04/24/11 Surprise!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, April 25, 2011 Under: Sermon

Easter Sunday

Text: Matthew 28:5-10 (HCSB)

5 But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee
; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.” 8 So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. 9 Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

[My goal] I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:10-11 (NLT) Illustration: A CHILD'S VERSION OF THE MEANING OF EASTER

Our three – year - old, Nicole, was as anxious for Easter to come as she had been for Christmas to come. Since my wife was expecting our third child in just a few weeks, many persons were giving us baby gifts since this was our first child in this church. Nicole had picked out a new dress and Mom had given her a new white bonnet. As we stopped at a store to buy her a new pair of shoes to go with her outfit, she once again said, "I can't wait for Easter, Daddy!" I asked her, "Do you know what Easter means, honey?" She replied, "Yes." "Well, what does Easter mean?" In her own sweet three-year-old way, with arms raised, a smile on her face, and at the top of her voice she said, "Surprise!" What better word could sum up the meaning of Easter! Surprise, death! Surprise, sin! Surprise, mourning disciples! Surprise, modern man! He's alive! Illustrations Unlimited

Intro: Was Christ Crucified for you?

Scene One: The Crucifixion. Vs 1 “But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.”

We are told that two criminals were crucified along with our Lord, one on his right hand and the other on his left. Both were equally close to Christ. Both saw and heard all that happened during the six hours that he hung on the cross. Both were dying men and suffering acute pain. Both were equally sinners and needed forgiveness. Yet one died in his sins, as he had lived, hardened, unrepentant, and unbelieving. The other repented, believed, cried to Jesus for mercy, and was saved.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. 3 Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don't become tired and give up.” Hebrews 12:2-3 (GW)

Scene Two: The Tomb is Empty. vs. 8 “So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news.”

Jesus arose on the first day of the week, on Sunday morning. This means that He had been in the grave for three days just as He had said.

1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” John 20:1-2 (HCSB)

Scene Three: The Resurrection He is Alive. Vs. 6 “He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. The bodily resurrection for believers involves a changed body conformed to Christ’s risen and glorified humanity.

“Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.” Romans 6:4 (HCSB)

Scene Four: Go and Tell. “Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”

"The Gospel" The word means "good news." The Christian Gospel is about Jesus (its content) and reveals God's gift of righteousness (its significance). It brings salvation (its outcome) to all who believe (its invitation).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.”

BEYOND THE CROSS

Every year thousands of people climb a mountain in the Italian Alps, passing the "stations of the cross" to stand at an outdoor crucifix. One tourist noticed a little trail that led beyond the cross. He fought through the rough thicket and, to his surprise, came upon another shrine, a shrine that symbolized the empty tomb. It was neglected. The brush had grown up around it. Almost everyone had gone as far as they cross, but there they stopped.

Far too many have gotten to the cross and have known the despair and the heartbreak. Far too few have moved beyond the cross to find the real message of Easter. That is the message of the empty tomb. Lavon Brown Illustrations Unlimited.

"Surprise!" What better word could sum up the meaning of Easter! Surprise, death! Surprise, sin! Surprise, mourning disciples! Surprise, modern man! He's alive!

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