Summary: An Easter Sunday Sermon. Adapted from The Story by Randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
The Story - 27
April 24, 2011
The first Easter Sunday was so good because that Saturday had been so bad. The enemies of Christ were confident they had put an end to this movement. His work was now a total failure. On Saturday Christ was in the grave. His life was over, His tongue had been silenced and the miracles were finished.
On that Saturday, the only recorded activity was by the Pharisees, the enemies of Christ. They were no longer concerned with Jesus, but about the disciples. We’re now in Chapter 27 of The Story; or Matthew 27:62-66; and we read ~
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’
64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
Their only concern were those pesky disciples. They were concerned they might steal His body. But no concern was necessary. Because you see, the disciples were in meltdown mode. They had scattered and were hiding in every available section of Jerusalem, for fear of a cross which may have their name on it.
Saturday had no courage, no hope. None of the disciples were thinking ‘so what are you going to say when you see Jesus tomorrow?’ Or ‘I wonder what Jesus is going to look like tomorrow?’ No one was thinking they would see Jesus on Sunday, so Saturday was utter despair. You would think someone would have remembered one of the many times Jesus promised He would come back on the 3rd day. Statements like, The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day. (Mark 9:31)
Wouldn’t you think someone would have remembered this and do the math? Let’s see He was killed yesterday, today is Saturday, tomorrow is Sunday . . . okay, 1 day, 2 days, tomorrow is the 3rd day . . . “you know fellas, I think we ought to get up early tomorrow.” But nobody connects the dots. Saturday has no hope; no courage. And on Sunday, they came to embalm Him, not to talk to Him. In Mark 16:1-3, we read, 1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
That sure doesn’t seem like an Easter parade, does it? There’s no victory in the faces or hearts of the followers of Jesus. It may have been Sunday morning, but they were stuck in the hopelessness of Saturday.
You ever feel like your world is stuck on Saturday? You ever feel like you just can’t find anything good? Everyday is a rainy day, the sky is always gray. There are no silver linings and the story always has an unhappy ending.
There’s just no more courage, no hope, no reason to be positive. Ever feel like your world is stuck on Saturday? Then when you put your hope in something or in someone, either they let you down, or worse of all, they die.
And death seems like the ultimate insult. I mean, you do the best you can, you pay your dues to the world, you do your best to make a difference, you try to do what’s right, you try to stay healthy, you try to eat right and exercise, follow the rules . . . but nobody out lives death.
In the end you die. I don’t care who you are; from the wealthiest to the poorest. Even Elvis - died. Princess Diana - died, Martin Luther King Jr. - died, and there’s just something about that which sucks our lives into a Saturday state of mind.
You find yourself at a funeral, and it hits you, this is it? I can’t outrun it, I can’t do anything to avoid it, it’s going to happen . . . someday. That stinks.
I believe if you don’t have an answer for the grave, then you’re stuck on Saturday for your whole life. I mean, you may have your moments, but if you don’t have an answer for the grave, let me tell you, your stuck on Saturday, and that’s why we love Easter. Because to every single person, Easter gives us this promise . . . death is not a dead end, but it’s simply an exit ramp, from this life to the best life.