Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Festival Of Easter
Option 1: Rev. Kelly Bedard
"Recipe For A Resurrection"
A. Rest: not until the "first day of the week," the day after the Sabbath, did any of the disciples move toward the tomb; waiting three days
B. Rebuke: for frightful wondering; looking for the dead, not seeking the
C. Remembering: the lessons Jesus gave them as they traveled together in
Galilee; He is always with us and goes before us!
D. Revitalization: as continuing disciples of Christ; not only to remember
the Jesus they knew, but now to view Him with the clarity of
post-resurrection sight and to eulogize Him
1. I've heard it suggested that many people in our pews are "functional
atheists." They may confess their belief in the living Jesus, but they often
function as if there were no God. (Brian Stoffregen)
2. A connection might be made between seeking for Jesus' body behind his
memorial stone and seeking the living one in our memories. (Stoffregen)
3. Remembering: This same word is used by a criminal on the cross, "Jesus,
remember me when you come into your kingdom" (23:42). Did he expect Jesus
just to think about him in the heavenly throne-room? I think not. Jesus'
answer indicates something more than a mental activity: "Truly I tell you,
today you will be with me in Paradise." Remembering this criminal meant
making him present with Jesus in the kingdom... This "remembering" is more
than just "thinking about," but "re-presenting" the historical event so that
we, in the present, are also participants. (Stoffregen)
4. Our connection with the resurrected Jesus has to go beyond the events at
the tomb: what, then, are the tangible evidences of the resurrection in our
present experience? Do they consist in the physical remains of the tomb, or
in Jesus' continuing presence in the lives of those who hope for his
kingdom? ... While the Gospels all affirm that the tomb was empty, they
point beyond it to the post-resurrection appearances. For all the importance
of the historical data, the Gospels ground our faith not on the stone and
the linen cloths but on the presence of the risen Lord in human experience.
Typically, it is not the persuasive power of the empty tomb but a personal
encounter with the risen Lord that leads to faith. (Culpepper, Luke, New
Option 2: Rev. Wayne Dobratz
THE FIRST VISIT TO THE GRAVE
Introduction: It is one of the most difficult things we have to do. If you
haven't taken the trip yet, you will. It's only a matter of time. After the
last prayer has been spoken and the last Amen said, you stand there-not
wanting to leave and knowing that you can't stay. It is here-at the
grave-that the reality of your loved one's death finally sinks in. That's
the way the followers of Jesus felt too. They had buried Jesus' body,
promising to finish the job they had performed so hurriedly before Friday
afternoon became the Sabbath Day at 6:00 p.m. Now on Easter Morning...
I. They come to anoint a dead body.
A. Though Jesus had told them many times that he would rise from the
dead, they didn't understand. Cf. Lk. 18:31-33
B. Grief dulled their senses, just as it does ours-Mark 16:9-13
II. They spoke with angels who had good news-text, vv. 4-7.
A. Jesus' death was a "must"-Matt. 16:21-23
B. "Must" is a Law word-cf. Matt. 15:4, 22:24, et. Al.
C. Jesus had to die so that we could be set free from the justice the Law demanded.
1. Rom. 3:19-24
2. Rom. 8:1-4
D. Jesus rose to conquer sin and death
1. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:55-58
2. As Isaiah predicted in Isa. 53:12
E. His new life is our new life.
1. Col. 3:1-4
2. Rev. 3:21
3. Rev. 17:14
III. We still need the power of Jesus' words to believe His victory-
A. Without the power of Jesus' word, there is only doubt and despair-v. 11.
Cf. Mk. 16:11 & 13.
B. Jesus comes and dispels doubts and brings joy-Lk. 24:36-40
C. He has a special blessing for those who believe without seeing-John 20:29
Matthew Henry summarizes the "must" of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection: They refer them to his own words: Remember what he spoke to you, when he was yet in Galilee. If they had duly believed and observed the prediction of it, they would easily have believed the thing itself when it came to pass; and therefore, that the tidings might not be such a surprise to them and they seemed to be, the angels repeat to them what Christ had often said in their hearing, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and though it was done by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, yet they that did it were not the less sinful for doing it. He told them that he must be crucified. Surely they could not forget that which they had with so much concern seen fulfilled; and would not this bring to their mind that which always followed, The third day he shall rise again? Observe, These angels from heaven bring not any new gospel, but put them in mind, as the angels of the churches do, of the sayings of Christ, and teach them how to apply them.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:33 PM