Summary: For Easter 2010, Dave teaches that the meaning of Easter is that the love of God will always prevail. This is part 1 in series, Love Never Dies.
The Meaning of Resurrection
Love Never Dies, prt. 1
Wildwind Community Church
April 4, 2010
Easter, 2010. Jesus lives! That is what we celebrate today – our belief that Jesus was dead and is alive again. We believe that because Jesus lives, we also can have life – not simply in some ethereal other world to come, but in this world, in this present moment, right now.
I want to welcome our guests today. We always try to start a new series on Easter Sunday because we always have people here for the first time, and that makes it easy for us to warmly invite you back to just continue with us on that series. And so we extend that invitation to you this morning, as we begin a series called Love Never Dies.
The New Testament tells us not simply that God loves, not simply that God approves of love, or endorses it, or commands it, but rather that God IS love. The New Testament (in 1 Corinthians) also tells us that love never fails – in other words, it never ceases, never stops, never falters. And if it is true that God is love, and if it is true that Jesus was God, then Jesus is love. And if it is true that love never fails, never stops, never falters, and if Jesus is love, then it is no wonder that today we celebrate that not even death was able to keep Jesus down, not even death could hold him, not even death could cause him to falter or fail or cease to be.
New Living Translation, Second Edition - Song 8:6
6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
I love this verse, but what we learn in the New Testament is even more powerful, for there in the message of the Resurrection, we learn that not only is love as strong as death, but that love is actually stronger.
Love is stronger than death. It is more enduring, more permanent. All the things you see around you are passing away, they are on the way out, but love is still on the way in. Even you yourself will one day die, that is, your physical body is on the way out, but love is on the way in. This world is on the way out and will one day come to an end, but even then, love will still be on the way in.
Song of Songs 8:7 (MSG)
7 Flood waters can't drown love, torrents of rain can't put it out…
Love is unstoppable and unavoidable. And you are either standing in its stream and allowing it to wash over you, or at some point it catches up to you, takes you by surprise, overwhelms you, and sweeps you away. Either way, it is the ultimate reality and a choice to run from love, or not to embrace and live in it, is a choice to run from reality, to refuse to live in reality.
That is what resurrection shows us. God is love. Love lives forever. Jesus was God. Therefore, Jesus lives! The resurrection of Jesus is a real-life demonstration of the reality that love never dies.
Let’s look at part of that resurrection story, from John chapter 20, this morning. Prepare yourselves. I’m going to read the entire chapter. But it’s okay to come to church and hear God’s Word, isn’t it? I hope so!
John 20:1-31 (MSG)
1 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance.
2 She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."
3 Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb.
4 They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter.
5 Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.
6 Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there,
7 and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself.
8 Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed.
9 No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
10 The disciples then went back home.