Summary: This is not the typical Easter sermon. It is specific to our church and where we are. It looks at some different implications of the events surrounding the resurrection.
This is a slightly different Easter message than you may be used to. It’s not typical. There are some observations that are appropriate for where we are as a church and where we’re headed.
Read Luke 24:1-12.
Many of us have read or heard this passage a million times. We heard a number of sermons on this passage. There are some other observations of the resurrection that I would like to make:
* The CONSISTENCY and the ENTHUSIASM of true AFFECTION.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Jesus never disappoints”? Well we see here a group of women going to the tomb who were disappointed. Jesus let them down, or so they thought. How could he die? He was to be their Savior.
Through the disappointment, they headed out to the tomb of their fallen Lord and Master. They didn’t allow the brutal mistreatment and the unexpected death of Jesus diminish their affection for him. These women were headed to the tomb of Jesus in one last act of love, affection, devotion and kindness. They were set to embalm him.
The world had killed their Lord. They had attacked Jesus, who was innocent. Pontius Pilate said of Jesus, “I find no guilt in this man.” Nonetheless, he was killed, but the affection of these women would not be lost.
Our affection of Jesus must survive the attacks of our society. Jesus said to his disciples, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” We can’t allow the hatred of the world negatively impact us.
* The VANISHING of BARRIERS with FAITHFUL service.
In Mark’s account of the resurrection, he writes, “And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’” When they arrived they found that in their faithful service, God had made their feared barrier vanish before them.
When we are faithful to God, he makes barriers vanish. When I was 14 and we moved to KC, God removed the barriers.
As we press ahead with the refocusing process here at church, we will ask, “How will we overcome this or that barrier?” We may say, “That is too big of an obstacle to overcome.” The answer is, “Yes, it is too big for us to overcome on our own.” We must remember, however, that we have a big God on our side. That doesn’t mean everyone will be smooth as glass, but I believe we will see giant stones rolled away from our path if we are faithfully serving God and doing his will.
* The SURPRISES that await us as we CONTINUE.
Look at the surprises in this passage:
- The stone was rolled away.
- Jesus body was gone.
- Two angels appear.
- They were surprised to remember the words of Jesus.
Then look at the surprise of the disciples:
- They said it was crazy talk. The word translated here idle tale or nonsense was “employed by Greek medical writers to describe the babbling of a fevered and insane mind.”
- When Peter went out to investigate he was surprised.
I guarantee surprises ahead for us. God guarantees surprises for us. Some will be fantastic surprises. Some may, at first, appear to be bad things.
Jacksonville Faith church’s fire appeared to be bad. What appears to be evil, God can use for good.
* The CLOSENESS of the HEAVENLY to the earthly realm.
Touched by an Angel and Roma Downey, Della Reese and that other guy, have driven much of what many people believe about angels. The reality is that the heavenly realm and earthly realm are closer than we often think.
God cares for us at a deeper level than we think. Psalm 75 says, “We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near.” God is close, but we must become close to God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Throughout this process God will be near to us, if we seek to be near to God. The closer we are to God and the closer he is to us the better we can hear from him. If you stand by the road, you can’t hear me.
* That God has much MORE in store for us than we IMAGINE.
The followers of Jesus simply could not believe what they were hearing. They had heard Jesus say he would rise again. In Luke 9:22, Jesus says, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” At the time, they probably didn’t understand what he was saying. It probably soon passed from their memory.