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Summary: A sermon on the resurrection for Easter sunday from the gospel of Matthew

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Matthews 28: 1-15 On the third day: another earth shaking,

life-giving, heart changing moment.

After Jesus died on the cross,

The very religious,

Pharisees and Priests

Were determined

That when it came

to Jesus,

death

should have

The last word.

They didn’t want to be

Bothered with Jesus,

With what he did,

With what he said,

With what he taught,

Ever again.

So, after Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb

And stone rolled

In front of it,

The priests and Pharisees

Wanted to make sure

That tomb

Was where Jesus

Stayed.

FOR-EVER.

So they went to Pilate

And requested

Guards

To keep watch

Over the grave,

Just to make sure, they said,

Nobody came by to snatch his corpse

What they really wanted

Was to make absolutely sure

that none of Jesus’ promises

About what going to happen after his death

Came true.

They knew what Jesus said:

That he would “Rise Again”

They wanted nothing at all

To do with that kind of a possibility.

And, the only thing

they wanted to happen

was for the corpse of Jesus -

To STAY, right where it was

And to start

rotting.

Pilate told them,

“Make it

As secure as

You Can.”

So that’s what they did,

They sealed the tomb shut,

And the guards

Kept watch.

(Nobody’s getting in or out)

To them, that was that,

Dead is dead.

The tomb is very secure.

And finally,

They were done,

SO DONE --

with Jesus.

But, then came Sunday.

And on the third day,

some women

Made their way to the tomb.

I suppose they were expecting

to find the tomb of Jesus

In the same condition

That they last saw it in on Friday,

They were expecting

The reality of cold hard

Death to meet them once again.

We often expect the same:

Death comes,

And it seems that it has brought

So much to a final cold end.

A life is over.

And that is that …

Nothing left to do

But clean out the closets

And grieve.

But, the women going to the tomb,

WOW! Were they in for a SURPRISE!

On that morning ,

At the tomb,

Something was happening!

On that morning,

Everything was about to change!

On the third day,

The earth began to quake.

The ground beneath their feet,

Began to shake

And shift.

That Easter morning,

The earth was trembling.

I’d guess the women’s

Knees were probably shaking too,

But, if the earthquake

Didn’t throw them off balance for a moment,

What they were about to experience,

At the empty tomb,

THAT’S going to DO IT

For sure.

To hearts that already know grief

Something else was about to be added,

FEAR.

That’s something we’re familiar with

In our day, in our time, too.

Fear. Fear of today,

Fear of what tomorrow will bring.

Many live daily with Fear as an unwelcome compaion.

The women were afraid,

Because of what had happened,

And what they were about to see.

On the third day,

While the earth was moving,

Beneath their feet,

From the sky,

From heaven above them,

Came an angel,

Bright with light,

White as snow.

[It seems] things were changing

Above and below.

And unexpected surprises

Were coming from all directions.

When the angel came down,

The angel rolled the stone away!

Turns out

That even though

They sealed the tomb

And made it as secure as they could,

--

That really wasn’t

Very secure.

Turns out

Everybody

was about

To find out

they weren’t

Done with

Jesus, after all.

When the stone was rolled away,

Where death was supposed to be --

There was nothing.

The tomb was

EMPTY.

And Jesus --

Had left

The grave.

At the sight of all of this,

The guards

Dropped

Like dead men.

But, the women did not.

The women were still very much awake,

And on account of their fear,

probably on high alert.

The angel

brought the women

the surprising news,

of that first

Easter morning

and every morning thereafter.

“Do not fear.

I know that you are looking

For Jesus, who was crucified.

He is not here.

He has been raised

From the dead,

Just as he said.”

This was good news indeed.

HE LIVES!!

Death

Had been

Conquered.

Life

Had won

The victory!

The tomb is empty

And

Jesus

IS

ALIVE.

Those who wanted

what he did,

What he said,

What he taught,

Over and done with,

Gone and forgotten …

Those Who wanted

JESUS

Dead and buried

Forever

Were going to be

very disappointed.

Because Jesus --

Had been raised.

Now, Jesus was free from the grave

And loose in the world,

As resurrected, living LORD.

His Word

What he said,

What he taught,

would endure forever.

Well, the good news

the angel brought the women,

Immediately began its transforming work

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