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Summary: For those of you who live constantly in fear; fear of failure, fear of death, fear of terrorism, fear of uncertainties, the message Christ brings on Easter is: "Peace Be With You."

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Resurrection Brings New Peace!

Easter Sunday,2003

Text: John 20:19—31;

Introduction:

Humors:

1. In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan “COME ALIVE WITH THE PEPSI GENERATION” came out as “PEPSI WILL BRING YOUR ANCESTORS BACK FROM THE DEAD.”

2. A man had fallen between the rails in a subway station. People were all crowding around trying to get him out before the train ran him over. They were all shouting, “Give me your hand! Give me your hand!” But the man would not reach up.

Joe, elbowed his way through the crowd and leaned over the man. “Friend,” he asked, “What is your profession?"

“I am an IRS agent,” gasped the man. “In that case,” said Joe, “take my hand!”

The IRS agent immediately grasped Joe’s hand and was hauled to safety. Joe turned to the amazed crowd and declared, “Never ask an IRS agent to “GIVE” you anything, you fools!”

What a contrast with Jesus Christ. Jesus is a “Giver.” (Elaborate)

Transition:

What is the message of Easter for you this year? I believe God has a new message for us this morning.

For those of you who live constantly in fear: fear of failure, fear of death, fear of so many things, etc., etc. and the list goes on. (Elaborate)

Christ is risen and He brings PEACE!

SERMON: "RESURRECTION BRINGS NEW PEACE"

The first words Jesus uttered to his assembled and frightened disciples the first time He sees them after the resurrection was “PEACE BE WITH YOU!”

Three times He speaks these words to the disciples, twice without Thomas and once while he (The Doubting) is present.

A. What Americans Are Afraid Of?

The Sunday supplement magazine, USA Weekend, ran a cover story in its August 22-24 issue entitled “Fear: What Americans Are Afraid of Today.”

In a scientific poll, the magazine uncovered the things Americans fear most:

-54% are afraid or very afraid of being in a car crash.

-53% are afraid or very afraid of having cancer.

-50% -------same-------------of inadequate Social Security.

-49% -------same-------------of not having enough money for retirement.

-36% -------same-------------of food poisoning from meat.

-35% -------same-------------of getting Alzheimer’s.

-34% -------same-------------of pesticides on food.

-33% -------same-------------of being a victim of individual violence

-32% -------same-------------of being unable to pay current debts.

-30% -------same-------------of exposure to foreign viruses.

-28% -------same-------------of getting AIDS.

-25% -------same-------------of natural disasters.

Other findings:

-Is the world a safer place than when you were growing up? No, say 9 in 10 Americans.

-4 in 10 feel unsafe taking a walk alone at night within a half-mile of home.

-1 in 4 women thinks she has been followed by a stranger in the past year.

-1 in 5 fears being caught in a bombing in a public place.

Let me ask you this morning, “what are you afraid of?” What do you fear? Pause.

Humor

A guy returns from a long trip to Europe, having left his beloved cat in his brother’s care. The minute he cleans customs, he calls his brother and inquires after his pet.

“The cat’s dead,” replies his brother bluntly.

The guy is devastated. “You don’t know how much that cat meant to me,” he sobs into the phone. “Couldn’t you at least have given a little thought to a nicer way of breaking the news? For instance, couldn’t you have said, ‘Well, you know, the cat got out of the house one day and climbed up on the roof, and the fire department couldn’t get her down, and finally she died of exposure … or starvation … or something’?

“Why are you always so thoughtless?” “Look, I’m really sorry,” says his brother. “I’ll try to do better next time, I swear.”

“Okay, let’s just put it behind us. How are you, anyway? How’s Mom?”

There was a long pause. “Uh,” the brother finally stammers, “Uh…Mom’s on the roof.”

B. “Peace Be Unto You”

From beginning to end, the life and ministry of Jesus revolved around the message of peace. Prophet Isaiah spoke of Him as one who would come as the “Prince of peace,” (Isa. 9:6).

At his birth, the angels shouted words of praise saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among whom those He favors,” (Luke 2:14).

Now Jesus comes to his disciples with the words “Peace be with you.”

In both the OT and NT “peace” means “order, harmony, and spiritual well-being.” This is what Jesus came to give, “order, harmony, and spiritual well-being.”

You know the peace that Jesus came to give was not simply peace of mind, but peace of life as well. (Elaborate)

His desire was to bring peace that could come only through relationship with God. And this peace was grounded in relationship with God. “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27b NIV).

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