Summary: The world gives us promises full of emptiness: the Lord gives us emptiness full of promise.
The Empty Promises of Easter
(Developed from a message originally preached by Steven Kellett)
March 27, 2005 Cheater, IL FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A About four years ago, I bought a bottle of a medication that promised to give me something back that I was losing. A promise that seemed just to good to be true. The bottle contained Rogain and what I was, and am, losing was my hair.
a For weeks I was spraying my head, massaging my head . . . it was a mess!
b Many of us have been taken in by empty promises
(Lose weight, build muscle mass, grow hair, performance enhancement, increased memory, more energy, appetite suppression . . . )
c These empty promises have made us leery of anything that seems just too good to be true.
B God’s Word says, "Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass." Josh 21:45 (NASB)
a God has kept every promise He has ever made to His people. (ETS)
b The world gives us promises full of emptiness: God gives us emptiness full of promise. (ESS)
C I hope you’ll take God up on His promises this Easter morning. (Objective)
a Who here knows Jesus Christ? (Probing Question)
b Let’s look at two promises that emerge out of Easter’s emptiness.
I The first promise out of Easter’s emptiness is . . . AN EMPTY CROSS.
A Before Jesus’ faithful friends (Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, Joanne, Several other ladies) came to the tomb when they saw the cross in a distance.
50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. Luke 23:50-53 (NASB)
a As the sun came us, they could see the silhouette of three crosses in the distance against the glow of a pink sky. (No one touched the cross on Saturday/Sabbath)
b The one in the middle got their attention.
Sign over the cross "King of the Jews"
Blood on the cross-beam, head, side (Roman soldier thrust a spear to make sure he was dead. –HE WAS DEAD.
c The cross those women saw were empty, but it was full of God’s promises.
B The empty cross promises that you and I stand forgiven. (Jesus paid the price for our sin on that cross.)
a Sin is anything we have ever done that displeases God. (Rms 3.23 cite)
i We have all sinned. (Person beside you, in front of you, behind you)
ii Rom 6.23 "For the wages of sin is death . . ." Death=Hell
iii Before Good Friday, God could look in the book at all of our names and write GUILTY OF SIN . .GUILTY OF SIN . . GUILTY OF SIN in the accounts payable column.
b Jesus came to settle our accounts and he paid up on the Cross.
i Jesus never did sin. (Buddha, Mohammad, David, Moses, etc.)
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NASB)
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 (NASB)
ii It was on the cross that Jesus suffered, bleed, died for a sinful humankind.
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
iii When Jesus said, "It is finished" from that cross the redemptive act for humankind was in fact . . . finished.
C Can you all see what I have in my hand? A receipt. And what purpose does a receipt serve? It is the proof that the payment has been made. That’s what Jesus’ cross is. The receipt. The proof that the payment is made, that the power of sin no longer have power over us.
TS: As our ladies continue after viewing the empty cross, they continue to the tomb.