Summary: This is an Easter sermon that focuses on the blessings we have because of the resurrection. The blessings are joy, hope, and power.
A. Happy Resurrection Day!
1. As you know, today is the holiday known as Easter.
2. It is the traditional, annual day for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
3. In many respects, every Sunday is Easter Sunday, because we gather every Sunday to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
a. Which Paul said to the Corinthians was of first importance: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also…(1 Cor. 15:1-8)
4. So every Sunday is precious to us as we worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
5. Nevertheless, the events of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, occurred at an important time on the Jewish calendar – during the Passover festival.
6. Therefore, each year we know which Sunday it was 2000 years ago, when Jesus’ resurrection occurred.
B. Today, around the world, billions of people will gather in churches because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
1. Some will do so out of tradition and will have their minds on other things.
2. Some will do so knowing more about the traditions of the Easter holiday, than about the biblical truth that the holiday is based on.
3. Many, however will do so with great faith, deep understanding, and sincerity of heart.
4. I hope that we are among this last group – that we are worshiping today with great faith, deep understanding and sincerity of heart.
C. It seems that the children always look forward to Easter, but many children are confused about its real meaning.
1. One Easter Sunday in a large church in Birmingham, Al., the minister decided to have all the young children come before the congregation in their new Easter outfits for a “children's sermon.”
a. The minister couldn't help but notice one especially pretty little blond-haired, blue-eyed girl about five or six years old.
b. She was wearing a beautiful white frilly dress, with rows and rows of ruffles from top to bottom, but she had such a sad expression on her face.
c. Trying to cheer her up, the minister called her by name, and said “you look SO lovely this morning. And I know you will wear that dress a lot because it is SO pretty.”
d. Sadly, she shook her head, and said, “no, preacher, I won't ever wear this dress again.”
e. Naturally, he couldn't imagine that response...so he said, “but, honey, you look so beautiful in that dress.”
f. The little girl said, “Well, thank you preacher, but I will never wear this dress again.”
g. The minister said, “I just have to ask you WHY you won’t ever again wear this pretty dress?”
h. Then the little girl announced in a rather loud voice, “Because my momma says it's a pain to iron!!”
2. I like the story of the Sunday School teacher who asked her class if they knew what Easter was all about.
a. They all raised their hands. The teacher called on one enthusiastic young man, who said: “I know, I know!! After Jesus died on the cross, some of his friends buried him in a tomb and three days later Jesus arose and opened the door of the tomb and stepped out.”
b. “Yes, yes,” said teacher excitedly “Go on, go on!”
c. The youngster continued, “And if he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of winter.”
3. Let me tell you one more story in which a little 3 year-old girl got right the meaning of Easter.
a. She was so excited about the coming of Easter, and she and her mom went to the store to buy her some new shoes.
b. She said, “Mommy, I can’t wait for Easter!”
c. Her mom asked, “Do you know what Easter means, honey?”
d. She replied, “Yup.”
e. “Well, what does Easter mean?” Her mom asked.
f. In her own sweet 3 year-old way, with a smile on her face, and with arms opened wide, she said, “Surprise!”
D. Easter certainly is full of surprises.
3. Surprise…powers of evil!
4. Surprise…grieving disciples!
5. Surprise…modern-day skeptics!
6. Christ is risen! He is alive! He has won the victory!
E. What an awful and tragic scene it had been that afternoon before the Passover Sabbath!
1. Jesus, the teacher they had adored, the one they had left everything to follow, the one in whom that had put all their hopes, hung from a Roman cross and died.