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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.

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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.

In her first contact with Jesus, Mary Magdalene AKA MAGDALA was set free from seven demons AND WE FIND THAT INFORMATION IN Luke 8:1-3; Mark 16:9).

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,,,,,,,,,,


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