Summary: This is a seeker sort of Easter message looking at Peter

So what’s the big deal about Easter?

Three Canadian blondes died and found themselves standing before St.Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter represented. The first blonde said, “Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey.” St. Peter said, “Noooooo,”

The second blonde said, “Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and exchange gifts.” St. Peter said, “Noooooo,”

The third blonde said she knew what Easter was, and St. Peter said, “So, tell me.” She said, “Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with his disciples when He was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested Him. The Romans hung Him on the cross and eventually He died. Then they buried Him in a tomb behind a very large boulder … ”

St. Peter said, “Verrrrrry good.”

Then the blonde continued, “Now, every year the Jews roll away the boulder and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of hockey.”

Okay, I know that’s really not that funny... In planning this service, We thought about ways to make easter cool. We almost kicked off our new series today - but its Easter, and truthfully Easter is pretty cool in and of itself...

Easter origin actually began as a part of the Jewish Passover, as Christ was crucified and resurrected during Passover week. Christ is believed by Christians to actually be the Passover Lamb spoken of in Exodus, for He Himself became the perfect, sinless sacrifice for the sins of all people. Jews who chose to follow Christ then honored this day in succeeding years during the Passover season, but as Christianity was spread throughout non-christian nations, the celebration of Easter was gradually combined with pagan "rites of spring" traditions. Modern celebrations are the result of this compromise. That’s where we get the name Easter - It’s where we get the eggs and the bunny...

So what’s the big deal about Easter - why is Easter so important?

Easter is the culmination of the claim that Jesus is the Son of God.

Christianity teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin - his father being God. That he among us in the flesh and that he lived a sinless life. Christianity teaches that he Jesus willingly gave his life for the atonement of our sins on the cross...

If Christ had been crucified and stayed dead then what does that say about our salvation? What does that say about Jesus’ promise of life forever with him? If Christ had simply died - he’d have died a martyr, and a great teacher - but also a failure...

You see that if you read the gospels and pay attention to his disciples. As Christ was crucified his followers go into hiding. They had expected a lot from Jesus - many of them thought that he would even set up an earthly throne - but none of them expected his life to end hanging on a cross...

But Easter morning changed everything... Read John 20:1-9

All throughout the gospel accounts - Jesus talks about his death and even his resurrection - but his disciples just glossed over it... I’m not sure how honestly, but they didn’t get it. John and Peter race to the tomb... Jesus isn’t there and it dawns on them. John sees the empty tomb and he believes - Peter is silent...

I love a quote from C.S. Lewis... He was an atheist for most of his life. But eventually he came to look at Christ as his savior. He came to the conclusion that there are only three possibilities when looking at the claims of Christ. “Jesus Christ claimed to be God. Therefore, to say He is just a "good man" or "great teacher" is to call him a liar. Any sane person who would claim to be God, but who in fact, is not, must then be a madman - a lunatic! If Christ is neither a liar nor a lunatic, then there is only one other possible conclusion - He must be the Lord!” If He is the Lord, what does Resurrection Day mean to you?

Listen to what John says after the resurrection... Read John 20:30-31

Christ being resurrected means that my faith is placed in the right person. That Jesus is the Son of God.

Christ being resurrected means that forgiveness of sin is real - that I can give him my sins and they can be forgiven

Christ being resurrected means that the new life that Christ promises is possible and that life beyond the grave is possible too

But what if you asked Peter - I think the resurrected Christ meant for Peter a second chance... Peter blew it. Peter was one of Christ’s disciples. he was one of the inner circle. Peter was always first - first to speak, first to get in trouble - Peter was a mess... At the last supper, as Jesus said he was going to die, Peter said he would take his place. He would defend Christ to the death - but in the end he betrays Christ...

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