Why Jesus Changes Everything

Pastor Tom Ascol’s Easter message, entitled “Why Jesus Changes Everything,” is based on Romans 6:1-11. Using the ancient thinking of a flat earth as an example, the pastor told of the Copernican Revolution. Copernicus and Galileo had proved the earth was neither flat nor the center of the universe changing the perceived realities of space and planetary systems. In an even greater revolution, on a grander scale, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed people’s perception of almost everything. For those joined to Him, Jesus changes everything.

The reason for this change is that Jesus was genuinely raised from the dead never to die again. The New Testament teaches that Jesus was really dead and really rose. Truly this was miraculous but there exist myriad biblical evidences. This was no mere spiritual resurrection but a fulfillment of that which Jesus had been teaching the disciples, despite their skepticism which initially remained even after the Resurrection. The tomb was empty. Mary Magdalene and Thomas touched Him. Jesus ate food. He was seen many times by many different people, the last of whom was Saul who became the Apostle Paul. Eventually, most of the apostles would be martyred, a manner of death they could have avoided had they not sincerely believed the evidence of the Resurrection. This changed everything but how did it change everything?

Jesus conquered death. Death is the universal human experience, the consequence of sin. We all will die whether through accident, illness, or the slow decay of our aging bodies. It is the way of the physical world in which we live. But Jesus’ resurrection is proof that death need not have the final say. Having conquered death Jesus is also able to raise those who follow Him. Verse 4 speaks of a newness of life given to those who believe on the Lord Jesus. This newness is for the present time, giving us a new perspective. It changed the apostles who went from hiding behind locked doors to face the religious and imperial leaders of their time. No longer satisfied to lead “normal” lives the apostles had been changed by the reality of the Resurrection, no longer living for themselves but for the glory of Jesus. Not only had their perspective changed; so had their motivation. While this newness of life, available to us as believers, for the here and now is a marvel, even more marvelous is the newness yet to come.

The power and tyranny of death have both been broken. Death is swallowed up in victory Paul write (1 Corinthians 15:54) by Jesus’s resurrection. Paul continued, noting death had lost its sting and its victory. Thus it is that Jesus resurrection guarantees our own resurrection. Again 1 Corinthians 15, this time verses 22-23, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” Heaven is assured you if only you come in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ the One who died, was buried, and raised anew never to die again.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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