A Lifetime of Love
class=MsoNormal style='margin-left:0in;text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops:list 0in'>1) 4-24-11…SBC…Easter 2011Introduction “A Life time of Love”
1- A while back, the cover of Time featured a painting of Jesus Christ that introduced a series of articles about His impact not only on our time, but also on all of humanity for all time. Reynolds Price, the writer of one of the articles, made this statement: “A serious argument can be made that no one else’s life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus.”
2- That is true. There has never been, nor will there ever be, anyone like Jesus. He stands out from all others.
3- Because Jesus died and rose again, His life proved to be powerful and enduring. His death and resurrection transformed the lives of those who believed on Easter morning, and continually transforms the lives of those who believe today.
4- Jesus had spoken to the disciples about His impending death and resurrection constantly l Lk 18:31–33
5- Nevertheless, the disciples incorrectly thought Christ was going to overthrow the Roman government and establish an earthly kingdom.
· The dreams of the disciples were destroyed when they saw Jesus crucified on a Roman cross.
· The One called the King of kings was taken and crowned with thorns.
· They saw spikes driven through His hands and feet.
· They hoped for a last-minute miracle. But none came. Their Lord was dead.
· The disciples never anticipated the Crucifixion—They misunderstood the message
6- But very early Sunday morning, 3 days after Joseph of Arimathea laid Christ in the tomb, Jesus’ message became clear.
· A lifetime of love was poured out in the space of a few hours, on the cross.
Ø What Easter is about: the love of God. A love that endured pain, ridicule, anguish, and death for the sake of us.
Ø What should be our response? Worship and Hope.
Luke 24:1-12 (have them turn to it in Bibles or follow along in bulletin)
Ø Here humanity had done its worst. Christ was put to death. The disciples left the cross, dismayed and disillusioned, the religious leaders rested in victory, and the Christ lay dead and buried in a dark garden tomb. Everything had fallen apart. But very early on Sunday morning, everything changed. Hope had arisen.
1- Mark’s Gospel tells us that Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James were present among the women (Mk 16:1). They were there to anoint His dead body.
2- Though He was dead, their love for Him refused to dim. Their faith in Him had not failed. What they had hoped for had simply not happened.
3- But God used their act of devotion and love for Jesus to publicize His plan of redemption for the world
4- (v6-7) Instead of finding the dead body of Jesus, they came face to face with holy angels of God.
5- Then they remembered His words. So they ran to tell the apostles. But when the apostles heard what had happened, they said that the story sounded like nonsense, so they would not believe it (v10–11).
6- This skepticism was squashed all too quickly when Jesus bodily appeared in the gathering of the disciples (v36-49)
Ø The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central event for followers of Jesus Christ. Paul explained its importance in “the resurrection chapter,” 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
Ø That is why Easter is such a marvelous holiday for Christians. We have the joy and privilege of celebrating Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
Ø Because the tomb is empty, the opposite of everything Paul mentioned in the passage above is true.
Ø Our faith is of great value. We are no longer in our sins. Those who have fallen asleep in Jesus are alive and in heaven.
Transition: For the followers of Jesus Christ, Easter is a time to have…
A- In Luke 18:31-34 we see that Jesus clearly and repeatedly told his disciples what was going to happen
· The importance of Easter went right over their heads.
· And the same is often true today. So many people just don’t “get” the significance of Easter.
· It is garbled in their minds with egg hunts, plastic grass, new dresses, bunnies, chicks, or chocolate.
1. Maybe you’re here today and you would admit that the importance of Easter has done right over your head too
2. Maybe you’re today because of tradition—going to church on Easter is just what you do
3. No doubt you have probably heard something like this before: Easter is about the death and resurrection of JC
4. What I want to share with right now is that Easter is so much more than just knowing, it’s about believing
5. What is revealed to us in the death and resurrection of Christ is a message of hope
· an expectation that because Christ had victory over death man can have eternal life
· this hope is only reserved for those that place their faith in Christ John 1:12
· sin—repentance—forgiveness—salvation—eternal life
· there is no hope of heaven for you if you don’t repent of your sins and accept Jesus
· but that doesn’t meant that you cease to exist—there is still an expectation for you as well
· the Bible teaches that you can expect to punished for your sins—eternal torment in fire forever
· Will you come and accept Christ today? Will you repent of sin and place your faith in Christ to save you?
· Life is a mist—here today and gone—never know how long you have—don’t put it off—believe today!
B- For the one who believes in Jesus and follows Him there is hope of a future home in heaven after this life
John 5:28-29 John 11:25
· death is a cruel harsh reality of life
· That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross.
· They were devastated. Death had crushed them.
· But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.
- They would have remembered Jesus standing at the tomb of his close friend Lazarus.
- They would have remembered that Jesus did something completely unexpected: He wept (John 11:35).
- Jesus wept, because He knew that death was not part of God's original plan.
- Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die.
- But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us.
- Jesus wept, because it broke His heart.
· But standing there at Lazarus' tomb, Jesus also delivered these hope-filled words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25).
· Death is not the end. And the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves it
· If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God. Easter brings hope to the person who has been devastated by death.
· Let us rejoice together and live out this hope because it is not death for us when we die.