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Summary: Easter: What does Easter mean to you? How does it change your life?The message of Christianity, recorded in the Bible, is more than a historical record of a great miracle worker named Jesus. The message of Christianity was not created by a group 12 disc

In Jesus Holy Name March 31, 2013

Text: Luke 24:1-3,5b,6a Easter Redeemer

“All Boxed In? Impossible!”

A Sunday School class was preparing their Easter craft project when their teacher asked: each student, "What does Easter mean to you?"

One kid replied: "Easter means egg-salad sandwiches for the next two weeks."

Okay, it was a bad answer. But it was a good question.

What does Easter mean to you? How does it change your life? Does it mean something more than an opportunity for a new spring outfit, a family dinner, and an excuse to bite the heads off all those annoying little purple and pink marshmallow Peeps?

The good news of Easter is not that Jesus lived and died on the cross for our sins, but that Jesus died and lives. His resurrection shatters the iron grasp of fear that Satan has on the hearts of many people today.

This day is dedicated to remembering the Lord's conquest of the grave. It was impossible for Him to stay “all boxed in”, in a box hewn from stone, securely guarded and sealed.

The message of Christianity, recorded in the Bible, is more than a historical record of a great miracle worker named Jesus. The message of Christianity was not created by a group 12 disciples who wanted to keep the “spirit” of Jesus alive after he was murdered by the Romans in 33 A.D. The message of Christianity like many other religions around the world does offer guidance regarding an individual’s ethical behavior so that human beings can create a civil society. But, is that all? Well. No. There is more to the story.

Every religion that has existed in history past, or present, tries to answer the ultimate human question. What happens after my journey on earth ends? What happens when death takes my breath away…….. and stops my beating heart?

Some religions state that there is no afterlife…its very existence is denied. Does that bring peace one’s heart? I don’t think so.

Other world religions provide a list of requirements that one must do, without exception, if one is to experience the “great beyond that flows into the “oneness” of the universe. The problem with these religions is that the individual is never quite sure if her or she has “measured up.” The result? There is no peace. There is no security….only fear and worry is left.

I hope you do realize that every human being who created these unique or well-known world religions are still in their own graves….except for one.

His name is Jesus. Human death and grave could not “box” Him in.

The message of Christianity is that God Himself came to earth. He came to deal with the consequences of Evil. He came to reverse the consequences of death that ends human life. He is risen from the dead.

Now that makes a difference

In Luke's gospel Mary Magdalene and the other Mary make their way back to tomb of Jesus just as dawn breaks on Sunday morning. These women had stayed near Jesus as he suffered and died on the cross. They had watched the Roman soldiers pierce his heart. They watched Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus take Jesus' body down from the cross. They wrapped the body of Jesus in a linen shroud. They knew the location of the stone tomb in which his body was placed. They watched as the stone was rolled in front and the tomb sealed.

The Sabbath was sneaking in even as Nicodemus and Joseph hurried to get Jesus' body safely entombed before sunset. The women, although they remained as long as they could, had to get back to their homes, their families, and prepare to greet and observe this sad Sabbath. They quietly observed the Sabbath with tears. (from sermons.com Leonard Sweet)

Their mourning, their formal expressions of grief and loss, had to be put on hold until the Sabbath with all its special obligations and restrictions, had passed.

Think of all those funeral processions that have been clogging the bloody streets of Syria these past months. Think of the women, crying, moaning, and rending the fabric of their clothes. Women are a key part of the community's mourning process.

By Sunday's dawn, the women could not and would not wait any longer. The women hustled towards the tomb ready complete the anointing of the body of Jesus using some of spices they were unable to use on Friday evening. They would then wail and weep. They would bring back the memories of Jesus' life. Their loss would be expressed with their tears and loud cries. It was the last thing they could do for Jesus. After this ritual of mourning and remembering he would truly be gone forever.

But instead of a quiet tomb the women get...

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