Summary: God has given us the ability to feel the emotion of hopelessness, so that we will look for the ultimate source of hope. I believe that the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest source of hope in the universe.
A. Happy Easter to everyone – I’m so thankful we get to worship the Lord on this Easter Sunday!
B. As we get started, I want to share this cartoon – it really tickled me.
1. The cartoon shows Jesus telling the angel that resurrection morning: “I want you to fold up my burial clothes, wait for Mary, and remember this is serious…no hiding and yelling ‘boo’.”
2. I wonder if angels are playful, practical jokers!
C. As you know, our recent sermon series has been about emotions, and I initially thought that I would have to step away from that sermon series for my Easter Sunday Sermon.
1. But then it dawned on me, that Easter Sunday would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the emotion of hopelessness.
2. I can only imagine how hopeless the disciples of Jesus must have felt after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.
3. Hopelessness is a powerful emotion characterized by a lack of hope, optimism and passion.
4. Hopelessness happens when you find yourself in a situation where there is no confident expectation for a positive outcome.
5. People experiencing hopelessness may think or say things like: my situation will never get better…I have no future…I will never be happy again…no one can help me…it’s too late now.
D. On December 17, 1927, a US S-4 submarine collided with a ship off the coast of Massachusetts.
1. The submarine sank immediately and sat on the bottom of the ocean at a depth of 110 feet.
2. The entire crew was trapped and waited to be rescued.
3. A number of rescue attempts were made, but nothing was working.
4. Near the end of the ordeal, a deep-sea diver, who was doing everything in his power to rescue the crew, heard a tapping on the steal wall of the sunken sub – the tapping was Morse Code.
5. The messaged being tapped from within was: “Is there any hope?”
E. Have you ever wondered that? Can you recall ever being in a hopeless situation?
1. Maybe you’re in one right now, or maybe you will be in one very soon.
2. Lots of things can bring us to the point of hopelessness; including things like: the death of a spouse or child, a chronic illness, a marriage on the brink of divorce, the potential of financial ruin, addiction, or a prodigal son or daughter.
3. But whether things are going well right now, or going terribly, we all need to know and understand that there is hope for the hopeless.
4. God has given us the ability to feel the emotion of hopelessness, so that we will look for the ultimate source of hope that is outside of ourselves.
F. I believe that the greatest source of hope in the universe is found in the resurrection of Jesus.
1. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead reveals and confirms the ultimate power of God.
2. Since our very creation, we human beings have recognized our own weaknesses and our own vulnerabilities.
3. We long for a God who is all-powerful and all-loving; a God who cares about our struggles, and is able to do something about them.
4. Thankfully, we have a God like that, and we can find the strength and hope we need in our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
G. Today, on Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, I want to remind us that the God who moved the stone, is a God who still moves stones.
1. Every one of us is on a journey from here to eternity.
2. None of us know how long our earthly sojourn will be – for some it will be shorter than they think, for others it will be longer.
3. Nevertheless, short or long, we all need the strength and hope that God offers to face earthly life’s ups and downs and to make preparations for eternity.
4. Embracing the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus and employing the power of the Resurrection are important parts of our ability to survive and to thrive our earthly sojourn.
5. In today’s lesson we will look at three biblical stories that I believe will bolster our faith and hope in the God who moved the stone, who is the God who still moves stones.
H. The first story is - The Story of the Death of a SON. (Luke 7:11-17)
1. Let’s try to put ourselves into the story.
2. Imagine that you have attended a funeral and are on your way to the cemetery.
3. Ahead of you six men are carrying the coffin that carries the body of your son - your only son.
4. You’re numb from the sorrow. Your husband is dead, and now you’ve lost your only son.