Summary: How one can expereince the same joy the disciples felt on the first Easter Sunday morning.
TITLE: “JOY! (Easter)”
ILLUS: A missionary had arrived in a small Chinese town. After she arrived, she soon noticed that a gang of bandits had just destroyed the little town and everything in it. Then a native Christian, showed the missionary the ruins of his home; a burnt roof and structure, and furniture, all turned to ashes. Then, what appeared to be the last straw, the native Christian pointed to his hymnbook and Bible. He said, “They even burned my Bible and hymnbook!” And from the ruins, the native picked a single page of his Chinese hymnbook, the only thing to escape the flames! The missionary took up the piece of paper and it read “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” What an apparent mockery, a note of joy in the midst of total destruction. But the missionary went on to say, that if you could have gone to the little chapel and seen the light on the faces of those native Christians, that evening. Those who had lost nearly everything were speaking of the home that Jesus has prepared for those who love Him. “Yes”, the missionary claimed, “There is joy to the world, but only because the Lord is come!”
The natives of the small Chinese town truly displayed the type of joy that I want to discuss tonight.
I believe that most of us are somewhat aware that Jesus Christ is a source of joy, while there are those who would debate whether He is the ultimate source of joy. But by studying the passages read earlier tonight, I believe we can easily come to the realization that True joy found in Jesus Christ is ours for the asking.
I would like to discuss three truths concerning joy that not only occurred in the lives of Jesus’ followers, but also happens in our lives today. First, is ....
MAIN POINT #1: “The Revelling in Joy”
John 12: 13 “They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!’”
In reading through the Gospels, we get a sense of joy building to a climax. Jesus started His ministry calling ordinary individuals to Himself and His ministry. Chosen followers sat under the ministry of this man - Jesus Christ. They have shared moments of laughter together. They shared moments of sorrow together. They ate together, slept together, and had fellowship together.
Jesus’ followers have seen Jesus cast out demons, heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, restore hearing to the deaf, and restore hope to the hopeless. Some followers even seen the transfiguration, where Jesus was glorified before their very eyes. They have even witnessed the impossible with their own eyes. They have seen Jesus raise people from the dead - Lazarus. Jesus had constantly taught His disciples and followers that He was indeed the Son of God. So based on what the followers heard and seen, at this point, I believe they were convinced that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah.
At the scripture portion, where Jesus makes His triumphal entry, His followers are experiencing their ultimate peak of joy. You see, their ‘master’ whom they loved and served faithfully for three years is now getting His so-called ‘recognition’ that has been long overdue.