I'm so deeply grateful for the people that God has surrounded me with in my own family, starting with Patricia, and all my children and grandchildren, and everybody else that the Lord has brought into my life who has served here, been a part of this church. This is a journey that we've all taken together. It's not something that's done in isolation by any means. In order for me to be able to do the things that I have set my heart to do, and the Lord has enabled me to do, a lot of other things had to be done by other people who have done well and nobly all the tasks that could ever have been imagined to need to be done, in order to enable me to do what I do and what I feel God has called me to do.
And so, this is a delight for me to come to this point, to be able to say to you, "Thank you for making it possible. Thank you for not running me out of here a hundred times over through the years. I'm grateful for your love and your support and your encouragement in so many ways, and I mean by that all of you. And you know all the things that you've done to make this ministry possible and joyful and I am the most blessed.
For me, of course, the joy is in the study, the hours and hours of study every week for all these years has benefited me immensely. You get the overflow of that, you get one hour. It's about a one to twelve ration for every ten or twelve I spend, you get one. So I'm the one who is most rewarded...I will tell you that.
We come, this morning, to the end of the gospel of Mark. But before we look at the end of the gospel of Mark, I want you to turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 15...1 Corinthians chapter 15. We're going to talk about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and I want to begin by borrowing from the Apostle Paul a portion of his inspired writing that lays the importance of the resurrection before us. In 1 Corinthians 15 and verse 1, Paul writes, "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved if you hold fast the Word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance, what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, or Peter, then to the Twelve, after that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the Apostles, and last of all, to one untimely born, He appeared to me also."...