Summary: Easter sunrise service message.


Sunrise Service, March 27, 2005, 6 AM

McAdenville Community Center

Pastor Brian Matherlee

• Sunday School teacher had just finished telling her third graders about how Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb with a great stone sealing the opening. Then, wanting to share the excitement of the resurrection, she asked: "And what do you think were Jesus’ first words when He came bursting out of that tomb alive?" A hand shot up into the air from the rear of the classroom. Attached to it was the arm of a little girl. Leaping out of her chair she shouted out excitedly "I know, I know!" "Good" said the teacher, "Tell us; what were Jesus first words?" Extending her arms high into the air she said: "TA-DA!"

• The 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks will go down as that of the comeback.

So in the November 12, 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated, they ranked the 10 greatest comebacks in world history. Among those making the list:

1. Muhammad Ali, 1974. Seven years after being stripped of his title and his boxing license, the Greatest KO’s George Foreman in Zaire to win back the belt.

2. John Travolta, 1994. Defibrillates his comatose movie career by taking a star turn in Pulp Fiction.

3. Michael Jordan, 1995. Quits baseball to make first triumphant comeback.

4. Japan and Germany, 1950s. Former Axis powers rise from the ashes of World War II to become industrial superpowers.

5. Jesus Christ, 33 A.D. Defies critics and stuns the Romans with his resurrection.

Only three questions are recorded in the Gospels surrounding the scene at the tomb:

Mark 16:3, “They asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?’”

Luke 24:5b, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

John 20:13, “Woman, why are you crying?”

I propose that these questions are relevant for us to consider today.

Let’s make 3 applications:

1. Obstacles only make the work of God more fun to witness!

a. Roman soldiers were so afraid they shook and became like dead men!

b. An angel rolled the stone away and sat upon it waiting for the women! Can you picture the smile on the angel’s face?

2. We have a hard time grasping God’s miracle working power!

a. God’s power is still untapped today! Think about the lack of healing. Think about the lack of Kingdom building in the American church.

b. Have you ever witnessed God’s power at work?

c. Once you see God’s miraculous moving power, you can’t forget. You live differently. The women at the tomb surely did. They told everybody they could. The disciples who had deserted Jesus were certainly never the same!

3. Our despair is unwarranted.

a. Jesus is present

b. The Holy Spirit is our comforter

c. We are not alone!

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