Summary: The truth about what Easter is and it’s effect on us - 1. payment 2. assessment 3. love’s revelation 4. commitment 5. assurance
The Easter Story: what it is
A couple of F-15’s are escorting a C-130 Hercules, and their pilots are chatting with the pilot of the transport to pass the time. Talk comes around to the relative merits of their respective aircraft.
The fighter pilots contend that their airplanes were better because of their superior speed, maneuverability, weaponry, and so forth, and pointed out the Hercules deficiencies in these areas.
After taking this for a while, the C-130 pilot says, "Oh yeah? Well, I can do a few things in this old girl that you’d only dream about."
Naturally, the fighter pilots challenge him to demonstrate.
"Just watch," comes the quick retort.
And so they watch. But all they see is that C-130 continue to fly straight and level...
After several minutes the Hercules pilot comes back on the air, "There! How was that?"
The fighter pilots reply, "What are you talking about? What did you do?"
And the Hercules pilot replies, "Well, I got up, stretched my legs, and got a cup of coffee."
Similarly, many of us don’t really recognize what God has done in the Easter story. We’ve got hi-tech toys, with great graphics and things that generations before us could only dream of. And the simple 2000 year old Easter story comes along and it feels like a great old C-130 Hercules. We figure, it’s old and so what can it do! We search the world wide web, we think we’ve got Christianity nailed down. I mean look at the colossal failures of Christians through the centuries and they are numerous. But one thing through the centuries and even with modern hi-tech sophistication and our evolved sensibilities, no one can explain away is – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection of Christ comes to us, sneaking into our consciousness, and somehow we hear a voice in that Easter story “There! How was that?”
Michael Jordan’s NBA career is over. Played his final game and he can never rise up to be the player he was. He could not even lead his team, Wash. Bullets to the playoffs. This proves he is mortal, he will not rise again to be best player in the NBA. He can’t fly anymore. No more spectacular dunks. No more last minute heroics. We’ve got to accept that Jordan won’t be an MVP caliber player anymore. But in the Easter Story we hear the opponents of Jesus nailed Him dead to the cross, and He died. There! How’s that, they say – save yourself, come down form the cross, do your Messiah thing and he died! but it ain’t over yet. I can just hear Him say “I got up and I’ve got more than just a cup of coffee. There! How’s that?” God’s Word tells us Easter story is more than we can dream of or imagine. The dead rising from the grave. Jesus got up, and that’s why !
And in essence, that’s Easter story… but there’s more! Read the bible with me…
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you. 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.
1. It is a payment (v.18a)
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.”
The London Times asked a number of writers to write essays on the topic “What’s wrong with the world?” G.K. Chesterton sent in the shortest and most to the point essay:
Easter story tells of God’s solution to “what’s wrong with the world”?
Bible agrees with Chesterton - in Romans:
23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
What’s wrong with the world? Some say terrorism - Afghanistan’s Taliban government – get rid of it- let the bombs fly, didn’t work, still violent place – then switch attention to get rid of Saddam, right? Well, that seems to be the premise most of the world and Iraqis go by. Now that the world has seen Saddam’s regime go down in flames, still a violent place, am I right? how come there is no sense that things are going to be OK.