Summary: This sermon is for Easter Sunrise... it focuses on the imagery of the rising of the sun/son.
“A Brand New Day”
I ask this morning a very simple question. What is a sunrise? It’s not quite the simple question one might anticipate… for… when you get down to it… how do you actually define a sunrise… how do you pinpoint when a sunrise begins… or for that matter… when it ends?
Think about when a sunrise actually begins… the first semblance of light begins very early in the morning, as the sun begins to reach over the horizon. The sky may still be dark… but you can sense the coming of the light. We call this time dawn. The moments of dawn soon give way to twilight as the sun’s rays begin to burn the sky with the simplest hint of color. The earth… God’s entire creation… begins to stir with life. Soon… twilight ends as the upper edge of the sun appears above the horizon in the east.
Intense red and orange hues pierce into the darkness and soon, darkness is overcome by the brilliant rising of the sun. Night gives way to day, darkness gives way to light, and death gives way to life.
It is fitting, that we start our day out today with a celebration surrounded by a sunrise. We too, have seen a great darkness… we have lived in darkness… and we have been overshadowed by darkness. On Good Friday, we remembered the darkest night creation ever knew as the son of God perished on the cross. It was a painful and horrible death that tore Jesus away from his father’s creations. And he was placed in a tomb… and the tomb was sealed. And great darkness covered the land. We left worship in silence for it was a night of sadness. And there was darkness.
But what is that… dawn approaches… the first semblance of light… remember what Jesus said, “Matthew 16:21 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
There is hope… Jesus foretold his death… foretold his suffering… yet foretold his raising from the dead… it is not over yet. Darkness is just barely giving way to light as the sky grays and the earth begins to stir.
And what is that… twilight comes! The sky is visibly beginning to turn now as the darkness continues to lose its battle with the light. Jesus’ resurrection means so much, it represents so much, we begin to understand it even more as we see the effects that the rising son has on the darkness. “Luke 1:78-79 the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
There is hope… the coming light will shine through the darkness… the coming light will shine, overcoming death… the coming light will guide us and bring us peace. It is not over yet. Darkness fails as it continues to give way to light as the sky begins to shine with the promise of a new day.
And what is that… the son is beginning to rise. Intense red was spilled out underneath the cross just as with the rising sun intense red pierces the sky. With the pouring of Jesus’ blood, the darkness didn’t know it but it had already lost… just as now as the sun… inch by inch… rises victoriously overcoming the darkness.