Summary: What difference could it make in your life if every day you knew, without a doubt, that you were a part of something that is much bigger than yourself? What could Easter mean for you this year?
E.A.S.T.E.R. What does it mean? What could it mean for you this year?
A Sunday School teacher asked her class to write one sentence each on "What Easter Means to Me." One pupil wrote: "Egg salad sandwiches for the next two weeks!"
The first words of Jesus Christ were, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”—Luke 2:49
His last words were, “It is finished.” –John 19:30
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every morning you and I could get up and say, “I must be about my Father’s business,” and be glad that we’re a part of life –that we are alive?
I--THE E IN EASTER IS FOR EXPERIENCE. Christianity is not meant to be left on the pages of the Bible. It is meant to be experienced in your life. Phillips Brooks said this: “Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.’ “
A--There are three themes to Easter. There is darkness. There is dawn. And there is daylight. When you’re going through a dark night of your soul, it seems like you’ll never get through it. Everything seems so dark and you are in despair. But as Christians, we know the dawn will come. It is the promise of darkness. And following dawn, full day, illumination, light.
B--The Easter experience is an experience that you have had. First Have you ever been betrayed? Yes you have. Most of the time we have betrayed ourselves.
Then you are arrested. Usually we arrest ourselves. We see that our pockets are empty and we think there is no hope for tomorrow. We try ourselves. And we believe the trial is the end.
Then you have a crucifixion. Some of you, are going through a crucifixion experience right now. You wonder if the pain will ever stop. But it is a promise of God that the pain will stop. A lot of people, a lot of Christians, have stayed on the cross for years and talk about it as long as they can. They never get down.
Then, after you go through a crucifixion, what do you do? Then you lay in the tomb because you need rest, at least for three days. But do you leave your tomb? A lot of people choose to stay in their tomb and forever be in the tomb of depression and despair.
Mary says to you today, “Well, what are you doing in there? You’re supposed to be out here.” You’re supposed to live again; resurrect like Jesus Christ did.
The Good News of Easter for today is that it doesn’t end there in Jesus’ life or in your own life. No matter how betrayed you have been by yourself or by another, there is a tomorrow. There is a future. There is new life beginning.
II—The A in Easter is for astonishment. Something happened. Up to that minute, the disciples were denying that Jesus even existed or that they knew Him. Something happened. And after that Easter morning, the empty tomb was a silent witness that life continues.
The empty tomb still stands as a silent witness, inviting even the most critical skeptic to examine the evidence concerning Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat : “There really is no story about the Resurrection in the New Testament. Except in the most fragmentary way, it is not described at all. There is no poetry about it. Instead, it is simply proclaimed as a fact. Christ is risen! In fact, the very existence of the New Testament itself proclaims it. Unless something very real indeed took place on that strange, confused morning, there would be no New Testament, no Church, no Christianity.”
Easter is our theme. We’re Easter people.
III--We’re people like the S in Easter, which stands for Springtime. Even when all appears dead in our lives, if we have faith in God we’re going to rise again. We’re going to come up like the flowers in Springtime in every area of our lives.
IV--The T in Easter stand for transformation. If we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ daily in our lives, that is what we have. It never fails us. Philippians 2:5 says:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
If we have that Mind in us that Christ Jesus had in Him, there is a transformation that happens in your mind and soul.
V--The second E in Easter stands for expansion. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you. The kingdom is not static—it’s a growing process--it expands in your life. The power of the Divine bursts forth from the tomb of limited human ability to the perfection of new life.