The Resurrection and the Kingdom

Intro: Mark 16:1-6 “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away — for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

We concluded that His journey out of the tomb validated all the claims and won a victory over Satan. It is the foundation of our faith today and was the centerpiece of apostolic preaching in the first century. As we noticed, If Jesus did not come out of the grave, our faith is vain and we are a pitiful people. But Jesus did not stay in the grave. As Peter declared in Acts 2:24 “whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” Thus Jesus was declared to be the Son of God through the resurrection from the dead.

What is the further impact of Jesus’ resurrection?

I. Jesus’ Resurrection Inaugurated His Kingdom. The O.T. prophets foretold that the Messiah would come and establish his eternal kingdom. Daniel 2:44 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Daniel 7:13-14 13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, one like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”

A. When Jesus arrived on earth the message of the prophets was that the kingdom was near. Matthew 3:1-2 “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!Matthew 12:28 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

1. As Jesus preached and worked miracles among the people, many (even His closest disciples) expected Jesus to overthrow the dominion of the Romans and inaugurate an earthly kingdom. This seemed to be the anticipation of the men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Jesus appeared to them on the day of His resurrection and renewed their hope in the kingdom through the fact of His resurrection. Read Luke 24:13-27. : Later he spoke to the apostles: v. 44-49. The promise of the Father was the promise of His kingdom. Jesus established His spiritual kingdom by virtue of His resurrection from the dead. After his resurrection he declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18).

B. From a theological perspective the resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus are one grand, interlocking event that can be designated as his exaltation. InPhilippians 2:9 Paul simply says after Jesus’ crucifixion, God highly exalted Him.” Notice the past tense here. Jesus is not awaiting a future enthronement. He is now reigning as King.

1. Paul also declares that Jesus was “received up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16). Acts 1:9 says he was received into a cloud. I believe this was not an ordinary vapor cloud, but the cloud of God’s glory, made visible for this very purpose. In Ex. 40, God revealed His glorious presence to Israel in a cloud covering the tabernacle. During the transfiguration of Jesus in Matt. 17 a bright could overshadowed them and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying,” This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

2. In fulfillment of Dan. 7:13-14, when Jesus ascended He passed into the throne room of heaven he came before the “Ancient of Days” and received dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all the peo­ple of every language might serve Him. His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. The clearest declaration of Jesus’ exaltation to the throne may be in the very first gospel sermon:

            • Acts 2:29-36 – Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
            • Those who believed that Jesus was not still in the grave, but at the right hand of God were called upon to express their faith through repentance and baptism, and as many as were saved were added together in the church, or they were brought into the kingdom. Later Peter spoke about baptism, the resurrection of Christ and the kingdom together. 1 Peter 3:21-22 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. Jesus reigns now from heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords. Have you submitted to the One who rose from the dead?

C. The power of Jesus’ resurrection was the power of a victorious King ruling over His enemies. It was power exerted in our behalf. Paul speaks of “his incomparably great power for us who believe.” This power is according to… the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills ev­erything in every way (Eph 1:19-23, NIV).

II. Jesus’ Resurrection and the New Creation. The resurrection of Jesus (including especially his ascension in his glorified nature) was the actual beginning of God’s new creation. Colossians 1:18 calls Jesus “the firstborn from the dead,” which in this case means not only preemi­nence but also first in time. His resurrection was the first event of its kind, ever.

A. It was something entirely new, unlike any previous miracle or even any previous resurrection. Romans 6:9 – Jesus alone was “raised from the dead. . . never to die again”Acts 13:34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.”

    • Karl Heim has said …The Resurrection of Christ is in no way an event belonging to the present order of time as a link in the chain of events. Neither is it one of those mirac­ulous events which do happen from time to time in our order of time, like the miracles of healing or the raising of dead as we find them in the apostolic age. The Resurrection of Christ is something fundamentally distinguished from all events which take place on the level of the present time. It is the beginning of the perfecting of the world. . .

1. Jesus’ resurrection was the prelude to an age when death is abolished and the effects of sin are erased. “There will no longer be any death,” nor any of the things related to it: no “mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev 21:4).

B. There is a cause-and-effect relation­ship between what happened to Jesus and what will happen to the rest of cre­ation. As the foundation of the new creation, his is the life upon which all life now depends. It is his “power of an indestructible life” (Heb 7:16) that infuses new life into our souls and bodies, sustains the living church in the midst of a dying world, and offers hope for the new creation to come. This is what Paul calls “the power of His resurrection” Phil 3:8-11 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

C. The resurrection of Jesus is not only the beginning and the foundation of the new creation, but it is also the guarantee that such a new creation will occur and will continue.

1. The risen Christ is described as the “first fruits” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

          • The first fruits are a promise of further harvest. If Jesus is the first, this in itself implies a second, and a third, and so on. Jack Cottrell writes“as the process of death, once the stone has started rolling, can no longer be stopped but changes the whole of world history into one great dance of death, so also can the resurrec­tion of the world once it has started no longer be stopped. It is like the awak­ening of the spring of the world. The movement cannot cease until the whole creation has become new. . . .”

2. As the guarantee of the new creation, the resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our faith in the promises of salvation, which require us to believe in God’s power to raise the dead to life again. Why should we believe the promises of spiritual and bodily resurrection? Why should we believe that it will happen to us? Because God raised Jesus from the dead, thereby demonstrating his sovereignty over death and the validity of the facts and promises revealed in his name. We are “born again to a living hope through the resurrec­tion o Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).

3. By way of contrast, we should also note that the resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee of judgment upon those who reject him, for God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has ap­pointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

II. Christ’s Resurrection and Our Salvation: Our salvation is a resurrection from the dead –

  • Eph 2:5-6 – “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him”
  • John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
  • 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

A. Salvation is a resurrection – Our spiritual resurrection. The Spirit of God gives life. The new life of the Christian is not just a more fulfilling experience, or an emotional satisfaction. It is a new life from the dead. It is a resurrection from the death sentence of sin. Jesus’ own resurrection is the source of that powerful spiritual event.

1. Romans 6:3-9 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

a. When a sinner is buried in the waters of baptism, he encounters the saving power of Jesus’ death; and when he arises from the waters of baptism, he has within him the power of Jesus’ resurrection, enabling him to “walk in newness of life.”. This connection between baptism, Christ’s resurrection, and our own spiritual resurrection is also seen also in Col 2:12-13, which says we have “been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.” In the act of baptism there is nothing less than a resurrection from the dead, a work of new creation. This redemptive work of God takes place “through faith in the working of God,” i.e., through faith that God is doing something here to save us from our sins as he has promised (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). We do not trust the water or the one baptizing us; our trust is completely in the power of God. We believe that just as surely as we are being buried into and raised up out of the water, so also is God raising our soul up out of that grave of spiritual death. Why should we believe that God can and will do this for us? Because he is the same God “who raised Him from the dead.”

b. Those who have experienced this spiritual resurrection constitute the collec­tive body called the church. It is the promised Kingdom received by the Son from the Father after His resurrection from the dead. The church itself forms an island of life in the midst of a sea of death. Because it is built upon the risen Christ, the “gates of Hades,” i.e., the “forces of death” (NEB) will never over­power it (Matt 16:18).

Conclusion: Do you believe that Jesus emerged from his grave on the third day, and is now sitting on the throne of His Kingdom? To hold to one necessitates a conviction of the other. If HE is alive, He is your Lord. You are called to obey Him.