Summary: Easter Sermon
It was on the first day of the week when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus body had been laid. She was startled to see that the grave had been opened. The scripture for today’s sermon is found in John 20:11-18. We pick up the narrative on that first Easter morning and this is what we read:
“But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.”
There are some very valuable lessons that we can learn from this story about life and about the ability of Jesus Christ to bring us back to life.
You have witnessed many things in this service. At the beginning of the service you saw a dramatic presentation of someone being brought to life.
It was simply a picture and illustration of the hopelessness one feels without knowing Jesus and the life that Jesus gives to those who seek Him.
We are taken with life. We spend millions of dollars a year looking for signs of life.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory designs, builds and operates the world’s most sophisticated and advanced radio telescopes. Scientists from around the world use these powerful tools to study the Sun, planets and other objects in our own solar system, as well as distant stars, galaxies, and other mysterious objects many millions, or even billions of light-years away. So far their search has proven unfruitful. I don’t know what you brought with you into this room today. I don’t know the pain or the hurt or the circumstances that you find yourself in but I do know that the Christ we remember at Easter is able to transform your life from death to life.
Let’s look a little closer at this encounter that brought Mary back to life.
What lessons can we learn from this story?
1. Weeping is a sign of life.
Jesus had been killed right before her eyes and now she was in the cemetery. Four times we read that Mary wept or was weeping.
This was Mary’s second visit to the tomb on this morning. She was beside herself with grief. The Bible says, “But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb.” You can feel the grief and feeling of helplessness as she looks into the tomb for another time.
Mary was overcome by grief because Jesus had transformed her life. He had cast many devils out of her, seven to be exact. She was a new person. Her life had been radically different and now the source of her great change was gone.
Things that make us cry are a natural part of life. If you cry you are still living. If you cry it is a sign that you are still part of the human race.
Life is filled with disappointments and heartaches.
We all cry sometimes.
It could be a broken relationship.
It could be our job or the pressure at work.
It could be a very personal family related problem.
It could be that you are struggling with some kind of an addiction that no one else knows about but you and God. You feel as though you are dead yourself because you can’t ever seem to overcome it.
Whatever makes you cry, be thankful because if you are still crying you are still living and that is a good thing.
The good news is that there is a Savior who’s name is Jesus and He wants to bring you to life. Your weeping may endure for the night but when Jesus comes into your life joy comes in the morning.
Phillip Gulley tells the story that when he had an old neighbor when he was growing up named Doctor Gibbs. He didn’t look like a doctor. Most of the time he wore a straw hat whose front brim was green sunglass plastic and denim overalls. He smiled a lot and his smile matched his old hat. It was old, crinkly and well worn.