Summary: Easter 2002
Private Prayers and Easter Expectations, Easter message
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
March 31, 2002
We all have private prayers and regrets about our lives. We look back on a certain incident when we in our human nature did the wrong thing. And it eats away at our soul. Your private prayer might be from a day or two ago or your occasion of regret may have taken place many years ago. But we all have them; times in our lives where the Spirit of God called us to act one way but we chose something else. And we know we can never take it back but the situation has left those involved hurting. That one moment of poor decision making left you feeling horrible, perhaps it even hurt someone you love, and you feel like you let God down. So you find yourself living each day into the next trying to make some semblance of what should have been. You, like the characters today find yourself saying: ”If I could turn back time”.
What is your private prayer? “Is it; Lord, I have not been the best friend I could be, I knew she needed my help, Lord I even knew that I had the what they needed, but I was selfish, I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I could have done something, but now it’s too late. The friendship has been broken. Oh Lord if I could go back and live it all over again.
Or it might be “Lord, I know I do the wrong thing most of the time, but I can’t help it, my father did it, my grandfather too, God I know I’m not the best example to those around my but God If I could go back.
Your prayer might be different. It could be “dear God, know I don’t say much to you or read your Bible but I did something last week that is really bothering me. You see my family, I love them but these long hours have really been pulling me away from my responsibilities as a parent and spouse. God my kids are growing up without me. My spouse seems distant God, If I could just make this right somehow. I know the relationship between you and me is not as good as it used to be and that’s what worries me more. Last week I found something in my son’s room. I know I’m not the greatest parent but I can’t bear the thought of my child growing up without knowing their eternal father. If I could just turn back the clock to when they were young I would have raised these kids differently.
The characters that we’re looking at today all had regrets because of their fear, because of their doubt, and because of their disloyalty. They felt like they had let Jesus down.
The interesting thing is that Jesus had told them that he was going to come back to life 3 days after his death. There was no secret code for his resurrection. In one text the authorities had the tomb sealed to stop any rumors of resurrection, because they had heard Jesus say that he would come back to life 3 days after his death.
The interesting thing is that on Easter morning no one expected a risen Lord. Everyone expected something different.
Women who came to the tome came with spices and funeral things. They came to care for the corpse. It was no secret that they came expecting to find the dead body of their friend.
Even today there are some that come expecting to find something predictable and routine. Have you come in today to wonder and find out about where Jesus is in your life or have you come expecting a funeral for a great person?
Easter does not turn back time. What it does do is demonstrate that Jesus transcends time and we can come today and make those decisions differently.
So the women went to tell the disciples about what they had seen and the Bible says that some didn’t believe the women but went to look anyway.
When most of the followers came they came expecting to find an empty grave. But they also expected to find some evidence of what had happened to the body.
And maybe you came today expecting to hear evidence that would convince the judge and jury about the reality of Jesus life, lordship, and love. But explanations won’t cut it for you until you have met the person of Jesus. I think that’s one reason Peter ran to the tomb. Maybe he could find Jesus.
The Bible says Peter ran as fast as he could, wanting to find Jesus, there was a faction that expected to find Jesus. What did they expect to see when they found Jesus? What would you expect?