Summary: An Easter sermon, sharing the joy and promise of the fact death is dead.


March 31, 2013

Luke 24:1-12

Some of you know that I am not musically gifted. I can’t carry a tune, I don’t know melody from harmony from rhythm. I don’t play any musical instruments, partly because I can’t read music; and maybe you don’t know it, but I don’t know melody from harmony from rhythm.

BUT, I’ve come to learn I can play a musical instrument. The beauty is that I don’t have to practice it, you can never tell me if I missed a note or messed up on anything. Why? Because I’ve learned to play the AIR GUITAR!!

What’s air guitar? It’s simply playing an imaginary guitar. You pick up your imaginary guitar, strap it on and play away to a song. Air guitar is so serious that there’s even a World Championship. This year it’s in August, in Oulu, Finland.

Here’s what I love about “playing” air guitar.

You can’t hit a wrong note.

You can’t sound bad.

You can’t even sound better.

You don’t even need a guitar to play air guitar.

You can even slam your guitar on the ground as part of your act and there’s always

a newer model waiting for you.

You can look good without ever practicing a single note.

The bad thing about playing a real guitar is that you have to practice very hard in order to sound good. I know I’ve said it and inferred it to my children, and I know it can be annoying, but we teach it because it’s true — — “practice makes perfect.” In sports, they call it muscle memory.

Practice isn’t always much fun. If you’re an athlete, practice is running suicides, crunches, weights, repeating and repeating drills and more. If you’re a musician, practice is endless scales, chord repetitions, memorization, learning new ways to listen, to hear, to breathe, to feel. Without practice you can never get better, you can never really improve.

Well, today is Easter Sunday! And on Easter we celebrate the most perfect event in the history of the world - the perfect enactment of divine love, the greatest expression of life ever given and gifted to the world — the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

I wonder how many times God went over His perfect plan in His heart. He didn’t need to practice it over and over again. God knew what He was going to do, and never deviated from His plan. I can picture God smiling because of the gift which was ins store for you and I. You ever buy the perfect gift? It took planning and searching to make it all come together. Well, folks, we’ve got the perfect gift in Jesus, and that gift is right in front of us.

In the play by Eugene O’Neill called “Lazarus Laughed,” Lazarus is facing Caligula, the Roman emperor, and instead of begging for mercy, Lazarus laughs and proclaims “DEATH IS DEAD.” And the chorus shouts, “Laugh! Laugh! Fear is no more! Death is dead!”

Did you hear it? “Death is dead.” Whatever is killing you right now, whatever grave clothes have trapped and wrapped themselves around you like a python, whatever straightjackets you find yourself in, you can escape. You can walk into the light and experience the miracle of life. “Death is dead.” And because “death is dead,” there is a new world of new possibilities for all of us.

Let me share with you the story of the resurrection from the gospel of Luke ~

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,

3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?

6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.

10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.

11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

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