Summary: A sermon that uses the passages around Jesus’ Resurrection to explore what we need to make a fresh start/.
A Fresh Start.
Every now and then in life we have to make a fresh start>
Sometimes we choose a fresh start.
It might be a new financial plan
A new fitness regeme
A new job
A new family member –
Sometimes the fresh start chooses us.
I might get fired from my job.
I might be left a fortune in someones will.
My wife may leave a note on the bench – your dinners in the oven and I am in Florida!
A serious illness might be diagnosed
I might have a car crash.
When the fresh start chooses us it is far harder to adapt than when we choose the fresh start.
With Jesus disciples the fresh start they face on Easter Sunday is not something they had chosen.
Just a few weeks before life had been good. They had been moving forward with Jesus, hanging on his every word – gasping at the miraculous and perhaps a little blind to the gathering storm clouds over them.
Then as we saw on Good Friday – Jesus died and his followers were scatterred.
Three days passed and now
JN 20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!"
JN 20:3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
On the Friday the disciples faced an absolute ending – Jesus their leader was dead. Now three days later the apparantly impossible had happenned.
They had seen Lazarus rise from the dead but now on Easter Sunday Jesus himself was risen from the dead.
What did it mean??
The disciples took a long time to fathom that but slowly it dawned on them that God was giving them a fresh start.
As Jesus made various resurrection apparances – talked with his disciples – ate with them – instructed them and ascended to heaven – the incredible importance of what had happenned became clear.
God was giving not just his disciples – not just the Jews – but all of humanity the opportunity for a fresh start.
In one of his last appearances in Matthew chapter 28 Jesus had said:-
MT 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
When Jesus was on earth he had twelve key disciples around him and then a much wider circle but now that he has carried the sin of the world on the cross and rose in victory three days later Jesus instructs his disciples to :-
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..”
Now, on the threshold of returning to heaven Jesus backs up his words utterred and recorded in John chapter 3 and verse 16.
JN 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. The key to this is whoever believes –
Whoever believes in Jesus Christ is now offered a fresh start.
When people get to understand what is being offered then there is present in their lives a new enthusiasm a new joy and hope. Many people have a tardy approach to Christianity but Jesus gives a fresh start.