Summary: Today we gather around an event that has broken into human history like no other. It’s vital to recognize that it is indeed into history… real history. It was the unfolding of what God spoke through the prophets was going to happen. He would send a Messi
NOTE: At start of service the following text is read – John 20:1-22 or 1,11(after ‘but’) -22. Only 20:19-22 are in bulletin insert
The following portion of text was included in sermon outline bulletin insert (but not read again):
John 20:19-22 (NIV)
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
Today we gather around an event that has broken into human history like no other.
It’s vital to recognize that it is indeed into history… real history. It was the unfolding of what God spoke through the prophets was going to happen. He would send a Messiah… a figure would enter human history to redeem it… one who would suffer as a sacrifice for our sins and then be raised up. It is an event that was really seen… really touched. It was witnessed by hundreds. It was proclaimed from the start and a whole movement began based upon it. Paul’s own writings were within the lifetime of many who were there and could have challenged it’s credibility. Instead it spread.
More importantly it has born the power to piece the reality of the human soul like no other. People have not gathered for the past 2,000 years to say, "The stock market has risen. It has risen indeed." They have not gathered to say, "The dollar has risen. It has risen indeed." But across every continent and culture for two millennia of difficult times of poverty, disease, pain, hardship, and death itself, people have proclaimed "Christ is risen. He is risen indeed." (Last statement drawn from John Ortberg)
But for all the hope, to appreciate the power of this event, we need to appreciate where it begins… it begins in darkness… where one can see little hope. As we heard those accounts read at the start of our worship…we reminded that the resurrection comes as that which begins in fear and ends in peace.
‘while it was still dark,
While it was still dark… Mary Magdalene went to the tomb…when one can’t see clearly… and there is plenty to be worried about… plenty to fear.
That is precisely where Easter begins… The disciples had come to the big city… Jerusalem… filled with anticipation… only to have their door of hope closed behind a massive cold stone.
> Many of us can feel that way about life…. begin with ideals… doors we anticipate… and then find that they’re never quite open. So it’s no coincidence that Easter begins with the ultimate closed door of all doors… Faced with a massive stone… soldiers… and a seal… how fittingly it should represent the world’s greatest power… the Roman empire.