Sermon Summary: The Resurrection of our Lord
The stone was set. The seal was fixed. The guard was posted. The tomb which housed the body of Jesus was never left unattended! It would not be possible for people to pretend and make up stories. The purpose of the teamwork was simple – to keep one body in one grave one day beyond the third day. Alleluia, Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed.
Alleluia means “praise Yahweh” (praise the LORD). We sing that word nearly every week in worship because weekly worship is a continuation of Easter! What this day reveals is reason to praise Him with all our lives. No more anxiety then about where to find the Lord. It is the Lord who does the finding. Only a dead Lord would need you to go in search of Him. But when it is the Risen Christ, He is the one who goes in search of you. He is the one who finds you. He is the one who drives away fear, who pardons sin, who tramples down death, who embraces you with an embrace so secure that He will never let you go until you feast your eyes upon Him whom you have learned to love only with your ears.
Death is in the air. It smells. It says, “This life is all there is. Listen to your flesh. Listen to your lust, your anger, to your hopelessness, to you coveting. Eat, drink, be merry for tomorrow we die.” What a hopeless perspective on this dying world where the statistics of death are 100%.
Pursuing ultimate meaning on earth will always come up empty. Our hearts are such that they can make an idol out of good things – a good job or a healthy marriage or a sense of accomplishment or the feeling of security. Most of all our hearts can idolize our own reason and strength! But if the things of this earth are the be-all and the end-all for us, then they will be the end of us! They seem solid and tangible and real but they can be lost in an instant! They can be shaken away or swept away or simply fade away.
The truth is that we are travelling the same road as the women on their way to the tomb. They were on the way to the grave and so are we. Their mistake was heading that way thinking Jesus was dead. But Jesus opponents could not keep that one body in one grave one day beyond the third day. He brushed aside the seal and the stone and the guard as He brushed aside death itself! You see, it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him (Acts 2:24). If Christ has not been raised our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). But it was impossible for His resurrection not to happen. The women left with God’s greatest joy defeating their greatest fear!
Dear Christians – wake up and breathe in Easter Air! Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we live. Listen to the voice of your Jesus for all other things are us looking for the living among the dead.
The sacrificial Lamb of God was not exaggerating when he cried out in triumph from the cross – “It is finished!” He made peace with God for us through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20)! By His death He defeated Him who has the power of death – that is the devil (Hebrews 2:14). His open tomb shows us how complete His conquest on the cross really is. Dear Christians – wake up and breathe in Easter Air! Alleluia! Christ is risen!
You are His brothers, you are His sisters. God is at peace with you. Like the disciples and the women, we don’t always feel forgiven and free and full of hope. We don’t always feel like Jesus’ brothers and sisters. But the Easter air breathes into us this truth – that feeling is wrong. The crucified and risen Jesus was at perfect peace with the disciples and the women and He is at perfect peace with you. It is the very reason He went to the cross.
The Easter air is breathed into you here as the risen Christ comes to you now with gifts – Himself – His forgiveness – His grace – His death-defeating resurrection! You are not hoping for too much in Him! Set more hope on Him. He can carry it. He desires to carry you on by the wings of hope all the days of your life. For you have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4). You are His brothers! You are His sisters! Those titles aren’t deserved by you but they are His gifts to you!
Whatever troubles beset you – whatever worries dog you – whenever you’re tempted to despair – between that and you stands the Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen! Between that and you stands the One whom neither death, nor guard, nor devil, nor anything else in all creation could hold in that one body in one grave one day beyond the third day. Alleluia.