Summary: Jesus’ victory over death brings celebration to life! A message for Easter Sunday.
April 23, 2000
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One minute he was peacefully perched inside his birdcage, and the next he was sucked in,
and blown over.
His problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to vacuum out his bird cage.
She stuck the attachment inside the cage, and about that time the telephone rang and distracted her attention. When she turned, Chippie was gone. She immediately hung up the telephone and looked inside the vacuum cleaner bag – sure enough, Chippie was there – alive, but stunned.
Since he was covered with dirt and debris, she grabbed him and raced down the hallway to the bathroom where she stuck him under the faucet and ran cold water over him for two minutes. She then realized that the bird was soaked and shivering, so she did what any compassionate bird-owner would do – she reached for her hair dryer and blasted the bird with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
Several days later, the reporter who covered the story called to see how Chippie’s recovery was coming along. The owner said, “Well, Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares.”
Well, I guess so! After being sucked in, washed up and blown over, that’s enough to take the song from the stoutest of hearts.
A. When circumstances suddenly change for the worst and take us out of fairly peaceful territory, it’s never an easy adjustment.
Maybe you can relate to Chippie.
Perhaps you’ve gone through times when things changed rather quickly:
Pink slips were handed out
Divorce papers were served
Policeman on your doorstep
GF/BF broke up with you unexpectedly
Someone close to you passed away
At that time, your song was gone, and perhaps you thought you’d never be humming its tune again.
Maybe still today you could use a reason to celebrate.
If so, you’re not much different from the disciples.
Things had been going great for them. Over the past 3 years they had traveled with Jesus, seen him perform miracles, and grown to trust him deeply. But now he had been crucified – gone – dead – never to be seen again. Talk about being sucked into a dungeon of despair. Talk about getting doused with a measure of cold reality. Talk about getting blown over with empty promises!
B. If you would have inquired about the disciples after Jesus’ death, you might have heard, “They don’t sing much anymore. They just sort of sit and stare.”
But then something happened. Their world and ours would never be the same. It’s told to us in the Bible – Mark 16:1-7. Would you stand with me to honor God’s Word as I read it?
Jesus rose! He didn’t stay dead! He defeated death! Another place in the Bible tells us that when the disciples heard the news, “They were overjoyed!” I imagine that’s somewhat of an understatement. Their song was gone, but now they had reason to celebrate. What I’d like to share with you this morning is that…
C. CENTRAL THEME: Jesus’ victory over death brings celebration to life!
(Why is this so?)
3 reasons. #1: Jesus’ victory over death brings celebration to life b/c…
I. WE CAN HEAR, “GOOD JOB!”
“Don’t be alarmed…He has risen!” (Mark 16:6)
A. The resurrection expresses God’s satisfaction with what Jesus has done. In the resurrection, God was shouting, “Good Job, Jesus! Way to go! You did it! You completed the work I asked you to do! Or as Jesus so rightly said on the cross before he died, “It is finished!””
S. Lewis Johnson has said, “The resurrection is God’s “Amen!” to Christ’s statement, “It is finished.”
Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope of
You know there are a number of things I’ll never hear…
A call from the Bulls asking me to suit up and play
Regis Philbin asking me if that’s my final answer
A stranger stopping me to say, “Excuse me. Aren’t you Brad Pitt?”
My wife saying, “Honey, could you turn up the stereo, I can’t quite hear the music!”
One other thing I know I’ll never hear
God saying, “Matthew, you make me sick!”
B. Instead, the Bible says, because Jesus rose again after he died, those who follow him can look forward to hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mt. 25:21,23)
ILLUS – A few years ago there was a report on the news stations in Peoria of a horrible car accident and someone named Matthew Rogers had been killed. The accident occurred just a few miles from my hometown in Central IL. One of the Peoria radio personalities who knows my parents actually called during a commercial break to offer her condolences. They told her thanks, but that I was still alive.