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Summary: Since Jesus resurrected and is still alive today, we can experience Him the same way as Mary, the disciples and Thomas did. There are 3 ways to start experience Easter in our lives today: Love Jesus, Trust Him and Seek Him among His Followers.

[Before the message, welcome the guests and instruct them to fill out the welcome cards (to be used at the ending invitation).]

{Beginning: 1st hand vs. 2nd hand experience}[i]

Good morning! With me up here are ML and MP. Both of them are best friend with one another; and both have a certain opinion about a guy name RJ. [To ML:] Hi, how do feel about RJ? [To MP:] How about you, how do feel about RJ? [To audience:] Now even their answers could be identical, the question is whether or not they have the same experience with RJ or not. [Ask them about how they know RJ, it turn out one of them have never met Ryan and just formed her opinion based on what other have said about Him].

This is the different between first hand and second hand experience. Unfortunately, a lot of our experience about Easter seems to be very second handed. For example, Newsweek wrote about the Resurrection of Christ, the author even convinced that it was taking place historically. [Read the quote from it about the historical reliability of the resurrection]. But if I coould have a conversation with the author, a secular journalist, I would love to ask, "So, you have read, interviewed, and researched about Easter; yet, have you experienced Easter in your life?". I think he would be puzzled, "What do you mean by experience Easter?" Well, Let’s take a look of what a first hand experience of Easter looks like…

{Reading the text - John 20:1 (quickview) ,11-31}

{Prayer}

It’s one thing to believe what they had experienced then. It’s another to experience that transformation of Jesus today. Can Jesus comfort your grief and turn it to joy like with Mary? Can He move us from fear to courage like with the disciples? And can He turn my unbelief to confidence like with Thomas?

{Big Idea:} Yes, since Jesus resurrected and is still alive today, you can experience Jesus the same way just as they did before. From this text, there are 3 ways to help us start experience the power of Jesus’ resurrection in our lives today: Love Jesus, Trust Him, and Seek Him with His Followers.

{1} LOVE

The more you love someone, the more grievous you feel when you lost them.

Mary loved Jesus very much. She had sinned much and Jesus had done for her what no one else could do. He had forgiven and cleansed her[ii]. Mary loved Jesus very much and His death grieved her immensely. Love kept her there to witness Jesus’ torturous death until the last minute as he was buried hastily. And love compelled her there to be the first person at His tomb; to anoint His body according to proper custom. When she arrived, the tomb was opened. Jesus’ body is no where in sight. “What cruelty to Jesus; even in His death they won’t leave Him alone!” She must have thought. So she weeps grievously as she looks into the tomb.

The more you love someone, the more grievous you feel when you lost them. Mary was so grieved that she didn’t see the burial linen strips were still lying there. If she did, she would have realized that neither thieves nor enemies would un-wrap the corpse to take just the body. Our pains and grieve often clouded our mind to perceive the work of God.


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