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This being Easter our leadership met and decided, "You know, we want to get a really special speaker. Why donít we call the best preacher in the world and ask him to speak."
And they did and he said "No".
So they said, "Well if we canít have the best speaker, as least we can get the smartest one."
So they called him and he said "No".
And then they said, "Well, if we canít get the best or the smartest, at least we can get the best looking."
And they called him and he said "No".
And finally one of them said, "Well, we can always ask our preacher." And so they did. And what could I say, Iíd already told them "no" three times.
Sorry about. Well youíre stuck with me this morning. But Iíve got to tell you, weíve got a great topic, a great passage of scripture, and a great hope in our resurrected Lord.
The Poem says,
Come, see the hillside in the dawn, the cross bereft of him who died;
see the open cleft that greets the day, the empty wherein he lay.
Go quickly, Leave the place of death and swiftly run to those who have not heard the victoryís won,
Who watch and wait, make haste to teeming throngs who need to know, for whom the news unless you quickly go, will come too late
And tell, o spread the news as long as you have breath, that Jesus holds the keys to Hell and death;
His name be praised! For he is risen as he said,
And in that Glorious rising from the dead, we too are raised.
Well, we gather here this morning to celebrate Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. To give praise to a God who moved the stone that day and a God who still moves the stones, the trials of our lives today.
What does Easter stand for? And in the multitude of possible answers let me share six of them with you.
E - Empty Tomb that provides hope in a hopeless world.
A father and his teenage son were living in Mexico City. They had had an argument, and the son, Paco, shouted curses at his father and then stormed out of the house and didnít return. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months.
The father searched the city over and finally in desperation he went down to the newspaper and took out an add. It said, "Paco, if you read this, I want you to know that all is forgiven. I love you and I will be waiting for you at this Sunday at the entrance to the city park. I hope you show up, love dad."
He said that Sunday morning 200 Pacoís showed up at the park, all looking for forgiveness.
There are so many people searching in this world. Searching for forgiveness, for hope, for meaning. And the good news of Easter is that the empty tomb provides that hope in a hopeless world.
Matthew 12:20-21 Ė says, A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In His name the nations will put their hope.
A bruised reed, a smoldering wick. That describes many people in this room today. Perhaps youíve been bruised by the trials of life. Perhaps you were bruised by harsh words or by a friendís anger or by a spouseís betrayal or by your own failure or the failures of those around you.
Perhaps, you feel like a smoldering wick. At one time your passion for God and for ministry and for life was flaming high, but the winds of life have blown and now you feel one step away from the flame going out all together.
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