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The First Easter Morning

The First Easter Morning was characterized by Divine timing

The First Easter Morning was characterized by Awesome power

The First Easter Morning was characterized by Angelic proclamation

The First Easter morning was characterized by heartfelt devotion

Scripture:  Matthew 28:1-10

I.  Introduction

     - Merry Christmas in Advance #2781

          - The church was crowded.  The minister said he

            was very glad to see so many out to the Easter

            services, and, he said, "As many of you will

            not be here again until next Easter, I want to

            take this occasion to wish you a Merry                      Christmas."

         

    

     - What a joy it is to be in God's house on this

       special Lord's day

     - Many will make a special effort to attend services                  because of today's sacred nature

     - Perhaps one reason for the sacredness of this holiday

        is that we feel a bond to the events of that first

        Easter morning

     - As we rise and worship on this day we sense the joy

        and the triumph of the disciples on that very special

        morning

     - During this Sunrise service, then, we will look at

        some of the things that characterized the                         Resurrection

II. The First Easter Morning was Characterized by Divine

    Timing

     - First of all, we see that the first Easter morning

        was characterized by Divine timing

     - v. 1 says,

       "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the

       week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look

       at the tomb."

     -  According to earlier prophecies, Jesus was to rise

        from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion

     -  Matt. 12:40 says,

        "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the

        belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be                    three days and three nights in the heart of the                       earth."

      - Mark 9:31 says,

        "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the

        hands of men.  They will kill him, and after three

        days he will rise."

      - In John 2:19 Jesus says to the Jews,

        "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in

        three days."

     - In the resurrection of Christ, we see God's timing

     - God's timing was present throughout the life of

        Christ

          - It was present in his birth

              - Gal. 4:4 says,

                "But when the time had fully come, God sent

                    his Son, born of a woman, . . ."

          - It was present in his ministry

              - Groups would attempt to seize Jesus, but

                    they were prevented from doing so because

                    it was not God's time

          - It was present in his death

              - It is no coincidence that Jesus was

                    crucified during Passover, a time during                          which a lamb was slain on behalf of the                        people

          - It was present in his resurrection

     - The same God that coordinated the timing in the life

       of Christ coordinates the timing in our lives as well

     - He works through events and circumstances in ways we

        often do not understand

     - It looked as if Christ's life had come to an end

     - It looked as if his cause and his work had been

        tragically defeated on the cross

     - On the third day, however, in God's time, victory

        came out of defeat and triumph sprang forth from

        tragedy

     - The same is true of our lives today

     - As we trust and obey our heavenly Father, in His

       time, we will be victorious

III.  The First Easter Morning was Characterized by Awesome

     Power

     - Then, we can also see that the first Easter morning

        was characterized by awesome power

     - vv. 2-4 say,

       "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 Spirit of the resurrected Christ is now living in              us, if we have trusted in him as our Savior

IV.  The First Easter Morning was Characterized by Angelic

     Proclamation

     - Then, we also see in our passage that the first

        Easter morning was characterized by angelic                   proclamation

     - vv. 5-7 say,

       "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.'"

     - The angels here bore witness to the fact that Jesus

        had risen from the grave

     - No doubt there was great rejoicing in heaven

     - The Scripture says there is also great rejoicing in

        heaven over one person who repents, trusting in this

        risen Savior

V.  The First Easter Morning was Characterized by Heartfelt                              Devotion

     - Then, the first Easter morning was characterized by                 heartfelt devotion

     - vv. 8-10 say,

       "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 worshipped

       him.  Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid.

       Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee;  there

       they will see me.'"

     - What better way to honor our risen Lord than to

        fall down at his feet with embrace and worship?

     - As we continue through this Easter morning, may

       we respond to His presence with us in a similar

       way

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