Summary: Easter means that our redeemer lives. A simple sermon about the meaning of Easter.
My Redeemer Lives
Romans 3:23, 6:23
Intro: What does Easter mean to you this morning. Yesterday, we had our annual Easter egg hunt for the children. We had a great time. Is that what Easter means to you? In our world today, it seems that egg hunts and bunny rabbits are what Easter is all about.
. A Sunday school teacher asked her group of 8 year olds what Easter meant to them. One little girl said that Easter meant that they would be eating egg salad sandwiches for the next two weeks. Some of you remember back when the Easter eggs were the hard boiled eggs don’t you. I do too and I’m glad we have switched to the plastic eggs we used yesterday.
. Easter means different things to different people. I don’t know where all this came from but I want to spend the next few minutes illustrating to you exactly what Easter means.
. Little Philip, born with Down’s syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences, according to an article in Leadership magazine. But because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully. The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought Leggs pantyhose containers, the kind that look like large eggs. Each receiving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After each one, whether flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh. Then one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, That’s stupid. That’s not fair. Somebody didn’t do their assignment.
Philip spoke up, That’s mine.
Philip, you don’t ever do things right! the student retorted. There’s nothing there!
I did so do it, Philip insisted. I did do it. It’s empty. The tomb was empty!
Silence followed. From then on Philip became a full member of the class. He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg.
. Phillip understood that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
. As we look at the Easter story this morning, I want to take you back three days before the resurrection. You see in order to understand Easter; we need to understand Why Jesus was in that tomb to start with.
. Romans 3:23 tells us this:
. 23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
. Did you know that there are two ways to get into Heaven.
. The fist way is to live a perfect sinless life. I f you can live your life obeying God’s
commandments and never transgressing. You are seen righteous in the eyes of God.
. Now what that means is not thinking bad thoughts about others. Never coveting what another person has.
. Never stretching the truth or lying. Never allowing foul or abusive language to come out of you.
. I could go on and on. The point is that we cannot do this. None of us can.
. That’s why Paul wrote in Romans that we all have sinned. We all fall short of God’s standard.
. So then there is only one way left.
. That way is through the belief and acceptance of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Three days before the resurrection.
. In Bible speak we call this redemption.
. Jesus died on the cross to redeem us.
. This concept of redemption is a legal term they used back in the Old Testament. Many times people would have to sell their children or relatives into slavery for a while in order to survive and when things got better they would go and redeem or buy back these people.
. Or they would have a relative that had somehow gotten sold and they would redeem them and set them free from their bondage.
. Basically a redeemer is someone who buys back something that was once theirs; or buy someone in order to set them free.
. A little boy had made a little boat, all painted and fixed up beautifully. One day someone stole his boat, and he was distressed. In passing a pawnshop one day he saw his boat. Happily he ran in to the pawnbroker and said, "That is my little boat." "No," said the pawnbroker, "it is mine, for I bought it." "Yes," said the boy, "but it is mine, because I made it." "Well," said the pawnbroker, "if you will pay me two dollars, you can have it."