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Summary: If there is one thing we can learn from Easter it’s that God specializes in hopeless situations.

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“An Empty Tomb Filled With Hope”

Matthew 28:1-10

Could you imagine a presidential campaign manager leaving everything for three and a half years and investing all he had for his candidate? I’m talking about leaving not only job but also home and family. To have the campaign going great with all indications that his man was going to win. But when Election Day arrives he sees his candidate not only loose but also get falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit and sentence to death. And for his association with the candidate he also is brought up on criminal charges. Three and a half years not only wasted, but his future drastically changed for the worst. To say that he found himself in a hopeless situation would be an understatement.

Today it seems that everywhere we look we find people in what seems to be hopeless situations. This past week someone got the news from the doctor that the cancer was inoperable, someone received a pink slip with their paycheck, and someone found out their spouse is leaving them for someone else. A high school student found out he or she wasn’t going to get to go to the school of their dreams or maybe not even get to go to college at all. Stress, not enough time, family problems, financial difficulties and shattered hope.

We can only imagine what it must have been like for those closest to Jesus between the crucifixion and the resurrection. Some had left everything behind to follow Him with expectation of Jesus becoming the next King of Israel and restoring it to is glory days of David and Solomon. But what they expected and what they got were two different things.

If there is one thing we can learn from Easter it’s that God specializes in hopeless situations.

On Easter morning the stone wasn’t rolled away so Jesus could get out it was rolled away so we could get in. God wants us to see the miracle of the empty tomb. To realize that He has power over the most frightening thing we can every face, death. Many people today have allowed a stone to remain between them and God. There are many different types of stones that get between God and us. The stone sin, guilt, pain, and also religion, good works, and spiritual blindness. Many people work and strive to move their stones only to see them never budge because some stones only God can move. He not only wants to move it, He want to roll it out of the way. To clear the obstacles between us and our relationship with Him.

Body:

Matthew 28:1

1. Devotion will help us overcome our feelings of hopelessness.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus were the last ones to leave the cross and the first to get to the tomb on Easter morning. They had been through so much the past week. They witnessed the crowed go from hailing Jesus as Messiah to yelling crucify him. They went from setting at His feet and listening to Him teach to standing at the foot of cross and weeping over His cruel death. Why was Mary Magdalene with Jesus’ mother? She had no family obligations to embalm the body of Jesus. She went out of devotion, because she loved Jesus. What if on that Sunday morning Mary Magdalene would decided she didn’t feel like going and helping Jesus’ mother? What if while they were making there way to the tomb she turned to Mary and said; “Why do we have to do everything, why isn’t Peter here, where’s Nathaniel and the rest of the disciples? They should be doing this not us. What if they had a committee meeting right there and decided to go back home and forget the whole thing? Think about what they would’ve missed out on if they would have went back home. I think of all the times I didn’t feel like going to church but went anyway and was blessed through the service. We miss so much of God when we operate our faith according to our feelings.

We can only image what they were feeling that morning as they made their way up the hill to the tomb.

2.God fills with hope those who are involved.

Where was the lepers who had been healed, the lame man who Jesus touched, the blind, the dead He brought back to life, the demon possessed He set free. I’m saying on that morning there should have been a great crowd of people making there way to the tomb. When they were in need they actively sought out Jesus, but now where are they? For some Christians the only time they make it to church is when they have a blow out. They have what referred to as a spare tire religion. Illustration: When they have a blow out they go back to there trunk and carefully take Jesus the spare tire out put Him in place of the blow out and leave Him there until they can get there flat fixed. As soon as they do they take Jesus off and carefully place Him back in their trunk to take out only when needed again. They miss out on a lifetime of what God has for them simply because they only turn to God in crises situations. I’m not passing judgment on everyone who wasn’t with Mary and Mary I’m just stating that they missed out on something special by not being involved.

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