Summary: Highly evangelical Easter Sermon based on our confident hope in a future resurrection with heavy lifeboat illustration.

Intro: For those of you who don’t normally attend church with us, I usually don’t dress this way for Sunday Morning Services. I get all dressed up twice a year for Sunday morning services, Easter and Christmas. Speaking of dressing up I spoke with a guy the other day who said he’s not dressing up anymore. No more dressing up, matter of fact he said there is no more cleaning up for him, he was done. Not going to shower, not going to bathe, not going to wash. I thought well this guy is crazy until he explained himself then I understood. You want to hear hi reasons for not bathing? Here they are: 1) my parents forced me to wash as a child and now I resent it. 2) People who wash are hypocrites they think they’re cleaner than everybody else. 3). There are so many different kinds of soaps I can’t decide which one is best. 4). I used to wash then I got board so I stopped. 5). None of his friends washed, I understood that. 6). I start washing when I get older and dirtier and don’t have better things to do. 7) You know those people who make soap? Their only after your money. So I talked to him about the importance of good hygiene and worked with him until I finally convinced him to wash but he said, I’ll only wash on Christmas and Easter. Now of course that’s a joke no one really thinks like that; do they? Well, even if you do we’re glad you’re here, especially glade you’re here this year because right now is a good time in our church, God has been doing some awesome things among us.

Easter is not just a historical event, if you don’t view Easter as something that has significant meaning to your future then you’ve missed the meaning entirely.

The whole concept of Easter is a confident hope of our future – a definite event that will occur in our life.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We need to realize that Jesus can do something that you and I desperately need. And that’s what Easter is all about; it’s us realizing that Christ has given us the confidence that we can be raised form the dead. To properly understand the resurrection necessitates that we think about it in its proper context, which is against the backdrop of negative circumstances. You see resurrection doesn’t mean anything unless we’re talking about death. There is a problem that most of us need to come to grips with and that is the fact that this life is going to end. We must understand that this problem that we have to deal with is what the Bible is warning us to get straight in our life. This life is temporary; as George Bernard Shaw put it, “The mortality statistics are staggering – one in one people die”. It is a problem that all of us must step back from and ask, what is God’s solution for this?

The Bible teaches us that we die because we have a sin problem that we’re born with that is called the sin nature. And God is a God who says “I will solve that problem”, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 3:26). God raised Jesus out of the grave to show us that He can deal with this problem.

Illustration: Hope is a funny thing. It comes so easy to some people--maybe too easy. Milton Berle told a story about those kinds of people, about how hope can triumph over good sense.

Four widows were playing cards in the retirement home they lived in. A good-looking older fellow walks in, bags under each arm. "What’s a good-looking man like you doing here?" one asks.

"I’m moving in," he says. "Oh," says another. "Where ya from?"

"I’ve been in the can the last fifteen years. "

"The can?" they ask.

"Yeah, the can, the clink, the slammer, the state penitentiary."

"Oh," says one. "What did you do?"

"I murdered my wife. I cut her up and buried her in the back yard." There follows a long pause, and then one of them pipes up:

"Oh, so you’re single!"

We must be careful not to put our hope in the wrong thing.

Contentment cannot be found in this world just ask the people who boarded a ship who’s middle name was contentment. Our text goes on to say that our future has nothing to do with contentment and safety. Chapter 5 of 1 Thessalonians begins with the fact when people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman…” Now I’ve never been pregnant as you could probably guess. But the Bible is giving us a metaphor to help us understand that death is going to be bad for some, but for those in Christ it’s just a passage way into a whole new life.

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