Summary: Many Christians are living on the Calvary side of Easter. They live as if Jesus died for their sins (ie… they are saved) but without the power, the joy, the redemption and the transformation of Easter.
The Right Side of Easter
Point of sermon: Many Christians are living on the Calvary side of Easter. They live as if Jesus died for their sins (ie… they are saved) but without the power, the joy, the redemption and the transformation of Easter.
Earlier we sang the familiar words, "Low in the grave Christ lay — Jesus my Savior..." Then we sang the glorious chorus, "Up from the grave he arose — he arose!"
We are on the other side of Easter... the resurrection experience.
Perhaps you have had a resurrection experience in your life. By resurrection experience I mean coming alive in Christ.
Maybe hearing the word of God, you were touched and said, "Yes! I want to live for him!"
Or perhaps you had a resurrection experience as a result of hard times. You saw the leading of God’s hand.
You experienced his miraculous restoration;
God raised you out of the pit, and you said "Yes! I will live for him!"
Or perhaps, you had that moment when you were born again, when you accepted Jesus into your heart.
In one way or another, you have been touched by the Holy Spirit, made alive in Jesus.
You can identify with the disciples on that Easter morning… the joy and the excitement of the experience.
Now however, here you are, a little later. The initial excitement has subsided. You ask yourself, "Did something really happen?"
You are on the other side of resurrection experience, your Easter. BUT…
It is tempting to go back to where you were.
It is tempting to go back to who you were.
It is tempting to go back to what you were doing.
This was also true for the disciples.
Remember, Easter was not the glorious event for them that it was for us. Their whole community did not get together. The trumpets did not sound. Easter lilies did not fill their homes. They didn’t hunt eggs or get a visit from the Easter bunny.
Unexpectedly, momentarily, they saw Jesus alive!
Now, here they are wandering by the Sea of Galilee, waiting, as they had been told. They are on the other side of Easter.
Jesus had miraculously appeared to them, transformed their life… AND THEN LEFT… just saying, I’ll be back.”
Think about it for a moment. Before Easter, more concerned with their own status, the disciples were not very good at discipling. They were unruly students. They rarely understood what Jesus was saying. His parables confused them. When he walked on the water, they never recognized him. On occasion they performed miracles, but they never healed anyone of significance.
Put honestly, they never really understood what was going on.
On Friday, Jesus died. The disciples scattered. They were told that this was going to happen, but they did not understand.
Then, Jesus appears, alive! They are apprehensively joyful. They are hesitantly hopeful.
Now, HE is gone… and they are wandering by the Sea of Galilee. There are no more appearances. Jesus is gone.
They are on the other side of Easter.
The disciples are tempted to go back to where they were. They are tempted to go back to who they were.
They are tempted to go back to what they were.