Summary: Resurrection Day is a day of Hope. On that first Easter Sunday when Jesus arose He gave Hope to hopeless humanity.
MARANATHA TABERNACLE CHURCH OF GOD
381 Manton Avenue Providence RI 02909
Easter Sunday April 12th 2009 11:00am
Theme: Hope on a Hopeless Day
Text: Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. KJV
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a story of the triumph of good over evil. It is a story of Christ’s victory over death. The resurrection is also a story of our Redeemer’s vindication over His tormentors who subjected Him to the brutality of crucifixion. But most of all, the resurrection is a story of hope for humanity on a hopeless day. Our world is filled with hopelessness and hopeless individuals.
People display hopelessness in various ways. Suicide is probably the most vivid illustration of hopelessness. On Thursday a woman jumped to her death inside a busy New York City mall and landed on a teenager. She felt hopeless.
Because of hopelessness in January 2009 a California man who lost his job killed his wife and five children then killed himself. Recent research conducted by three Rhode Island doctors, revealed that adolescents who live in neighborhoods with weak social networks report higher levels of hopelessness . If you examine these New York, California and Rhode Island Cases you would see that the problem of hopelessness cuts across regions, class, age, racial, ethnic, religious, and gender lines.
To date, more than 4 million American families have lost their homes because they could not pay for them. The US Department of Labor reported that as of March 2009 13.2 million Americans were unemployed. Some people say that the American economy is worse than it has ever been since The Great Depression of the 1930’s and many people have lost hope and given up. Doom and gloom economists and social commentators think the economy will collapse completely and America will become a struggling, poverty stricken nation.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is 10.5%.That is higher than the national rate that stands at 8.5%. Everyday many people in Rhode Island are forced to leave their house and apartments and become homeless until there are now people living in tents under the Crawford Street Bridge downtown Providence. Drastic increases in crime rates and a fast shrinking economy are pushing this state downwards into an abyss of despair. Although this is a Hopeless Day I agree with President Obama when he says that he sees glimmers of hope.
But what is hope? Hope is a confident expectation of good. Hope is the anticipation of victory even in the face of defeat. Hope is that fuel that takes us from today into tomorrow. Hope is that sentiment that ties us to the future just as memory ties us to the Past. Hope is the Blessed Assurance that, “everything is going to be alright.”