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Sunday's Comin

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It’s Friday. But Sunday's a Coming!

“Some things are so good; I would give almost anything to have been the one who said it.  But I didn't.  It's still far too good not to share.

Dr. Tony Campolo tells the story of a little preaching competition that he had with his pastor during services at the church where he attends. Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon, perfect in every way. He had taken the congregation to the heights of glory. And as he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Campolo patted him on the knee and simply said, "Top that." The older black pastor looked at him and said, "Boy, watch the master."

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this.

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter's denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday's a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, "Father, forgive them." It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, "My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?" What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus' death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that's because It’s Friday, and they don't know it, but Sunday's a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it's Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn't the only thing that was shaking because now it's Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it's Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it's Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It's Sunday, and the crucified/resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It's Sunday. And now everything has changed.[1]

All their realities have been transformed by His resurrection!

Mary Magdalene was going to the tomb. Mark & Luke’s gospels give additional information adding she was accompanied by Mary the mother of James, and Salome and they were going to the tomb with Spices to anoint the body of Jesus.

Mary’s reality was she had witnessed the death of Jesus, he who had delivered her from the bondage of demonic possession, casting seven devils out of her. She had deep devotion and loyalty to him and was a woman of mean from Magdala.  His crucifixion had ripped deeply into her heart and the heart of the other women with her.  Out of love and loyalty they were going back to the tomb now that the Sabbath Passover is past to give proper attention for his burial.

She was so grieved that her first reaction to finding the empty tomb is to run back to Simon Peter and John and tell them “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” [2]  Her reality is one of death, grief and deep sorrow. She follows Peter and John back to the tomb and after they have checked out the empty tomb and leave Mary is left standing in the Garden weeping. She is so distressed that when the risen Lord speaks to her and asks her why she is weeping she doesn’t even realize it is Jesus.  That is, until he called her by name – Mary!

Can you see her as she turns and looks at him. In that moment she suddenly realizes it is Jesus, He is alive and everything will forever be changed! Nothing can ever be the same again. In an instant her sorrow is transformed into Joy. Her despair exchanged for hope and assurance The Resurrection of Jesus Christ transforms the reality of death, discouragement and despair into life hope and joy.

Peter & John (the other disciple)

Upon hearing of the disappearance of the body of Christ from the tomb race to the Garden.  John arrives first at the door of the tomb but he stoops down so as to look inside. Peter only a few steps behind him rushed past John entering the tomb.  As Peter looks around John follows him inside and together they see the grave clothes laying where the body had been, but the cloth that had wrapped the head of Jesus was separate, folded neatly and set to the side by it’s self. At that moment they both believe that someone had come and taken the body because the scripture tells us, “/For as yet they did not know (understand) the iScripture, that He must rise again from the dead.”[3]/

Afraid for their lives and hiding, they are more discouraged now than ever. They had dared to believe that Jesus was the long awaited promised Messiah. They had witnessed first hand his multiple miracles of healing, the multiplication of fish and bread, his walking on water, calming the raging sea and storm with a mere command, and the raising of several from the dead including the most recent of Lazarus who had been dead for four days. His death on the cross had shattered all their hopes and dreams, shipwrecked their faith upon the rocks of disillusion and fear, only now to find themselves feeling totally hopeless and helpless not even able to provide proper care and burial of his body. Even after Mary Magdalene runs to tell them that she has seen Jesus, that he is alive Mark tells us “they did not believe.”

However, later that same evening,  “the doors were shut where the disciples were 5assembled, for tfear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, u“Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He vshowed them His hands and His side. "Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”[4]

They had a reality that was all their own and it lead them to fear, discouragement and hopelessness.  But now, the revelation of the risen Christ transforms their reality. Now they have “Exceeding gladness.”   With a personal knowledge of the risen Savior they now possess a new sense of Purpose and hope.

So excited are they that they tell Thomas (one of the twelve disciples) who had not been present that evening, “We have seen the Lord.” [5] But Thomas would not believe.  You see, when you open up your heart to hope, to dream, and commit your loyalties and heart to someone or something and that someone or something gets ripped away from you your heart gets deeply wounded also.  And Thomas like so many of us when we are wounded, is building a wall of protection around his heart and his soul.  No way, is he ever going to let someone build up his hopes and dreams or stir up his heart only to rip it out in disappointment and anguish. No he said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” [6]

But eight days later, in that same room with the doors and windows shut Jesus came and stood in their midst.  This time Thomas was with them.  Jesus calls to him, /“Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and areach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be bunbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”[7] /

All their realities have been transformed by His resurrection!

John tells us at the end of chapter 20, “30 And dtruly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 ebut these are written that fyou may believe that Jesus gis the Christ, the Son of God, hand that believing you may have life in His name.” [8]

The resurrection makes all the difference and personally experiencing and encountering the resurrected Christ will transform any grave situation!

 

What grave situation are you facing in your life.  Jesus Christ wants to transform your present reality and give you a new and living reality. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.[9] ”

Christ died for our sins, “It’s Sunday and now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again.”[10]


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[1] Source: http://think_pink.typepad.com/think_pink/2006/04/its_friday_but_.html , April 14, 2007

[2] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:2

i Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:25, 31; 13:34, 35

[3] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:9

5 NU omits assembled

t John 9:22; 19:38

u John 14:27; 16:33; Eph. 2:17

v Acts 1:3

[4] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:19-20

[5] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:25

[6] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:25

a Ps. 22:16; Zech. 12:10; 13:6; 1 John 1:1

b Mark 16:14

[7] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:27-28

d John 21:25

e Luke 1:4

f John 19:35; 1 John 5:13

g Luke 2:11; 1 John 5:1

h John 3:15, 16; 5:24; [1 Pet. 1:8, 9]

[8] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 20:30-31

[9] The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995, S. Jn 10:10

[10]Rev. David Quackenbush: Illustrations of Rev. David Quackenbush., 2007

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