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Resurrection Day 2017 - Matt Korniotes

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

This is an exciting day! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the second of only two pivotal points in man’s history! The first being the fall of man...when creation pivoted towards destruction, and the second is the resurrection of Jesus Christ...when mankind pivoted back towards redemption!


I had a dream Thursday night! I had an awesome dream! People in the park, playing in the dark...oh wait...that’s Lionel Richie! (Say yooou, say me.....OH SO GOOD!) But for real, I had a dream Thursday night and I am so thankful for it!


I dreamt that April and I had this wonderful house. It was beautiful and big but it wasn’t finished. There were things yet to do like carpet in some of the rooms and there were so many rooms. Trim and baseboards to be nailed into place and doors to be hung...but the home was beautiful. Like garden beautiful if that makes any sense...


And it was connected to another magnificent, almost historic like series of guest houses...connected by a bricked like arched walkway and the restoration of the guest houses had just begun...but the beauty of it was next to majestic!


The lower level of the house had huge doors and they were open, almost like they were always open and they opened to this oasis of three large pools and three hot tubs...but this area was completely untouched and very overgrown. I remember the pools were full of leaves and debris although the water was clear and beautifully blue, there was much to clean out. There were beautiful like half circle brick half walls flanking the larger pools but those walls were overtaken with foliage and even like cob webs. I remember seeing black widow spiders and even a centipede the size of a small dog. Alarming!


The crazy thing is there were children out there. Not in the pools but like they were waiting. Playing and laughing and smiling and chasing each other and having fun but waiting for the pools to be ready. I thought of issuing a warning about the spiders but for some reason didn’t...maybe I didn’t want to show that I hadn’t yet cleaned them up...my house ya know. And there were people sitting at two-top tables...talking and smiling and laughing...but it seemed like they were waiting for something too...they didn’t have anything on the tables…I sensed they were waiting to be served…


It was beautiful and yet at the same time, it wasn’t. As I walked back to the house, a small havolina (sp) bit my ankle...what? I told you...it WAS a dream...HA! But I woke up and you know how God like delivers a message immediately? He said, this is what I fixed. Now it’s not a one for one and please this is not dogmatic, it was just the Lord showing me...the beauty of creation and life and love and laughter and yet without what He did...it’s all pivoted towards destruction – overgrown and infested and although beauty remains like a remnant of what it once was...something is lost...creation was waiting for something (redemption). SO cool!


Then I imagined the oasis fully restored, redeemed and perfect...and it was like unto a place you’d never want to leave. Enter the life of a man or a woman that is filled with the very Spirit of God and walking every day in the reality of the resurrection!


Why is the resurrection so important? Without Jesus raising Himself from the dead, all we really have...is death. They say what you can’t keep you actually never really had…and all we keep until the end end…well at the end of it all…all mankind has without a Savior…is destruction. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ has proven to us that death has met its defeat! The power of the first pivotal moment, the power of the fall of man...the wages of sin are death...the power of sin itself...is overcome! What’s more is that the resurrection proves to us that this Jesus IS who He said He is, the very Son of God, the ONLY Savior of all men and the One Way to eternal life.


Listen, the single authoritative sign that Jesus Christ is the Son of God was not the raising of Lazarus…it was not the healing of the multitudes or the feeding of the thousands, it wasn’t even the miraculous sight of the Holy Spirit descending upon Him at His baptism and the voice of God the Father booming from the heavens…As important and wondrous and miraculous as they are…if Christ is not raised from the dead, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, then our preaching is empty and faith is also empty! Turn over to 1 Corinthians 15...1 Corinthians 15 Verses 3 – 22


Jesus said to the religious elite in Matthew 12:39-40, “No sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” And He assured His disciples as they made their way to Jerusalem one last time in Matthew 20:18-19, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” (NIV says, “He will be raised to life!”)


The single authoritative sign that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the One (and that implies singularity) the ONLY One that is able to erase the sins of mankind is His resurrection from the grave! One more scripture to share…Romans Chapter 1 verses 1 – 4. You see this is it…the one thing that man could not defeat…the one enemy that no man can and could overcome…and then this Man did…why? Because He was and is no mere man but He is the very Son of God!


If this is true, then there is nothing else in this life more important to understand, embrace and respond to…this is beyond life and death, this is heaven and hell…eternal life or eternal – ETERNAL – LOSS - and so, man, at least for me, I need to KNOW with surity…He’s asked for your heart, soul, mind and strength. He’s asked for me to surrender my life to His will and His leading…I have GOT to, man I want to KNOW KNOW that this is TRUTH, you know what I’m saying!?


Have you ever been DONE DONE with something? Like done done with work...maybe you’ve retired...different then just being done for the day right? Or done done with school? I remember walking out of my last final in college...not just the end of the semester, baby! I was done done...well look, I want to KNOW KNOW this truth...we can’t play around with eternal life...and the truth is, practically and not only biblically, we can know know by the (and this it!) the resurrection!


A month ago, Chesterfield Virginia County police were called to a house on the 9800 block of Old Cannon Rd. Two men were found dead in the garage…this just happened a month ago…8:25 am they arrive and investigate the scene…a month later, no suspects…if one neighbor would have come forward and said, “I know who did it…I know his name…” They would follow that lead. What about if 5 came forward and gave the same name? How about 25? I think that guy is definitely going down, right? What about 100?


Paul reports something so amazing…over 500 people reporting in…and of those 500, we know of at least a dozen that went to their death willingly for this truth…


John tells us (John 20) that Thomas doubted his own senses and so Jesus had him touch Him to show him that He had indeed physically resurrected from the dead…Luke tells us (Luke 24) that all of the disciples gave Jesus a manhug after resurrection showing that He has physically resurrected and finally John writes in 1 John 1 – 4….(read it)…


Men that experienced the dead Jesus and then physically experienced the risen Jesus and were willing to give their lives for this truth…we can KNOW KNOW...lives around us, maybe even YOURS (definitely MINE) that has turned from an overgrown, insect infested, nipping havolina(sp) destroyed and corrupted oasis to something absolutely miraculous and beautiful and all you can do is glorify GOD becuase there’s no way you did that!


This is the gospel. That all men and women are sick with sin. And yet God has made a way for each of us to be made well. I heard a pastor say this week, “No one goes to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus, men and women go to hell because you’ve sinned! It would be like saying you die because you don’t go to the doctor. No you die because you have a disease! And the kicker is, you could have prevented your own death!” All mankind has a disease of sin…we are born into it, born with it and everyone has it…but the good news is this…God has come into His own creation, born into His own creation to pioneer a path that everyone is invited to take that by His blood, His death and His resurrection…we can fold into Him and be made not only eternally well (and that’s enough) but well and right in the spirit right NOW!


He is the Oasis, man. And no longer are children waiting. Now they’re alive. No longer are men and women waiting to be served, they are fed and filled…and this pivotal truth proven by the resurrection of Jesus from the grave…He pleads with desire for all of us to find…


He wants you to be done done with the spirit of condemnation, the spirit of evil, the spirit of destruction and the overarching threat of an inescapable death and eternal LOSS…religion leaves it undone…says there’s more to do…but when Jesus died for you on the cross He lifted His eyes to heaven and His voice to death and cried out It is finisheddone done. Come to the saving knowledge of the truth…allow Him to do the work, instantly that He wants to do in bringing to your overgrown, confused, angry, convoluted, complicated and infested heart…bringing you personally, individually to complete eternal restoration with God the Father!