John Hagee - He Is Risen
- Buy this sermon
Remain standing, please. Turn in your Bibles to Luke 24. The resurrection story is capture in three words, "He Is Risen". Christianity rises or falls on the resurrection story. If Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith is a colossal hoax, an absolute fraud. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, our songs and our sermons are delusional. If he did not rise from the dead, our Cathedrals of worship are monuments to a corpse. From the Word of God today, I'm going to present to you absolute proof that Jesus Christ rose from the dead just as he said. This is the case for the resurrection. The best news the world has ever heard came out of a cemetery, "He is risen. He is alive". Give the Lord praise in the house.
Read with me Luke 24:1 through 9: "Now on the first day of the week very early in the morning, they and certain other women with them came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this: that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, 'why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen. Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again".' and they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest".
Father God, we've come to the house of the Lord today to celebrate the victory over death, hell, and the grave given to us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. May we hear it as believers? May America hear it and receive it? May the world recognize it: that there is no other deliverer other than the Nazarene, the son of the living God? In his name, do we preach this word. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. Here's the resurrection story. Late Thursday night 2,000 years ago, following the Passover meal with his 12 disciples, Jesus of Nazareth was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just outside the Eastern walls of Jerusalem. His disciples slept as sweat drops of crimson blood begin to drip from his brow. In agony, he cried: Father, if it's possible, let this pass from me. God sent the fed ex back to Jesus, and said, it's not possible. From the foundations of the earth, you were destined to die, at which point Jesus said: not my will but thine be done. All real Christian living begins with the crucifixion of your will and the birth of Christ' will. The destiny of Jesus was the cross. He was the Lamb of God slain.
John the Revelator says, "From the foundations of the earth," meaning before Genesis 1:1 was ever written. He went to his disciples, who were sleeping, and he looked at them, and said: could you not watch with me one hour? The point is the New Testament church was sleeping while Jesus was going through the greatest crisis of his life. I think right now perhaps the New Testament church in America is sleeping while America is going through the greatest moral crisis of its existence.
Suddenly through the olive trees, they are seeing the flaming torches of 500 Roman soldiers coming toward Jesus Christ from the Antonian Fortress. They surround the Lord of glory. And the leader says: we seek Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered in three words: I am he. And they fell to the ground like dead men. Jesus said: no man takes my life: I lay it down. Rome could not convict him. The cross could not conquer him. The grave could not contain him. Satan could not defeat him. Why? Because he was, and he is, and always will be the king of all kings and the Lord of all Lord, the conqueror of death, hell and the grave! Give him praise in the house of God!
Look at this scene. Jesus Christ said: all power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Jesus is standing. Roman soldiers, who were celebrated for their cruelty and their vicious capacity to butcher people, are on the ground trembling like children in absolute fear but totally powerless. He was, he (Jesus), was and is the mighty conqueror. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss: Judas, the deceiver: Judas, the devil's advocate: Judas, who cherished money more than his relationship with the master. Peter slashed off the ear of a Roman soldier. Jesus is taken to Pilate and they tried him. He washed his hands, and said: I find no fault in this man.
According to Roman law, the trial should have ended right there. But the pharisees did not want justice: they wanted the life of Jesus Christ. He was then taken to Herod, whose men of war slapped him. They spit upon him. They gave to him a crown of thorns. They ripped from his back, the seamless robe that he had, and placed upon him the mockery of a scarlet robe. They said, "Hail, king of the Jews," slapping him, and saying: now who hit you? Jesus was sent back to Pilate a second time where he was beaten with a Roman cat-of-nine tails with 39 stripes. Thirty-nine stripes, because that was the limit by Roman law, recognizing that beyond that, the human body could not survive. It would be a death sentence.
Listen in the theater of your mind to the Roman cat-of-nine tails, as it whistles through the air and rips the flesh from his back. See the crimson stream of blood flowed down his back and stained the cobblestones that he kneels upon. And hear the words, by his stripes, we are healed. If you're in this building or watching this telecast anywhere in America or the world, your medical bill has been paid in Calvary by the crimson stripes of the Son of God. The healer is in the house! And he can heal your body. Give the Lord praise in the house!
Jesus was then sentenced to death by crucifixion. An old rugged cross was placed upon his bloody back. He dragged it through the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem. And as the Jewish women wept for him, he said: daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children and your children's children. Jesus looked prophetically down the scope of time. And he saw that in just 39 years later, the Romans under general Titus, would besiege Jerusalem, and more than a million Jewish people would die from starvation.
It was just the beginning of the long trail of tears experienced by the Jewish people. Up the bloody slopes of Calvary, Jesus Christ went, where atheistic hands nailed the precious Son of God to the cross. Friday afternoon, April the 3rd, 33 A.D. at exactly 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bowed his blood-soaked head adorned with crowns, and shouted in agony, "It is finished"! What was finished? Death, hell and the grave were finished. The power of sin was finished. Satan was forever a defeated foe. There was now redemption and forgiveness and mercy with the Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
He died for the sins of the world. The sun refused to shine, as God hid his face in sorrow. Why couldn't he look upon his son? Because his son had become sin. Our sin was cast upon Jesus. He became our substitutionary scapegoat for all of our sin. Before sundown on this sabbath, which was Friday, the followers of Jesus took his blood-soaked body down from the cross. They wrapped it in burial clothes with a hundred pounds of spices, and laid him in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. All night Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night, the giver of life laid dead in a borrowed tomb. Demons rejoiced that he whom they feared, was now dead. Politicians gloated, we've shut up that trouble maker from Nazareth. We've totally conquered him, all of his jabber about an eternal kingdom, and the king of the Jews.
Who does he think he is, God? Disciples scattered in terror. They were haunted by the memory of a blood-soaked corpse hanging from a cross, powerless and pathetic, naked and needy, portrait of scandal and suffering and shame. Mary, the mother of Jesus, wept without consolation, as the blood of her son dripped from the cross into the sands of Calvary. Roman guards strutted and said: his tomb has a Roman seal. He'll never come out of there. He's dead and Rome has won again. Satan was strutting in the corridors of hell, laughing in fiendish spasms of demonic joy, saying, I have finally won. I have finally won. From the Garden of Eden and the snake I sent to deceive Adam and Eve, until the Garden of Gethsemane, we have fought, and now I am the victor. I've won! Death was still all powerful. The grave was still a dark, gloomy, unconquered pit.
Then came the morning of the third day. The third day, being from Friday from 3:00 to 6:00, was the first day, all day Saturday from 6:00 to 6:00, and then Sunday morning after the sun rose was the beginning of the third day. On the third day, the rosey Dawn of hope itself, the resurrection morning, the angels swooped down from heaven to roll the stone away. The third day, the blinding flash of light and a massive earthquake. And the Roman soldiers fell to the ground trembling in terror. The soldiers spent most their time on the ground in the resurrection story. On the third day, out of the darkness of the tomb walked Jesus Christ, the light of the world, the Lord of glory, the Lamb of God, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the alpha and the omega, the one who was and is and ever more shall be, the conqueror of death, hell and the grave: the champion from the cross! Hallelujah for the Lamb of God! He has risen! He lives! Hallelujah to the lamb!
What does the resurrection really mean for the believer? It means that every claim that Jesus ever made about himself is absolutely true. It means that there is eternal life to all who believe. The Bible says: he that believeth in me shall never die. And if Christianity only had that one message, it would make our message the best message on planet earth. Transition from this veil of tears of suffering on earth into paradise with God is an instant. One heart beat, your last heart beat there, is the first one in the presence of God. He that believeth in me shall never die. Because I live, you shall live also. It means Jesus Christ was, in fact, the Son of God. He was the Lord of glory. He was not a liar. He was not a deranged lunatic. He said: if you destroy this temple, I will raise it on the third day. And he did it! He did it!
Buddha is still in his grave. Abraham is still in his grave. Muhammad is still in his grave. The grave of Jesus of Nazareth is empty. I've been there 38 times. And it's empty. He arose just like he said. He's coming back just like he said. He will sit on the throne of his father David in the City of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount just like he said. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father just like he said. Let not your hearts be troubled. If you believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions, he said, and I go to prepare a place for you and for you, and for you, and for you, and for you, and for you: that where I am, there you may be also. That, my friend, is the guarantee of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Give him praise in the house of God!
Angels rolled the stone away, not to let him out, but to let us in. The empty tomb is the only tourist attraction on earth where people line up for blocks to see nothing. He lives! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
The resurrection means that Satan, all of his imps, and all of his superstructure is totally destroyed. We have power over principalities and powers. My friend, that is awesome power. You, as a believer, have the keys to the kingdom. "Keys" mean authority. You have authority over power and principalities. You have enough spiritual fire power that when you roll over in bed, every demon in Bexar County shakes with fear. You have that kind of power! You have authority over the world, the flesh, and the devil! Do not be intimidated by evil or evil people. You are a child of the king! And you have the keys to the kingdom! You cannot be tormented by the prince of darkness. He's powerless to control you. The chains where shattered on the resurrection morning.
You cannot be tormented by fear. Jesus said: my peace I give unto you, not as the world has, but such as I have, give I it unto you. Peace that surpasses understanding, peace the world didn't give and the world can't take it away. You should not be tormented by depression. For in his presence is the fullness of joy. This is the day the Lord hath made, and we rejoice and are made glad in it. Saint Paul said: rejoice: and again, I say, rejoice. Oh, but you don't know what I'm going through. Just try to let your hair down and rejoice anyway. You cannot be tormented by danger. David said: yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
"Shadow," the shadow of a lion cannot bite you. The shadow of a sword cannot cut you. The shadow of a snake cannot harm you. A shadow is a harmless something. Jesus Christ has so defeated death at the cross: it is nothing but a shadow. And when you walk through it, you do so with the victor's crown, because Christ is already beside you, the champion that leads us into the paradise of God. You cannot be tormented by disease: for by his stripes, we are healed. And the great physician, he is in this house! He is ready to heal and ready to save! Give him praise and glory in the house!
The angels asked the troubled followers of Jesus at the tomb: do you remember what he said? The angel said: he told you that he would be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and on the third day, he would rise again. And then they remembered all of these things. Get this: for three days, they had been feeling defeated, disillusioned, and weeping. But if only they had remembered what he said. Before there is a resurrection, there must be a crucifixion. Before there is a sunrise, there must be a night. Before there is a victory, there has to be a fight. Before there is a crown, there has to be a cross. Before there is a purchase, there has to be a cost.
Do you remember what he said? In times of stress, we forget the sweet promises of God. How sweet life could be if only we would remember what he said. Do you feel lonely? Do you feel rejected? Do you feel abandoned? Do you feel like the world has chewed you up and spit you out? Do you remember what he said? I will never leave you nor forsake you even to the ends of the earth. If your mother and your father forsake you, I will lift you up. Give him praise in the house!
Are you suffering in your health? Do you remember what he said? These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. He is still the great physician. He is still the healing Jesus. And he can heal you. And the healer is in the house today! Are you having trouble with your finances? Do you remember what he said? All the gold and silver are mine, saith the Lord. It doesn't belong to wall street or to fort knox: it belongs to God. And we are heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Our father in heaven is laying streets of gold for us to walk on when we get there. All we can manage here is asphalt. When we get there, it'll be pure gold. I know some of God's children will be chipping it up and trying to save it. It is the Lord that gives you the power to get wealth. That's the Bible. Behold, I wish for you that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers. Good things are going to happen to you when you plug into Jesus Christ. He is your provider! That's what he said. Give him praise in the house!
Have you tried and failed? Do you feel defeated? Do you remember what he said? Greater is he that's within you than he that's within the world. We are more than conquerors through Christ. We are the victors, not the victims because of Calvary. The royal blood of heaven is flowing in our veins. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered. You are loved. You are special. You are unique. When you were born, the genius of heaven exploded. You were born a divine original. Do not die a cheap copy! Pick yourself up! Get up out of the dirt! Square your shoulders! Lift your head! Come out swinging! This is the day the Lord hath made! Let us rejoice and be glad! You are a child of the king! You were born a champion! You cannot be defeated! And quitting is out of the question! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God! Fight the good fight. Run the race to win. The victory is ours. You're looking at the winners! It's us! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Remember what he said? Nothing is impossible to those who believe. If you could just get that one verse, it would transform your life. Is impossible to those that believe. Why are we sitting in the church today? Because a few of us believed it was possible, and God made it happen. Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world. Be of good cheer: thy sins be forgiven thee. Be of good cheer. It is i: be not afraid. I am he who was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more. And I have given you now the keys to the Kingdom of God. Put your hands together and give the Lord a praise in the house.
We are the champions! The resurrection story is the story of faith over failure. It's the story of how to turn your worst day into your best day. How many of you're ever had a bad day, a really bad day? You know it's going to be a bad day when you wake up face down on the pavement. When your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles. And you have to blow for ten minutes to get all of those candles out. I know how that is. I'm going to have them put up a candle for each decade. You know it's going to be a bad day when your pet rock snaps at you. The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
Inside the body of every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. What happened? Some of you younger people say, I don't know think that. Hang on partner: it'll happen. Just hang around. For a hundred years, Good Friday was called Black Friday, because it looked like the worst day in the history because Jesus Christ, the giver of life, was dead. The healer was being called a heretic. The deliverer was said to be a demonized deceiver. The great shepherd of the sheep was in a great scandal.
The Lord of glory was being called by the state, "A lunatic" and "A liar". The resumé of Jesus for the ministry was horrible. You couldn't get a church with that resumé. It was indeed a Black Friday. It appeared to be the worst day ever. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the black clouds were boiling in fury around the cross. The ground shook with an earthquake. Dead men walked out of their graves. The veil of the temple was split in half, forever removing the barrier between men and God. You now can come boldly into the presence of God himself and make your petitions known unto him! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
When Jesus was hanging from a Roman cross, caked in blood, naked in shame and disgrace, the high priest was mocking him, saying: if you are the Son of God, save yourself. The fact is he could not save you and save himself, so he died. He died for every person in this room, for every person watching, for every person in the world. In agony, Jesus cried: my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? This is the only time in the scripture where he did not call God "His father". He called him "God" because God could not look upon sin. His chin fell on his blood-soaked chest and he died. It was indeed a Black Friday. It was a gloomy time. It was a nightmare. It was the day that the church thought was the worst ever in the history of the world. The point is, when you are being tested, many times we don't know a good day from a bad day.
It looked like a bad day when Moses fled from Egypt to the backside of the wilderness. But there, God called him to come back to Egypt and to set the Jewish people free from the captivity of the Egyptians. It looked like a bad day when Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. I mean it's bad when one brother's angry with you. But when all eleven are angry with you at the same time. Joseph was sold into slavery a second time into the slave market in Egypt. The woman of the man who bought him falsely accused him of rape. He went to prison for twelve years for something he didn't do. The comforters from the first church of those who comfort came to him, and said, if you were really serving the Lord, this would not be happening to you. He had years of reversal! And in every verse, you read, but God was with him, but God was with him.
The point: are you in a crisis? Are you going through a heart-breaking, life-changing moment? If all you can see is black clouds, don't worry. God's at work. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. He's leading you to an opportunity that's bigger than anything you ever dreamed was possible. If he's telling you to go fishing for moby dick, take the tartar sauce. It's going to be a big catch! You're going to have a wonderful day! When you're down to nothing, God is up to something, something big, something better than you've ever had, something that rolls the stone away! Lift up your heads and rejoice: the champion of the cross is walking in your life! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
In closing, what changed the lives of the disciples from cowards, who ran from the cross to hide from the Romans, to lions of God? What changed them? Peter cursed and denied Jesus Christ before an 18-year-old girl. Peter, who just a few hours before, looked at Jesus, and said, I'll die for you. All these other guys, they may quit you, but I'm going die for you. And an 18-year-old, snot-nosed girl gets in front of him and said, you're a Galilean. He said, I don't know the man. He melted like wax.
Thomas was calling CNN to expose Jesus as a fraud. Thomas said, I'm not going to believe unless I touch the scars in his hand. He doubted him to the end after three and a half years of miracles. He was walking the streets of Jerusalem calling Jesus a fraud. James, the brother of Jesus, who did not follow Jesus Christ while he was alive was willing to die a martyr. Why? Follow these twelve disciples. They were crucified upside down. They were beheaded. They were boiled in oil. They were exiled. They were fed to lions. Nero wrapped the Christians in oily rags and burned them alive in his rose garden so that he could see his roses. Not for a blood-soaked corpse on Calvary did they do this.
Why were they willing to die? Not for an embalmed rabbi in a borrowed tomb. Why were they willing to die? Not for a liar and a lunatic. The answer: they went from cowards hiding behind closed doors, to lions of God, because they saw the risen Savior. They talked to him. They touched him. They ate with him on the Sea of Galilee. Fish and chips, that's where it was born right there. They saw him ascend into heaven. Everywhere they went for the next 50 years, they had a message, "He lives, he's alive, we saw him, he is the Son of God, he lives, he's alive. We can give everything we have, because his kingdom is not of this earth, but it's a greater kingdom than anything you can imagine". Hallelujah to the Lamb of God.
The case for the resurrection is this: critics of the resurrection say he never died. There is, in theology, something called the swoon theory. The swoon theory is that Jesus went to the cross. They did beat him up. But before he died, they took him down, he resuscitated, lived a normal life, married another woman, and they had children. And that story goes on and on. But the point is the hysterical disciples made up the resurrection. Let me call more than 500 witnesses to the platform here in the next three minutes. The first four are in the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who said he died, and was buried, and they saw it. He's alive.
Then there's the Roman guard. He's a professional at recognizing dead men. That's what his detail did, crucify people. He did not break the leg of Jesus Christ, because he knew without a doubt he was already dead. Thirdly, the followers embalmed Jesus Christ with a hundred pounds of spices. It would have suffocated him to death had he been alive. Then there's the testimony of Jesus Christ himself in revelation 1:17 and 18. He said: do not be afraid, for I am the first and the last. Behold, I am he that was dead. And behold, I am alive forever more. Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Now saint Paul continues in the Corinthians where Paul writes: he was seen by more than 500 believers at one time on the mountain experience. Then there's the sixth illustration that Jesus was seen by the disciples in the upper room without Thomas. And then later, he was seen by the twelve with Thomas. Then he was seen on the Emmaus road by the disciples who recognized him when they served bread in their house. They saw the prints in his hand. He was seen by the twelve at ascension. There are 13 different illustrations where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was seen by more than 552 people in different locations in time. It is not a fable. It is not a hoax. It is a fact. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is alive and well. He sits at the right hand of God the Father with power and with great glory. He has all authority in heaven and in earth. He is soon to return with power and great glory to rule this world from the City of Jerusalem from the Temple Mount. It's going to happen! Get ready! The Son of God is on his way!
Can we stand to our feet? How many of you in this room can say, pastor, I'm going through a very real Black Friday, a time of suffering, a time of great concern in any area of your life? How many of you can say, I need to remember what Jesus said? I need to remember that his provision is in the promise. And there are 3,000 promises that all give the provisions that God wants to give to you. Think about that. Like the thief on the cross, some of you have made bad decisions in your life. But on the worst day of his life, listen, he made it his best day.
Think about that. He was a career criminal, and the first one to enter heaven by the blood of Jesus. This day, Jesus said, you'll be in paradise with me. How easy that was. I think we've made knowing Jesus way too difficult. He just simply said, remember me when you come into the kingdom. Jesus said, you're number one. You're going through the gates of heaven, redeemed by the blood of the lamb, the number one. Think about that. How many of you in this room right now, you are going through a time in your life where you desperately need to feel God's presence in your life, his direction in your life? Let me see your hand. Just slip it up right where you are. Hundreds. Pray this prayer with me. Those of you watching by television, please join us.
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of the resurrected Jesus Christ, who is the way maker, I ask you to make a way for me. I ask you to carry the burdens that I'm carrying. I ask you, Lord Jesus Christ, to bring the peace of God that surpasses understanding into my heart, soul, mind, and body in this great storm in which I find myself. And now with the help of the Lord Jesus, I'm going to prevail, because nothing is impossible to those who believe. And I believe that Jesus is Lord. Amen.
Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house of God! Amen. Lift your hand for the blessing.
And now may the Lord bless you and may the Lord keep you. And may the Lord make his face to shine upon you. And may the Lord be gracious unto you and give you his peace. May you walk from this building knowing that the resurrected Savior is your Lord. He is your leader. He is your shepherd. Your enemies have already been defeated. The path that you are to walk has already been secured because Jesus is already there. In faith and confidence, live with joy that's unspeakable, because nothing is impossible to you because you are a child of God. Receive this blessing, in Jesus' name. Amen.