Summary: This Easter Sermon from ’06 is actually a series of 5 meditations on stones that were a part of Jesus’ life and is designed to be interlaced with Easter music to create a special Easter program. I’ve included the titles of the music we used.
If Stones could Talk
Song: GLORY TO THE LORD OUR GOD
Meditation #1: Stones of Praise Luke 19:40
The order of service will be a little different today, but don’t let the change throw you off. Instead, focus your attention on Jesus. We’re going to talk about --- and sing about --- the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
About 5 days before his death, an event occurred that we call the Triumphal Entry. Jesus was about to enter Jerusalem for the Passover. He asked his disciples to bring him a donkey to ride. Luke 19 says that they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt, and put Jesus on it. Then, they put down their cloaks and palm leaves as a sort of a “red carpet” on the road. Then they all started shouting things like: “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!”
It’s not exactly surprising that the Pharisees refused to join in on the praise session. Instead, they called out, “Hey, Jesus! Tell those disciples of yours to keep quiet!”
Listen to how Jesus replied: “I tell you the truth. If they keep quiet, the stones themselves will cry out.” Luke 19:40
This statement got me to thinking: What if stones really COULD talk. We’ve all heard the saying “If Walls could talk” but STONES have been around a lot longer than walls. Some STONES that are still lying around were here when Jesus walked the earth. What could those STONES tell us?
Now, you may think I’m kind of weird for thinking about that. And you might be right. But I’m not the ONLY weird person. Evidently Johnny Hart (frame 1) (the creator of the BC comic strip) thinks the same way I do. Just last Sunday I clipped this out of the Sunday funnies. (Read the comic strip from the screen.)
When you think about it, there were a lot of stones mentioned in the Bible. In fact, STONES are mentioned about 218 times in the Bible. Here are just a few:
• Jacob slept with a stone for a pillow and dreamed about the ladder that went from heaven to earth.
• The 10 Commandments given to Moses were carved in stone
• Moses struck a rock with his rod and water ran out of that stone.
• After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, God told them to make a mound of 12 stones that served as a memorial to the miracles God had performed.
• And last but not least, David collected 5 stones for his sling before he went out to face Goliath. That’s where our Youth Program got its name of “5-Stone.”
I got so inspired by that name that I decided to have a Sermon about 5 stones. We’re going to look at 5 stones that played a part in the life of Jesus. The first are the STONES that Jesus said would shout out in PRAISE if the people kept silent.
The Bible says that, as members of the Church, we are “living stones.” We have been built together as a temple of God. As “living stones,” we can lift our voices in praise. Let’s follow the invitation given in Psalm 95:1: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”
SHOUT TO THE LORD
JESUS, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NAME
Meditation #2 and #3:
Meditation #2: A Stone of Temptation Matthew 4:1-4
From the beginning Jesus knew that his life would end on a cross. That’s why he started his 3-year ministry by going into the desert to pray. We read in Matthew 4 that “After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry.” (That is quite an understatement. After 40 days, anyone would be on the verge of starvation.) Satan waited until Jesus was physically at his weakest to hit Him with the strongest temptations in his arsenal.
Listen to the first temptation Satan threw at him: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3 Jesus was facing a long hike before he could get some food. Evidently there wasn’t much around that desert except rocks, rocks, and more rocks.
I bet the very stone that Satan offered Jesus is still lying around somewhere in that remote desert. If that stone could talk, it could tell us that Jesus answered Satan this way: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Jesus certainly had the power to transform that stone into bread. But Jesus refused to use his power for selfish purposes. Jesus refused to transform the STONE into BREAD for his own benefit.