Summary: A simple Easter sermon used in at sunrise. What must it have been like between Jesus’ death and resurrection? To be without the presence of Jesus must have been utter emptiness. To be with him again must have been utter joy.

Never again without the presence of Jesus

Purpose: To reflect on Jesus’ presence and challenge the people to be the presence of Jesus to a world that needs Him.

1. Read John 20:1-21

2. Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to actually be in the presence of Jesus? What would it have felt like? What kind of power would he have held on people? People weren’t just drawn to the words of Jesus. They were drawn to the person of Jesus.

3. Part of the power of the Easter message is that the world never again has to be without the power of the presence of Jesus.

· For three years, Judea enjoyed a living, walking, talking Jesus. Then Jesus was betrayed, tried, condemned and crucified.

· What must Saturday have been like? No Jesus. We go through Holy Week and climax with Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but what must Saturday have been like? Believers were completely without hope, and probably scared for their lives. They were helpless and the only person who could rescue them was dead in a tomb.

· But Jesus wasn’t gone long. He rose. (Praise the Lord) He rose and the world has never been without the presence of Jesus since.

· My life has been changed by the presence of Jesus in hundreds of people. (Mom and Dad, Lyle at the altar when I was a little boy, Susan from my missions trip in Ireland, Mike my best friend in Huntsville, Ms. Katie the dear saint here in Portland)

· Jesus presence is alive and well in his children. You are his children. Or at least you can be his child.

4. The little boy and his Twinkies illustration

"A little boy wanted to meet Jesus. He knew it was a long trip to where Jesus lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root beer and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied, “I had lunch with Jesus.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, “Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with Jesus.” However, before his son responded, he added, “You know, He’s much younger than I expected.” " (source unknown)

5. Jesus said to his disciples on the evening of that first Easter Sunday, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." There are people who need the presence of Jesus today. They’re lost in the darkness and hopelessness of Saturday. God sent Jesus, and Jesus obeyed. Now Jesus is sending us. Go and touch people with the presence of Jesus.

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