Summary: Easter Sermon about the Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus most exciting exit or entrance. No entrance that I could make this morning could compare with that first Easter morning!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ’He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you." 8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Show Clip from Chronicles of Narnia (Aslan being resurrected)
As Max Lucado writes in his book – He Chose the Nails, “Jesus was a backwater peasant. He never wrote a book, never held an office. He never journeyed more than two hundred miles from His hometown. Friends left Him. One betrayed Him. Those He helped forgot Him. Prior to His death they abandoned Him. But after His death they couldn’t resist Him. What made the difference? The Tomb was Empty.” He is Alive!
Sermon illustrators: (show a) Rock, Dirt, and Life.
1. Jesus Followers were grieving over his death.
The home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, noted poet, is open to the public in Dayton, Ohio. When Dunbar died, his mother left his room exactly as it was on the day of his death. At the desk of this brilliant man was his final poem, handwritten on a pad.
After his mother died, her friends discovered that Paul Laurence Dunbar’s last poem had been lost forever. Because his mother had made his room into a shrine and not moved anything, the sun had bleached the ink in which the poem was written until it was invisible. The poem was gone.
If we stay in mourning, we lose so much of life.
2. The women witnessed the empty tomb.
At the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they have what is called "Baptist Day." On this day each one is to bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every Baptist Day the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center.
One year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich. Dr.Tillich spoke for two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection, the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense.
He then asked if there were any questions. After about 30 seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. "Docta Tillich, I got one question," he said, as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. "Docta Tillich" . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH. "My question is a simple question." CRUNCH, MUNCH . . ."Now, I ain’t never read them books you read . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH, and I can’t recite the Scriptures in the original Greek. I don’t know nothin about Niebuhr and Heidegger." . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH . . . He finished the apple. "All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate - was it bitter or sweet?"
Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion, "I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven’t tasted your apple." The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich and said calmly," Neither have you tasted my Jesus."
The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr. Tillich thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.
Have you Tasted Jesus?
After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the ‘most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history.