“THE DEATH AND LIFE OF CHRIST” By Pastor YAU
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (Easter)
1) After the birth of Christ: Christmas is the biggest event in Christian church calendar because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. This is the fulfillment of the good new, the gospel in which God sent His Son, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) There won’t be any gospel if there were not the giving of God’s Son. But that gift of God’s Son won’t accomplish God’s plan of salvation of men if there were no death of His Son to pay the price for the sins of men. So, Christmas won’t be complete if there were no Easter.
2) After the death of Christ: But if there were no resurrection of Christ after his death, the plan of salvation won’t be complete for the forgiveness of the sins of men. When we celebrate Easter things won’t be complete if there were no resurrection of Christ. It is in His resurrection, God accepted the wages of men’s sin paid in full by His Son, Jesus Christ. We see that Easter is a combination of the death and life of Christ to effect the plans God set for the salvation of men.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST: (-15)
1) The power of His death: “For Christ’ love compels us.” () Compel means to press, to hold together, hold fast. It is the love of Christ in His death that compelled so many to hold their faith fast and dedication starting from Paul through out generations even today. His love is the sustaining power to carry many Christians through their trial and come out victorious.
2) The substitute of His death: “We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore, all died.” (5:14b) Because of His substitutive death, we all died with Him. This is God’s plan to save men from their sins because Christ had paid our wages of sin in full.
3) The results of His death: “He died for all and those who live should no long live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” ()The death of Christ paid the price for the sins of men so men could live. Therefore no man should live for himself but for the ONE who died for him, Christ. We were given the second chance to live, so we should not live our life as it is our own, but live for Christ.
THE LIFE OF CHRIST: (-17)
1) Regard no man from the outside: “So from now on we regard no one from the worldly point of view.” () This is a very important point for all Christians: a man is not just the fresh and blood. Man is created in the image of God, a spiritual being. In this regard, all human beings are equally precious and worthy of respect, the born and the unborn. Life deserves respect and preservation. We also do not regard men from what they have on the outside, but who they are on the inside. This is how God looks at people and we should follow His way.
2) Regard Christ not from the outside: “Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” (5:16b) There are many in this world recognized Christ and the importance of His teaching as a religious founder, a social reformer, a model of ethics and morality, a philosopher, educator and even a revolutionary. These are true from the worldly point of view. But the true identity of Christ is he is the Son of the living God, born to die for the sins of men, the one who holds all authorities of the world and gives eternal life to everyone who believes in him. Regarding Christ from the outside may benefit from His teachings, regarding Him on the inside is much better.
3) Regard Christ from the new life: “Therefore, if anyone who is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (5:17)There are many important theological values in this verse of the Bible. But here we see the transformation of a new life in a believer who puts his/her faith in the resurrected Christ. The fact that Christ was raised from his death makes it possible to give new life to those who believe in Him. This is the pinnacle of the Christian faith.
THE UNFINISHED TASK OF CHRSIT: (5:18-21)
1) God reconciled us through Christ: “All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ.” (5:18) No one may do anything to qualify him/herself to reconcile with God. No one may do anything to impress God enough to be saved. God did it all by sending His Son to die on the cross, raised him from the dead and reconciled sinners with him on their faith in Christ. This is not about religion, it is about grace, an act of God.
2) God reconciling the world in Christ: “That God is reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sin against them.” (5:19)The heart of God won’t be satisfied just to save us from eternal loss. He intends to reconcile the whole world with Him through Christ. If anyone is still lost, His heart still aches for that soul. Every soul is precious in God’s eyes. Everyone needs to know the love of God in the death and resurrection of Christ and Easter is the best time to accept His gift of salvation.
3) God’s ambassadors in Christ: “We are Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making His appeal though us. We implore you on Christ’ behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (5:20)On one side we are ambassadors of Christ, we have a message to the lost world. One the other side we are to implore, to beg, to beseech and to encourage every man and women to be reconciled to God through Christ. We have been assigned a job to save souls for God. It is our duty and honor to be His ambassadors to bring the salvation message to everyone lost soul, starting from our family to friends to all whom we know. Story: Saving starfish on the beach one at a time. We may not be able to save all souls, but to the ones we help to save, it means the whole world.
4) God’s righteousness for all men: “God made Him (Christ) who had no sin for us, so that in Him we might become righteous to God.” (5:21)Because the death of Christ bore all the sins of men on the cross, we, all sinners, are able to become righteous in the eyes of God. This is the only way to save our souls from the condemnation of sin. There is no other way any soul may be saved other than through the blood of Jesus Christ. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
1) For our sins, Christ died: It is our sins, yours and mine, that sent Christ to the cross. He died so we may have hope of salvation.
2) For our eternal life, Christ rose: His death paid all the wages of our sins, His resurrection brings us reconciliation with God. We are given eternal life to be with God.
3) For you is the message today: Today’s message is for everyone who is still not saved in the grace and love of God. Until you are in God’s Kingdom, God’s heart will not be completely happy. Why are you still waiting?