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Summary: Five gifts God wants to give you this Easter: 1. The truth worth trusting (vs. 5-6) 2. The life worth living (vs. 6-8) 3. The Lord worth loving (vs. 9) 4. The future worth finding (vs. 7&10) 5. The story worth sharing (vs. 6-7 & 10)

“Your Easter Experience”

Matthew 28:1-10

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Easter Morning - April 4, 2010

*How are you doing this morning? By God’s grace we are able to be here today. And I’ve got to say: you look good! Some of us have on new clothes. I’ve got on a new pair of socks!

*You look good, but how are you doing? A few of us have never been better. But most of us carried some kind of trouble here today: family trouble, financial trouble, health trouble, spiritual trouble. -- It’s all here today.

*Some of us are even as low as the women we see in vs. 1. The women who went to the tomb that morning were broken hearted, -- about as low as a person can be.

*Most of us have stood by the grave of a loved one, so we know the sorrow they carried to the tomb that day. But Jesus was more than a loved one to these women. He was their Messiah, their King, their hope of salvation and deliverance. And now He was dead. So, they went to the tomb in the deepest despair, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed all of that!

*Easter changed everything for them, and God wants to give you a day like that today!

1. This Easter God wants to give you the truth worth trusting.

*It’s the sure truth we see in vs. 5-6, where the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

*Jesus was crucified. That meant He was dead. At Jesus’ Jewish trial He was found guilty of blasphemy for claiming to be God. Then the Roman Governor Pilate had Jesus flogged. Dr. Truman Davis studied this brutal beating that left Jesus on the very edge of death.

*Jesus was tied to a post and beaten at least 39 times with a whip that had jagged bones and balls of lead woven into it. Again and again, the whip was brought down with full force on His bare shoulders, back and legs. At first, the heavy whip cut through His skin only. But as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the underlying tissues. By the end, the skin of His back was left hanging in long ribbons and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. Undoubtedly, Jesus was in serious to critical condition even before the crucifixion. It’s no wonder He was not able to carry His own cross. (1)

*Lee Strobel explained that 5 to 7 inch spikes were driven through the Lord’s wrists, crushing the median nerve, which we call the funny bone.

-Experts say this would be like squeezing your funny bone with a pair of pliers.

*Death by crucifixion was so painful that a new word was created to describe it.

-That word is “excruciating,” which is Latin for “out of the cross.”

*After Jesus’ wrists and feet were nailed securely, He was hoisted to hang on the cross. -Death from crucifixion is basically a slow death by suffocation.

-People on the cross could breathe in, but they couldn’t breathe out unless they pushed up with their feet, and of course they did.

*It was excruciating pain, and it could go on for days.

-If the Romans wanted to hasten death, they used a hammer to shatter the victim’s shin bones so he couldn’t push up anymore.

-And that’s what the executioners did to the men crucified beside Jesus.

*But when they came to Jesus, He was already dead.

-To confirm that, the soldier plunged a spear between His ribs, puncturing the sac around the heart and the heart itself, causing clear fluid and blood to flow out, which eyewitnesses recorded. Nobody came down from a cross alive -- and that included Jesus. (1)

*But now Jesus is alive! In vs. 6, the angel said it, and in vs. 9, the women saw it! “As they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’ And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.”

*A lot of people saw Jesus alive after His death. The Bible reports that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people during the 40 days after his resurrection.

-He appeared to Mary Magdalene in John 20.

-He appeared to two men walking to the village of Emmaus in Luke 24.

-He appeared to the 11 disciples (who couldn’t believe their eyes at first.) In Luke 24:39, Jesus said, “Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.”

*In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul gave a wonderful report of Jesus’ resurrection appearances:

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