Summary: The Resurrection gives us hope for life after death, and for new life right now.

Easter 2007 [Glen Presley poem]

Matthew 28:1-10

On Friday Benjamin drew this picture of the cross with the devil saying “I can’t believe I won!” God says, “no you didn’t.” and the devil says “aw man!”

What looks like a defeat for Jesus is not a defeat. By going to the cross, paying for all that we ever did wrong, and taking away the power of sin, he actually disarms the devil and wins the cosmic battle for the souls of people and for creation. Because the cause of death is the presence of sin in the world, when he takes away the cause, he breaks the power of death, and death cannot hold even him.

This Cartoon from Reverend Fun has the same point

The Resurrection – a victory – the angel sitting on the stone. I love this image, because you don’t often think of angels sitting, but this angel was pretty satisfied with the outcome of things – he rolls the stone away and sits on it.

The Resurrection is a central part of our faith, and it gives us great hope.

The Resurrection – hope for those we have lost

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is arguing with people who said that there is no resurrection – he gives the eye-witness account in

1 Corinthians 15:3-9

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.

1 Corinthians 15:20-27a – first fruits

Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.”

Force 10 From Navarone – very small explosion placed in the right place leads to the destruction of the whole dam.

Jesus resurrection may not have seemed small the disciples – to have their friend and leader back with them after the horror of the cross was beyond imagination – but in retrospect, we might wonder what the resurrection of a great teacher from 2,000 years ago has to do with us. But Jesus’ resurrection was the small explosion that will bring down the whole dam of death!

Robin -You’re arriving with the sound

of thunder and rain

You’re arriving in the calm

of the wind and the waves

You’re arriving in the glow

of a burning flame

Jesus resurrection was like the crocuses and snowdrops pushing their sprouts up through the melting snow. You see that, and you know that winter is dead, it might have one last gasp like this weekend, but spring is coming.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been going into the back yard to look where we planted the bulbs last fall, just to see if they are poking up yet. Just to see if winter has been defeated… For those of you who have been stung by death lately, I’d suggest doing the same thing – come to the scripture where we see the hope of the end of death – read the stories of the resurrection & know that while death is still trying to keep it’s hold on this world, on us, it is on its way out, there will come a day when the effect of the small explosion that happened 2000 years ago will have its full effect, and we will see our Lord and our friends and loved ones who have gone before.

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