Summary: Easter Sermon based on Paul’s encouragement to Timothy and all Christians
Easter 2000 (Free Text)
April 23, 2000
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,
-- NIV 2 Timothy 2:8
When the women arrived at the tomb early Easter morning, the angels who greeted them did so with the unbelievable announcement: HE IS NOT HERE! HE HAS RISEN! But then one of the angels told them that this miracle should come as no surprise to them: REMEMBER HOW HE TOLD YOU…
REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER… How many times did Jesus say that to his followers during his earthly ministry? Probably not enough! Probably not enough for followers who are described in Scripture as being SLOW TO BELIEVE, AFRAID, people with DOUBTS ARISING IN THEIR MINDS. REMEMBER…
St. Paul, whose word we have before us this joyous morning, also told young pastor Timothy REMEMBER. These were some of the last words that St. Paul ever wrote. His death at the hands of the Roman government was imminent, and he knew it. He knew that his work for the Lord Jesus on earth was nearing completion. He knew that soon he would join the ranks of martyrs who had died for their faith rather than deny it. What does a man about to die think about? Childhood joys? Memories of teenage freedom? Professional accomplishments? Friends? Family? Loved ones?
This is what was on Paul’s mind: REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST, RAISED FROM THE DEAD, DESCENDED FROM DAVID.
In contrast to what much of the religious world thinks, the heart of the Christian faith is REMEMBERING – remembering what God has done for us. The main message that God has for us is not “Go and do!” but rather “See and believe!” And that is what we do well to REMEMBER this Easter morning, the great things our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, so that through him we may have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
We really can’t do anything else, can we? What else can we do this morning but go to the empty tomb, gaze inside, and then ponder with amazement what this means for us? Nothing! There’s nothing else we can do, and there is nothing else we need to do. For God in his rich grace has done everything for us. He defeated sin, death, and hell. He rose in victory, the guarantee that we are forgiven, the guarantee that by his power he will also raise from death all who trust in him. It is he, as St. Paul says in Corinthians, WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
How could we possibly forget those great things? Ahhh, Jesus hasn’t changed over the centuries, but the nature of his disciples hasn’t changed too much either. We have fears, we have doubts, and we, too, are slow to believe.
But all the more reason to listen to what God the Holy Spirit says through St. Paul this morning: REMEMBER!
Remember Jesus Christ…
REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST… “What’s in a name?” Shakespeare once asked. Much! A person’s name represents everything they are, everything they have done, everything they stand for. We hear names and immediately mental images form in our minds: Douglas MacArthur; Abraham Lincoln; Payne Stewart; JonBenet Ramsey.