Summary: Sharing in the Triumph of Christ on Easter
I heard a story this week that I wanted to share with you. It’s about a little boy named Philip. Philip was born with Down syndrome and as an eight-year old, had a hard time finding acceptance, even in the Sunday school class he attended. Through some creative intervention, though, Philip began to be accepted by his classmates, for the most part. One Sunday morning, just after Easter, the Sunday school teacher gave her
students a plastic, hollow egg and instructed them to go outside and find symbols of new life and place them in the egg. Afterwards, they would share what they found with the class. The children ran about the church property in a fury to find an appropriate item. They then returned to the classroom to share their finds. One by one, the teacher opened their eggs and displayed the symbol they found: a flower, a leaf, even a butterfly. The class responded to each with “Ooos” and “Awws” until the teacher opened the last egg. Instead of a beautiful flower or leaf, the egg was empty. “That’s not fair,” one boy spoke up, “somebody didn’t do it!” Philip spoke up in the egg’s defense, “That’s mine, I did that”. Annoyed the other boy retorted, “Philip, you don’t do anything right! There’s nothing there!” Philip responded “I did do it! I did! It’s empty! Just like the tomb! The tomb was empty!”
This evening, we are moving into a season of incredible significance for believers. Today is Palm Sunday, and this coming weekend is Easter. Because we will not be together this coming Sunday, I wanted to take this evening to share together in observing the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross and His triumph over death and sin through His resurrection.
So, if you have your Bibles with you this evening, we’re going to read a few passages of Scripture together. These are all going to be familiar passages to you, I’m sure. So if you’ll turn with me first to 1 Corinthians chapter 11, starting in verse 23:
READ TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26
Next, turn back with me to John 19, starting in verse 14:
READ TEXT: JOHN 19:14-20
And finally, turn to the next chapter, chapter 20, starting in the first verse.
READ TEXT: JOHN 20:1-18
This morning, it is important to remember. We have set aside this season of the year not just for chocolate eggs, oversized, furry bunnies, or marshmallow chickens, but to remember two things: Christ’s sacrifice and his triumph.
You’ll remember when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was faced with the reality of his position. Here was the Son of God, the Almighty Savior of the World faced with imminent brutal torture and shameful death. He cried out to His Father, pleading to be freed from this sentence. Jesus had a choice to make; make no mistake, it was his to make. As he told Peter in Matthew 26:53 “Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
Because of His great love for us, Jesus gave up his freedom and his life for to serve and free us. Mark 10:45 says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”.
As we go through this Easter season, it is important to remember what Christ gave for us through His death. It’s sometimes easy to forget that He took upon Him our sins. It wasn’t that he had done anything to deserve. He was a man who was blameless; perfect; a mean who had never done any wrong. A man who lived his life to love others, to protect others, to save others. Yet we looked upon Him and condemned Him. He allowed that to happen to take the punishment of OUR sins.
Many of you are familiar with the passages from Isaiah 53. If you’d like to turn there with me, these powerful words were actually written down hundreds of years before Christ was even born, predicting His sacrifice for our sins. We will start from verse four and read till the end of the chapter
READ TEXT: ISAIAH 53:4-12
The amazing thing about the Easter season is that he also need to remember that Christ’s sacrifice was not the end. The story of Jesus would have been short lived had the story had ended in Jesus’ death. What makes Christ’s sacrifice truly amazing is that it did not end in death! The story did not end there. This evening, we not only remember the death of Christ, we remember the triumph of his resurrection!