Summary: This is an Easter Sermon based on a message I once heard Dr. Anthony Campolo preach.
Introduction: What a difference a few days make. This time of the year a few days can make a big difference. It can be 75 or 80 degrees on one day and a couple of days later it could be in the 30’s or 40’s.
On January 19th, 2008 President George W. Bush was the leader of the Free World and arguably one of the most powerful men in the world. But a day later when President Obama was inaugurated George W. Bush got on a plane to TX and like in some of those old black and white westerns Bush flew into the sunset and hasn’t been heard from since.
In the case of Jesus a few days made a drastic difference. On Palm Sunday the people of Israel welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of Hosanna, and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But only a few days later many of these same people were shouting ‘crucify him.’
While I was in Seminary I heard Dr. Tony Campolo deliver a sermon entitled “It’s Friday But Sunday’s comin.” I don’t remember much about the sermon except the title. But a few years ago I got on the Internet and actually found it and listened to it again.
To my surprise the Title didn’t really have much to do with the main message of the sermon, which dealt the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ is capable of meeting all of our needs.
The Title of the message came from the closing illustration that Campolo used in the sermon where he tells about preaching in his home church in Philadelpha, Pennsylvania, which by the way is an African American Church. He said He was really preaching his heart out that particular Sunday, and the brothers and sisters were really encouraging him, if you know what I mean.
After he finished preaching Campolo went over and sat down by his pastor and said something like “bet you can’t top that” to which the elderly Black Minister said, “boy, just look, listen and learn.” Campolo said for the next hour and a half his pastor preached one of the best sermons he has ever heard using the recurring phrase “It’s Friday but Sunday’s comin.”
Well I may not do it justice this morning, but I want to use that phrase as the basis for my message this morning and I assure you it won’t last an hour and a half.
On Friday Things looked bad, really bad!
1. On Friday The Disciples faith was so weak most of them were afraid to show their faces in public.
2. On Friday Pilate delivered Jesus over to the Romans soldiers, who took turns beating, whipping and scourging him unmercifully.
3. On Friday they made him carry his own cross through the streets of Jerusalem and the people who lined the sides of the road cursed and spat on him.
4. On Friday they stripped Jesus of all of his clothing and dignity and nailed him to the cross like a common Criminal.
5. On Friday the Roman soldiers made fun of him and put a sign over his head that said “This is Jesus, The King of the Jews.”
6. On Friday the sins of the world were weighing heavy on Jesus.
7. On Friday it appeared as if God had abandoned His only Begotten Son. Jesus Himself said, “My God my God why have you forsaken me!”
8. On Friday Jesus was not only crucified but was humiliated in every way possible.
9. On Friday Darkness covered the land and The Prince of Darkness couldn’t have been more pleased because he believed he had won a great victory by killing the Son of God.
10. On Friday they took Jesus off the cross and laid him in a borrowed tomb and all the Hopes and dreams of his disciples were buried with him.
But that was Friday! When Sunday morning arrived everything changed!
1. On Sunday God demonstrated the fact that He had not abandoned Jesus on the cross by raising Him from the Dead.
2. On Sunday Jesus walked out of the tomb with His head held high knowing that He had finished the job that His Heavenly Father had sent Him to do.
Paul wrote about this in the second chapter of Philippians when He said…, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, endured the cross.”
3. On Sunday Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated that Satan had not defeated Him, but instead Jesus had won the Victory over Satan as well as Sin, Death and the Grave.