II Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Matthew 28:6 – “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
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Last week, we began a new series titled “Things That Must Be Believed.” In this series, we will discuss the essentials of the Christian faith — these are things that you cannot deny and still have Christianity. Last week, we looked at the first two essentials which are: The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ and The Deity of Jesus Christ.
Today, we are going to discuss the next two essentials in this series, which are: The Substitutionary Death of Jesus Christ and The Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead.
1. THE SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
If Jesus Christ did not die on a cross in the sinner’s place to pay the sinner’s debt, then we don’t have a way to be saved. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him — Jesus Christ — to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This verse is simply stating that God allowed Jesus Christ to take our place, our punishment, and our perishing as sinners so that we can have the righteousness of God. Isaiah 53:6 says, “..the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” If you deny the vicarious sufferings of Jesus Christ, you have denied an essential doctrine of the Christian faith.
The Gospel story is simple. We are sinners. We owe a sin debt. Jesus Christ was not a sinner. He died on a cross and suffered Hell to pay our sin debt. And we are saved by trusting Him as our Saviour. The dirtiest gang of thieves this side of Hell is a gang of religious thieves who are trying to climb up to Heaven by some way other than the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Any plan that bypasses the cross is absolutely futile.
J.C. Ryle said, “If Christ had not gone to the cross and suffered in our stead, the just for the unjust, there would not have been a spark of hope for us. There would have been a mighty gulf between ourselves and God, which no man ever could have passed.” Friends, the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ is an essential truth that must be believed.
Now, let’s move on…
II. THE PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD
The Bible says in Matthew 28:1-6: “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre [the tomb where Jesus was buried]
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
“His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
“And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
If a man denies the resurrection of Christ, he is not saved. Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential truth that must be believed.
That which separates Christianity from all other religions is the resurrection. Every religion has a founder who lived and died and is still in the tomb. But Christianity has a Founder who lived and died and was buried, and after three days and nights arose from the dead.
H.D.A. Major wrote the following: “Had the crucifixion of Jesus ended His disciples’ experience of Him, it is hard to see how the Christian Church could have come into existence. The Church was founded on faith in the Messiahship of Jesus. A crucified Messiah was no Messiah at all. He was one rejected by Judaism and accursed by God. It was the Resurrection of Jesus, as St. Paul describes in Romans 1:4, which proclaimed Him to be the Son of God with power.”
A little girl was talking about Christ. And a skeptic who was standing nearby said, “Little girl, you keep talking about Christ this and Christ that. There are many Christs. Which one are you talking about?” The little girl replied, “I’m talking about the one who arose from the dead!”
W.J. Sparrow-Simpson said, “If the Resurrection is not historic fact,then the power of death remains unbroken, and with it the effect of sin; and the significance of Christ’s Death remains uncertified, and accordingly believers are yet in their sins, precisely where they were before they heard of Jesus’ name.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the keystone in the arch. Destroy the resurrection and the whole arch will collapse. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an essential truth that must be believed.
Now, if you are listening to me today, and you know within your heart that you have not accepted the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ as the way for you to be saved from sin and death and hell, allow me to share with you from God’s Word how you can accept the free gift that Jesus died and rose from the dead to give to you.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me the following simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and
in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of seventeen books. He
is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a
worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel
each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a
Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called
The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio
broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator
Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, and
the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in
Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion
from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former
Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God
has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com.