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Summary: In this Easter Sunday message we will talk about savoring the forgiveness, restoration and hope that are ours because of His sacrifice.

Savoring His Sacrifice and Salvation

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” - Mark 16:2-7

Long ago this is what they felt like when it happened. And this is how we should feel too. Because what it meant for them, it still means for us today. The grave is empty it! He is risen.

Prayer…

OKAY

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have a door just kind of leaning over there…

NOW - whenever you walk through a door you’re going from one place to another.

AND - as you walk through a door you have certain emotions, depending on what’s on the other side of the door.

LIKE - when you walk through some doors you may have a feeling of excitement or joy.

AND WHEN - you walk through other doors you may have a sense of anxiety or of fear.

AGAIN - it all depends on what’s on the other side of the door.

OKAY – I want you to think about the various doors that you walk through on a regular basis…

AND… – I also want you think about the emotions that walking though these doors create within you.

SO – you ready?

QUESTION – what emotions do you feel (now seriously picture these doors in your mind)

What emotions do you feel when you walk through the door to:

• your home

• your room

• a sports arena or stadium

• a movie theatre

• your favorite restaurant (and you have $200 gift card)

• your best friends house

• your school or the class you dislike the most

• your place of employment (kind of depends on whether or not you are coming or going).

• Your bosses office

• a shopping mall (I feel that I need some oxygen – malls suck the life out of me)

• your dentist office for your annual cleaning (that depends on whether or not you have been flossing regularly and brushing your teeth 2 times a day.

AND HOW ABOUT – the doors to the church…

IN FACT - what emotions did you feel when you walked through the doors of this church a few moments ago?

Did you feel:

• a sense of excitement?

• a sense of anticipation?

• did you feel jazzed, stoked and pumped up – because it’s Easter/Resurrection Sunday! And your Savior is alive!

• Or did you feel a little uneasy, maybe, because this is your first Sunday at MG and you are not sure what to expect?

• Will I like the music?

• Will the people be nice?

• Will I have to do anything weird?

• Is the pastor going to be stupid and funny looking?

• Hey, I’m not stupid…

NOW - the reason I chose a door as the prop for Easter this year is because when you think about it Easter is all about a door.

UNDERSTAND - Two thousand years ago, God the Son (the alpha and omega… the beginning and the end… the prince of peace, the everlasting Father, the Mighty God)

LEFT - all the glories of heaven, put on (frail, finite, fragile) human flesh and walked through the door of human history… OR – should I say, walked through the door of HIS STORY…

YOU SEE – all of human history, every bit of it really is ‘His’ Story, right? I MEAN – in the beginning God create capital ‘E’ everything… and HE has been the One holding all things together ever since. AND LISTEN

SINCE – the dawn of creation the overriding theme of human History…

HAS BEEN - God’s passionate pursuit of a prodigal people.

HAS BEEN – the story of a loving God doing whatever it takes to bring people back to Himself.

AND – on that first Easter weekend, that doing whatever it takes led to an old rugged cross, a borrowed tomb and a Resurrection.

AND B/S – here we are 2000 years later in C’ville, Va…

Joining up with 2.3 billion people around the world celebrating Jesus! Celebrating…

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