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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

His Resurrection, My Victory Over Death

Sunday, 9 April 2023
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  1. The need for the cross
  2. God’s salvation plan to save man from death
  3. Look forward to one final promise: our incorruptible bodies
  4. Did the resurrection really happen?
  5. Jesus' resurrection—the confirmation of our forgiveness and righteousness in God’s eyes!

The need for the cross

The fall of man
When God created the earth, He created man last to enjoy a finished creation. In the Garden of Eden, there was an abundance of trees with fruits that Adam and Eve could freely eat from, with the exception of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Despite God's instructions not to eat from that tree, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and ate the forbidden fruit. Their disobedience was a picture of man's desire to be independent of God, to rely on their own strength and understanding, instead of God's ways.

“. . . you do not eat from it, for in the day of your eating from it—dying you die.”
—Genesis 2:17 LSV

As a result of Adam and Eve's sin, death came into the world, because the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23)—both physically and spiritually.

But God’s desire was for us to be with Him in eternity. His desire is that none of us would perish. The only way we can be redeemed from our sins and death and be reconciled with God is through the atoning work of our Lord Jesus at the cross.

God’s salvation plan to save man from death

1. Giving us the chance to be born again in the Spirit

Since Adam sinned, men have been separated from God. And the only way we can be reconciled with God is by being born again (John 3:3)—not physically (which is impossible), but spiritually.

In John 3, the Bible records Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee. The Lord explains to Nicodemus how one can only enter the kingdom of God when they are born again.

And this was what Nicodemus asked:

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."
—John 3:4–6 NKJV

Salvation is something we cannot understand through logic. It is something that we can only attain through faith. John 3:16 tells us that we receive redemption when we believe in Jesus and His finished work at the cross.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
—John 3:16 NKJV

When we believe in Jesus, His finished work at the cross and His resurrection, we receive redemption.

2. Giving us Jesus, our perfect sin offering

How did Jesus' finished work at the cross redeem us from our sins and save us from death?

God is a just God, so there is the issue of our debt of sin that needs to be paid for.

Hebrews 9:22 tells us that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

This is why God instituted the sin offering during Bible times.

In the Old Testament, when Israel was under the law (Lev. 4:1–4), a sinner would bring a lamb without blemish as an offering for the forgiveness of sins. When the offerer brought the lamb before the priest, the priest would examine it to make sure that it was without blemish before accepting the offering.

The priest is a picture of God and the lamb is a picture of Jesus! Jesus is the Lamb of God whom God has provided to redeem us from our sins. When we accept Jesus as our sin offering before God, God does not look at us and our sins. He looks at Jesus’ perfection! And it is by Jesus’ perfection, not our own, that we may receive forgiveness for all our sins.

After the priest examines the lamb and deems it worthy to be a sin offering, the offerer would place his hands on the head of the lamb. This symbolizes the transference of the offerer’s sin to the lamb in exchange for its perfection. Then offerer must kill the lamb.

This is a picture of Jesus on the cross! He took the place of the sin offering, and He died in our place as a sinner. Jesus was not murdered by Roman soldiers who put Him on the cross. It was our sins that put Him on the cross.

Our Lord Jesus knew no sin, did no sin, and in Him was no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Yet, He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. Now, when we believe in Him, all that He deserves as the perfect Son of God, we get to have as well.

3. Freeing us from having to be justified by our own works

Exodus 12 records God's deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The night before the Israelites fled Egypt, God told Pharaoh to let His people go, or else He would send the last plague—and strike down the firstborn of every household.

During the night of the Passover, the Israelites were instructed to cover the doorpost and lintel of their houses with the blood of a lamb. This is so that when the Angel of Death saw the blood, He would pass over their houses and spare their lives.

When we look at how the children of Israel painted the lamb’s blood on their doors, we can see the picture of the cross!

The lamb is a picture of our Lord Jesus, the true Lamb of God. Just like how death could not enter the houses of the Israelites because of the blood of the lamb, we (our spirits) are also saved from death because of the blood of our Lord Jesus. His blood has taken away the sins of the world, and through His blood, we receive the forgiveness of our sins and redemption! It is not through our works, charitable deeds, or right-doings that we are redeemed from death. It is only by the blood of Jesus!

Look forward to one final promise: our incorruptible bodies

Our Lord Jesus' finished work at the cross not only redeemed our spirits but also our bodies.

“Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
—Luke 24:39 NIV

The Bible tells us that when Jesus appeared to His disciples in the upper room after His resurrection, He had a physical body. In the same way, our glorified bodies will be made of flesh and bones that can be seen and touched.

“It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.”
—1 Corinthians 15:52–53 NKJV

When Jesus returns, those who have already passed away will receive their new and glorified bodies. And those who are still alive will also be transformed to have the same kind of incorruptible bodies. Unlike our natural bodies, our new bodies will never grow weary or tired, and neither will we fall ill or die.

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, you can take heart in knowing that their spirit is alive and they will receive their new bodies when Jesus returns.

Did the resurrection really happen?

The resurrection is not just a figment of imagination or hallucination. It is real. Jesus did not just appear to His disciples. He showed himself to over 500 people after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6) which takes away the possibility of hallucination.

Some may argue that the disciples made the story up and stole His body from the tomb. But that is far from the truth! All the disciples, except John, were martyrs for the faith. Would they have been willing to suffer and die for something they made up? They chose to die to stand by their belief in Jesus and His resurrection.

The Bible also tells us that when the disciples found the empty grave, they noticed that the linen cloth that was used to wrap Jesus’ body was “folded together in a place by itself” (John 20:7 NKJV). If His body was stolen, would the thief be so mindful as to tidy the tomb after he left? In fact, in traditional Jewish customs, they would wrap the deceased’s body in linen and spice so that it would become a hard shell that was difficult to remove. Even when Lazarus was resurrected, his body was still wrapped in strips of linen (John 11:44). This means that removing the linen cloth from Jesus’ body would already be a huge ordeal for the thief.

All these examples show us that Jesus’ resurrection did indeed happen. It is important for us to believe and understand this because if Jesus was not resurrected, it would mean that death had quenched Him and our sins were not paid for. But John 20:1–10 tells us that the tomb in which they laid His body was empty and He has risen! This is meant to give us absolute assurance of our forgiveness today!

Jesus' resurrection—the confirmation of our forgiveness and righteousness in God’s eyes!

“who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.”
—Romans 4:25 YLT

God raised Jesus from the grave not because Jesus was His beloved Son but because Jesus had done a perfect work in paying for the forgiveness of our sins and declaring us righteous. We can be confident that the punishment of death has been fully paid through the finished work of Jesus at the cross!

Notice that the stone did not actually need to be rolled away from the tomb since Jesus’ resurrected body could transcend space—He could appear and disappear whenever and wherever He wanted. The stone was not rolled away so that Jesus could come out of the tomb, but it was rolled away so that the disciples could look in and see that the tomb was empty! What the empty tomb tells us is that all our sins have been completely paid for and the punishment of death has been overcome by our Lord Jesus!

This is why it is so important for us to understand what the resurrection of our Lord Jesus means for us. His resurrection is the proof of our righteousness. And knowing this causes us to stop living in sin and start living victoriously with hope for our future!

OWN THE WORD (Life Application)

Do you have a habit of keeping your receipts? Or do you, like me, have a habit of throwing them out?

But if there’s one receipt I’d encourage you to keep, and keep close to your heart, it’s this one!

Romans 4:25 tells us that the reason Jesus was raised from the dead was not because He was the Son of God, but because He had done a perfect work of paying for the forgiveness of our sins and declaring us righteous! Just like a store receipt contains a record of items you paid for, so the resurrection of Jesus is the heavenly receipt confirming that He paid the price for every one of your sins. That's why today, you can be righteous in Him.

This means that you no longer need to feel condemned about the mistakes you've made, which can put you in a cycle of repeating them. You no longer need to fear that you might lose favor with God. Today, you can have full boldness and confidence in your Father’s good opinion of you and His heart to bring about good in your life!

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright 2023
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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