He is alive!
by Rev. Timothy Benefield
Mar 14, 2013 | 1638 views | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Inscribed on the tombstone of our first president, George Washington, is the exciting news found in John 11:25-26, which says, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

This venerable president knew and believed the most important piece of information that could ever be known on this planet. The sinless Jesus Christ sacrificed his life on the cross to pay for the sins of mankind. However, he did not stay dead. After three days in the grave, he arose from the dead. With his death he conquered sin. With his resurrection he conquered death. This incredible story is known as the gospel.

Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Those who will, like President Washington, believe in the gospel story of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection will have eternal life.

In just over two weeks, we will celebrate the glorious occasion of the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. This celebration has actually occurred every Sunday since the Sunday that Jesus arose from the grave. Acts 4:33 says, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” For 2,000 years, we have been rejoicing in all that the resurrection means for us.

Sadly, a survey of mainline Protestant denominations showed that in some denominations, up to 51 percent of pastors do not believe that Jesus Christ bodily rose from the dead. Some will say that the only ideas of Christ live on. Others will say that just his influence still lives.

However, if we truly believe the Bible, we must accept by faith that Christ literally and physically came up out of that garden tomb. We must accept that he currently sits at the right hand of God the Father, ready to make intercession for any man, woman or child who will place faith in his payment for sins. I Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The resurrection of Christ is the centerpiece of the Bible story. Without the resurrection, everything else is meaningless. Notice the words of the Apostle Paul, who says in I Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

If you do not know the story of Christ’s resurrection and all that it means for you, please contact this author and let him share from the Bible the greatest news in the entire world. For those who have already been impacted by the resurrection of Christ, always rejoice in the fact that Jesus Christ has risen bodily from the grave.

The Rev. Timothy Benefield is pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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March 14, 2013
I think we are becoming a more skeptical culture that requires more proof of extraordinary claims. If today someone claimed that someone died and rose from the dead, I would just ask them to do a google search on "man wakes up at his own funeral". It is a common enough event that shows that people can be easily mistaken about death. Just as easily, the resurrection story can be attributed to losing Jesus's body. So I think that the resurrection story sounds like a 2,000 year old urban legend.

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