Summary: Easter expository sermon that highlights the beauty of heaven and the hope we have in the future.
Easter Changed Everything
Englewood Baptist Church
Easter Morning, March 23, 2008
I was born and raised in the North. I went to kindergarten in the North, then elementary school, then high school, and then college. The first 22 years of my life were spent in Northern States. Then I met my wife and everything changed. I married into the South and I have really loved living in the South, but it certainly has taken some adjustments. I have had to acclimate to a new place.
In the South…
I can’t order a Pop. I order a Coke. Dr. Pepper is a form of Coke.
We don’t have snowplows down here. We just cancel school and buy 3 loaves of bread and 2 gallons of milk at the first sign of moisture.
The plural form of you is simply, “Ya’ll.” The more you use it, the more you fit in.
This is a different place, but it’s a wonderful place to live.
In the Bible, there is a lot of talk about place. Adam and Eve were put in a place called the Garden of Eden. Moses received the 10 Commandments at a place called Sinai. Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal at a place called Carmel. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in a place—of all places—in a dirty stable in Bethlehem. The Bible mentions all kinds of places, but there is one glorious place that is described throughout Scripture where everything is different, where everything is new, where everything is changed.
Jesus said in John 14:
I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. John 14:2b-4)
Today is Easter, the Day that we celebrate an empty place—the empty tomb of Christ. We rejoice in the truth that the grave could not hold him. He did not stay in that place. He was the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was swallowed by the whale and spit out three days later, so Christ was swallowed up by the earth, and spit out three days later. He lives, and because he lives, I can face tomorrow. And because he lives, I am going to a better place. Easter changes everything. Jesus was raised from the dead and so shall I be.
In the book of Revelation, God gives us some details about that place. We get a picture of our final destination, the ultimate place called Heaven. There is much detail in these chapters, and much of it is symbolic. Some of it is hard to understand. But I want to shine a spotlight on Rev.22:1-5, and help you understand how stunning and striking is this place called heaven. Because of Easter, we can now focus our eyes and our hearts on another place.
Read Revelation 22:1-5.
In this beautiful passage of Scripture, there are six enormous differences described—differences between the place we now call home and the place we will one day call home.
What’s Different About Heaven?
1. We never die. (vv.1-2)
Look at vv.1-2…
There are two basic things that human beings must have in order to live: water and food. Life is sustained through these basic ingredients. Without them, we die. And in heaven there is a river of life, there is living water.
I remember in high school. I was on the basketball team and our coach always saved conditioning for the end of practice. We dreaded it like the plague. But about 5:15, he would blow his whistle and he would sign, “Everybody on the line.” And we would all find our way to the end of gym. And he’d say, “Set of 5…Go.” And we would run down and back 5 times. When that was over. We’d do it again. And then again. Sometimes again and again depending on what kind of practice it was.
And when the torture was finally over, there would be this line at the water fountain. And I remember that moment when I finally reached the fountain and I sucked in that water, and just inhaled it as quickly as possible. It felt so good going down and it was so refreshing. But I couldn’t stay too long, because suddenly, I’d get a foot in my backside, and someone waiting in line would say, “Come on, Mandrell. What are you a fish? Share the water.” And I’d have to move away from the refreshing fountain of life.
In heaven, there is a fountain of water that flows from the throne of God. David said in Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” And in this new place, we all have access to the life giving water that gives eternal life.