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Summary: An Easter Sunday Sermon

Easter Sunday

Matthew 28:1-10

Listen, What do you Hear

1* ¶ Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.

2* And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.

3* His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.

4* And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.

5* But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

6* He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

7* Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you."

8* So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

9* And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."

Listen; it is Easter!! ’What do you hear? Listen to the sounds of spring, what do you hear? Listen to the sounds of the organ, the music, the piano, what do you hear? Listen, God’s voice is speaking to you this morning, what do you hear? Listen, what do you hear this morning, this Easter morning?

Listen: I hear terrible Captain Sepulcher and his standard bearer Corruption talking over the situation on the night that Jesus Christ was buried.

Listen: Corruption says to Sepulcher,"Hold fast to that Man in Joseph’s tomb. There is a rumor that He proposes to break forth, break out from the grave; do not let Him go until I can securely lay a hold of Him.

But Corruption fails to touch Him during all those hours in the tomb.

Listen: Hell cries out, "Hold fast to that Man. Hold Him, if he comes out He will make a hole in the walls of death through which all prisoners of Hell will escape. Hold him Captain Sepulcher, if you let this man go, you are not Satan’s friend.

Listen: I hear the seal break, I hear the watch of death slip away ! I hear the grip of death breaking it’s hold. I hear the door of the tomb open.

Listen: I hear terrible Captain Sepulcher try to tighten his grip upon this man , but he cries out in vain, "I cannot hold him, I cannot hold him. "

Listen: I hear a rustling, a moving, I hear the sounds of new life, I hear the sounds of death moved aside for the eternal sounds of life, wholeness. I hear the sounds of the Easter Resurrection, I hear, I see, I am convinced that Jesus is alive !!

JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN.....HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

Yes, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on this Easter Sunday. The great earthquake that moved that stone and revealed to all the empty tomb where only the clothes of Jesus lay.

A great sound of death loosing its grip on Jesus is heard this day. Death has lost its sting, death has been swallowed up in victory. We who believe can fear death no more.

What does Easter mean? It means as The German theologian Jurgen Moltmann expresses in a single sentence the great span from Good Friday to Easter. It is, in fact, a summary of human history, past, present, and future: "God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him."

Jesus wept on the cross, cried out in anguish to the Father, and now on Easter he laughs, he laughs because everything is changed. Life is changed. We have hope. We have the promise of the resurrection. There is joy in living because no matter how difficult things can be, we know at the end there will be a joy, a laugher, a celebration of new life.

There is a story about Brer Rabbit as told by Cornell Ghormley. In this story Brer Fox and Brer Bear have Brer Rabbit caught in a very serious predicament. They have him tied up and ready to roast for their supper. As they place Brer Rabbit over the fire, . . . he begins to laugh.

This arouses the anger of Brer Fox, . . . who tries to impress on him the seriousness of the situation. Brer Rabbit continues to laugh. He explains that he is thinking of his laughing place.

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