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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - The Imperatives of the Resurrection

Michael Youssef - The Imperatives of the Resurrection

Michael Youssef - The Imperatives of the Resurrection
TOPICS: Easter, Resurrection

Hello, my friends, and welcome to Resurrection Sunday, the day that changed the world, and the day that set Christianity apart from all those other religions because it is the resurrection power of Jesus Christ that gives us hope not only in this life but for all of eternity that we're gonna be with him, the resurrected Jesus, forever and ever. Glad you've joined us.

When you come and see the empty tomb, you cannot be quiet. Those who have experienced the removing of the stones of doubt in their lives, scattering the clouds of fear and selfishness, we have only one imperative left: Go and tell. Go and tell the greatest news of all: death is conquered. Eternal life is now possible. And you can receive it when you receive Jesus as your only Savior and Lord.

I want you to turn with me please to our Bible reading for today: Matthew 28, verses 1 to 10. I want you to imagine with me how those women, when they heard the words of the angel, how those words were imprinted in their memory banks, in the cortex of their memories, and how they would not only remember the words but, for the rest of their lives, they can keep talking about those words and they can literally repeat them verbatim. "The angel said, the angel said," and these events and these words become indelible in their minds and hearts, and they must have talked about them many, many times, and through the years, and these words and events became all their consuming passion, not just for years but for decades. And they would talk about them. That's why I'm calling this message, "The Imperatives of the Resurrection".

I'm gonna explain that as we go along. There are some things you and I must never forget, must never forget. That these women were not expecting to see a resurrection. You read all the accounts of all the eye witnesses and compare them together. The last thing on their minds was gonna see a resurrection. In fact, they were taking some spices which is a Jewish custom that they will take these spices in order to smell good and retard the rotting of the bodies. It's a very ancient Jewish custom. And secondly, while in their minds they had so many things going on in their thoughts, resurrection was not one of them. One thing they were thinking about was how are they gonna explain this custom of bringing these spices to these Italian soldiers who were not Jewish.

How are they gonna explain that to them, the ones who were guarding the tomb? Or how are they going to persuade these big Roman soldiers to remove the stone so they can get to the body? But to their utter amazement and I will say horror, 'cause you see it in the text, the stone was already rolled away and an angel sitting on top of it. Here, the first word to come out of the angel's mouth in that empty tomb: "Do not be afraid, I know that you're looking for Jesus, who was crucified". There were there and they watched the Crucifixion, these women. "He is not here; he is risen, just like he told you". Then the angels give them two imperatives.

Look with me please, the second half of verse 6. Imperatives, number one, Matthew 28, still there: "Come and see". That's the first imperative. Secondly, in verse 7, he says, "Go and tell". If you really break them down linguistically from the original Greek, there are four imperatives and the four words in the imperative mood and that's "come," and then "see," then "go," and then "tell". There are four, but I lump them together into two because they're related to each other. "Come and see," then "Go and tell". Hearing the words of the angels that Jesus is risen, I have absolutely no doubt and you can see it in the text, it heightened their memory bank to those two imperatives.

Those two imperatives sharpened their senses to a razor edge. These two imperatives must have become more unforgettable than anything they've ever experienced in life. These two imperatives, no doubt, have been repeated thousands and thousands and thousands of times to the disciples, and they would repeat them over and over and over, not only for their lifetime and many of them have died because of the resurrected Jesus, and believing in him, seeing him, and walking with him for over 40 days. But we are repeating them now, 2,000 years later. "Come and see," "Go and tell". These are very, very, very important words. Please don't miss this. Don't miss this. They're very important words to everyone, to everyone who has received Jesus, the resurrected Jesus, as the only Savior and Lord of their life.

But I want to have a word with the pre-believers and I'm saying, "pre-believers" because I have faith by the end of this message all the pre-believers will become believers. Come and see the love of God that was so great that he gave his all, his one and only begotten Son. Come and see the power of God in the empty tomb. Come and experience his power for living. Come and receive his peace that comes from knowing that all our sins are forgiven. Come and see and experience the joy in the midst of life's pain. Come and see and experience his comfort in the midst of fear. Come and see and experience the resurrection power that raises us from the tomb of sin and death and guilt.

Come and see the resurrected Jesus, and receive his assurance of being with him in heaven for all of eternity. Come and see. Come and see. We're not afraid. We've not got nothing to hide. The evidence are clear. Jesus issued a very personal, personal, invitation in Matthew 11:28. He said, "Come unto me. Come unto me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". There can be no rest away from Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the only one who could issue such an invitation. No guru, no leader, no prophet, can issue that invitation. Come and see the empty tomb. Somebody probably is asking by now, "Well, Michael, why is the empty tomb such a big deal"? Well, it's not just a big deal. It's the biggest deal of all. It's the biggest deal of all. Why? Well, think with me, okay? I just want you to think, think with me. Jesus is no ordinary man. He was God in human flesh. Before his incarnation, Jesus co-existed in the Holy Trinity, in the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus, God the Son, is equal to God the Father.

And so, think about this. Think about the incalculable, the unprecedented, the inexplicable, and we won't really understand it till we go to heaven. Incredible humility that he sets aside the splendor and the glory of heaven and comes and be born as an embryo in a virgin's womb in order to help us relate to God the Father so we understand he's been through everything that we've been through. So that "whomsoever comes and accept his death on the cross to be the payment for their sin and that his resurrection is assurance of our own resurrection, they can be reconciled to God the Father". But not just any reconciliation, we are be called the children of God. But then there's something else you're gonna see when you come and see the empty tomb. Talking about the cross.

Think about this. The sinless, pure, holy; that is, he had never sinned in thought, word, or deed, hanging on that cross, carrying the horror and the filth of my sin and the sin of everyone who comes to him in repentance and confession. In fact, 700 years before the cross, 700 years before the cross, the prophet Isaiah, he prophesied with meticulous precision about the cross. Here's what he said, talking about Jesus: "He was pierced for our transgression, he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was laid on him". All was laid on him. The thing you will see when you come and see the empty tomb, you will see what I and millions of others around the world, believers, the fact that we've become aware of the horror of sin, of the nature of sin, and we develop hatred towards sin.

Listen, before I came to Christ, I loved sin. But when I came to Christ, I hate sin. And you know what? I hate sin in my own life more than anybody else's. Because I'm gonna give an account of every word that comes out of my mouth. Something else you need to know that when you come to see the empty tomb, you'll understand that we all, every one of us, everyone here, everyone watching, every one of us, we will physically die. There are some people running around, got their head in the sand thinking they're gonna live forever. Read my lips. No, there's a day that is coming, we're gonna be separated from our loved ones, we'll be separated from our friends, we'll be separated from familiar surroundings, we'll be separated from our possessions.

But we become realistic when you come and see the empty tomb. When you come and see the empty tomb of Jesus, you will see our mortality, our physical mortality, but far more importantly is that you will see life beyond the grave. You will see then a necessity of spending this life preparing for the life to come. This life might be 50, 60, 100 years, but is short in comparison to eternity. Eternity is a long, long, long, long, long time. You will see the importance of knowing right now whether you will spend eternity in heaven with the resurrected Jesus or in hell with Satan and his demons. Now, so many preachers don't want to offend people, they don't want to talk about hell. But you know, what they're doing is like a doctor who sees cancer and says, "Oh, I don't want to offend you".

The Bible speaks of hell in language that makes my cry, 'cause somebody told me years ago, "Don't ever joke about hell because there are real people going there". I pray to God not one person at the sound of my voice would reject the resurrected Jesus and gamble with their eternity, not one. That is why, my beloved friends, it is of uttermost importance that everyone at the sound of my voice would ask themself the question, "If I die today, am I absolutely certain that I will be in heaven with the resurrected Jesus"?

Don't rest until you answer the question. When you come and see the empty tomb, you're not only going to see the incredible, unprecedented, indescribable humility on the part of Jesus, the Son of God. You will not only see the horrors of sin as God sees it. You will not only see that you're gonna face mortality and you better start now, but when you come and see the empty tomb, you will see that only Jesus and only Jesus and only Jesus who rose from the dead, never to die again, can actually give you eternal life. He rose from the dead, never to die again. Never to die again. Never to die again. And that is why he's the only one who can give you eternal life. The empty tomb is saying to everyone, "Jesus and only Jesus defeated sin and the grave".

Jesus is the only Jesus that shows you that his empty tomb is evidence of his resurrection. And all the so-called founders of other religions, listen to me please, I plead with you. All those founders of other religions, they're dead as doornails. Only Jesus has an empty tomb, and that is why no one but no one, no one but no one, no religion, can save you. Only Jesus can. Only Jesus can. Only the one who defeated death and the grave can give you life. The only one who has power over death can give you eternal life. The evidence of the bodily resurrection of Jesus was not only recorded by many Christian eye witnesses, upward of 500, but even Jewish historians and, as you know, they were not disposed to Jesus, they rejected him.

But some of the historians, one of them, the best known historian by the name of Josephus, he writes with details evidences of the resurrection of Jesus and the impact that this resurrection had on the life of the apostles that they would happily die for Jesus. You don't die for a hoax. And that is why all of the apostles, bar one, John, they were tortured and they died horrible deaths, and they did it gladly. Today, there are many persecuted people around the world and some of them when they come to Christ, they're literally signing their death warrant. What courage. When you come and see the empty tomb, you cannot be quiet. You cannot help but you wanna tell. But it's an imperative that we go and tell. It's not a suggestion; it's in the imperative mood. You can't keep good news to yourself.

If you discover a cure to some illness, wouldn't you want to shout it from the rooftop? Before I came to Jesus, I placed so many obstacles and objections, and I hated preachers. Some of you are feeling that way right now. I forgive you, because I know what it's like. So many objections, so many doubts, so many questions. Like these women, no doubt, they had all sorts of things in their mind, you know, "Well, what about the soldiers? What about the Roman seal? What about the stone, this huge stone"?

These were all obstacles that these women were thinking about. But once the power of God destroyed all of these obstacles in my life and in my mind, once the stone of doubt was removed, once the soldiers of selfishness trembled and ran away, once the seal of my will and want to live my way was broken, once those obstacles and objections were removed, once you come and you see for yourself and experience the power of the resurrected Jesus, you cannot help but tell others. I began by talking to the pre-believers.

Now let me talk to the believers, those who have known Jesus and experienced Jesus year after year after year, and you're sitting on the good news. You've never shared it with anybody. I know fear keeps our mouths shut. I know that. I know that. But we don't have a choice. We are under obligation, we are commanded, to tell others. Sadly, there are many people who have experienced that power in their life again and again and again, and yet they never got to the second imperative: "Go and tell". I pray that will change today. Those who have experienced the removing of the stones of doubt in their lives, those who have experienced the breaking down of many seals that kept them away, those of us who have experienced the power in scattering the clouds of fear and selfishness, we have only one imperative left, one. Go and tell. Go and tell. Go and tell the greatest news of all. Go and tell the only news that's worth telling.

People retweeting and retweeting, and all kinds of stupid stuff, and this and that and the other thing on the social media, and yet they do not share the greatest news of all. Death is dead. Death is conquered. Eternal life is now possible, and you can receive it when you receive Jesus as your only Savior and Lord. That you accept his payment on the cross to be for you, personally, whether young or old. I can tell you categorically as I conclude, that no matter what we have faced or what we will face, whatever we gonna face in the future, we can face it with confidence. Why? Because we came and we saw the empty tomb. Because we have experienced the power of the Resurrection in our lives and therefore we are confident that because of the empty tomb, he will be with us in the middle of the floods and in the middle of the fires, in the middle of troubles of life, and that he will walk us through, safe, to the other side of glory.
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