Summary: Easter morning celebration. Praying the Lord will use this and you have an amazing service.
The most glorious day in history
Last week we talked about Palm Sunday. The triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into the city of Jerusalem. We took a hard look at those that were cheering him and how quickly they turned into a lynch mob. At the beginning of the week they were cheering and as we get to Friday, they have sentenced him to die by crucifixion.
Palm Sunday- Triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Maundy Thursday- Last Supper/ Betrayal of Jesus
Good Friday- Jesus being sentenced and tortured and ultimately put to death on the cross of Golgotha. A week that is action packed with numerous witness accounts of Jesus last week before the cross. It is recorded in every gospel.
There is a story not long ago about a particular family who was watching a Easter story on T.V. Although the entire family had seen the movie before, one little girl was particularly moved by the movie. As Jesus was tortured and crucified, tears came streaming down her face. She remained quiet until they put Jesus body in the tomb. At that moment, she suddenly smiled and then shouted “Now comes the good part” Now comes the good part- we live on the Sunday side of the cross. Meaning Jesus Christ was crucified, He died, He was buried. That is a fact. If it would have stopped there, there would be no celebration. Another good man has died. But God resurrected Jesus Christ and that has changed everything. Most people who die tend to remain dead. The miracle that happened 2000 years ago changed my life and hopefully changed your life too.
Unless you are a medical student, you are probably not comfortable around blood. Many churches have erased any mention of Jesus crucifixion from the worship. Some won’t preach a Easter message. In Jesus day, the presence of blood was common. Before the meal was eaten, it included the slaughter of a live animal. God made the redemption system so that even small children understood the connection between blood and freedom from sin. According to the law, God’s holiness was satisfied by the unblemished animal’s blood atoning for a person’s sin. What Jesus did was a once and for all blood sacrifice.
Many of you know that I am a gigantic Billy Graham fan. Not because of his eloquent preaching, because he was not eloquent. It is because he takes God’s truth and makes it simple to understand. When God established a plan for rescuing sinful humanity, he chose to do so in a way so startling and unexpected that even the devil helped Jesus get to the cross. Because Satan thought the death of Jesus was the end, mankind would die in their sins and be hopelessly lost for eternity. The plan unfolded as almighty God sent His Son to earth on a mission to die “Give his life as a ransom for many” the Bible says. That He would die on a cross in punishment for our sins so that we might be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life. To many- that sounds like foolishness. Nonsense. Bible says “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Cor. 1:18) Except through the eyes of faith- it seems like foolishness. I pray that the Holy Spirit would flow freely this morning, so that He would minister to our hearts and our needs and answer some questions this morning. Jesus did some amazing things while He was on this earth.
Lame men walked.
Withered hands were healed.
Raised Lazarus from the dead.
Turned water to wine.
Cast out demons.
But the greatest thing that God the Father did was raise Jesus Christ from the dead. “Dead man walking” because of that love of Christ -we have hope. That was Christ love at it’s best. “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8) Death by Adam, life through Christ.
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who lives in you”
When doubting Thomas met Jesus on the road after the resurrection, he fell on his knees and said “My Lord, and My God.” That resurrection morning when the women ran to the tomb, that stone was not removed so that Jesus could get out. I think God must of snickered to Himself if they thought they could keep the creator of the universe locked up by a large stone and a few man with spears. That stone was rolled away so the women could see Jesus was resurrected Then so they could run and tell the disciples that Jesus was resurrected, and right on down to us the doubting Thomas’s of today. The angel said “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, just as he said he would. Come and see the place where he was.” To some this morning- it is foolishness. Some who have no clue what Easter celebration really means. It is Easter Ham and a egg hunt for the kids. It doesn’t make it any less true. “To us who believe, it is the power of God.” Amen.