Summary: Christ was buried in the dark of night, but his resurrection occurred in the dawn of light. Literally true. Spiritual applications to us.
FROM THE DARK OF NIGHT TO THE DAWN OF LIGHT
Matthew 27:45-50; 28:1-6a
Every church has an Easter story to tell. Here’s an Easter story from another church to share with you.
“The call to worship had just been pronounced starting Easter Sunday Morning service in an East Texas church. The choir started its processional, singing ‘Up from the Grave He Arose’ as they marched in perfect step down the center aisle to the front of the church. The last lady was wearing shoes with very slender heels.
Without a thought for her fancy heels, she marched toward the grating that covered that hot air register in the middle of the aisle. Suddenly the heel of one shoe sank into the hole in the register grate. In a flash she realized her predicament. Not wishing to hold up the whole processional, without missing a step, she slipped her foot out of her shoe and continued marching down the aisle. There wasn’t a hitch. The processional moved with clock-like precision. The first man after her spotted the situation and without losing a step, reached down and pulled up her shoe, but the entire grate came with it! Surprised, but still singing, the man kept on going down the aisle, holding in his hand the grate with the shoe attached.
Everything still moved like clockwork. Still in tune and still in step, the next man in line stepped into the open hole where the register was and disappeared from sight. The service took on a special meaning that Sunday, for just as the choir ended with ‘Allelujah! Christ arose!’ a voice was heard under the church shouting … ‘I hope all of you are out of the way ‘cause I’m coming out now!’ The little girl closest to the aisle shouted, ‘Come on, Jesus! We’ll stay out of the way.’” (Contributed by: Darren Ethier)
Well, today is Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He was down in a hole, but he came out.
You’ve just heard Matthew 27-28 read which tells us about Christ’s resurrection.
There are a couple of things I want to point out in this passage.
II. Dark of Night
The first thing is the darkness, and there are two such “darknesses.” One is the darkness from the sixth hour to the ninth hour - which according to the Jewish way of counting time it begins with sunrise - so that would make the sixth hour about noon and the ninth hour was about 3 PM. So from noon-3 PM, when the sun is usually the hottest and brightest, God brought about a miraculous darkness.
And then there is the second darkness which is the darkness that comes naturally at night. And in this passage, we see as evening approached someone asked for Jesus’ body to be brought down from the cross so that he can bury Jesus in a tomb.
But besides the two kinds of darkness in this passage, we also see a light. And that light was on that early Sunday morning when the first rays of sunlight came up and some women went to Jesus’ tomb.
And because we see darkness and light in this passage, that’s why this sermon is called “From the Dark of Night to the Dawn of Light.”
Let’s take a closer look at this darkness and this light.
First, the darkness.
The death of Jesus was a very dark time. I mean that symbolically or Spiritually (slide).
The perfect Son of God - who did not commit a sin - was crucified. He was killed unfairly. There is nothing more unfair than this in the whole world.
It is taking the most innocent person in the world - who has only done good and no evil - and saying that he deserved capital punishment. We don’t get it. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But Jesus allowed himself to go through this because he knew his death was going to be the way to save us.
And the reason he had to save us was because we have darkness in us. We are sinners; we have ignored God and disobeyed his commands to us.
There is darkness in our hearts and minds. The Bible says that we were “living in darkness.” And Jesus had to come and die for our sins and pay the penalty of our disobedience.
The Bible describes our spiritual condition without God as being blind and walking around in darkness. Have you seen a blind person walking around if he doesn’t have his cane? You feel sorry for that person, because he doesn’t know where he is going. And he’s feeling this way and that, and it must be so confusing.
I still remember when I was in college that I read about a blind student in our school who fell down an elevator shaft and died because he couldn’t see that an elevator had malfunctioned and was not there when the elevator doors opened. And he fell down the shaft and died.