Summary: A strong message about the never ending love and grace of God
What does It Mean?
Easter, the resurrection, is a BIG deal
The resurrection is the most important, most amazing, most powerful, most life altering, most life giving event in the history of mankind.
Then why is it that on the day that we celebrate the resurrection… EASTER… our church…and every church in the world is not filled to overflowing?
It is bigger than the invention of the wheel, the discovery of penicillin, and the internet all rolled into one… then why would people rather stay home and get one hour more of sleep than come and celebrate it?
It is more beneficial than petroleum,
More critical than oxygen
More precious than gold
Then why do so few care so little, not even notice that we are celebrating the resurrection.
How about this question… What does resurrection mean?
I’m not talking about the dictionary definition
I’m asking you: What does the Resurrection mean?
In your worries
In your doubts
In your successes... In your failures
In your pain
What does the resurrection mean and say to YOU …right now… right here?
It means and says the same thing to you… and me… as it does to everyone in the world
The thing is… they don’t know what it says… so it says nothing to them.
That is why we celebrate Easter… because it says so many powerful, life altering, life giving, hope giving, peace giving things to us.
Let’s look at what the resurrection says.
God’s love… FOR YOU… is never-ending
I love this picture because it so powerfully represents the never-ending love of God.
Look off in the distance… there is a valley.
Often, in scripture, a valley represents a spiritually low place, spiritual wandering… like the “valley of the shadow of death.
This picture has a valley on each side of the cross that shows how each of us has wandered for years in the valley of sin… before and after our salvation experience.
But the beautiful message in this picture, and in the gospel, is that God’s love does not stop when we sin.
There is the valley far away… our sin before we were saved
But then there is the cross… God said, I love you so much… INSPITE OF YOUR SIN… that I will send my only Son to die to pardon you.
The cross stands there to say, “I forgive you for your sin… all of your past sins.
But then there is another valley… we sin again… after we are saved
Oh, No… what can we do now? Does God have to send His Son to die for us again? Do we need another Calvary?
If not, does that mean our sins, after Calvary, cannot be forgiven?
Does God quit loving us? Does He give up on us and kick us to the curb?
You might expect the second valley… our continued sin… to be followed by the pits of hell
But it isn’t… it is followed by THE TOMB…THE EMPTY TOMB
God did not give up on us… He completed the salvation experience… the resurrection… where he gave us the victory over sin.
In 1 John 1:8-10, [show scripture]
John was writing to Christians. That is important because even though he was talking to those who had been saved, he said “we” meaning Christians.
If WE confess OUR SIN… this means sins since or after Calvary… that we sinned even after we were saved… god would not give up on us, but would forgive us.
GOD DOES NOT GIVE UP ON YOU OR REJECT YOU IF YOU SIN AFTER SALVATION
Neither does he make Jesus go back and be crucified again… for the new sins.
Seeing the tomb… after the second valley… says God continues to love and save.
But you know the best part??? You know what excites me most about this picture…and the gospel???
THE EMPTY TOMB!!!
See I was once in that far away valley. I was lost in my sins… hopeless and powerless to free myself from sin’s power, from its consequences.
But God loved me then… even when I was far off…. Even when I cared NOTHING for Him, or His Word, or His holiness… HE LOVED ME
I love the song that says… He knew me, yet he loved me
He whose glory makes the heavens shine
So unworthy of such mercy
Yet when he was on the cross
I was on his mind.
And Thank God, he did not turn me away when… very soon, I sinned again
He could have said, “You ungrateful pig, how could you do this. I gave you a second chance and YOU BLEW IT. That is it, there is no more forgiveness for you. You showed that you were not worthy of the first forgiveness. I gave my Son, in your place and you treated his forgiveness like nothing. Away from me, I have no more love, no more forgiveness.