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God in a Grave (2 of 3)
I Peter 3:18-22
I'm in a trilogy of messages around the celebration of the Easter season-the resurrection of our Lord. Last week we talked about the day God died. This morning we are going to talk about God in a grave. Next Sunday morning, God is alive-the resurrection.
The Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross for the sins of the world. They took His body down and buried it in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. For three days and three nights He was there. On the third day, the resurrection day, the Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. If that is not true-if Jesus Christ did not come out of that grave, Christianity collapses. If He is still in that grave, then nothing really matters. But if He is not in that grave, then nothing BUT that matters. It all hinges on the resurrection. Everything stands or falls on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus is in the grave, then you and I don't have any hope. If Jesus Christ is not in that grave, then we have hope. What I'm preaching today makes sense and we can face the future unafraid because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The question arises-what was Jesus doing during those three days He was in the grave? What was going on? In fact, there are a couple questions I would like to answer for you this morning. The first one is-Where did HE go? The second question I want to answer for you is-what did HE do?
In a rather remarkable passage of Scripture and in a rather interesting way, the verses I have read to you this morning answer these questions. They take us to three basic places. First of all they take us to the tree. Second, they take us to the tomb. Third, they take us to the throne.
I. The TREE.
Look at verse 18. "For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." Those statements take us to the tree. I'm referring, of course, by tree to the cross of our Lord Jesus. Sometimes it is called the tree.
Look at I Peter 2:24 and you read, "Who His own self (the Lord Jesus) bare our sins in his own on the tree." It is talking about the cross. It was before a tree-the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-that Adam ruined the human race. It was on the tree-the cross-where our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ redeemed the human race.
"On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross."
On that tree. These verses tell us something about what Jesus was doing on that cross and it tells us about the uniqueness of the cross. It says on that cross Christ once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust. He suffered on that cross. We do know that Jesus Christ suffered physically on the cross. He suffered in His body on that cross. Nobody ever suffered like Jesus did on that cross. Nobody before or sins has ever suffered in their body what Jesus suffered in His body that day on the cross. That day the Lord Jesus Christ was made a sacrifice for sins. He was suffering for our sin ...
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