Summary: An Easter sermon.
By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
The news department of almost every television station dubs itself: Eyewitness News.
The apostles were also eyewitness reporters to the greatest news in the history of the universe!!!
Peter tells us that the apostles were eyewitnesses to the signs and wonders which Jesus performed during
More importantly, they were eyewitnesses
to the risen Christ!!!
And they actually ate and drank with Him after His resurrection.
Peter, crumbled into sand during the trial of Jesus, but the resurrection of Christ was the cement that solidied
He had seen it first hand!!!
And this gave him a confidence and courage that he never could have had before.
In our Scripture lesson from Acts, Peter boldly proclaims to a Roman officer and his household that this
Jesus, who was crucified as a common criminal, was raised from the dead; and not only that....
but Jesus is the One who is designated by God to judge the living and the dead!
Peter was one of the ones who was bursting with excitement....breaking into the regularly scheduled
programs....like a news reporter....telling everyone about what he had seen, heard, and experienced regarding Jesus
the risen Christ.
But when we take a look at our Gospel lesson we see that Peter and John were not real impressed by the
fact that the tomb was empty.
“They did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”
They just didn’t get it.
So, as Mary stood outside the tomb crying, they just went back to their homes.
And many of us are content to just come to church on Easter morning....
See some friends we haven’t seen in a while....
Sit through the service....
And return to our homes.....
Ready to get on to the good things--the Easter meal, the Easter eggs, the Easter nap...whatever.
Could it be that some of us just don’t get it?
What do we do when we get back to our homes?
Do we go back to life as usual, or has something changed?
Do we have a story to tell---are we eyewitnesses to the greatest event in history---or did we switch to a
different channel during the service?
Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb crying because Jesus had done so much for her.
She had been a very sick person, but Jesus had healed her by casting 7 demons out of her.
She had experienced the love of God through Jesus’ healing as she never had before.
In gratitude, she returned that love.
Mary Magdalene stayed close to Jesus.
She was with Him in Jerusalem--the final week of His life; she witnessed the crucifixion, His burial.....
But God wanted her to experience and witness much more!
And this is what God wants for us.
God wants us to experience much more!!!
God wants us to be eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
God wants to give us a story to tell!
Jesus came to give us life, and to give it to us abundantly.
And that abundant life begins when we experience the resurrected Christ for ourselves.
Peter experienced the resurrected Christ for himself, and he burst forth: “Christ is Lord of All!”
Not only of the Jews, the priviledged, the poor, the religious...
but of the Gentiles, every nation, the heathen, everyone who believes, and calls on Christ’s name to
Peter told Cornelius: “You know. You have heard the Word.”
Cornelius and the ones sitting there had just paid little or no attention.
They had changed the channel when Jesus was moving throughout the country....preaching, teaching,
healing, and saving.
And just think of how many of us hear and sit under the gospel and pay little or any attention to it.
Peter said that Jesus Christ began to preach God’s Word in Galilee right after John’s ministry of baptism.
No one had an excuse for rejecting the gospel of God’s kingdom.
Jesus Christ had travelled and preached the gospel everywhere, and He was the topic of conversation on
He was the top story.
They were without excuse!
And it’s the same today--for those who have heard the gospel.
They are without excuse!
Have you heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and decided not to accept it for yourselves?
If so, you are without excuse.
Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit so that He could go “about doing good, and healing all that were
oppressed by the devil.
Oppressed by the devil’s temptations and sins, lying and deceptions, bitterness and hatred, selfishness and
greed, indulgence and extravagance, hoarding and storing up, immorality and lust, laziness and complacency, and
power over death!
And every one of us have the grace-filled opportunity to recieve the Holy Spirit.