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God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:24)

It’s Easter, preacher. What are you preaching?

Don’t preach about springtime, as much as we all love it. This is not the day for that.

Don’t make the analogy about how Easter eggs speak to us about new birth and all that foolishness.

Stay on track.

You have the greatest message on the planet; try not to weaken it with trivialities.

Tell your people—and all those whom the Holy Spirit will send this Sunday, not yet “your people,” but potentially so—that death could not hold Jesus Christ, that He is risen from the dead, and what that means to them. (Never forget that every sermon has two parts: What? and So what? The “what” is the message of Easter; the “so what” is the application.)

So, what exactly does the Easter event mean? I’m glad you asked.

1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means He is still alive and among us today.

Lo, I am with you all the way. (Matthew 28:20)

I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Pastor, let’s not encourage our people to think of Jesus’ resurrection as something that happened in the dusty realms of ancient civilization, as though Easter Sunday is a memorial day and we’re giving a history lesson.

When we say “Jesus is risen!” we must emphasize that “He is here among us today!”

Question: Do your people believe Jesus Christ is in this place, among us today?

2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that everything He said, every promise He gave, every claim He made, is good, stamped with Heaven’s verification.

Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Question: When are we going to get straight about Jesus being the only Door to everything Heaven has to offer?

3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that death is defeated and we need never fear that faker again.

Two huge scriptures…

For this purpose Jesus partook of flesh and blood (like us), that “through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to bondage all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15). (He defeated the devil and delivered his captives!)

“…who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). He literally “nullified” death, putting it out of business. So when we die in Christ, we go straight to Him. To the redeemed, there is no death, in any way that truly matters.

Question: When are we going to stop fearing death and start believing Jesus?

4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means we may live boldly in this life, since death has been defanged and demonsterfied! (If that’s not a word, it should be!)

No fear of death means no hesitation about living!

Question: What’s holding you back from the bold things Christ wants from you?

5. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means we have a gospel, ladies and gentlemen, unlike any other message on the planet! And everyone needs to hear it.

You and I are the messengers. We get to break the news to those still cowering in fear of death. We have the privilege of unlocking the chains holding them in darkness.

Question: Have we conned ourselves into thinking we can keep silent but live so wonderfully that the lost will see and believe? Someone needs to tell them about Jesus.

6. For all who are in Christ, from here on ininto eternity!the news is all good. Any trouble along the way is just so many speed bumps.

Keep in mind, the message of Jesus is not called “good news” for nothing! My sins are gone, the charges against me have been nailed to the cross, the blood of Jesus has washed me from all sin, and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

I am born again, adopted into the family of God, with my name written in the Book of Life. I am indwelled by the Holy Spirit, who also overshadows and undergirds me, goes before me and comes behind me. I am saved, forgiven, called, sent, accompanied, commanded, instructed, blessed, filled and used by the living God for His purposes.

Question: Yes, we do preach on sin, but have we allowed our message to emphasize the negativity?

7. Finally, I must not be upset if these lessons come slowly to me.

Such truths are too wonderful for me. My carnal mind resists believing that death is defeated and that being absent from the body means being at home with our Lord, but my heart of hearts knows this is true. So we daily give ourselves anew to Him, we surrender to His will for that day, and we dedicate ourselves to growing in Christ.

One of these days, we’ll get it right. Until then, do not weaken.

Question: Are we being too perfectionistic? Can we be more patient with ourselves and one another?

O fools and slow of heart to believe ... (Luke 24:25)

Help us, Lord.

Dr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Currently he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for revivals, prayer conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets and other church events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50 years of ministry at

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Steve Hankins

commented on Apr 2, 2015

Wow Joe, You did it again! what an inspiration to be reminded of these truths this early Thursday Morning of this very Holy week as I am putting together three messages. God Bless you Joe and keep serving our Living God. Thanks for helping me remain focused.

Mark Nielson

commented on Apr 2, 2015

Great material Joe! Staying on point! I'm going to have to quote you...because your perspective is too good not to share! This will be my 36 years preaching the joy and wonder of the Resurrection to the same church body. It is a message that never gets old...and my pulse quickens at the thought of getting to share it once again

Bill Boldt

commented on Apr 2, 2015

Great message Joe! Appreciate your insights and your boldness. I am always looking for new ways to share the powerful resurrection story of Christ and you just helped me. I am preaching on the seven sayings of Christ on the cross and you just gave me an idea to preach the seven highlights of Easter. I will give credit to your quotes and thanks for the message.

Joe Mckeever

commented on Apr 2, 2015

A pastor called from Texas a few min ago, saying he'd like to use these 7 as the basis for his Easter sermon and wanted permission. I'll tell you what I told him: If God gives you His permission, that's all that is necessary. And please keep my name out of it. No need to give me credit. (My preaching professor used to say when you're serving a meal to the family, it's not necessary to say which pots and pans you used.) Thank you!

Jerry Burns

commented on Apr 2, 2015

Thanks Joe for the wonderful message! I think what spoke to me about as much as anything was your willingness to step back into the shadows and let our Lord and Savior shine bright! He truly deserves all the credit! God bless!

Bobby Bodenhamer

commented on Apr 2, 2015

Simple; to the Point; Biblically sound and it presents a message needed world wide to all lost people everywhere especially for those millions who live in the bondage of Islam. Let's pray for those Christian in Moslem countries who are facing possible Martyrdom. Pray for the families of those who have had family members slaughtered for Christ. Pray that the Christians may stand tall in the cause of Christ. Joe, thanks again for another great message. I'm sure that you would agree with me in that the true antidote for radical Islam is a radical transformation wrought by the blood of Christ and sealed by His Resurrection.

Pastor Fred

commented on Apr 3, 2015

Hey bro, you really inspired me in a way that will keep me for sometime. I thank you for be available for The Lord to use you in this way. The Resurrection of Jesus (Easter) has been watered down so that many are coming for the show of colors and the happy speech of spring flowers. But thank you for speaking the truth.

Anthony Collins

commented on Apr 3, 2015

Wonderful article. I can work this into message on Sunday and you are getting credit for it. Thank you for letting The Spirit use you!

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