Summary: As Christians we celebrate a Risen Savior who instead of offering a dead end to the Calvary Road, offers a whole new, faith-filled, grace-filled direction. (sermon is done in rhyme.)
“No Dead End Here” – The Calvary Road
I Corinthians 15:1-8, 20-26
April1, 2004 – Easter Sunday
Purpose: As Christians we celebrate a Risen Savior who instead of offering a dead end to the Calvary Road, offers a whole new, faith-filled, grace-filled, direction.
This morning we’re going to try something new.
It’s my hope that you’ll attend to me your ear.
Instead of typical sermon this day,
A sermon in rhyme you will hear.
But hearing is not the only act,
That during our time you must do.
For when I give you the indication,
I expect that you will answer too.
So please take a moment and listen.
Your answer will be simple, and the lead-in quite clear.
When I pause and indicate a need for your voice.
Please response with “There’s no dead end here.”
I. The Biblical Texts
In our passage this morning from Paul’s letter to Corinth, (I Corinthians 15)
he told them to hold fast, by God’s grace, to the Word.
That empty preaching and a futile faith,
should never from Corinth be heard.
In this life, he said, our only hope is in Christ.
If Christ is dead, then the Christian message is unclear.
But since the Risen Christ is reality, death is destroyed,
In short, “There’s no dead end here.”
It was the story of Mary Magdalene (John 20)
Who made her way while it was still dark.
She saw the stone had been moved,
And her greatest fear of Christ being stolen, struck her heart.
Two angels and Jesus asked, “why do you weep”
She wept for she wanted her stolen Christ to be near.
It took Jesus himself, who called her “Mary” by name,
So that she would know, “There’s no dead end here.”
It was the story of Peter preaching to Cornellius, (Acts 10)
And all of his household gathered to share.
Peter taught them about a Christ raised on the third day,
He taught of his own experience of being with Christ there.
Peter struggled, though, when the Spirit came upon them
For he had heard from religious leaders that there was a limit to fear.
But he eventually perceived that there was no partially in God’s grace.
Peter proclaimed, through Christ “There’s no dead end here.”
II. The Christ Faith Is Different
You see the Christian faith is so much different,
Than what many world religions tend to offer.
Others rank first the goal of human thought,
Placing people above God, and thus they falter.
Those who have called themselves gods,
Fill graves of all sorts far and near.
But the Garden tomb is famous because it remains empty,
With Christianity, “There is no dead end here.”
Did you know that all but four of the major world religions
Are based on mere philosophical proposition.
And of the four that are based on personalities, rather than philosophy,
Only Christianity claims its founder’s resurrection.
Judaism’s founder, Abraham died in 1900 BC.
Buddha death left no remains.
In 632 AD Mohohammed died in the arms of his favorite wife.
But it is Jesus Christ who still remains.
About 33AD, Jesus died but came back to life.
Assuring that you and I can do it to.
He appeared to over 500 people in 40 days,
To prove that his resurrection was true.
Let me tell you a true story that happened some time ago,
Of a Muslim in Africa who accepted Christ.
When asked by his friends, why did he do such a radical thing,
He gently and persuasively shared this advice…
Suppose you were going down a road that happened to fork,
Leaving you to decide upon which direction to take.
But at each direction, there stood a man, one alive and one dead,
Which one would you ask to show you your way to make.
The world in its anger, the world in its revenge,
Tried to wipe Jesus of Nazareth from the earth,
We, too, by our sin, past, present, future,
Have challenged Christ to show His worth.
But even the sins of generations upon generations,
Could not keep Christ weighted down,
In fact, Christ has promised to those who will call upon his name.
A share of His eternal life and a crown.
By asking for forgiveness for that which God’s Word says is sin,
And by looking for his leadership to help us steer,
From this point on we can maneuver through life’s obstacles,
Because we know, “There is no dead end here.”
The resurrection changed the lives of the disciples.
Those who were weak became strong.
They began to preach and teach in the public places.
Even though authorities labeled them wrong.
The resurrection changed our lives, too.
Those would be come Christian some day.
Instead of having no hope at all,