Summary: Easter Message 2009: Our lives are filled with hopelessness as a result of our sin. God provides the remedy through Christ’s death and resurrection.
The Remedy for Hopelessness
“The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.”
Intro: So, here we are at Easter 2009. Nearly 2,000 years have passed since Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. That’s a long time to us. I mean, most of us will live a maximum of around 100 years here on earth. So the story of a man who lived 20 lifetimes ago tends to lose its meaning to us. I mean, it’s a great story, but what does it have to do with me?
-I don’t know about you, but I want Easter to matter to me. I always approach this time of year with a sense that something special should happen, but it doesn’t always happen. Because life is busy. There’s so much going on that it’s a challenge to really just take the time that’s necessary to truly appreciate Easter and let the reality of what it means sink in to my heart.
-So over the past couple of weeks I’ve started asking God, “Father, would you just make Easter real to me this year? Would you show me what your son’s resurrection means for me in my life?”
-And the more I’ve had these thoughts in my heart, and the more I’ve prayed that prayer, the more I’ve felt God nudging me to the most unlikely places for the answer. You see, when I want to read the Easter story, I usually go to the Gospels. You know, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I read about a man named Jesus. I read about his death on the cross. I read about his resurrection 3 days later. And that’s that. Great story. But, and I hope this doesn’t sound blasphemous, sometimes when I read that, it feels…common. I read it or hear it and I’m left feeling like it should mean more to me. I guess it’s because I’ve heard it so much throughout my life. Do you know what I’m saying?
-And so I’ve been praying that prayer lately. “God, would you show me what Easter means for me and my life.” And I’ve felt Him leading me away from the usual passages of Scripture and I’ve felt like He’s letting me in on the big picture. The whole story of Easter. And that’s what I hope we’ll all experience today. Because if you’re like me, you know a little sliver of the Easter story like the back of your hand. The part about the cross and the empty tomb? You know that part. You could maybe even quote it chapter and verse. But the cross? The empty tomb? They’re only part of the story God’s been writing. Big parts, sure. But only parts. So, we’re going to talk about the cross and the empty tomb today, but from a little different perspective. Because more than anything, I want you to leave here today knowing in your heart why Easter matters to you. And I want you to know the whole story of Easter…because it is the most epic story the world has ever known.
-We’re starting a series today I’ve titled, “Remedy.” And for the next 7 weeks we will be studying the book of Romans on Sundays. Why Romans? Because there if you had to take one book from the Bible to explain what it means to walk with God, to live a life sold out for Jesus, this would be it. Paul explains the Easter story throughout this whole book. What it means for you and me.
The Whole Story of Easter
-Today we’re going to talk about God’s remedy for hopelessness. If we’re going to understand the whole story of Easter today, I think it would be good to look at it like we would look at a good story. In parts. In a movie, they call them “scenes.” Different scenes in a movie take you through the story that is being told. Think about your favorite movie. You don’t just pop in a movie to watch one or two scenes, do you? No, you watch it from beginning to end. That’s what I want us to do with the Easter story, today.
-There are 4 major scenes in the story of Easter that we need to look at this morning.
Scene #1 is The Hopeful Beginning.
1. The Hopeful Beginning (Gen. 2-3)
A. A loving creator
B. A holy God
C. A rebellious creation.
-Now, we’re not going to linger at this scene for very long. Consider it the backdrop for the rest of the story. The opening scene of God’s story unfolds with a loving creator who is a holy God. He creates a creature called “humanity” in his own image. He loves them. He provides for them. He puts them in charge of their own kingdom. He walks with them and talks with them as friends, even though He is the King of a much bigger Kingdom. He gives them free will, even through He could force them to obey Him, only asking that they do what He asks of them. It was everything that the humans could ever ask for. The entire scene is full of hope.