Summary: The resurrection is rooted in human history…yet it has never ceased reaching out and changing lives.
Texts read at start of service and in sermon outline… as reference source for sermon:
Matthew 28:1-7 (NLT)
John 20:19-22, 26-31 (NLT)
As we gather to engage the event that has changed the world more than any other…
Important to realize this event…the resurrection of Christ is rooted in history.
• Prophetic written history
• Testimony of historical lives…
o Lives who changes history because of how this event changed them (Paul)
o Lives of those who suffered and died because this event changed them (Disciples)
Rooted in human history…yet it has never ceased reaching out and changing lives.
As we heard those accounts read at the start of our worship…reminded that
The resurrection comes as that which begins in fear and ends in peace.
It doesn’t begin the light of day… but at dawn… while it was still dark… when one can’t see
clearly… and there is plenty to be worried about… plenty to fear.
That is precisely where is Easter begins… The disciples had come to the big city… Jerusalem…
filled with anticipation… only to have their door of hope closed behind a massive cold stone.
> Many of us can feel that way about life…. begin with ideals… doors we anticipate… and then
find that they’re never quite open. So it’s no coincidence that Easter begins with the ultimate
closed door of all doors… Faced with stone… soldiers… and a seal… how fittingly it should
represent the world’s greatest power… the Roman empire.The world had closed the door to the
presence and power of Christ represented.
But that wasn’t the only closed door….
Vs. 19 – “That evening, on the first day of the week the disciples were meeting behind locked
doors because they were afraid…”
(Locked behind closed doors in fear of the Jews.’ Of course they weren’t afraid of anyone because
they were Jewish… for these men themselves were all Jewish..)
When doors are closed in front of us…sometimes we want to close the doors behind us and
within us as well.
They were afraid of the leaders who had sought to silence the presence of the One whom they had
found hope it. He had declared that God was at work setting everything right through him. He had
called them to be leaders in that work… and imparted faith and courage… and suddenly he is
dead… and they are in fear of their own fate.
Very natural fears. There rare so many fears that we face and feel. Such fears can define us and
confine us… as they appear to be all powerful. I face fears related to safety… sickness… shortage.
Each may claim to have a sovereign rule in life.
I want to ask you to take a moment… and consider your own fears. Stop and take a moment and
ponder what may be running beneath your own life…
What fears may be enclosing your life?
What uncertainty is taking hold of your soul?
> WRITE IT ON THE PIECE OF PAPER THAT YOU SHOULD FIND IN YOUR BULETIN.
(PENS ARE IN THE SEAT POCKETS IN THE CHAIRS IN FRONT OF YOU OR NEAR YOU.)
As this event unfolds… something dramatic happens. The earth shook… the stone is rolled
away. The angel is sitting on top. This was the work of God.
What are the first words that come from heaven…spoken by the messenger… the angel?
“Do not be afraid.”
Why is the tomb open? So that Christ could come out? No… it becomes quite clear that he would
no longer need open doors to exit or enter spaces. No… the tomb is open so that they could look
inside…. so that we could look inside.
We must see that it is empty… the body once crucified… could not be contained.
The tomb… the place that embodies fear is now empty… it’s openness declares the promises
which God had been fulfilling… and out of the tomb came the One declared through the ages
would save the world.
And what of the fears that enclosed the disciples behind closed doors?
Jesus appears… in some new form… His appearance is not expected and there isn’t much warning
because it seems that Jesus doesn’t arrive through the front door like he used to. In fact… it’s
as if God is making clear what he thinks of the doors of this world. He is lose in the world…
and won’t be bound by any door…
He defies the door of the tomb… and with it the ultimate closed door of death itself.
Neither is the door of their own fears going to stop Him.
What are the first words that he speaks…
“Peace be with you.”
Many have noted the significance of the last words of Christ from the cross on which he died.
Today we must hear the first words that are spoken to those who discover he has risen. “Peace be