Sermons

Summary: Because of Christ's Resurrection, we have new life, what can the resurrection teach us about that new life?

I’ve told the story before, in 2013 I was leading a teaching trip in West Africa. We flew into the capital of Ghana, Accra and then drove 16 hours to where we were teaching. Now I love the people of Ghana, and there are many things about West Africa I enjoy, but the traffic is horrendous. The 16-hour trip, covered about 600 km, and it was terrifying.

Long trips aren’t my favourite pastime. My ADHD kicks in after about 20 minutes, so I was doing the best to make myself comfortable for the trip, and that included plugging in my mp3 player, and going to sleep.

One of the other team members asked me how I could sleep in the van. Which was kind of annoying because I was almost asleep when he asked me.

One thing I discovered from working on a fishing boat, was to sleep whenever you had a chance to sleep. He then told me he was afraid he’d go to sleep and wake up dead. Interesting thought.

But what if it was the other way around, what if you expected to wake up dead and woke up alive?

When I was a teen I loved those black and white horror comics, you know like Tales of the Crypt, and a recurring theme was that of being buried alive.

And in many television shows, when things are getting tough for the writers and the ratings, they bury one of their main character’s alive.

And if you have a fear of being buried alive, then you have taphophobia and you’re not alone.

Lord Chesterfield once wrote, "All I desire for my own burial is not to be buried alive."

And George Washington instructed his family, "Have me decently buried, but do not let my body be put into a vault in less than two days after I am dead."

While Frederic Chopin insisted on even more extreme measures when he said, "Swear to make them cut me open, so that I won't be buried alive."

In the 1800’s there were many designs for what were referred to as safety coffins. The features included a breathing tube to the surface and a string that would ring a bell to alert people that you weren’t dead.

The good news is that today with autopsies, embalming and more and more people being cremated, being buried alive is the least of your worries. You can thank me later.

But if being buried alive is still a major concern of yours, and it keeps you awake at night, write this down. Bob Newhart, Stop it. Just google that and everything will be fine.

This Sunday concludes our Worst-Case Scenario series here at Cornerstone and we’ve looked at various Worst-Case Scenarios from the Bible, what to do when you lose all hope, what to do if you find yourself nailed to a cross and various other topics.

The inspiration, came from a chance encounter I had with this book, Worst Case Scenarios, a Survival Handbook. And since January we’ve given you tips on how to survive killer bees or a shark attack. What to do if your car goes in the water or if your parachute fails to open and a litany of other scenarios. And some day you’ll thank us.

This morning’s helpful hint is: How to Survive an Avalanche. 1. Struggle to stay on top of the snow by using a freestyle swimming motion. 2. If you are buried, your best chance of survival is if someone saw you get covered. 3. If you are only partially buried, you can dig your way out with your hands or by kicking at the snow. 4. If you are completely buried, chances are you will be too injured to help yourself. Well, that wasn’t entirely helpful was it? But it did come with a picture.

And on this Easter Sunday our Worst-Case Scenario is: What to do if you wake up in a grave.

The scripture that Claire read for us earlier, is one of the four descriptions of the resurrection found in the gospels. Now there are some who would point out the differences in the four accounts, but for me they make them more believable.

If three or four of us all witnessed the same event, we would all see it different. Where we were looking and when we were looking. What was important and worth remembering, and what seemed trivial and not worth mentioning.

Our first church out of college was in upstate New York, and Angela and I made a few trips home while we were there. Which involved a 12-hour drive, each way. And because we were young we discovered that if we left right after prayer meeting on Wednesday night and drove through the night, the next morning we’d be awake when we arrived and wouldn’t need to waste a day. When you’re in your early twenties, things like that make perfect sense.

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