Summary: God has a plan for your life.
INTRO: I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I want to show a short video clip of what Easter represents. (Show video)
* God has a plan for you today. Maybe you’ve come and you’re looking for something to help you make it. You’re in the right place – God has a divine appointment with you today.
TITLE: God Has a Plan
TEXT: Matthew 28:5-6
I. Bad news. In our own abilities, our own talents, our own goodness, it will not meet up to what God expects of us.
A. Think of this – no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, you won’t be able to make it to God’s standards.
Example. I remember watching this program about incredible feats done by humans. This man, in order to appease his god, would do somersaults all day long, going from one place to the next, up a mountain, down a mountain, from one town to the next for weeks and months at a time to somehow show he was worthy enough to be accepted by his god.
There was this other man who sat atop a pole high in the air for months at a time in order to appease god, to somehow become worthy enough. (These men were revered as holy men.)
Isn’t it amazing how human beings go to great lengths trying to earn favor with God, doing it their own way. The sad fact – they will never arrive in their own abilities.
1. The reason is because we are all sinners.
-Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all broken beings from the fall of Adam and Eve.
2. The result of sin is death – physically, emotionally, spiritually. In fact the Bible says I’m a slave to sin. No matter how hard I try, sin still rules over me.
-The result of disobedience to God is death, hell and destruction.
B. Hell or the lake of fire -
1. Is the destination of everyone who has sinned. Can you imagine eternal suffering and punishment.
-This is too large for our minds to comprehend.
2. We need to understand this place was not created for man, it was created for Satan and his angels because of their disobedience to God.
3. But man through his disobedience (sin) has earned himself a spot there right alongside Satan and his angels.
C. Man left to his own achievement, his own efforts, always fails. He comes up short.
1. No wonder so many people live life like the ancient philosopher said, “Eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die.”
2. No wonder there are so many hopeless people who are just existing, people who are just going through the motions.
3. What are they looking forward to – nothing. Death only brings torment and punishment. That is why there is so much fear of death.
TS: But God has a plan.
II. The good news. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much he has done something about it.
A. He sent his Son. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
1. Our Heavenly Father is longing to be reunited with his lost children.
Example. We can see this picture portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son where the son goes astray and the father is longing for his return, standing in the distance waiting for his son to return.
-Do you realize God loves us so much that he has our names engraved on the palms of his hands. (Isaiah 49:6)
2. The relationship between our Heavenly Father and man has been destroyed through an act of disobedience (sin).
-Man wanting to do his own thing, but God takes the initiative to reconcile the relationship back together. Jesus is the answer.
B. Jesus is the great mediator – to bring Father and children back together.
1. There is hope because God’s got a plan.
-Jesus came down out of heaven, born as a baby, grew up and lived a sinless life, was taken and tried, beaten and mocked and hung on a cross for each and every one of us so we would have a chance to live a fulfilling life as well as an eternal one.
C. Text this morning.
1. The setting. Jesus has been killed, crucified, his followers are shell shocked. Peter, one of his closest disciples, denied him, Judas betrayed him and the majority abandoned him.
2. It’s early Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene and her friend went to the tomb of the Lord to pay their respects and found that the Lord was not there. He has risen.