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"The Seven Openings of Easter"

By Pastor Kevin Burden
Northwest Baptist Church, Hopkinsville, KY

Text:  Matthew 27:45-60 / 28:1-6

Introduction:  The Resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ is without a doubt the most important aspect of our faith - 1 Corinthians 15:17 ..if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished...... we are of all men most miserable. v.20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Dr. J. Wilbur Smith said, “The meaning of the resurrection is a theological matter, but the fact of the resurrection is a historical matter.”  There are twelve separate appearances of Christ recorded in scripture after His resurrection.  If the Resurrection of Christ is not true -

1. then His story would have remained buried with Him;
2. The New Testament would make no sense.
3. The Bible is untrustworthy!

In the four Gospels 28 of the 89 chapters are given to consider the last week of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  During this last week of the Savior's earthly ministry I have noticed what I consider Seven Amazing Events.  I Want to share with you today, “The Seven Openings of Easter.”

NOTICE FIRST. . .

I.  THE GATES OF THE CITY WERE OPENED -

Matthew 21:9-11 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Our World Is Very Much The Same Today!  They wanted Jesus because of what He can do for them, but they would not stand with Him.  The world wants Jesus, but they want Him on their term!!

John 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

2 Tim.4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 

II.  THE NEW COVENANT WAS OPENED -

Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

FROM PASSOVER TO THE LORD'S SUPPER!!!

The Old Covenant Was One of Rigid Law & Continual Sacrifice - Gal 3:23,24   *schoolmaster* 1. The New Covenant Is of Grace & Love - John 3:16; Eph.2:8,9 2. It Is A Once For All Covenant - Hebrews 10:10,12,17,18

From The Upper Room We Go To The Foot of The Cross
 

III.  THE SAVIOR'S SIDE WAS OPENED - John 19:31-34

What An Amazing Sight!  Here is the Revelation of God in manifest form, taking the place of mankind, dying for the sins of us all.  2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.   1 Peter 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

When Jesus Side Was Opened, 1. The Blood of The New Covenant Was Given.. 2. It Provided Redemption - 1 Peter 1:18,19. 3. It Provided Forgiveness - Eph 1:7. 4. It Provided Cleansing - 1 John 1:7.
 

IV.  THE HOLY OF HOLY'S WAS OPENED - Matthew 27:50-51

What Is The Tabernacle & The Holy of Holy's?   Hebrews 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

The Place That Once Separated The Sinner From God Is Gone.   Ephesians 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
 

V.  THE TOMB OF JESUS CHRIST WAS OPENED - Matthew 28:1-3

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Is Foundational To Christianity - 1 Cor 15:14-20.

It Is Necessary To Believe It If We Are To Be Saved - Romans 10:9. Why? 1. It Proves His Deity. 2. It Proves His Power. 3. It Proves God's Acceptance of the sacrifice.
 

VI.  THE GRAVES WERE OPENED -

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

He Purchased Redemption For The Saints of Old - Luke 16 / Eph.4:8-10 / 1 Pet. 3:18,19,22
 

VII.  THE DOOR OF SALVATION WAS OPENED -

John 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,....

Rev 3:7-8  These things saith he that is holy, he that is true,.... I have set before thee an open door,...   v 20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

He Is The Conqueror of Death - Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

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