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Easter and the Hope of the Resurrection

The good news of Easter is that God extends his saving hand to us.

Introduction

The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:17, sets the tone for understanding the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and the difference it makes in someone's belief system to either discount that reality or to embrace it. The message of Easter can be a turning point to life eternal to anyone willing to reach their hand to God, asking him to grab hold and guide and grant the blessings of resurrection power.

Everybody knows that the two holiest days in the Christian calendar would be Christmas and then Easter. Do any of you have a theory about why the world makes a much bigger deal over Christmas than Easter?

Globally, far more countries and cultures celebrate Christmas than Easter. In the US the Christmas holiday starts firing up the day after Thanksgiving and does an almost month-long build to Christmas Day. During that time there are endless parties, house decorations, tree- lighting ceremonies, gift exchanges, caroling, eggnog, and ugly sweaters. We throw the kitchen sink at Christmas every single year.

Compare that to Easter. For starters, no one even knows what month Easter is going to be in, and they don't know if it's going to mess with spring break that is almost as holy as the holiday. For Easter we boil a dozen eggs for the kids to paint and lose in the backyard. We might get a new outfit. We make an appearance at a church for an hour and have a little Easter dinner. But, usually, by three o'clock in the afternoon, Easter is in our rearview mirror for another 12 months. Why the huge disparity between how we treat Christmas as compared to how we treat Easter?

Paul's case for the Resurrection

One day the apostle Paul, the greatest theologian in the world, sensed that one of the first-century ...

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Bill Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and creator of the Global Leadership Summit.

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Sermon Outline:

I. Paul's case for the Resurrection

II. Jesus' death is set apart from all others in history

III. 6 proofs of Jesus' resurrection

IV. The implications of Christ's resurrection

V. The extraordinary nature of the Christian faith

VI. Why the resurrection of Christ matters

VII. What accepting the resurrected Christ into our hearts means for us

Conclusion