Summary: Our Risen Savior can: 1. turn our darkest night into day (vs. 1-3). 2. put a new perspective on our problems (vs. 2). 3. give us the faith to overcome our fears (vs. 3-5 & 10). 4. defeat our death forever (vs. 5-10).
Easter Can Change Everything for You
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 20, 2014
*In November of 2001, "Sports Illustrated" covered the World Series in which the Arizona Diamondbacks came back to beat the Yankees in the last inning of the last game. That inspired the editors to think about the greatest comebacks in history, and they published their list of the "Top Ten Comebacks of All Time."
*It was a very broad list. Elvis Presley was on it, due to his TV special in 1968 that revived his sagging career. President Harry Truman made the cut, because of his 1948 victory over Thomas Dewey after all the polls had Truman losing by a huge margin. Michael Jordan's return to basketball made the list. So did all of mankind for recovering from the Black Plague in the 14th century that killed 25 million people.
*The number two all-time comeback was a tie between Japan and Germany for their recovery after World War II. Of course, that never would have happened without our generous help.
*But the number one, greatest comeback of all time, named by the editors of "Sports Illustrated" in their Nov. 12, 2001, issue: It was Jesus Christ coming back from the dead in 33 AD! (1)
*That first Easter was the best day ever in the history of the world. Easter changed everything! And Easter can change everything for you, because Jesus is alive!
1. That's why Jesus can turn our darkest night into day.
*Jesus Christ can turn your darkest night into day. Verses 1-3 help us to see this resurrection truth:
1. Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
3. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
*Think about those ladies on the way to the grave that day. They weren't going to a party. They were going to finish preparing Jesus' body for the grave. They had great adoration in their hearts for the Lord. But there was no celebration, because they were sure that Jesus was dead.
*Jesus had told His disciples many times that He would rise from the dead, but for some reason it never sunk in. This was not a new dawn for them. Emotionally and spiritually, it was still the darkest night of their lives.
*But everything changed on that first Easter morning! That angel shined as bright as lightening. But his light was just a spark of the light they would see that day, because Jesus was alive! And Jesus can turn our darkest nights into day.
*Some very hard things are going to happen in your life. Where are you going to find the comfort you need?
*When Dan Yeary was the Pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, he had a big medical scare. Just after preaching one Sunday, Dan suddenly lost his balance, as his blood pressure shot up, and he began sweating profusely. Dan was rushed to the Emergency Room, and his heart checked out fine, so they continued to run tests to find the cause.
*Of course the people in his church were praying, visiting, calling and sending cards to their pastor. Those things helped comfort Pastor Dan, and he appreciated it all. He told his church about two of the cards he received from young children. Dan said, "My favorite get-well card was handmade with construction paper, glue, glitter and delightful misspellings. It said, 'Pastor Dan, I am sorry you are sick. -- I hope you get well before you die!'" The other kid's card said, "Pastor Dan, I like to hear you preach. I hope your sermon doesn't make you sick next time." (2)
*God's people can surely help us find the comfort we need in life. But the best comfort comes from God Himself. He can put light in our darkest days. Jesus Christ is alive, so He can turn our darkest night into day.
2. And He can put a new perspective on our problems.
*Remember what the women were worried about on the way to the tomb that day. Mark 16:2-3 tells us that:
2. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3. And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?''
*That heavy gravestone was far too big for those women to move by themselves. But vs. 2 here says, "Behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it."