Summary: Have you ever had your hope in something crushed – filled with disappointment when you bit into it? Discovered that what you put your faith or trust in was hollow and or empty hope? Jesus proved on Easter that He is a Living Hope! So, embrace Him today and find Hope and even joy in the journey!
Easter 2019: Hope come find it!
We challenged you today to come find hope and that is what we are talking about this morning – in the prayer time, in the worship time and in the testimony times – by the way there are more testimonies coming to show how people found a living hope right after my message.
What did you hope to find when you came here to CHC this morning?
• Maybe Easter Candy?
• Maybe Chocolate?
• Maybe Peeps?
• Maybe Eggs?
• Maybe Pancakes?
• Maybe Easter flowers and decorations?
• Maybe fun and laughter?
• Maybe friends?
• Maybe great music?
• Maybe great preaching?
• Maybe you hoped to find some peace, some answers, some inspiration or some direction for a life that at times seems to be spinning out of control.
Jonathan Kruschel stated this about why some come to church for Easter: From sermoncentral.com sermon “The Living Hope of Easter”
“What did you hope to find when you came to church this morning? Many times our hopes are based on our past experiences. You’ve been to Easter services before and so you build your expectations for today on previous experiences, that this year will be similar to past years. Or maybe your hope is based on what someone said to you. Someone said that they were going to meet you here, that there was going to be beautiful music, singing, decorations and they even told you that the message of Easter is so much more than chocolate bunnies and brightly colored eggs, but that the message of Easter is about a man that gives living hope, lasting peace and true purpose. So here you are, with all those hopes. Well, I’ve got some good news. No matter what brought you here to today, today is a day of hope because a living Jesus gives living hope. Strangely enough this living hope takes us to a place of death, where hope normally appears to end.”
In the Biblical narrative about Easter Sunday about 1986 years ago we discover – people found a Living Hope!
Easter morning comes with the Sun coming up and a few ladies heading to the cemetery. A strange place to find hope – right? This cemetery is located just outside of the city of Jerusalem. The week leading up to this Sunday had been filled with parades, shouting, praises, arrests, torture, crosses and death it was festive and frantic. This relatively small city was packed full of people who had travelled to Jerusalem for the annual Jewish festival called the Passover. But this year’s festival was underlined with controversy as a man names Jesus had burst onto the scene. Jesus emerged some claimed He was the Messiah, the king of Israel. He had been performing miracles, healing people and even raising dead people back to life especially this guy named Lazarus. He even had claimed to be the Son of God and that He would die and be raised again on the third day. His following was growing larger and larger, and in the eyes of some Jewish religious rulers this was threatening. This man Jesus had been arrested Thursday evening and crucified on Friday and that evening his body quickly placed in a tomb were these ladies were heading too.
It was day three of Jesus’ death but I don’t think from the story there was much hope left in Jesus followers. The ordeal of Good Friday had robbed them of joy and I think hope. But what did they find at the cemetery and tomb?
I love what Jonathan Kruschel states, “Their past experience had taught them that you do not go to the cemetery to see IF the person is still there. You go to the cemetery because you KNOW the person is still there.”
Kruschel adds, “So they set off hoping to find Jesus’ lifeless body to maybe look it? When they arrived, they saw the stone that blocked the entrance to Jesus’ tomb had been rolled away, allowing them to look in and see that Jesus’ body was not there. What did they expect had happened? Experience had told them that if the body was missing, someone must have stolen or moved it. That was the only natural conclusion that Mary, one of Jesus' followers, could come to as she asked a man who stood beside her, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him” (John 20:15). But the man who stood next to Mary was none other than the man she was looking for – it was Jesus. The women came to that cemetery hoping to find a dead body, but instead, they found a living Jesus who gave them hope. Jesus was not dead, Jesus was alive!”