Summary: The open tomb proclaims that death is defeated.

Easter SONrise Service

“The Tomb Speaks of Life”

Mark 16:1-7

CHRIST IS RISEN! He is risen as He said. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ–grace, mercy and peace be unto you, fro God our Father, and our victorious and risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Isn’t it a glorious Easter morning! Isn’t it wonderful to be here! To see the vacant cross! To look at an empty tomb! To celebrate in life, and life everlasting!

As I tried to get a handle on the excitement of this day, I thought again of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I tried to imagine what it was like for her on the first Easter morning.

She had witnessed her Son’s death. She had gone to her new home with the apostle John. Suddenly, on the third day, “Mary! Mary! Mary!” She heard the shouts and they were coming closer... growing louder.

Rushing to the door she opened it quickly. I imagine one of the women, or both, who had gone with her to the cross standing breathless at the door–embracing Mary, arms wrapped around her tightly, then pushing Mary away at arms length. Eyes lock together by beams of joy, a voice cracks a bit and breaks the silence, “THE TOMB IS EMPTY MARY! He is risen just as He had said. I thought that someone had taken the body but there are reports of angels being seen.”

“Yes!” breaks in Mary Magdalan, “It’s all true! Mary, I saw Him... I saw Him! I can’t get a hold of my senses, Mary, it seems to wonderful to be true, like a dream! But it IS true! HE IS RISEN! Mary.... He is risen!”

Are you with me? Are you imagining what Mary must have felt! The power and excitement of Easter is spectacular! Now the dark hour of death is gone–defeated–and eternity has been given to us as a love gift from God.

This news is electrifying! Energizing! It catapults us into life... not in steps, but in leaps! CHRIST IS RISEN! He is risen indeed!

Slain is the dark hour! The great giant death has been killed–shot by the sling of an ancient shepherd’s son and Lord. The great, great giant is falling. His shadow covers the earth, but he is falling. He is dead!

Christ is Victor! Death is vanquished! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Christ is risen... death is dead! The tomb is broken by light! Liberty is proclaimed to the captives! The Morning Star lifts the horizon! Night is passing! Our cup overflows!

We shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

O death were is thy victory? O death where is thy sting?

The deceit has been exposed, and the thorn has lost its pierce. Every rose from the heart of faith blossoms beyond the prickling adversities of this world. Chris is Victor! Death is vanquished! Praise God from whom all mercies flow!

The tomb is not mute. It speaks. It proclaims! Like the vacant cross it speaks. It opens its mouth. Its seal of silence is broken.

The eternal Father sent forth a holy light and it cracked open the door... overwhelmed the darkness... reached into hell to join the conquering Christ... And lifted Jesus... lifted Jesus into life and light and victory!

And lifted His Son before all the world... and lifted His Son before the angels... before all principalities... before all the dominions!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

The angel said “See!” The angel said, “Go and Tell!” Christ is risen! He is risen as he said!

He has come from battle, His blood soaked grace cloths are gone!

He wears a long robe and a golden girdle around His chest.

His eyes pierce with flames of glory and His voice thunders like the sound of many waters.

His face glows like the sun shining at midday. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Satan is destroyed! The prince of this world is cast down. The sly serpent runs madly like a shadow fleeing the sun at dawn, knowing that the time is short before the SONlight consumes him entirely. Michael shall come, the mighty angel of God shall

come and bind the evil foe.

Claim this wonderful news that sets you free! Don’t leave this sanctuary today without renewing your strength and confidence, knowing that because He lives, you also shall live and live and live and live!

Renew your commitment to serve Christ and His kingdom, and to worship and glorify Him. What a shame that there are so many who practice merely a “convenient

Christianity.” What a waste of time to live for the passing pleasures of this world, when Christ has established a kingdom beyond decay and invites us into already within this life.

Christ is risen, and Christ shall return! Some of us may still be alive, we simply don’t know. More than likely, He shall come to us beyond the gate, but He WILL come! And He will come tenderly to those who have kept the faith; who have loved and served Him

faithful within His Kingdom on earth, the Church.

HE WILL COME! The march of time is but a twinkling of an angel’s eye. All that we need to know about death is proclaimed by the mouth of the empty tomb.

Christ is the Messiah! The Messiah was crucified. The Messiah is risen! The Messiah shall return as time runs swiftly by. Let’s honor Him! Let’s praise the blessed Trinity for the work of our salvation and the gift of life everlasting! Please turn with me to hymn 461. Let’s stand and join together in singing the doxology: Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, O heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Join with me in prayer: Great God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we honor You, praise and thank You, for you did not remain distant from our the tempest of our sin and brokenness. No, in Jesus You experienced the bitterness of our desperate condition. From the cross and through the open tomb we come to You our great redeeming God. Lifted we are, lifted through the waters of baptism, You take us into Your arms and bear

us into Your everlasting family. Blessed are we forever! And we praise you! And we glorify You, for we know that our Redeemer lives. Amen.