Sermon Summary Notes
Easter was and still is the game changer. Easter was the definitive proof that Jesus Christ was who he said he was and that he actually accomplished what he came to accomplish. (Luke 19:10) We need to be rescued because of our sin. To sin is to miss the target. It is failing to love God and to love others the way that God wants us to love them. The Bible says that all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23)
There are consequences to sinning. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Anytime in the Bible you see the word death, you can substitute the word “separation,” because that’s what it really means to die. In Romans 6:23 the Bible is talking about spiritual death, when we are separated from God. God wants to help us navigate this world and all of the relationships that we have in it. But we have separated ourselves from his guidance, from his comfort, from his power to hit the target, and most of all, from His love.
Once we realize how bad it is to be separated from our Creator, we start trying to get over to the other side, thinking, “If I could just build a bridge of good works, maybe I could get all the way over there to God.” But the truth is we could never reach God by good works because God’s standard is perfect love, and none of us has a perfect resume. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we can get back to God by our good works.
When we celebrate Easter we are celebrating the fact that God built a bridge for us so that we could come back to God. That bridge was the cross of Jesus Christ. To cross over that bridge means that we allow God to clean our lives. You see when Jesus died on the cross, he not only died physically, but spiritually, because when Jesus was hanging on the cross, he took all that sin upon himself. He died in our place and bore the guilt of our sin. We don’t deserve to go to heaven. We would never get there by our own good works. Rather we are depending upon the perfect sinless life of Jesus Christ.
At the cross Jesus exchanged his good deeds, his good works, his perfect life for our sinful life, and in exchange gives us his perfect righteous standing before God. It cost Jesus his life for you to be able to come to God. And so when we place our trust in Christ, Jesus cleanses us from our sin. He forgives us for all of our sins—the sins we committed in the past and the ones we will commit in the future!
But God doesn’t stop there. God not only wants to forgive us, he wants to empower us to better love God and our neighbor. That doesn’t mean that we are going to be perfect in this life, but it does mean that God wants to progressively change us from the inside out so that our lives come to more closely resemble Jesus’ life—a life of selflessness and servanthood. And once we come to faith in Christ, he wants us to allow him to control our
lives. He wants us to live according to the Bible, and he gives us the power to do it through his indwelling Holy Spirit.
Have you crossed the bridge? Has there ever been a time in your life where you came to admit that you have been in control of your life, and have sinned against a holy God? That your sin caused a separation between you and God? That you couldn’t cross that bridge by doing good works? Have you abandoned trust in yourself and placed your trust solely in Jesus as the one who can solve your sin problem? Have you become part of the story?
Baptism won’t deliver you from the guilt of your sin. It doesn’t matter what church you attend, or that you completed some church related confirmation class. Have you trusted Jesus alone to bear the guilt of your sin? Have you asked Jesus to clean you and forgive you? If you haven’t, you can, because of Easter!
“Lord Jesus I want to thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I realize that I can offer nothing to help earn my salvation. Right now I place my trust in you as the one who has paid the price to forgive my sins. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me eternal life. Thank you for guiding me across the bridge. In addition, I want to invite you to take control of my life, to begin to change me from the inside out. Empower me to love you and others in the way that you want me to. I know that I’m not going to be perfect, but I want you to begin to change me. I can’t do it by myself.”
When you cross the bridge, it is just the beginning. God wants to rescue you from the power that sin has over your life. You become a joint heir with Jesus Christ. You have access to all the resources you need to live a God-honoring life. But to tap into those resources you have to yield to God.
Jesus came not only to rescue us in the past from the punishment of our sins, and to rescue us in the present from the ongoing power of sin: he also comes to rescue us in the future. One day he is going to rescue us from the very presence of sin. We have had several deaths in our TCC family over the last couple of years. One thing that strengthens believinb families in the midst of death is knowing that one day they will be reunited with
their believing family members.
Easter changed everything. Because Jesus rose from the grave we have been rescued from the penalty of our sin; we are being rescued from the ongoing power of sin; and we will one day be rescued from the very presence of sin. Easter was a real game changer.