Summary: Seeing what God has done can transform your life just like the women who went to the tomb that first Easter morning.
SEIZED BY TERROR AND AMAZEMENT
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them;
and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.
Anybody with any sense would flee from such a sight as the empty tomb. Occupied graves are foreboding enough, how much worse to see an opened one, an empty one. It is sort of like that old joke, What’s worse than seeing a worm in your apple? Half a worm! You don’t want to see ‘em! No wonder the women were seized by terror and amazement! God’s power was changing their lives moment by moment, early in the morning, with the rising of the Son.
God has the power to change our lives. Such a statement should cause anybody with any sense to flee from this place, like the grave-bound women with terror and amazement, but since we’re all still here, let’s stay together and explore this power.
How long has it been since any of us have been “seized” by anything, let alone something as dramatic as terror and amazement, both at the same time? I hope today that each of us will be seized by the terror and amazement of God’s almighty power—God’s power not just to roll away a very great stone, God’s power not just to raise Jesus from the dead, or God’s power not just to conquer sin and death, but God’s power to raise each of us to a new and far, far better life than the one we know right now—here, on earth, today!
We are so much like the women who went to the tomb expecting to give Jesus’ body the proper anointing and burial. We come to church on Easter to give Jesus the proper respect by attending a worship service in his honor. But this day like that day is a day that changes everything.
You may think you know the Easter story—it’s the same story every year—but I am not going to speak on this Resurrection Day about being raised from the dead, I am going to talk about being raised from the life of an ordinary Christian person to a kind of new and exceptional life ordinary Christians have never imagined possible. This new life is the kind of life that God has planned for us all along, and only God has the power to give it.
So, Friends, I kindly seek your undivided attention, and I pray that you will receive the Living Word of God, that is Jesus Christ, and accept the power of God to change your life TODAY! If your life is perfect in every single way—can anybody here claim that?—you’re probably not interested in having God change your life. But if you’re life, like mine, is not exactly perfect you just might want to consider engaging the power of God in your life.
What kind of life God might have in mind for you is up to you and your ability to seek, receive, and accept.
Don’t expect to sit back and listen today. You should expect to sit up and take notice. You should plan to be startled and astonished. You could be drawn to desire a new personal journey of purpose—one that will have you interacting with me in the pulpit, praying to God for his power, reaching out to one another for love and support, and making a faith commitment to travel to your Galilee where Jesus is waiting, just as he said he would be, for you and for me.
This journey requires much of us: our time, our commitment, our community. We will spend today and the next three weeks embarking on this journey of purpose. You’ll have to come back each week if you want to discover the YOU God intends you to be. You might be challenging me with the question, Why do you think you know what God wants me to do with my life?
The answer is, I don’t know. There are only two who will know, and they are God and you. No change, no power, will come to you if you do not engage it, invite it, seek, receive and accept it. God won’t do the work for you; Jesus won’t do the work for you; I can’t do the work for you. You have to do it yourself. Are you seized by terror and amazement yet?
Over the next four weeks, I plan to explore with you and challenge you to discover where power comes from and what you want that power to do for you. Do you want to change your life and follow God’s plan for you? Only you can answer that question, not off the top of your head, please, but from a place deep in your soul. So let’s get to our personal story of Resurrection.