Summary: Easter to the world means the end of the gray day of winter. Yet in the Christain life is a reminder of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
EASTER SUNDAY, 2001
THE MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY THE 15th OF April, 2001
THE TEXT ::::: John 20: 1-18
PRAYER...MAY THE WORDS OF GOD AND HIS MESSAGE SPOKEN THIS HOUR BE BOTH A WORD OF COMFORT AND CHALLENGE
WE PRAY THAT IT WILL CHALLENGE THOSE WHO ARE COMFORTABLE
AND COMFORT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS DAY.
INTRODUCTION::: Changed by the calling of my name
Easter is a time of hope.
OUTSIDE THE CHURCH , EASTER TO THE WORLD MEANS THE END OF the gray days of winter, AND IT MEANS
THE HOPE OF THE COMING OF spring.
IT ALSO MEANS THE HOPE of Flowers blooming,
THE HOPE OF leaves appearing on trees, and
THE HOPE OF green grass to grow.
YET INSIDE THE CHURCH AND In the Christian life, Easter is a reminder of the hope we have in JESUS. IT TELLS US THAT No matter the circumstance or the situation in which we find ourselves, JESUS WILL OFFER US THE
HOPE OF NEW POSSIBILITIES,
HOPE OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND THE
HOPE OF A NEW life.
LETS RELIVE THE STORY, AS WE CENTER ON OUR HOPE...AMEN.
THE GOSPEL SAYS THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK WAS DAWNING, MARY MAGDALENES GOES TO INSPECT THE TOMB OF THE LORD.
THE CRUCIFIXION HAD TAKEN PLACE ON FRIDAY, AND AS SUNDAY DAWNED THEY WENT THERE TO FINISHED ANOINTING THE BODY AND TO GRIEVE AS WE WOULD DO WHEN WE LOSE A LOVED ONE.
AND AMAZINGLY, THEY FOUND THE TOMB OPEN AND THEY RUN BACK TO TELL THE DISCIPLE, THAT SOME ONE HAD STOLEN THE BODY OF JESUS.
THE DISCIPLE GO TO THE TOMB AND THEY RETURNED HOME AFTER VERIFYING MARYS STORY, BUT MARY STAYS AT THE TOMB, DEEPLY DISTRESSED.
OUR story of the Resurrection begins with a woman,,,,
WHOM WE FIND weeping beside the tomb of PERSON WHO SHE LOVED SO DEARLY..
THIS woman’s name IS Mary of Magdala AKA MARY MAGDALENE.
The tomb THAT SHE IS NEXT TO IS ONE THAT belonged to A MAN NAMED Joseph. AND It was the place where Jesus’ body had been laid.
AND SHE IS CRYING BECAUSE SHE IS BROKEN HEARTED..
NOW LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT THIS MARY,,,
THE TOWN OF HER ORIGIN CALLED Magdala was a NON-JEWISH (Gentile) city LOCATED on the shore of the Sea of Galilee IT WAS A SMALL TOWN,,with approximately forty thousand inhabitants.
BUT SINCE BEING DELIVERED from her self-destructive past and BEING made whole by the GRACE AND love of GOD, MARY lived the rest of her life with DEEP gratitude and loving devotion to Jesus.
All four Gospels report that Mary was THERE,,,, at the cross on Good Friday. After the disciples ran away, she stuck it out to the ghastly, gory, gruesome end.
According to three of the four Gospels, Mary was there,,,,, when they took the mangled, blood soaked BODY OF JESUS down from the cross,,
WE ALSO FIND THAT MARY WAS THERE WHEN THEY,wrapped it in linen cloths,,,
MARY WAS THERE WHEN THEY laid it in Joseph’s tomb.
AND HERE BEFORE SUNRISE MARY IS THERE ONCE AGAIN AT THE TOMB OF OUR BURIED LORD....
BUT MUCH TO HER AMAZEMENT,,,,MARY FINDS THE TOMB EMPTY...
SO BEING THE REALIST THAT SHE IS,,,,MARY comes to the only reasonable, conclusion REGARDING THE ABSENCE OF JESUS BODY....WHICH IS,,,,,,,,,,
"They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him!" Someone has to HAVE move it.
SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT SHE RAN TO TELL Peter and John OF HER DISCOVERY.
THE TWO DISCIPLES inspected the scene, confirmed Mary’s observation, and returned home BEWILDERED, SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS leaving her alone in the grave YARD.
AND That is where we find her, weeping outside the tomb.
BUT AS SHE WEEPS A PERSON WHOM she assumed to be the gardener asked HER A question," Woman, why are you weeping? VERSE # 15.
MARY answered THAT,,,, She was looking for the body of Jesus.
In a desperate attempt to have something to hold on to, she was willing to settle for whatever was left of him."Sir,"she pleaded,"if you have carried his BODY AWAY,,, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.
AND IT IS AT THIS MOMENT That THE RESSURECTION HOPE, AND Easter HOPE happens FOR MARY .
BECAUSE IT AT THIS TIME THAT JESUS CALLS HER NAME...
"Jesus says to her,’Mary!’"
There were no trumpets or choirs
There was no theological explanation of the Incarnation REVEALED TO HER.
No one gave a discussion that good will ultimately be victorious over evil.
There was not even a sermon from a preacher.
Just a familiar voice with the ring of LOVE AND GRACE, calling her by name....MARY