Tonight I got to see the Arkansas State Red Wolves at University of Arkansas Little Rock Trojans basketball game COURT SIDE. It an unique situation because we got the red carpet treatment with the concessions being delivered to our seats and the errant passes landing in our lap. Then when I got home I noticed Luke and I on the news. You can see us below on the right. Luke has on his red Razorback sweater and shorts and I am wearing my blue shirt behind the UALR player (white jersey) on the right side of the screen.
I told Luke, “It took me 55 years to get a seat COURT SIDE!” He responded, “Well, it took me 10 years.”
This experience tonight reminded me of a sermon I heard on Easter.
On Easter 2016 and at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING based on I Corinthians chapter 15 and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today:
This day is the day that changes everything. The resurrection changes everything and that is why we are gathered here today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ because it changes everything. HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT? Have you ever had something unexpected happen in your world that really changed the whole experience for you?
Recently I took my son Caleb on a getaway weekend. It was a Father/Son Manhood weekend for us, one of the milestones we do here at Fellowship Bible Church.
We decided to go to San Antonio and a San Antonio Spurs game. It was the same weekend that Star Wars was coming out. So I booked a hotel down at the River Walk. We fly down and went to Star Wars during the day and that evening we had trouble buying tickets to the San Antonio Spurs game but we dropped $200 on some seats pretty high up in the area.
After taking selfies we go to the concession stand and as we are approaching the counter and all of a sudden a guy comes out of no where and says, “Hey, is it just you and your son tonite?”
I responded, “Yet it is.” He said, “How would you like to sit COURT-SIDE?”
My son’s eyes got as big as bowling balls. This guy says, “My brother and his wife and I have season tickets and he is not going to be here tonite and if you want to sit court-side these tickets are yours. Merry Christmas.”
I was speechless. We follow this guy to our court-side seats. We went from near the roof to court-side. My son Caleb was giving Hi-Fives to the LA Clipper players. It is a good seat when you have to tell the ref to move.
My wife and Dad and everyone else is texting me, “We see you on TV every time down the court!” At one point the basketball comes out of bounds and I catch it and my son and I are [freaking out.]
The fans behind us tell us that with these tickets you get free access to the buffet and we could eat and drink all we wanted.
At one point I looked down at the tickets they gave us and I saw the price and it was $1650 each ticket. My son Caleb said, “I don’t want this day to end!!”
We were blown away. It was a game changer. I was blown away that someone would give us that kind of opportunity. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it changed everything for us that evening.
Today we are talking about something way bigger. Eternal life is at stake. Eternal destiny is on the line. Some of you are going to be blown away by the opportunity before you this Easter morning because the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the very heart of Christianity. If what we we are gathered here to celebrate did not happen then people need to pity us as believers. They need to feel sorry for you and me more than anyone on earth because we have set our hopes firmly on a lie.
But if the resurrection really did happen, then we need to repent and we need to believe in Jesus and we need to rejoice that we have hope in this life and the life to come.
Paul wrote this to the believers in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 13-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
Do you believe in an afterlife or not? Would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.
Many people highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book.
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop
Francis Schaeffer pictured above
TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)
In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.
Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.
The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.
It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.
When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.
The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.
The site of the biblical city called Lachish is about thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This city is referred to on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Imagine a busy city with high walls surrounding it, and a gate in front that is the only entrance to the city. We know so much about Lachish from archaeological studies that a reconstruction of the whole city has been made in detail. This can be seen at the British Museum in the Lachish Room in the Assyrian section.
There is also a picture made by artists in the eighth century before Christ, the Lachish Relief, which was discovered in the city of Nineveh in the ancient Assyria. In this picture we can see the Jewish inhabitants of Lachish surrendering to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The details in the picture and the Assyrian writing on it give the Assyrian side of what the Bible tells us in Second Kings:
2 Kings 18:13-16
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
We should notice two things about this. First, this is a real-life situation–a real siege of a real city with real people on both sides of the war–and it happened at a particular date in history, near the turn of the eighth century B.C. Second, the two accounts of this incident in 701 B.C. (the account from the Bible and the Assyrian account from Nineveh) do not contradict, but rather confirm each other. The history of Lachish itself is not so important for us, but some of its smaller historical details.
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt)
Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR