Summary: In this sermon, we address the fact that the resurrection is hard to believe, but that it is true and it is our only hope that death is reversible.
A. Happy Easter everyone and may God bless you today with hope and joy!
1. I hope you have come this morning with a sense of anticipation.
2. I heard about one 3-year-old little girl who was being driven to church on Easter Sunday.
3. As they drove, the child’s parents explained the Easter story, and how Easter Sunday is the day when we celebrate Jesus coming back to life.
4. When her parents paused, the little girl excitedly asked: “Will Jesus be at church today?”
5. Jesus is certainly with us today, not in person, but in true spiritual reality.
B. I heard about another little boy who was not exactly happy about going to church on Easter Sunday morning.
1. His new shoes were too tight, his tie pinched his neck, and the weather outside was just too beautiful to be cooped up inside.
2. So as the little boy sulked in the pew, his parents heard him mutter to no one in particular, “I don’t know why we have to go to church on Easter, anyway; they keep telling the same old story and it always comes out the same in the end.”
C. Perhaps you have similar sentiments this Sunday morning.
1. Not so much the desire to be somewhere else on Easter Sunday morning, but perhaps like that little boy you wonder about the Easter message.
2. It is the same old story - year after year - about two thousand years ago Jesus died on the cross on Friday and rose from the grave on Sunday.
3. Then angels and Jesus made appearances to some woman, to the apostles and to many others to prove He was alive again.
4. Why is it important that we go over the same old story year after year?
a. First, because there are some who have never heard the story.
b. Second, because many who have heard the story do not believe it is true.
c. Third, because those who have heard it and believe it need to be reminded of the difference the resurrection continues to make.
D. Let’s again hear the story of the resurrection in the words delivered to us by Luke, the doctor, who was a follower of Jesus and traveling companion of the apostle Paul (Luke 24:1-12):
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
E. There continues to be a lot skepticism concerning the resurrection of Jesus.
1. The resurrection of Jesus has received more attention than any other event in the history of mankind.
2. There are few people on the planet earth who do not know there are masses of people in churches today thinking about the resurrection of Jesus.
3. And so, those who are skeptics may be rejecting the truth of the resurrection, but not the knowledge of it.
F. And so, all over the world, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will be relived in the hearts of countless millions today in worship through song, sermon, and most of all the Supper of our Lord.
1. But we must realize that not everyone receives the story of the resurrection in such an appreciative manner.
2. There are those who see the resurrection of Jesus as nothing more than a fable or farce.
3. There are liberal scholars who debate with regularity the reality of the resurrection of Jesus.
4. There is an abundant supply of books and articles written, and seminars offered to explain away the literal and miraculous resurrection of Jesus.