Summary: The following sermon is going to review three witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and suggest that celebrating His lordship, removing all doubts, and a restoration and a renewed desire to serve Him are but just three wonderful ways to celebrate Easter!
John 20:11-18, 24-29, 21:15-17
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
There have been some amazing accomplishments over the course of human history. To the vast splendor of Pharoah Khufu’s (2540 BCE) Great Pyramid of Giza that was the tallest structure for some 3,800 years, to the origin and development of modern alphabets (1850 – 1700), to the Great Wall of China that is 21,198 km long spanning some 9 provinces and principalities (7th century to 1878), to the discovery of x rays to look at bones inside of the human body without cutting the skin (1895), to the invention of the radio that allows wireless
communication (1879-1901), to Orville and Wilbur Wright’s mastery of the air with their first airplane (1903), to Charles Jenkins and John Baird’s mechanical transmissions of images over wires which led to the development of a television (1924-1925), to Charles Babbage’s design of the first modern computer that would be later built by John Atanasoff (1939), to the large scale development of vaccines (1940), to the civil rights movement seeking equality for African Americans (1954-1968), to the landing and walking on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (1961), and to birth of Arpanet at BBN Technologies that would later be known as the internet (1969); humanity has proven time and again to be fascinated with inventing some new and impressive things for the betterment of living.
While humanity is fascinated with improving the quality of life there are sadly many historical events that demonstrate our propensity to harm one another. Ever since Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:8), there has been a never-ending search for a better weapon such as crossbows that throw deadly arrows (sometime before 400 BC), catapults that can throw heavy rocks (400 BC), gunpowder that can explode or hurl dangerous metal fragments at tremendous speeds (850 AD), rockets that can send bombs to far away targets (1232 AD) and the splitting of an atom to release explosive energy and ravage anything in its path (first nuclear bomb tested in 1945). While some justified the invention of such weapons in the name of defending oneself with a “just war” mentality, history is filled with horrific acts of violence to “ethnically cleanse” or take land, power, and possessions from others. Who could ever forget the Cambodian genocide (1975-1979) where between 90 and 97 percent or between 1.4 to 3.0 million of the Circassian population was either killed or deported? Who could forget the Rwanda genocide (1994) in which 60 to 70 percent or between 500 and 800 thousand were executed, or what about the Nazi genocide of ethnic Poles (1939–1945) in which 1.8 to 3 million Polish people were executed or the Holocaust (1941-1945) in which about 6 million Jewish people were sent to their death? Sadly these atrocities occurred and will forever be etched into our history as proof of the cruelty humanity is capable of performing.
While our accomplishments and atrocities will forever be etched into our minds both as a reminder of our “supposed” greatness and the dangers of not celebrating our differences, no event is more significant to humanity than the death and resurrection of our Lord! Despite being in the very nature of God Himself, Jesus chose to “make Himself nothing by taking on the nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:5-11) and freely dying on the cross (John 10:18) so that through His atoning sacrifice we might “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The mastery of sin and death for all of humanity was broken over 2,000 years ago and gladly we are still celebrating our newfound freedom. Forever shall the words of Apostle Paul ring loudly and hopefully clearly be understood on Easter morning, “for we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). If that were not enough to rejoice for on this blessed morning, we are also told that those who believe that Christ paid the price for their sins and pledge their life to Him (John 3:16; Romans 10:9) are given the Holy Spirit as a “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possessions – to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14). Though we were “dead in our transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) as “God’s own special possession” (1 Peter 2:9) we are to boldly approach “God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16), and clothed with the garnets of salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) we thank our Lord, Savior and King that it is by faith in Him and not works that our relationship with our Creator has been restored (Ephesians 2:8-9). Given the greatness and significance of Easter how then are we His children to obey and rightly remember His death until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:26)? The following sermon is going to review three witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and suggest that celebrating His lordship, removing all doubts, and a restoration and a renewed desire to serve Him are but just three wonderful ways to celebrate Easter in a manner that that is a sweet offering unto our Lord.