Summary: This is my Easter message for the Spring Life series 2008
Sunday is Here!
Easter: Resurrection Sunday
Spring Life 2008
Spring Life is the annual emphasis on Evangelism and discipleship in the Wesleyan Church. This message was adapted from some of the materials provided from the Wesleyan World Headquarters
This past week, I was asked an incredible question: why is Good Friday called good? If we are honest there is nothing that sounds good about that Friday. Nothing. On Friday Jesus was tortured by the Romans and crucified between two thieves. On Friday, the women wept and the disciples ran. On Friday, the angels were silent and Heaven was hushed. On Friday, Jesus was stabbed with the spear and proclaimed dead. On Friday, death triumphed and Hell celebrated. On Friday, the stone was put in place and guards were posted. On Friday, all seemed lost, the Messiah was dead and hope was buried.
That was Friday, this is Sunday.
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ " 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Luke 24:1-12
Easter is a day of wonder and awe. It is a day of astonishment and wonder. Easter is a day of bewilderment and perplexing. Easter is a day of amazement. This morning there is a question I need to ask: what is so amazing about Easter?
What is so Amazing about Easter?
The women went to the tomb expecting death and experienced life
The hour was early and the sun had not yet rose above the horizon. A new day was about to dawn and a grim task awaited a small group of women as they left the city gates of Jerusalem. Less than 48 hours ago their world had been turned upside down. They had been following Jesus. They believed that He was the Messiah but on Friday Jesus was crucified. Their dreams were dashed and their hopes died as they helped to put Jesus in the tomb.
These women were headed out to the tomb to finish the work that had been started on Friday. With tears in their eyes and sorrow in their hearts, they set out to complete the gruesome task of anointing the body Jesus again.
The women arrive at the tomb fully expecting to find the body of Jesus. What they find is anything but what they expected. Notice several things. First, the women find the stone rolled away. On Friday, when Jesus was buried a large stone was rolled in front of the tomb. This was the first sign that something unexpected had happened.
Second, when the women enter the tomb of Jesus, they expected to find His body there. Once again the unexpected happens, the body of Jesus was gone. The tomb was likely somewhat large because Joseph of Arimethea was wealthy and this tomb was meant for his family. It would likely have two chambers, one small chamber that was for an entrance and a much larger chamber for burials
Remember, these women did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead. They watched him die, they went when Joseph buried Jesus and now came with expensive perfumes and oils to anoint the body
Third, while they were still trying to figure out what was going on, the angels appear. Instantly, the women were terrified and confused. The message of the angels was concise and clear. Why do you look for the living among the dead? This would have gotten their attention immediately. He is not here; he has risen!