Intro: It all comes down to this…3 seconds left in the fourth quarter; the home team is down by two. The coach calls a timeout and sends his star field goal kicker onto the field. The team takes their positions, the referee blows the whistle, the ball is snapped, the kick is up…and it’s good! And the crowd goes wild. At least half the crowd goes wild. The other half leaves in defeat.
It all comes down to this…you’ve been carrying around this engagement ring for weeks, if not months. You know you want to marry her, she’s the love of your life. You have it all planned out, the special restaurant, the perfect song, the beautiful flowers, the right words to say. It’s time – you take a knee, look her in the eyes and ask her to marry you. Now it’s up to her to say yes or no.
It all comes down to this…you haven’t been feeling well for awhile and the doctor has been trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. They’ve run some tests to see if they can figure it out. You’ve been waiting now for what seems like years. Although it’s only been a few days. And now, you’re back at the doctor’s office. He wants to deliver the news in person. It seems like your life hangs in the balance. Those test results will reveal a major turning point in your life.
It all comes down to this…you’ve waited for that 20-week ultrasound (or like us for the entire pregnancy for delivery). It seems you can’t wait any longer. You know your life is about to change dramatically, you just want to know if it will be pink, or blue, or two. The ultrasound technician does her magic and…what a great day for a new mom and dad.
It all comes down to this…maybe you remember these defining moments from the Outback Bowl on January 2, 2012. ***Clip of UGA Game*** Every time I watch that clip I hope the outcome changes…it never does!
‘‘It all comes down to this.’’ That phrase points to a defining moment. It calls to mind a critical stage in your life; a momentous or important occasion. In other words, this is what you’ve been waiting for.
Well, this evening/morning, as we celebrate Easter, I want you to know that this is one of those times. This is a defining moment, this is an important occasion, this is what we’ve all been waiting for. It all comes down to this. READ Luke 24:1-12
I want you to see two important realities about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1. It’s the most important event that ever occurred: 1-8
The story of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a story that changed the world. It is the most important even that has ever occurred and the most important story ever told.
Now, his birth was normal but it was unique. You see, He was born just like you were born. He was born of a woman. His mother went through the normal process of pregnancy and delivery, *probably even craved pickles and ice cream and wanted to run to Wal-Mart at 2 am.*
But His birth was totally unique. He wasn’t just born of a woman, He was born of a virgin. He was totally untainted by the sin nature that each of us inherit at birth.
His death was not atypical of Roman executions. Jesus wasn’t the first person to be crucified by Rome and He wasn’t the last. In fact, He was crucified between two criminals that day.
But His death was totally unique. For in His death, He paid the price for your sin and my sin, satisfied the judgment of God against sin and purchased salvation for all who will turn to Him in faith.
His resurrection, now that’s completely unique right? Well, sort of. I mean, we don’t see that much today. But as you read the gospels you realize that He was not the only one to rise from the dead. *Everywhere Jesus went he seemed to interrupt a funeral. He turned so many funerals into festivals because He raised so many back to life.* He even empowered His disciples to raise the dead. So, His resurrection is not completely unique.
But it is totally unique. Everyone else that was raised from the dead died again! Their resurrection back to life was only temporary. Not Jesus, His resurrection is final and complete. He rose again and is alive forevermore.
*There are 4 Major Religions: Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Each rest on a historical personality: Buddha, Mohammad, Abraham and Jesus Christ. Over the tomb of Buddha you write, ‘‘occupied’’… Mohammad, Abraham. However over the tomb of Jesus you write, ‘‘He is not here. He is risen!’’*
Listen to what the text says here in Luke 24. READ 5b-7 Don’t miss it. It all comes down to this. Jesus Christ is risen. He conquered death, hell, the grave and all of His enemies. He is triumphant, victorious and glorious. *The account of the life of Jesus Christ is the only biography known to man that does not end with death and burial. This biography never ends!*
*I heard a story one time about a Sunday School teacher who wanted to teach the kids in her class an important lesson. So, she got three jars and put several earthworms in each jar. In one jar, she poured alcohol. In the other jar she put cigarette smoke, and in the last jar, she put sugar. She took those jars to her class and showed the kids. In each of those jars, every single worm died. She asked her class, ‘‘Who can tell me the lesson we learn from these worms and these jars?’’ One little boy spoke up and said, ‘‘If you drink a lot, smoke a lot, and eat a lot of candy…you won’t get worms.*
It seemed like that little boy missed the point. And today, I don’t miss the point. It all comes down to this…Jesus is alive!
2. It’s the most important decision that you will ever make: 9-12
Not only is this the most important even that ever occurred, but it’s also the most important decision you will ever make. It all comes down to this. You are faced with a choice, believe in faith and experience a complete transformation of life, or turn away in disbelief and reject Jesus. This is the most important decision you will ever make.
READ 9-12 The women who heard of the resurrection ran to announce it to the apostles. They went to tell the others. In other words, they believed and they went to tell somebody.
But here are some tragic words, ‘‘they did not believe them.’’ Some of you are going to hear these words today, you’re going to hear about Jesus Christ, His birth, life, death and resurrection, and you are going to do the same thing. You will walk out these doors after hearing this amazing story, and you are still not going to believe. Let me challenge you today to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. *This is not a fairytale, a myth or a legend. This is reality. And the same Jesus that rose again from the dead lives today, and He can live within you through the Holy Spirit of God.*
They did not believe. But notice how verse 12 begins. ‘‘But Peter…’’ The others didn’t believe, but Peter did. READ 12 You see, some of you will hear of the empty tomb today and walk away in unbelief. But others of you will come to see for yourself. And what you will discover is that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, He has done what none other could do, and He offers salvation to you today.
*A young man one day was on his way to visit a friend named John who lived on a farm. He entered the farm and began to meander up the road that led to his friend’s home. He had to pass by a bran and as he got near to it, he stopped, perplexed. He saw something that both mesmerized and stupefied him. On the barn were twenty targets. In the middle of each target was a bull’s-eye, and in the middle of each bull’s-eye was a hole. Someone had used the barn as target practice and however it was, was a crack shot. There were no other holes on the barn except the holes in the bull’s-eyes, centered in the targets. He couldn’t believe it. He started back up the road to the house. When he met up with John at the house, he said, ‘‘before we begin our day together, I’ve just go to ask you, who in the world did the shooting on the barn?’’ John said, ‘‘Well I did.’’ The man looked surprised and said,’ Wait a minute! There are twenty targets, with twenty bulls-eyes, with twenty holes in each bulls-eye. You mean to tell me you did that?’’ John said, ‘‘Yep, I made every shot.’’ ‘‘Where in the world…how in the world did you learn to shoot like that?’’ John said, ‘‘It’s simple, I shot first, then I drew a picture of the target around the hole.’’*
A lot of us are just like John. Maybe we know the right words to say; maybe we know how to dress up for church on Easter. But it’s not so much that we’ve hit the bull’s-eye, we’ve just learned to paint well. It’s possible to go through the motions and not live a life on target.
You have a choice to make. It’s the most important decision you will ever make. It all comes down to this. This is a moment that changes everything.
GOSPEL You are faced with the reality of the gospel. The perfect and sinless life of Christ, His death for you on the cross, His victorious resurrection and His offer of salvation. You are forced to make a choice. You can see for yourself and respond in repentance and faith, or you can hear the story, choose not to believe and remain unchanged, unsaved and under judgment.
This changes everything; it is that moment that separates victory from defeat, winning form losing, life from death.
*General Wellington commanded the victorious forces at the great battle of Waterloo that virtually defeated Napoleon. The story has been told that when the battle was over, Wellington sent the great news of his victory to England. A series of stations, one within sight of the next, had been established to send code messages between England and the continent. The message to be sent was ‘‘Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.’’ Meanwhile a fog set in and interrupted the message sending. As a result, people only saw news of ‘‘Wellington defeated-’’ Later, the fog cleared and the full message continued, which was quite different from the outcome that the people originally thought had happened! The same is true today. When many look at what happened on Good Friday, the death of Christ, they see only ‘‘defeat.’’ Yet, on Easter, at the Resurrection, God’s message was completed. The resurrection spelled ‘‘victory.’’*
And how you respond today to His resurrection and offer of salvation will determine whether you experience victory or defeat.
If you’re looking for more sermon ideas on Easter, be sure to head over to SermonSearch.com to find 100’s of Easter sermons to help you out!