Summary: Here’s a sermon about the resurrection that includes an amusing story to hold your congregation’s attention.
"Jesus Was Dead, But Now He’s Alive!"
Luke 24:1-9 N.I.V.
 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
 ’The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ "
 Then they remembered his words.
 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
The message of Easter
is that death is not the end.
The events on a Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago
in a tomb on the other side of the world
proved there is life beyond the grave.
One day, Carol Hankins looked out her window
and saw her Beagle hound Joe
with the neighbor’s little white rabbit in his mouth.
The dog was shaking the rabbit furiously.
NOW…Carol had had trouble with this neighbor
and she feared this was going to make matters worse.
Carol dropped everything and ran out
Hoping to rescue the poor little white rabbit.
She grabbed a broom and beat on the dog
until he dropped the defenseless little white rabbit.
Carol took a quick look to see if her neighbor was watching!
Then she quickly took the poor critter to the garage.
Too late! The rabbit was dead.
We’ll get back to that story a little later.
But let’s think for a moment about the Disciples of Jesus.
The disciples were grieving.
After being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemene…
Jesus was taken through a series of illegal trials…
By Jewish and Roman authorities.
Jesus was scourged…and then handed over to be crucified.
He was nailed to a cross.
For 6 hours Jesus hung there in agony.
Around 3:00 that afternoon…
Jesus uttered those wonderful words: “It is finished”
When the disciples heard that Jesus had been crucified
their hopes, dreams, and plans were crushed.
They believed that it was just as Jesus said on the cross.
“It is finished.”
But death is not the end.
DEATH HAS MET ITS MATCH!
Jesus was dead.
The disciples understood that.
Experts checked that.
The Roman executioners knew when a body was lifeless.
Jesus was placed in a tomb.
The tomb was sealed and a guard set.
It seemed that death had stolen the victory!
But the devil could not defeat Him.
Death could not hold Him.
The Tomb could not contain Him.
Death met its match!
Listen to Acts 2:24 :
"And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."
My brother Bob and I used to wrestle.
We’d watch wrestling every Saturday night.
After it was over
we’d strip down to our underwear...
spread one of Mom’s quilts on the floor...
and we would wrestle like those guys on TV.
Now...I was 2 years older than Bob.
I was bigger and stronger.
Yet, for fun, I would allow him
to put all sorts of holds on me
and for a moment appear to be defeated.
But after awhile, I would have to show him.
Just like the guys on TV...
I’d come back from certain defeat
to win the match!
Well, Jesus allowed His enemies to win for awhile.
For 3 days and nights..Jesus looked like a loser!
But Jesus got up!
Death has been defeated!
FEAR HAS BEEN DEFEATED!
When Jesus died,
His followers became a frightened, disoriented bunch.
"And the angel answered and said to the women, ’Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.’"
"And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body."
"When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ’Peace be with you.’"