Title: The Finish is Merely the Beginning

Focus: The resurrection of Christ calls us to make a life change

Function: To motivate the hearers to be committed to Christ on a daily basis

1.  Passion Story

2.  Most of us understand that Jesus was a carpenter
	a.  There was one way a carpenter let contractor know job was finished
	b.  Imagine a hot afternoon in Galilee, Jesus just finished.
	c.  Matted with sweat, sawdust, and dirt.  Drinks water, washes, & dries with cloth
	d.  Folds his towel, sets it on his finished work, and leaves
	e.  Contractor comes, sees the towel, knows its simple message -- It is finished

3.  Three years after he set aside his carpenters tools, Peter will look into an empty tomb
	a.  He’ll see the linens, and that neatly folded cloth in the tomb
	b.  Jesus leaves behind a simple message -  IT IS FINISHED
	c.  Peter doesn’t understand yet, but he will - The finish is merely the beginning

4.  Title for this sermon - “The finish is merely the beginning”  How?

I.  The answer begins with his identity
	A.  Many opinions about who he was
		1.  Just a good man?  A good teacher?
		2.  Claimed to one with God!   (Jn 10:30 - I and the Father are one)
	B.  The people asked for proof
		1.  The only proof would be the sign of Jonah (Mk 12:40)
		2.  Jonah was in the belly 3 days and came forth, so would Jesus
		3.  Jesus made outrageous claims, and backed them up
	C.  Jn 14:6 - I am the way the truth and the life
		1.  Not “a” way, or a “good” way, but “the” way
		2.  Many roads lead to God???  WRONG!
		3.  Like saying I can travel any road and get home.  Wrong
	D.  Jesus is “the” way to God
		1.  He is the truth - all other ways are lies
		2.  He is the life - other ways lead to death
		3.  Why? Jesus is God

II.  Since he who he claimed to be, he has power to free us from sin and effects of sin
	A.  That why Paul said in Phil 3:10 - I want to know Christ and the power of his 
	       resurrection...that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead 
		1.  Why he say that?  Sin messed us up, and messes up our world
	 	2.  Rom 8:21 - Says that the creation itself was corrupted
		3.  Rom 8:23 - Says that we ourselves were corrupted
		4.  Result was separation - death
		5.  REsult - Pain, death, decay, natural disasters, etc.  You name it
	B.  Only hope is through the resurrection - (1 Cor 15:20-26)
		1.  Jesus is the first fruits - More to come
		2.  v.23 - He is coming back
		3.  (v.51-57) - What we can look forward to
	C.  Because Jesus rose from the grave, we look forward to our own rising
		1.  Will get a new body
		2.  All enemies abolished, including death
		3.  We will have our final victory
	D.  Therefore, the his death, the “finish” is just the beginning.

III.  All of you who have been converted have “finished”
	A.  Col 3:3 - You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God
	B.  The finish is the beginning (1 Cor 15:58) God’s "therefore" to the resurrection:
		1.  Be steadfast, not sporadic
		2.  Immovable - Not blown over by the slightest difficulty
		3.  Always growing in the work of the Lord
		4.  Knowing that your toil is not in vain IN THE LORD
	C.  It is not about a once a year sunrise service
		1.  Jesus didn’t die so we could have easter egg hunts
		2.  He didn’t raise so we could go to church a couple times a year
		3.  He rose so he could transform you into a child of God
	D.  So you see, it is just the beginning

1.  Have you begun that journey with God
2.  Now is the time, make a decision to “finish” your salvation and begin the journey
3.  Do you believe with all your heart God raised him from the dead
4.  If you do, you may have your sins washed away today
5.  Maybe you started the journey and lost your way
6.  Get back on the way, the one way, the one truth, the one life, and go to the Father