Easter Sunday, Christ is Risen!

Easter Sunday 2018

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Choir Anthems:

Did you notice the choir anthems? Did you notice the words? They were composed of some of our favorite Easter hymns. They have such rich truth. I want to begin by reviewing the choir anthems, think about these words:

The King is Coming:

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

Christ Arose:

He Arose! He Arose! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

Rejoice the Lord Is King

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King Adore! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice! Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice, Rejoice!

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Crown Him with many crowns,
The lamb upon His throne:
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns

All Music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life!
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
Who rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown Him King of Kings

The King Is Coming with Amazing Grace

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the streets
All the builders’ tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors
In the courtroom no debate
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes thro’ the gate

Happy faces line the hallways
Those whose lives have been redeemed
Broken homes that He has mended
Those from prison He has freed
Little children and the aged
Hand in hand stand all aglow
Who were crippled, broken, ruined
Clad in garments white as snow

I can hear the chariots rumble
I can see the marching throng
The flurry of God’s trumpets
Spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal robes are now unfolding
Heaven’s grandstand’s all in place
Heaven’s choir now assembled
Start to sing “Amazing Grace”

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Jesus is our King! To quote another hymn, we serve a risen Savior, He is in the world today…

Jesus’ resurrection is one of a few things that separates Christianity from other faiths.

POSSUMS AND THE GRAVE

I have heard that possums are smart animals. You wouldn’t think so because you hardly ever see one except when it’s dead on the road. There’s a joke that goes, “why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the possum that it could be done!”

But possums, it turns out, are smart. They won’t enter a hole if there’s just one set of tracks going into it. They know there’s something in there. But if there are two sets of tracks. The possum will enter and not be afraid.

The message of Easter is that we can enter the grave – we don’t have to fear death because there are tracks leading out of the tomb. Paul preached the proclamation of Easter: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

This is the message that we need to hear this Easter. Jesus is risen!

So, now, let’s read the passage that gives us the resurrection account, read with me

Matthew 28:1-10

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  1. Notice first that women went to the tomb.
    1. Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to the tomb.
    2. All 4 of the Gospels record this and this a proof of the gospels. Jesus even uses the women later in verse 10 to tell the rest of the resurrection.
    3. Now, these women are very upset. They are mourning. Jesus, whom they were following, had been crucified and now they are going to put spices on His body. The Jewish people did not do anything to prevent the decay of a body. Within three days the body would be decaying. Yet, not in this case.
  2. Verse 2 records a great earthquake and an angel had descended and rolled away the stone.
    1. I believe this earthquake was caused by the angels.
    2. Why did the angel roll away the stone?
    3. Jesus did not need the stone rolled away. The stone was rolled away to let the world in, not to let Jesus out!
    4. Verse 3 describes the angel and notice in verse 2 the angel is sitting. Sitting means that his work is complete.
    5. In verse 4 the guards, these Roman trained guards were shaking. The word used to describe them is the same root to describe the earthquake, seisma.
  • In verses 5-7 the angel tells the women what to do.
    1. The angel acknowledges that they are looking for Jesus.
    2. The angel tells them that He has risen.
    3. The angel tells them to look in the tomb.

In the villages of Northern India a missionary was preaching in a bazaar. As he closed, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, “You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”
The missionary smiled and said, “I should be pleased to hear what it is.”
The Muslim said, “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave.”
But the missionary just smiled and said, “That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindreds and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”

  1. The angel tells them to go and tell the others.
  2. Notice again the commonality of the Gospel. Jesus uses women to tell of His resurrection.
  1. Now, they see Jesus in verses 8-10
    1. Notice that they see Jesus and they fell at His feet.
    2. This means humility, but it also means they realize He is not an apparition. They realize He is real. They then worship Jesus.
    3. We must worship Jesus. This is why we worship on Sunday because Jesus rose on Sunday.
  2. This brings me to something else I want to talk about: why does the resurrection matter? What is the importance of the resurrection?
    1. In 1 Cor 15:3-8 the Scriptures write about Jesus appearing to the disciples and later over 500 people all at the same time. Again, Jesus showed many that He has been resurrected.
    2. Later on, in 1 Cor. 15:13-15 the Scriptures tell us that if Christ was not raised from the dead our faith is in vain! This means that our faith is useless. Later on, in that same chapter, the Scriptures write about our hope in the resurrection. You see, because Christ rose from the dead we have hope. We have hope that when we die it is not the end. We have hope that when our family members and friends who are Christians die they are not gone, but with Christ in eternal paradise. We can see them again because they will have resurrected bodies as Jesus did. Paul wrote, “Where O death is your sting.” (1 Cor. 15:55) There is no sting because we have eternal life in perfect bodies.
    3. Also, Christ’s resurrection shows that this is not simply His normal body coming back to life. No, this is a renewed body. In John 20:11-18 Jesus enters a room when the doors are locked. It seems as though our resurrected bodies may not be as limited as our current bodies. Jesus’ resurrected body will not die. Neither will yours. If you are a believer in Christ, you will have an eternal, perfect body.

Close:

Our bodies are weak and frail. That is why we die, but the resurrection gives us hope as death no longer has a sting. This happened because Jesus went to the cross. The cross is something that has caused many to stumble. To think that a King should die on a cross!

Cicero, the Roman author and orator, said, “Let the very name of the cross be far away from Roman citizens, not from their bodies only, but from their thoughts, their eyes and their ears.”

But the cross was the way that Jesus died. In His death He paid the penalty for the wrong things we do and then He rose from the dead, the first fruits of the resurrection. Our bodies are frail, but because Jesus went to the cross we have this hope that someday we will have perfect, eternal bodies in an eternal home where there is no death.

One once wrote:

He is risen!

Christ is risen! Sing it out with joyful voice!

He has burst the three days’ prison, let the whole wide earth rejoice! Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.[1]

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

 

 

 

[1] “Resurrection Victory”

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