Summary: Friends, on this Easter Sunday morning, what I want you to know, what I want you to hear is that this Victory Story of Life over death… isn’t just one in history…. It happened 2000 years ago on a morning just like this, but just like Mary’s life…. That Vi
Our Victory Story – Jesus Lives
Pastor Glenn Newton
April 11, 2004 Easter Sermon
Text John 20: 1-31
I love come back stories don’t you? I love to read about men and women who have been at the very bottom it seemed, but they didn’t give up, and somehow, someway they are able to fight back to the top. I’m reminded of the story of Abraham Lincoln, you want to talk about a man who knocked down time after time. Early in his political life he couldn’t have won an election, even on a local level if his life depended on it… he was a loser many times over as he pursued his goals. But we know that that’s not how his story ends don’t we…. God used him, and his fighting spirit to help change the face of America and what we would stand for as a Nation.
Lance Armstrong, the four-time champion of the World famous Tour De France, he was diagnosed with cancer, he took a year off… everyone thought he was done, now he has come back and won the Tour De France two more years in a row to break the all time record.
One of the reasons I loved to watch John Elway play QB for the Denver Broncos was because you knew and the other team always knew that he was the comeback kid, he brought his team back from behind in the fourth quarter more times than any QB in NFL history.
We all could share some comeback stories… times when it seemed the end of the story was already written, but somehow someone did something heroic, unexpected and changed the outcome.
As a Christian you and I are apart of the Greatest Comeback Story that’s ever been written. Let’s look at our passage this morning… can you imagine, can you feel the emotions of Mary Magdalene, of these disciples who are running to the tomb?
Common sense told them that someone stole the body… but the disciples were about to reminded something they should have learned by living with Jesus for 3 ½ years, expect the unexpected. READ v. 1-9
Have you ever felt like things couldn’t get any worse, and then all the sudden they did? The disciples have been huddled, really in hiding in their homes, wondering if the temple guard had put them on their list of terrorists that would need to be arrested and killed just like Jesus. That fear had to have a hold of them.
That tells us a lot about Mary Magdalene… Mary was a comeback kid herself… was she fearful, probably, but what Jesus had done for her far outweighed her fear. Do you remember her story? When Jesus came across Mary a couple of years earlier, she was a prostitute, she was demon possessed, her life was about at the lowest one could get….something happened that changed her life forever…. Something happened that freed her from all the demonic chains that she was caught in… Something happened that gave her the strength and the power to change her lifestyle… That something was someone… Jesus.
Mary met Jesus and Jesus forgave her of her sins and gave her a new life…. Jesus is a lifegiver… He brings new life doesn’t’ he?
Friends, on this Easter Sunday morning, what I want you to know, what I want you to hear is that this Victory Story of Life over death… isn’t just one in history…. It happened 2000 years ago on a morning just like this, but just like Mary’s life…. That Victory Story is our story.. isn’t it?
I’ve been listening to your testimonies for the last 10 weeks, and there’s more coming in the weeks to come… I’ve been listening to your story’s of how you were dead in your sins, and then you met the life giver Jesus, and he gave you new life… Life eternal…. Life with power, life with the power to love, life with the power to forgive…. What he has done is given you is His Spirit and His Resurrection power to live your life as a living testimony of who he is.
The major difference between the life and teachings of Jesus and those of any other great religious leader lies in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and the others did not, however persistent their influence may be. Listen to me this morning, the power of Christ in our world today goes beyond the Written Word, what sets Christianity apart from every other religion is that Jesus Lives… His spirit lives within my heart this morning, and as a born again Christian, His spirit lives within you.
Let’s go back to our story this morning, look with me at verse 6, 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.