Summary: Easter is based not only on a true story, but on YOUR story.
A. We all love a true story, don’t we?
1. It explains our fascination with reality TV shows ... we want to know what it’s really like behind the scenes of anything we think might be interesting.
B. I know for me, I love a true story ... I like to read, and much prefer true stories over fiction.
1. My favorite reading is autobiographies of presidents and other leaders, followed by biographies, because I love a true story.
a. In fact, whenever I’m in a bookstore, you’ll find me in those sections.
2. I was in a bookstore on Friday and couldn’t resist two great deals I found ...
a. “My FBI” by Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI
b. “The Long Goodbye” by Patti Davis, on the final years of her experience with her father, President Ronald Reagan, as he was dying of Alzheimer’s disease.
C. As true a story as could be told is what we celebrate this Easter Sunday Morning.
1. Let’s read out loud together the story found in Luke 24.
D. I want to share with you today my assertion that Easter is actually MORE THAN just BASED ON a true story – it IS a true story.
1. Easter is MORE THAN just based on a TRUE story –
a. it is based on the Truth Himself, according to Jesus’ own words in John 14:6 when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
2. Easter is MORE THAN just based on a true STORY – it is based on HIS..STORY –
a. Everything we do in the shadow of time is based on BC (Before Christ) and AD, commonly thought to stand for “After Death”, but actually standing for the Latin term Anno Domini, which means "in the year of our Lord."
1) The B.C. / A.D. dating system is not taught in the Bible. It actually was not fully implemented and accepted until several centuries after Jesus’ death.
a) Purpose of BC / AD dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history.
b) However, when the B.C. / A.D. system was being calculated, they actually made a mistake in pinpointing the year of Jesus’ birth.
c) That is not the crucial issue. The birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ are the "turning points" in world history ... that make
i) Easter MORE THAN just based on a true STORY – it is based on HIS..STORY –
E. I submit to you today that whether you know Jesus as your Lord or live your life as though you are your own lord,
1. Easter is MORE THAN just based on a true story – it’s based on YOUR story,
a. because YOU are the very reason He came to earth, lived as fully God and fully man, died on a cross and rose again three days later!
II. EASTER ... BASED ON A TRUE STORY — Consider the four pieces of every story ...
A. THE SETTING.
1. In the story we just read, the setting is in a garden like place, not unlike the cemeteries we visit today.
a. It wouldn’t have been as well manicured, and instead of the literal underground burials we know of today, Jesus’ tomb was crypt-like.
1) His tomb would have been cave-like in structure, hewn out of bedrock, with His body placed in a space called a loculus, which would have been carved into the wall with space enough to fit a body, much like what we see in mausoleums today.
b. The entrance to the tomb and very literally covered with a large boulder and sealed for security purposes.
1) Matthew’s account tells us that the guards were explicitly told to put a seal on the tomb, probably done with a cord and official wax so that tampering with the stone would be obvious.
2. Mark’s account of the approach of the two women to the tomb that Resurrection morning recounts them asking each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?”
a. Today, in the setting of what is our lives, we all have stones like that in front of the tombs of our hearts.
1) Stones that seem to impede us from getting to Jesus; things that weigh upon our hearts, that hold us back, that keep us in the shadow of the cross, rather than in the freedom of the resurrection.
b. And we know what those stones are: anger, hatred, selfishness, pride, arrogance, bigotry, fear.
1) Maybe it’s the stone of guilt. The stone of anxiety. Of feeling inadequate. Of feeling oppressed by your own sinfulness and brokenness.
c. There are so many of those stones that lie in front of our hearts, that keep us in tombs, trapped in our sepulchers of alienation from God and from one another.