Summary: Easter changed the world. This sermon looks at how the message and method of Jesus turned the world upside down. Finally it looks at the motivation for what Jesus did for us at Easter.
TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE-DOWN
Acts 17:1-6 (NKJV, NLT)
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Intro: In Charles Schultz’s cartoon, “Peanuts,” Lucy is seen saying that if she was in charge of the world, she’d change everything. Charlie says, “That wouldn’t be easy. Where would you start?” Lucy looks directly at him, and without hesitation, points her finger at him and says, “I’d start with you!”
. A pastor thought God gave Him an idea, and he presented it in the monthly elders meeting. After giving his most impassioned plea and really “selling” the idea to the elder board, the board voted and voted down the pastors proposed changes 12-1. The head elder looked at the pastor and said, “Well pastor, it’s 12 votes to 1. Looks like you’ve been out voted. Looks like time is up for the evening, so will you please close in prayer.”
The pastor, not wanting to give up yet on what he felt God was leading him to do then lead in prayer. As he prayed, he lifted his hands up to heaven and prayed, “Loooorrrdddd - I know my brothers here do not have the same vision you have given me. Please help them to see that this is not MY vision, but YOOOOUUUUURRRR vision!”
At that exact moment, a lightning bolt with a loud clap of thunder burst in through the window in the meeting room, striking the table, splitting it in two and knocking all the elders to the floor. As the dust cleared, the pastor looked at the head elder and said - so, what do you think about that?
The head elder, dusting himself off, sighed and said, “Well, I guess that’s 12 votes to 2, then...”
. Change, is a word we don't like to hear isn't it?
. As i prayed and meditated about this very special Easter sermon, God impressed upon me that Easter, and all that it means to us as Christians was and is about change.
. You see, Easter changed everything didn't it.
. It changed how we look at God, Heaven, Hell, Eternity.
. Without Easter, there would be no need for Christmas.
. Without Easter, we would still be sacrificing goats and bulls and turtle doves and in some cases children to and unknown God.
. What Easter did, was turn the world upside down.
. It changed everything.
. Our scripture this morning introduces us to this concept of Jesus, of Easter turning the world upside down.
our scripture this morning in found in Acts 17:1-6.
I will read this scripture from the NKJV on the Bible.
The Apostle Paul and his traveling companion Silas are traveling south through Macedonia and they find themselves in Thessalonica and here is where our scripture starts.
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews
2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.
. They were mistaken about what had turned the world upside down. It wasn't the two men Paul and Silas who had turned the world upside down, It was the Good News of Jesus Christ that Had turned the world upside down.
. What I want to do this Easter morning is share with you how the Good News of Jesus Christ turns the world upside down.
. How does the message of Easter change the world.
. The first thing I want us to look at that Jesus changed the world through His:
. Until Jesus, until Easter, the world thought that the only way to appease God was to live a life of rules and regulations.
. In order to make God happy you have to do this and do that.
. Notice in our scripture that Paul went first into the synagogues to tell the people about Jesus. He went there to tell them that the Messiah that they had long waited for had come. Paul had a profound message for them.