Summary: How Easter changed everything.... for good, for ever.
Never The Same Again
1 Corinthians 15: 51-57
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
"You know, things have never been the same since."
Ever heard words like that?
Perhaps you said them.
After the heart attack.
When your parents died.
When your first child was born.
These are life defining moments.
Quickly now, in your own mind - what would you list as two of the top life defining moments in your experience?
Each of us has them, somewhere along the way.
We get them, greater and lesser moments. You could, I suppose, probably graph some of them. Give it a measuring definition - "Life Defining Quotient" or some such title.
Plot it along an XY axis.
Some would go this high. Others higher. Or lower.
But one event - it scores way off the chart.
Blistering in power.
So enormous that it impacts every single life on earth.
There is no one who will not, somewhere along the way not confront this event.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb.
You know - things have never been the same since.
Never has creation seen anything like it.
This is no mere resuscitation - like Lazarus, who would have to surrender to death’s claim again.
This is someone come back to life....... to stay.
Death has no further say in the matter.
The prophet Isaiah proclaims, Isaiah 43:18
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!"
I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much jaded to the word "New" when I meet it today.
How often don’t you see "new and improved"?
Marketers expect us to run out to buy it.
And expect us to rush out and buy the even newer version next week.
Well, here’s one "new" where the shine will never wear off!
Hence our celebration.
Hence the festival of this evening, allowing us to sing at the top of our lungs hymns old and new - faith words of the centuries giving expression to hope and truth that reality has been changed forever.
It’ll never be the same again.
The resurrection of Jesus is the first fruit of what God will be yet bringing - a totally new heaven and earth.
Hear Isaiah again: (65:17-19)
17 ¶ "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
All that which causes decay,
All that which causes heartache and heart break
All that which shatters what we put together, tears down what we build up
All that which stains and destroys life
......all that will go, banished to hell forever.
Because Jesus has begun the irreversable movement towards something totally new.
Remember the grave clothes that bound Jesus. Dropped in their place.
And the stone. Pushed aside and forgotten.
Jesus has carved a path from earth to heaven, from our home to the home of God. He places into the hand of every believer the right to travel that path. And He provides the Holy Spirit to be our guide, ensuring that we make it safely to the end of that path.
Hebrews 10 puts it this way:
19 Therefore, believers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Life for us now is lived with new rules.
Easter’s Resurrection is the new beginning.
The Day of Christ’s return will be the new ending.
Between them we live each day with
new Holy Spirit power
new opportunities for service and witness
new chances for fellowship with each other and the Lord.
Celebrating and gaining,
be the same again.
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15: 51-57 TO CLOSE.