Summary: Easter Sunday sermon. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in our lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever driven a Datsun sedan? You know those little cars, before the company changed its name to Nissan? Datsuns were very easy on gas, could make a U-turn almost anywhere, and lasted nearly forever. The body might have rusted out but the engine kept on going and going, like the Energizer bunny. They had one major drawback, however. You found that our the first time you tried to drive up to Hualapai Mountain Park. Datsun sedan didn’t have much power. Going up that steep hill just before the ranger’s cabin, you had to downshift to second gear, then to first, the engine was screaming, steam coming out of the radiator, and you knew right there and then you needed something with more hemi! Going downhill or on level ground, no problem! But when you had to climb, it was tough going.
Our journey through life can be something like that. When things are going well and life is good, it’s like driving a four-cylinder on a level road. But you know as well as I do that there is more to life than a smooth level, road. Sooner or later, there are some tough hills to climb. Strained relationships, illness, losing a loved one, financial problems, confusion, lack of direction, guilt of yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Does your life ever resemble going up Hualapai Mountain Road in a little Datsun? Do you ever wish you had couple more cylinders to get you through life’s situations?
Well, did you know, when we struggle in life, more power is available to you? God says you can live a life of power. If you need more power in your life right now, you came to the right place, because the power you have been looking for is available to you right here. This is Easter Sunday and Easter Sunday is about power. Jesus Christ suffered and died to pay the penalty for our sins. He was buried in a tomb, and on the third day God’s Resurrection power brought Him back to life. He lived two thousand years ago, He lives now, and He will live forever! He has conquered death through the awesome power of God.
We, human beings only try to prolong life with secret formula pills and such. We are good at research. We can design powerful rockets that take people to the Moon, we can perform delicate brain surgeries, and we can resuscitate people in trouble. If your heart stops while you are in here, God forbid, we have a defibrillator over there, to give you a jolt and restart your heart again. That’s all fine and dandy, but I have yet to see a human being bring back to life someone who has been dead for three days. Only God has the power to do that.
Today we are celebrating this power – Christ’s victory over death. And together with His victory, our victory as well. He promised, Because I live, you will live also. This is the good news of Easter, that when we believe in Him as our Savior, when we by faith place all our sins on the cross of Jesus, He brings us into a right relationship with God, and when we die, that won’t be the end of us, our consciousness, the living soul inside of us, will continue by simply transferring to a heavenly dimension. It may sound weird, but it’s true! This is called eternal life. And we receive this gift of eternal life not because we have in any way deserved it or earned it, but because the sacrifice of Jesus has bought it for us with His precious blood and His Resurrection secured it for us. Amen?
Now, just because we make eternal life our goal, doesn’t mean we are preoccupied with death. No! Our faith is preoccupied with life, because we know God has power for our lives. We call it the new life in Christ.
Now, I was not at the tomb when the stone was rolled away. I have not seen Jesus walking out of the tomb. But others have seen Him. And I believe their testimony. I trust the testimony of the Bible because I have seen with my own eyes this resurrection power at work in the lives of other people and I have experienced it in my own life also.
I have seen people raised to life from alcohol and drug addiction, I have seen the sick healed, marriages restored, I have seen people who felt absolutely worthless become productive members of the society. I have seen selfish people change to actually live for others. I have seen this power at work in my own life. For twenty years faith was something I scoffed at, until one day when I was slipping to my grave the hand of God reached out and rescued me. I know what it’s like to drive up a steep hill in a little Datsun, and I know what it’s like to make the same climb in a V-8, 7.5 liter, 455 HP Vista Cruiser. You kids may never see cars like that again because of how much gasoline costs these days, but boy! let me tell you – you will hear legends about putting the pedal to the metal!