Summary: This sermon looks at how the women on Easter Sunday remembered the words of Jesus and this made all the difference to how they felt.
Imagine the women visiting Jesus tomb on Easter Sunday felt. They were already heartbroken, Jesus was dead, and they were depressed, afraid of the Jews. Now they just wanted to do one last thing for Jesus, to take care of his body. When they get there he’s gone. The bible says Luke 24:4 “They were puzzled/perplexed…” = at one’s wit’s end, at a loss how to proceed, without resources. I think that describes how lots of people feel in life sometimes. Who has ever got lost as a child? (Get them to come up and tell us about it) How did you feel? I got lost in a place called Pontypridd when I was about 4. It was very busy and I remember feeling confused, frightened and didn’t know what to do, I was crying. Then a lady was about to take me to the police station when my mum found me – yes she had been looking not trying to get rid of me! I wonder if those women on Easter Sunday felt like I did? What was the answer? They got some advice; I hope you might get some good advice today. The angels that appeared to them (think of me as an angel!! Maybe that’s going a bit too far!!!) And reminded them what Jesus had said and “Then they remembered Jesus words…” (Luke 24:8). The answer was found in what Jesus said and did, suddenly they weren’t feeling puzzled anymore…
1. God has a plan for my life
It didn’t make sense, they were puzzled, and their heads were spinning. Where was Jesus, how did the tomb get opened? Lots of people can’t make sense of life and feel like that. What is life all about, what is the point? Why am I here? Even when things are going well we can find that we don’t feel as happy as we think we should, we can feel a bit empty inside. Sometimes it is when we get the things we wanted that we find they don’t make us feel as happy as we thought they would. It doesn’t make sense. (To kids) – who ever gets stuck with their school work in school? What do you need? You need the teacher to explain it. That’s what these women needed.
That happened when they remembered what Jesus said things made sense, they realised this was the plan, Jesus had to die and then rise from the dead. God has a plan he is working out in our lives. Easter enables us to see that life has a point to it. That God is there and we can know him. God has a great plan for our lives. That there is more to life than just this, that death is not the end. Jesus is alive not dead!
2. I can handle anything with Jesus
They were scared, how could they cope with this? First they lost Jesus, now his body was gone. When we face problems we sometimes get to the point when we think, “Help! I can’t cope any more!” If you’ve never felt like that great, but I think most of us have felt like we have something to do and we don’t feel we can do it on our own. Then someone comes along and they help us and we no longer feel we can’t cope. Or if we are scared on our own, having someone with us means we no longer feel scared.
Once they realised Jesus was alive they were no longer afraid, Jesus would be with them. There was nothing they couldn’t now handle! When Jesus is with you, you can say, “I can do all things through Christ…” Jesus is there to help us every step of the way. Knowing he is there, he is alive makes all the difference
3. Follow Jesus he knows what to do
They didn’t know what to do, at their wits end. They had no idea what the next step was. Sometimes in life we might get to the point where we simply don’t know which way to turn, where to go, we have no direction or purpose. “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there. Who has ever been on a journey in the car and got lost? What do you do? You ask for directions! You need someone to help you.
That’s what Easter gives us – Jesus knows what we need to do & will give us direction, if you imagine life as a car journey he’ll get in the car with us and show us the way. So these women now knew what to do – do what he said – that’s what we need to do. Direction comes when we trust in Jesus and follow him. Easter means we are not lost. We have purposeful lives to live; we are heading in the right direction as we are following Jesus.