Summary: Final in the series which discusses how the celebrations in our lives are significant and how Easter is one continuous celebration!
“Why Celebrating Makes All The Difference”
How many of you like to attend parties, I mean really good parties? What does it take for a party to be a really good one? [some participation this morning please].
Americans don’t need too much excuse to have a party. Wedding ~ Super Bowl ~ Birthdays ~ Anniversaries ~ Retirement ~ Weekend ~ Funerals. Funerals? What would it take to make a funeral a “really good party”?
What if the dead came back to life? Not to just check on the will, but what if they really came back to life?
If the dead come back to life, that would be a reason to celebrate.
It has happened before:
-Dead man who fell on Elisha’s bones;
-Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones;
-Mary & Martha’s brother Lazarus after 4 days;
-Eutychus fell asleep and out a window = Paul’s sermons.
But there was one to top them all: Jesus. When Jesus arose from the dead, that was a reason to celebrate!
Can you think of any reasons why a resurrection would cause you to want to celebrate? Let’s look back over the resurrection story and see what reasons there were to celebrate.
Feeling up to a really good party?
We Can Celebrate With:
1. Joseph of Arimathea. Because he got his tomb back!
-There is a good feeling that accompanies finally getting something back from someone who borrowed it.
-There is a day coming in heaven where the celebration will be like that. One day we will give to Jesus all that He has given to us on loan: His Spirit, His gifts, His accomplishments in us and through us. And like crowns, we will cast them all at his feet! What a celebration that will be! That gives us hope in this life!
2. We can celebrate with James, Andrew & the other Disciples because they got their friend back!
-There is always something special about seeing good friends. It brings the best out of us. It makes us more alive and helps us to be the best person we really want to be!
-Because of Jesus, the friends we have in Christ here, will be friends over there! What a celebration that will be! That gives us hope in this life!
3. We can celebrate with Peter because he was forgiven!
-Forgiveness is a 2nd chance! There is always something special about having second chances.
-On the computer, there is this command I can use when I mess up. It happens when I hold the control key and then press ‘Z’. Control Z “undoes” what I just did. In fact, in some programs, Ctrl Z can undo several times back! 20-40 times!
-Ever wish you could Ctrl Z a day? Your whole life? 2nd chances are wonderful?
-Because of Jesus, we have 2nd chances, and 3rd, 4th, 5,000ths! And we can grant 2nd chances too! And knowing we are forgiven, now that’s a reason to celebrate.
4. We can celebrate with John, the disciple Jesus loved, because he got his best-good-friend back = the person he loved the most with all of his heart came back into his life!
-There is something about a good nickname that takes you right back to the moment you got it! “The disciple Jesus loved.”
-Because of Jesus, John would always be known as “the disciple Jesus loved”
And because of Jesus, we will never be out His love! Love is a wonderful reason to celebrate.
There are many others we can celebrate with:
=Mary Magdalene, b/c Jesus didn’t let her keep thinking he was the gardener.
=Nicodemus, b/c now he knows exactly what Jesus meant when he said, “You must be born again.”
=Jewish believers = the fullness of the Law & Prophets in Jesus
=Gentile believers = have adoption into His family
But there is one more I want to mention...
5. We can celebrate with Mary, the mother of Jesus because she got her Son back!
-I have heard it said, “Parents should never outlive their children.” Many do.
-But because of Jesus, our family in Christ here will be with us forever over there!
Do you see why we can celebrate Jesus?
Jesus gives us many reasons to celebrate. Let’s look back over the five I gave you.
1. Family is forever in Jesus.
2. Friends are forever in Jesus.
3. Love is forever b/c of Jesus!
4. Forgiveness & 2nd chances are available b/c of Jesus.
5. His presence & power are forever --and that’s hope to live by!
Good food, good folks, a very good host --good fun!
Now that’s a reason to celebrate.
When the dead are raised at a funeral, we can all go home. With Jesus Christ, we ALWAYS have a reason to celebrate. Jesus has been raised, “HE IS RISEN”!