Summary: Easter Sermon on the hope of the resurrection
GRACE IN THE GRAVEYARD
Life is full of surprises. From meaningless good fortune of winning free food with your whopper, to grandiose life-changing circumstances like winning the Publisher’s Clearing House. As Solomon in his wisdom observed, “that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.” Many surprises can be attributed to circumstance, location, relationships, or timing.
However, some surprises to you are the result of a set up. When you open the door to a dark room and the lights come on and dozens of friends exclaim “SURPRISE!” it is because you have been set up. You believed you were going home at the end of a long day of work. In reality, your mundane routine was carefully observed by someone planning your surprise. You were to encounter the unexpected. Invitations had been passed around weeks ahead of time. Friends had whispered and suddenly changed the conversation when you came near. Cars were parked blocks away and unseen guests were let in your home. The lights were dimmed, voices hushed, breathing paused as you put your key in the door. You expected emptiness, but encountered a shocking, unanticipated, SURPRISE!
If you look for one thing, but find another, it could be that your surprise is not the result of chance. You may have been setup. Can you see in our text as they approached the graveyard, a place of sorrow, the first to visit the tomb of Christ since His death? They encountered what they did not expect, yet it was not by chance. They went to see dead hopes, grieve over dead relationships, cry for dead promises. But in their journey, they were found by what they did not seek. When you the seeker are found by what you sought not after, you have been framed, set up, surprised.
If you go to a Place of . . . Anger but encountered. . . Angels
I. It was good that we sought life.
A. The quest to life forever, the fount of youth, to be immortal has plagued man since we fell into sin.
B. No more the happy, laughing, splashing river of life, but now a funeral dirge orchestrates throughout this planet. Men place their babies in holes in the ground as we become accustomed to death in this graveyard planet.
Oh, but is this not how Christ encounters us all. While we thought we sought Him, we did not even know where to look.
II. Why seek ye the living among the dead
A. Dead men do not know where to find life
B. Men have been looking for hope & life in our cemeteried planted since we have fallen from grace
C. There is no life in the graveyards of sin and death — for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
III. He is not here
A. Where you sought God, He could not be found. He cannot be grasped with human hands, beholden with mortal eyes, heard with carnal ears, fathomed with finite minds.
B. He is RISEN. Far above principality, power, dominion and every name that is to be named.
C. At the heights of eternal power & glory & sovereignty
IV. You have encountered His message & His messengers as they did on the first Easter morning
A. The message remains the same, “why do you continue seeking life among death? He is not here, He is Risen.”
B. You too have been setup to encounter His message, believe His resurrection, and testify of His Life.