Summary: God will exchange our mourning and sorrow for His grace and peace.

The Great Exchange!

Luke 24:13-34

Imagine with me for a moment if you will. For years you have been slaving at

your job with nobody ever noticing your diligence or the backbreaking work

you undergo on a daily basis. The hours are long. The work wears you out

every day. The pay is barely enough for you to put food on your table for

you and your family. You would have changed jobs years ago, but you never

finished your education and therefore you feel stuck.

One day, the CEO of the corporation walks out on the dock where you are

loading a truck. He asks if he can talk to you for a few minutes and as the

two of you walk and talk he makes you an offer. The boss says, "You were so

young when you first came to us. Full of energy and always willing to do

more than we've asked of you. You've been here for more than twenty years

now and there is nobody who knows more about the work that has to be done

than you. The suggestions you have made through the years have all worked

to enhance our efforts, cut our overhead, and increase our productivity. I

am going to retire in two years and I would love to have you work with me as

Vice President of Operations until that time. During the next two years I

will teach you the business side of our company so that in two years you can

step into my position as CEO and lead us into the next twenty years. What

do you think?" What do you think!? Man, what a deal! From the dock to the

Boardroom! From loading trucks to a leather high-back chair! From taking

directions from an ego inflated supervisor to casting a vision for the

entire company. I'd call it the great exchange.

It's the story of Cinderella cleaning, cooking, and clearing the clutter of

her wicked stepmother and in the blink of an eye becoming the belle of the

Ball. It is the great exchange! It is the story of Aladdin, a petty thief

who becomes the Prince. It is the great exchange. It is the story David, the

little shepherd boy taking lunch to his brothers on the front-line and in

the blink of an eye standing over the Giant with victory swirling in the air

and cheers rising up from the crowd. It is the great exchange! It is the

story of a nameless woman, who we have come to know as Mary, pouring

expensive perfume on Jesus' head to prepare Him for burial. The disciples

were indignant with the woman for "wasting" the expensive perfume, but Jesus

said that she would be remembered throughout history because of her

beautiful act toward the Lord. Indignation for exultation - the great

exchange! It is the story of a despised tax collector, looked down upon by

everyone in society and moments later entertaining the Savior in his own

home. It is the great exchange!

Jesus was known for such things as these, but the greatest exchange He ever

made was at Easter. On Friday, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the

world as He hung writhing in pain on a wooden cross. But on Sunday, the

stone was rolled away, death was defeated, sin was overcome, the darkness

was dispelled, agony and death were exchanged for glory and life

everlasting. A crown of thorns was exchanged for a crown of glory! Oh, it

is the great exchange.

That really is the story of Jesus. It is the Gospel given to you and me. It

is the story of Easter. The great exchange.

This morning, in the time that we have to open God's Word, I want to share

with you the pressing message that God has laid upon my heart. It is the

message of the great exchange. Before we get any further into our study you

need to know that if the stone had not been rolled away there would be no

possibility of exchanging anything. You and I would still be lost in our

sin, death would still rule the hearts of people, and Easter would still be

a pagan holiday with no meaning, no purpose, and no hope. Everything about

our faith ultimately depends on the empty tomb. If they were to find the

bones of Jesus then we would have to dismiss class - our faith would be

useless. Paul said as much when he wrote to the Corinthians and said,

13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been

raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so

is your faith. (1 Corinthians 15:13-14)

The truth of our faith hinges of the fact that the stone was rolled away

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