Note: This sermon was preached on Resurrection Sunday 2010 and concluded a verse-by-verse series through the entire Gospel of Mark.
We've looked at the earthly ministry of Jesus from Mark 1:1, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
And this morning we'll finish with chapter 16.
We've seen our Savior's teaching, His miracles, His disciples, His enemies. And in chapter 15, it all culminated on the cross-where we saw that Christ paid for our sins. And how wonderful it was to see His sacrifice. The cross is what we boast in. The cross is what we proclaim.
But this morning we're going to see that if we stop at the cross, we do not have the Good News. If we stop at the cross, we do not have the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we stop at the cross, then our preaching the gospel of Mark the last 3½ years has been a waste of our time.
Because if we stop at the cross, we don't have Good News. All we have is a rotting corpse. Our final chapter would be death. I mean that's where we left Jesus last time isn't? He was dead. Christianity was dead. Our hope was dead. You see, the only hope humanity has is for a resurrection. For new life.What good is Christ's work on the cross, if He is dead? This is the problem with crucifixes that leave Jesus on the cross. This is the problem with liberal theology that refuses to believe He rose again.
Last week I got a call at church from an elderly preacher who wanted to talk to a pastor who believes in the resurrection. He's part of a liberal denomination that just recently stripped him of his ordination. Even though the men on his ordination council were godly professors from Wheaton and Moody Bible Institute back in the 50s. He said that at his church last Easter, the pastor got up and said "I do not believe in the resurrection."
I don't even understand that. Why would you have a church if Jesus is dead? I mean, "What kind of Christianity do you have if Jesus is dead?" None. You don't have any Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15 says, "Your preaching is in vain. Your faith is in vain. You are of all men most miserable." If Christ didn't rise from the dead, then Christians are the biggest losers.
The Resurrection is vital, because it changes everything for the Christian. This morning we're going to look at just two areas found here in Mark 16.