Summary: An Easter sermon challenging people to not just acknowledge and celebrate Easter, but to experience the life changing power of the resurrection.
Easter means different things to different people. For some it’s about bunnies and eggs – completely secular. For others, it’s about family get-togethers – represents comfort and the warmth of home. And to a few, it’s just another day – completely atheistic . . . God is not involved. But to many (especially those of us gathered here and in churches all over our community), it’s much more than those things.
To us, there is a connection with something greater. There is a meaning that is much deeper. This year I want to challenge you to not just be reminded of the story, to not just observe the day, but to experience the difference Christ can make in your life.
Most, if not all, of us are familiar with the story of Christ and his suffering on the cross. We probably know that he died on that cross for our sins. And we know that we observe Easter to celebrate his resurrection from the dead.
We talk much of his death and its importance > sacrifice / atonement / payment . . . . but it’s his resurrection that brings power to the story. W/o the resurrection, it’s just the story of another great teacher who was loved by the masses, but misunderstood by the establishment. W/o the resurrection, it’s the story of a misguided prophet with a Messiah complex who ran afoul of the law. W/o the resurrection, it’s just another religion.
Today, I want us to look at the benefits that Christ’s resurrection brings to us. If we’re going to experience it, we need to know what we’re looking for. We need to know what that difference looks like.
In Romans 6, the Apostle Paul is describing what it looks like to be alive in Christ. To experience the resurrection in our own lives.
Passage >> Rom 6:5-14 NLT
Have you ever wanted a new life?
A whole new identity – witness protection program. Move to Montana and become a buffalo rancher? A chance to start over – leave the old behind . . . the mistakes, the pain?
"Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin."
That’s new life! We may not get a new id card with a new name and address, but we get something of more eternal value and importance – we get set free from the power of sin. The scriptures say that the wages of sin = death. So the power of sin brings about death. If we are set free from sin’s power, then we get to experience life!
1 Cor 15:21-22 NLT
"So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life."
Some might ask, “Then why do people still die?” Because physical death is really not part of the equation.
We measure life quantitatively, i.e. we measure it with length of time. We celebrate life annually. We throw parties and give presents.