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Summary: Using the story of Vasco da Gama’s trip around the Cape Horn in the late 1400s as an illustration, we explore the reasons why there is Good News for us at Easter Time.

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"GOOD NEWS FROM THE TOMB!"

Luke 24:1-9

[1] Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

[2] And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

[3] And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

[4] And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

[5] And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

[6] He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

[7] Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

[8] And they remembered his words,

[9] And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

We all love good news!

It might be that someone we love is coming to visit.

It might be that something we thought was lost

has been found.

It might be that a prayer has been answered for the sick.

It might be that a loved one has come to know Jesus Christ.

We all love good news.

Proverbs 15:30 says,

"Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones."

WOW! I must be hearing lots of Good News!

Proverbs 25:25 says:

"Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land."

The message of Easter

is that Good News has come from a distant land.

The events on a Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago

in a tomb on the other side of the world

became Good News to all of us.

About this time 503 years ago...

Good News was also coming from a distant land.

Let me tell you the story of Vasco da Gama.

At the southern tip of Africa

is a point which experiences tremendous storms.

For many years

no one even knew what was beyond that cape.

No ship attempting to round the southern tip of Africa

had ever returned to tell the tale.

That place was known as the "Cape of Storms,".

And for good reason.

But In 1497 King Manuel of Portugal

ordered 4 ships to be outfitted

for the purpose of finding a sea route to India.

The King chose Captain-General Vasco da Gama

to lead the expedition.

da Gama was given: the "São Gabriel"

the "São Rafael",

the "Bérrio"

and a merchant vessel purchased from a Lisbon merchant

that was to serve as the supply ship.

The fleet set sail from Lisbon on Saturday July 8th, 1497.

The news that the ships had sailed

was Good News to King Manuel

and for most of the people of Portugal.

But the families of the men aboard these ships

believed it was a sad day.

Since nobody had ever returned from a voyage like this...

those people had tears in their eyes...

as they stood on the shore

waving “good bye” to their loved ones.

They didn’t believe they would ever see them again.

We’ll get back to that story a little later.

But let’s think for a moment about the Disciples of Jesus Christ.

The disciples needed their tear dimmed eyes brightened.

Jesus died.

When they heard that He had been crucified

the disciples’ hopes, dreams, and plans were crushed.

They went into hiding for fear of the Jews.

But then, the women went to the tomb,

and they were greeted with the great news:

"He is not here, but He has risen." Luke 24:6.

Now, we’re talking Good News!

Good News from the tomb!

But what is so good about this news?

IT’S THE NEWS THAT DEATH HAS MET ITS MATCH!

Jesus was dead.

The disciples understood that.

Experts checked that.

The Roman executioners knew when a body was lifeless.

Jesus was placed in a tomb.

The tomb was sealed and a guard set.

It seemed that death had stolen the victory!

But the devil could not defeat Him.

Death could not hold Him.

The Tomb could not contain Him.

Death met its match!

Listen to Acts 2:24 :

"And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

Illustration:

My brother Bob and I used to wrestle.

We’d watch wrestling every Saturday night.

After it was over

we’d strip down to our underwear...

spread one of Mom’s quilts on the floor...

and we would wrestle like those guys on TV.

Now...I was 2 years older than Bob.

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