Summary: A message for Resurrection Sunday about the change that God brought about through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
Easter Sermon: From a Crown of Thorns to a Kingly Crown
A lot can happen in three days. A LOT can happen in 3 days. Many of us in this room could speak of a time in our lives when a great shift occurred, a great change that forever altered their entire lives.
Sometimes that change included a lengthy period leading up to it, and then a flurry of activity over a short period of time.5
Sometimes that change was not anticipated, you didn't see it coming. Sometimes the change was good, sometimes the change was bad.
Change usually results in significant loss or great gain.
I have now lost my brother, my father, and my mother. As with most of my family, I was with each one, Craig, Lewis and Eleanor, as they entered their last weeks, last days, last hours, last minutes.
The loss of each Family member brought about significant change in my life and my family's life. This was unwelcome change, this was painful change, this was life-altering change. Sometimes change is completely unwelcome.
September 26, 1987. That was a day that brought huge change. Barbara and I were married on that day, and our joining together of our lives altered our futures.
That joining together held within it a promise that was at that point only a promise: a life together, a life lived in the grace of God, a life of giving and receiving.
And of course that promise contained the promise of the life of our son, Jared, now 25, and our daughter Elia, now 23.
Completely unbeknownst to the Dodson family, that day also contained the promise of a future wedding day and the future wife for their son Stephen, to whom Elia is now married.
Sometimes change is completely welcome.
You will have your own story of change, your own dates that are significant and that resonate for you, and possibly ones that you at least think of as they pass in the calendar year.
This weekend marks another time that a lot happened in three days. If you were here this past Friday, in this room, we gathered for a service that is unlike any other worship service we hold at Church at the Mission, Yonge Street Mission.
It's a service that some of us don't really enjoy very much at all. In fact, it's a service that is not intended to be enjoyed. No more than one word "enjoy" a funeral.
The service marks Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was falsely accused, tried, mocked with a hastily crafted crown of thorns.
Good Friday feels empty because it marks the absence of Jesus, the death of truth and goodness and beauty Himself.
Despite the mournful music we sing, there is a kind of deafening silence as we remember Jesus plead : “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
Even in the throws of death, Jesus pleads for the forgiveness of His murderers.
It’s a lot to take in. It’s a lot to take in.
And what’s with the “Good” in “Good Friday”. How does that make sense?
John piper said: "God wrote "good" on the single worst day in the history of the world.
And there is not one day-or week, month, year, or lifetime of suffering-not one trauma, not one loss, not one pain, momentary or chronic, over which God cannot write "good" for you in Christ Jesus.
Satan and sinful man meant that Friday for evil, but God meant it for good, and so we call it Good Friday".
So there's a good reason that we don't really enjoy that service. And there is actually a good reason that some of us do not attend that service. It is a painful gathering.
The flavour of the service does not equate with all of the rest of our worship gatherings throughout the year. The flavour of our Good Friday service does not taste much like most of our lives.
Most of our lives are lived in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Many of us have embraced the resurrection of Jesus and even followed Jesus journey from death to life symbolically as we were baptized.
We descended into the water, representing burial with Him. Then we emerge from the water, representing new life, the fact that we have been born again.
We are new people living in the new promise of a new hope.
The trajectory of our life has changed, and we are filled with hope at the promise that we now live our lives in the light of God’s loving care, God’s loving providence.
His Holy Spirit actually dwelling inside of us, changing us from the inside out to resemble more and more our gracious Saviour, Jesus.
We are an Easter people, people who live in hope, people who live with a deep joy that is ever growing in that resides in our hearts.