Summary: This sermon is about the significance of the the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Legacy of Easter
-By Rev. Antonio Torrence, Cross of Life
Text: John 20:1-18
What many of us need to know is that Easter is all about God. The resurrection of Christ is not about Jesus, but it is about God. Christmas-the incarnation is about Jesus and likewise the feast of tabernacles, the Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit; however, Easter is about what God.has done through and in Jesus Christ.
And although many of us believe in the existence of God, when it comes to Easter our faith is pushed to its limits. Some of us who are the most intelligent, the most educated, the most intellectual of us, would simply said that “I believe that Jesus existed; however, I find it rather difficult to believe that he was raised from dead.” In fact Islam teaches that God could not and would not die for humanity- it’s just not in his nature. Many scientists and atheists challenge the validity of the whole resurrection story. They dismissed the story of an empty tomb as a pious legend.
And I have to admit at the outset that the case for Jesus’ resurrection is somewhat flawed. When you considered the discrepancies in the events of Easter morning as described by the four gospels, one may not know what to believe. I mean, who was it that first discovered that the tomb was empty and when? Was it Mary or Peter? How and when was the stone rolled from the mouth of the tomb? And how many angels appeared? Now one perspective on the differences within the stories is that it is precisely those discrepancies that make the resurrection so believable. If someone were to really conspire and make this all up, one would think that they all would have at least gotten their testimonies to agree. But the real skeptics argue that that rational just does not hold weight. And so, they ask the question, is there any truth in the underlying story the legend that the tomb was found empty?
Well the fact of the matter is that the legacy of Easter is a faith story. It is intended not for the unbeliever but it is for the believer. Easter is for those who believe in the power of an almighty God. Easter is for the believer. (Ask your neighbor: “Are you a believer?”)
Easter is about the belief in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It’s about a God who was, who is, and who ever shall be God. It’s about a God who was. That’s the God of the Old Testament- the right on time God. The God who heard the cries of his people and always showed up right on time. Easter reminds us about a God that was right on time when he parted the red sea for the Hebrew children who were corned by Pharaoh and his armies. Easter reminds us about a God who was right on time when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down for Joshua and his ragtag militia. Resurrection Sunday reminds about a God that was right on time when David slew Goliath; when Daniel was in the lion’s Den; when the three Hebrew boys were in the fiery furnace. The legacy of Easter is about a God who may not show up when you want him to show up, but he always shows up right on time.
Easter is about a God who is and ever shall be with us. It’s about a belief in a God that dwells with his people. Now, we tend to believe that God is only with us when we are experience the blessings of God- good health, good fortune, and good times. We say that God is with us when we have landed that promotion, or heard some good news like the lump in our chest was not cancerous. We say and feel that God is really with us because it is at those times that life is so beautiful. But if God were only with us when things are going well then he would not be God at all. He would be a just a good luck charm – like lady luck and a rabbit’s foot. But our God is omnipresent- everywhere at the same time. He is with us not only in our good times but also, in our bad times. He is with us in our pains as well as our pleasures. He is there present with us when we are losing our homes, burying a love one, or receiving a diagnosis that means surgery with little to no chance of recovery. God is there with us while our spouses are packing their bags and walking out the door. He is there with us as we are answering the phones only to receive bad news. The legacy of Easter is about a God who is always with us. Easter is about the power, the glory, and majesty of a Sovereign God.