tion. If the res­ur­rec­tion did not take place then Chris­tian­ity is a false religion. He died and rose again that you and I may not rot in hell.

Matthew 28:6 “6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.” (Read Matthew 28:1-10, Matthew 12:38-40, Luke 9:22, John 2:18-22)

The High priest and all those who con­spired to kill Je­sus thought they had suc­ceeded in get­ting rid of Him. They thought it was over. They did not know they were ful­fill­ing the plan of God. They did not know He was com­ing back in a big way. They did not know He was com­ing back bet­ter.

But the shock­ing thing is that the dis­ci­ples for­got (or they did not be­lieve) he said he would rise the third day.

Luke 24:1 tells us how the women brought spices to try and pre­serve him in the tomb. Well, they found it empty! Peo­ple al­ways try to pre­serve you where they left you.

The an­gel asked them why they were look­ing for the liv­ing among the dead. Any­one look­ing for you among the poor is mak­ing a mis­take. Your predica­ment is about to be his­tory!

When you are not where they ex­pect you to be, you are where you ought to be. • They ex­pect you to be dead but you are alive. They ex­pect you to re­main small but you are grow­ing big­ger. They ex­pect you to re­main sick but you are healed. They ex­pect you to beg but you are giv­ing out stuff. They ex­pect you to re­main bar­ren but you are giv­ing birth to twins. They ex­pect you to re­main job­less but you are choos­ing be­tween five jobs. They ex­pect you to re­main sin­gle but you are get­ting mar­ried next month. They ex­pect you to re­main poor but you are grow­ing richer. 5 Im­por­tant lessons re­mem­ber

1. There is noth­ing in man’s plan that can stop or change God’s plan for your life. The jeal­ousy and envy of the re­li­gious lead­ers could not stop Him from ful­fill­ing His mis­sion on earth. The stone could not pre­vent the Rock of Ages from ris­ing. No witch or wiz­ard can stop you. No wicked per­son can stop your pro­mo­tion. No house­hold con­spir­acy is strong enough to turn back the hand of God from lift­ing and bless­ing you. God will dis­ap­point your en­e­mies. He will bless you right be­fore their eyes.

2. If you don’t be­lieve in your­self you will re­main where you are. Je­sus be­lieved He would rise again. He was so con­scious of the tem­po­rari­ness of • • • • • • • to His stay in the grave, He only bor­rowed one to use. They were shout­ing come down and we’ll be­lieve you. It does not mat­ter what peo­ple think about you, it is what you think about your­self that counts. World heavy­weight cham­pion Ge­orge Fore­man said the first trainer he con­tacted re­fused to ac­cept him be­cause he thought he Ge­orge was not good enough and that he could never make it in box­ing. He left him and looked for an­other coach. Not long af­ter that, he won the Olympic gold medal. He de­feated many leg­endary heavy­weight box­ers in­clud­ing Mo­hammed Ali to win the heavy­weight ti­tle. “There is a cham­pion in you.” You may not look like it, you may not smell like it, but you are a cham­pion.

3. God is a covenant-keep­ing God. He promised to raise the Son, He did!! All other prom­ises will be ful­filled. He will come again. Ex­pect the prom­ises of God in your life to be ful­filled in Je­sus name. Your neigh­bour’s tes­ti­mony is a sign to you that your mir­a­cle is on the way. It is safe to sur­ren­der your des­tiny to God. He sur­ren­dered His des­tiny to God and He was not dis­ap­pointed. Don’t be afraid to sur­ren­der your life, your des­tiny to Him. He will not dis­ap­point you. Trust Him and He will lift you.

4. With God you can sur­vive any­thing. In the hands of God even the worst trou­ble leads to your im­prove­ment. It may be too far for you, too deep for you but not for Him. Too late for you but not for Him. Too much for you but not for Him. Too costly for you but not for Him. Too hope­less for you but not for Him. Daniel sur­vived the lion’s den; Shadrach, Me­shack and Abed­nego sur­vived the fiery fur­nace; Joseph sur­vived the cruel treat­ment of his brother, he sur­vived slav­ery and pri­son to be­come the Prime Min­is­ter of Egypt. Your present prob­lem is noth­ing. Tell your neigh­bour “I’m com­ing out of lack, I’m com­ing out of this!!!” God loves to turn cru­ci­fix­ions into res­ur­rec­tions so you can see his great­ness. God will turn your cru­ci­fix­ions into res­ur­rec­tions. He died lim­ited, He rose un­lim­ited. He died a bleed­ing lamb, He arose a reign­ing King. When He arose, hell’s hope was dashed, ter­mi­nated. I see you com­ing out of that trou­ble, grave, val­ley. I see you com­ing out of bondage, poverty, etc. God will dash the hopes of your en­e­mies! The tomb be­came a wit­ness. The cross be­came an in­stru­ment of glory. God will take what was in­tended to em­bar­rass you and use it to el­e­vate you!

5. He rose to prove that Christ is the only One that can save mankind. He alone had de­feated death and has the an­swer to the sin question. Sal­va­tion is now freely avail­able to all those who be­lieve. He was scarred that you might be­come a star. Isa­iah 53:4-5 “4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and car­ried our sor­rows: yet we did es­teem him stricken, smit­ten of God, and af­flicted. 5But he was wounded for our trans­gres­sions, he was bruised for our in­iq­ui­ties: the chas­tise­ment of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Acts 4:12 “12Nei­ther is there sal­va­tion in any other: for there is none other name un­der heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Noth­ing else mat­ters if you are not saved.

At the full­ness of time, He came out.

He res­ur­rected with a body that is to­tally mys­te­ri­ous. He dis­ap­pears and reap­pears. He moves through phys­i­cal ob­sta­cles as though they did not ex­ist. He ate hu­man or phys­i­cal food and yet sim­ply dis­ap­pears with them. What kind of body was this! The Bible says that we shall have this kind of body one day!

I see you com­ing back! I see you com­ing out of that prob­lem! I see you com­ing out of poverty, out of death, out of that sick­ness, out of debt, out of fail­ure, out of lone­li­ness, out of de­pres­sion, out of con­fu­sion and out of shame!

He was not only raised but healed. He came out with scars only on His hands, feet and sides be­cause some­one de­manded to see them as ev­i­dence that it was re­ally the Lord. But you will no­tice that the scares on the face were not there. I be­lieve also the scars on His back. He will show you as­pects of His life that mat­ter to you or that you seek to know. But I be­lieve the greater les­son is that you can re­tain only those scars of your past that you choose to.

Have you given your life to Christ? If you haven’t, there is no bet­ter time to do so than right now. Ac­cept him into your heart as your Lord and Saviour con­fess­ing that God raised him from the dead for your jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. HAPPY EASTER!! 10:28; 13:42,50; Mk. 9:43-48). Je­sus pro­claims solemnly that “The Son of Man will send his an­gels, and they will weed out of his king­dom all that is scan­dalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown in the blaz­ing fur­nace, where there will be weep­ing and gnash­ing of teeth. Then the just will shine like the sun in the king­dom of their Fa­ther” (Mt 13:41-43).

The uni­ver­sal or fi­nal judg­ment will take place at the end of time. In John 5:28-29 Je­sus says: “Do not be sur­prised at this: the hour is com­ing when all those ly­ing in tombs will hear my voice and come out; those who have done good shall rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be con­demned.” In the Parable of the Last Judg­ment (Mt 25:31-46), Je­sus vividly cap­tures this re­al­ity of uni­ver­sal judg­ment. That text of Scrip­ture is very in­struc­tive. “The Last Judg­ment will come when Christ re­turns in glory. Only the Fa­ther knows the day and the hour; only he de­ter­mines the mo­ment of its com­ing. Then through his Son Je­sus Christ he will pro­nounce the fi­nal word on all his­tory. We shall know the ul­ti­mate mean­ing of the whole work of cre­ation and of the en­tire econ­omy of sal­va­tion, and un­der­stand the mar­vel­lous ways by which his Prov­i­dence led ev­ery­thing to­wards its fi­nal end. The Last Judg­ment will re­veal that God’s jus­tice tri­umphs over all the in­jus­tices com­mit­ted by his crea­tures and that God’s love is stronger than death” (CCC 1040).

The re­al­ity of the four last things calls us to con­ver­sion while God is still giv­ing us time. It should in­spire holy fear in each one of us, and help us to live our lives well.

Ojeifo is a Catholic priest of the Arch­dio­cese of Abuja.

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