Summary: BECAUSE JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, WE HAVE ONE WHO GOES BEFORE US SO THAT WE MAY FOLLOW HIM!
SUNRISE 05 I’LL GO FIRST
MARCH 27, 2005
INTRODUCTION: JESUS FIRST WORDS
A Sunday School teacher had just finished telling her third graders about how Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb with a great stone sealing the opening. Then, wanting to share the excitement of the resurrection, she asked: "And what do you think were Jesus’ first words when He came bursting out of that tomb alive?" A hand shot up into the air from the rear of the classroom. Attached to it was the arm of a little girl. Leaping out of her chair she shouted out excitedly "I know, I know!" "Good" said the teacher, "Tell us, what were Jesus first words." And Extending her arms high into the air she said: "TA-DA!" Contributed by: Ken Kersten
TRANSITION THOUGHT: This morning we have gathered to celebrate the “TA – DA!”. We have come to find hope and comfort as we celebrate the reality of our faith. Without the Resurrection, we would have no hope and Jesus would have been no different than any other prophet who came before HIM! He did rise and as HE did, He helps us understand just what the “TA – DA” is all about! Hear this account of the Resurrection! READ MARK 16: 1-8!
Jesus was the first to experience true resurrection! He was the first fruit of the Resurrection! He was the first one to get a new body! He was the first to be raised who would die no more!
What is so interesting to me is that Jesus chose to go first. And in so doing, eased the fear we might face concerning death. Not only does He erase the fear of death, He offers us hope for life here and now!
TRANSITION THOUGHT: BECAUSE JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, WE HAVE ONE WHO GOES BEFORE US SO THAT WE MAY FOLLOW HIM!
WHERE TO START: Have you ever been the one who wanted to go first? Sometimes it is to our advantage to go first. If we are being graded on a presentation, the first one usually gets a little break because the teacher doesn’t have a comparison yet. But, if we go first on a new project, we will be the one to make all the mistakes and the boss will tell everyone else not to follow our example! If you have brothers and sisters younger than you, you went first whether you wanted to or not. You were the first to walk, talk, go to school, and a whole lot of other first that paved the way for the others to know just what normal is and should do. Going first sure puts a lot of pressure on a person!
Jesus had left Nazareth of Galilee to go and be baptized by John. This is how Mark starts the story of Jesus and His ministry. Now we are at the end. Jesus has died on the cross. He was placed in a tomb late on Friday afternoon and a stone was placed over the front of the tomb. Here we are, early on Sunday morning and some of the female followers of Jesus have come out to anointed Jesus dead body. When they get there, things are not as they were supposed to be. Jesus is not there! A young man is however and he tells the ladies, “HE IS RISEN!”
The ladies are in shock and wonder what all this could mean and then the Angel, I mean the young man dressed in white gives just a little more information. “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.’”
I don’t know why, but that phrase, “He is going ahead of you,” just wouldn’t leave me alone. What did he mean He would go ahead of them and what was so important about Galilee? For whatever reason, Jesus had previously told the disciples that after He rose from the dead, He would meet them in Galilee! He could have shared this at the last supper? He may have shared this in the garden of Gethsemane, and then again, there is this one place in John where He tells the disciples all about this going ahead business.
Do you remember John 14: 1-7? John 13: 31-38 is the story of Jesus telling the disciples that HE is leaving! He makes it clear to them that where He is going, they cannot follow at this time. BUT there will be a time when they can be where He is! Then comes those famous words of John 14! This would be so much more than Galilee! This was a going before that would mean everything through out time and Eternity! This going ahead of us was God’s most perfect plan! This was and is the fulfillment of the promise of Eternal life! Jesus was going ahead of us to prepare a place for us!