Sermon- Surprise! Surprise!, Luke 20:37 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Surprise! Surprise!

... the dead are raised
Luke 20:27-38 or 20:27, 34-38

Sermon Topic Afterlife

Sermon Week Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 20:37


The founder of a new religion asked the great French diplomat, Talleyrand, for advice on how to make converts. Talleyrand said, "I should recommend that you get yourself crucified, and then die. But be sure to rise again on the third day."

Suppose you turned on your TV this morning and heard Dan Rather deliver the following "Special Report," via satellite, from Jerusalem:

This morning, in the Holy City, a shocking announcement was made that a body, positively identified as that of Jesus Christ, was found in a long-neglected tomb just outside the city limits. Rumors had been circulating all week that a very important discovery had been made. But this mind-boggling news far outstrips anything we had imagined. The initial reaction of Christians around the world has been a mixture of bewilderment and disbelief. No official Church pronouncements have been made as yet, but there are reports of urgent closed-door meetings being held all over the world. We will just have to wait and see what effect this discovery will have on the two-thousand-year-old religion. Some religious commentators already have stated privately that it appears Christianity will have to take its place on the same level with other religions of the world. No longer can its followers claim that, unlike other religions, the tomb of its Founder is empty. Evidently, a two-thousand-year-old myth has been exploded!

The Apostle Paul wrote that if such an announcement were true, our faith in Jesus Christ is worthless:

... if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that He raised Christ" (I Cor. 15:14).

Paul also said that if Christ has not risen, our preaching of our own bodily resurrection is in vain. If Christ has not risen then "the dead are not raised," he wrote in First Corinthians.

When a nineteenth century missionary announced that he was going to preach to the people of New Hebrides Island in the South Seas, his friends tried to discourage him. One well-meaning Church member who knew little about [...]

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