Summary: Easter Sunday Sermon
Listen ! What do you Hear?
16:1 ¶ And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?"
4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; --it was very large.
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."
8 And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.RSV
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!!
Listen: What you hear this morning in all the sounds of this Easter Day is the sounds of the Resurrection, the sounds of new life, the sounds of freedom and release, the sounds of wholeness, the sounds of grace and love, the sounds of forgiveness and worship, the sounds of joy and celebration.
I hear, I feel the power of the Resurrection. I hear, I feel new life, I know that my Redeemer lives.
I feel, I hear, I am in contact with the new life that he has brought upon this land. I see that life, that newness as I watched the darkness, the emptiness, the coldness of the Good Friday chancel change into the brightness, the newness, the beauty, the joy of this Easter morning. I hear the sounds of the resurrection in the sounds of worship, in the hymns of praise, in the piano music of bells and the excitement of offering a hymn of praise to God. I see, I feel the power of the Resurrection as I look over the faces of this congregation, you are smiling, happy full of good cheer for our Lord has risen.
Also, I hear the sounds of the past, the pest life, the past events of this Lenten season. As we have come now into the power of the resurrection, we bring that past , we bring the sounds of the past with us to experience a new life, a redeemed life, a changed life.
We bring the sounds of Peter’s denial, Peter’s guilt. We bring the greed of Judas, the sounds of his hopelessness. We bring the sounds of our questions of why ,our doubts of faith. We bring our halting love of God, our sounds of wanting to love God, but our unwillingness to surrender our selves, our control of life into his hands. We bring our sounds of traditions and rituals which stifle our joy of worship, which turns our worship into a duty instead of joy, excitement and celebration.