The following is an excerpt from a sermon " Resurrection Snapshots" by Dr. Steve Andrews, the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia.
Introduction: One of the greatest assurances of eternal life or life after death is anchored in the forty incredible days Jesus spent on the earth after His resurrection. During this dramatic season of heaven on earth in which Jesus made several appearances, we gain invaluable insight into the priorities of following Christ. . .
Snapshot #1: The Savior Should Be Celebrated
. . .The apostle Paul declared that the resurrection proved that Jesus was the son of God (Rom. 1: 4). The Lord Jesus is co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal with God the Father. . .
Snapshot #2: Soul-Winning Is Our Commission
Five times in His resurrected body, Jesus commanded His followers to share the gospel to a world enslaved by the darkness of sin: (1) Matt. 28: 18-20, (2) Mark 16: 15, (3) Luke 24:47, (4) John 21: 17, (5) Acts 1: 8. . . Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He commissioned us to continue His mission. . .
Snapshot #3: Scripture Is Crucial
On the road to Emmaus, Jesus encountered two men who thought the ministry of Christ ended on a cruel Roman cross. They did not know that Jesus was alive and walking with them. There are numerous lessons from this story but consider Jesus’ strategy of leading these men to an awareness of His ministry and His presence . . .
Think of all the things that Jesus could have done to convince them to recognize and worship Him as the resurrected Savior. He could have performed some healing miracles, walked through a rock canyon wall, or commanded the forces of nature to cry out in praise. But, he did not do any of these; instead He taught them the word of God. . .
Snapshot #4 Saints Need Compassion
Two passages, John 20: 24-28 and John 21: 15-17, reveal the compassion of the Lord Jesus and illustrate our need to extend similar acts of kindness. . .
These two encounters show the lengths to which Jesus went to lift up fallen saints. The sad reality in most churches is that we kick the wounded out of fellowship without any hope of being restored to effective ministry. Some may think that kicking the fallen is too harsh a criticism, but they would still not go out of their way to lift someone up. Those who have fallen, like Thomas and Peter, will not seek the church in their time of need. They will not visit us. They feel like they have let the church and Christ down, so they stay away to avoid any more embarrassment. Many who have fallen see the church as a place where good Christians meet to celebrate and testify how good their walk with Christ is. When will we drop the country club philosophy where everyone is nicely dressed with paid dues and GO after the fallen like Jesus did?
Snapshot #5: Suffering Precedes Crowns
Part of the instruction Jesus gave the men on the road to Emmaus was reminding them, “The Christ would suffer to enter His glory” (Luke 24: 26). This truth is not just limited to the messiah. We find other examples in Scripture where God leads His servants through difficulty before placing them in a position of honor. . . In the New Testament we read that God leads us through trials that test our faith to build perseverance because those who persevere will receive the crown of life (James 1: 12).
The resurrection appearances of Christ teach several significant truths that are critical for fulfilling the call of Christ upon our life. We need to celebrate the risen Christ in worship. We must embrace our commission to be soul-winners. We need to study the Scriptures because they are crucial to our faith. We should extend compassion to fallen saints. The last snapshot of suffering preceding crowns is one that inspires us to keep fighting the good fight as the apostle Paul declared and run the race all the way to the finish line. We may all experience cross-like experiences where pain, sorrow, and brokenness threaten to destroy all we hold dear. But, praise God for the promise of resurrection power made available to us through Christ’s victory over death. May we pray as the apostle Paul prayed while going through one of his many trials including a difficult time of imprisonment for preaching the gospel, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3: 10). Allow the five snapshots to open the eyes of your heart to resurrection power.