[CF Devotionals] 2011-04-29 - Easter Perspectives

Originally Preached 2011-04-23

This past Friday was two holidays - Earth Day and Good Friday. For earth day we are to do things that will help our planet. It is a fairly new holiday as humanity is becoming more aware of the earth's problems but, in a sense, that Friday we call good was like the original Earth day because on that day God took care of the worst of earth's problems. It was not smog, not a hole in the ozone, not any of those things but the problem of sin. The problem of sin is that it keeps us from all that is holy and good; it keeps us from God.

But God loved the world so much that he sent his son to earth as a small baby. That baby boy grew up just like you and I except he lived a perfect life. He also healed the sick and he taught the way of God to all who would listen. And then on that fateful Friday, he was betrayed, beaten, and crucified. But through the death of Jesus - an innocent perfect man, God in fleshly form – our sin problem was fixed. Jesus paid the debt of my sin and yours; he paid the debt for all of us. And that is the story of the first Earth Day and Good Friday

But the story does not end there. Easter Sunday comes.

On Friday most of Jesus' followers were scared and hopeless. The one they believed was the chosen one to free them all from sin was murdered on a cross. They went into hiding. Mark 16 tells us they were mourning and weeping. The Pharisees were perhaps celebrating that the one who was making so much trouble for them was finally taken care of. Two men who had been students of Jesus in secret, were emboldened that day to ask for his body and bury it. They were sad but they decided they would hide no longer. Friday ended with people seeing things in different ways, some were sad and scared, other s were happy, and others were bold. And that is how the story of Sunday begins too with people seeing things very differently.

Look at this cup of coke. Some of you will see it as half full and others as half empty. If I drink all of it though, I more or less settle the matter because it's empty. But some disagreeable know-it-all will say that it is full of air. Another person may see it as having the potential to be full. There are different ways to look at the glass or at any situation. Let's look in John at how 3 people saw that 1st Easter morning

John 20:1-11a (NASB)
  1. Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.
  2. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
  3. So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.
  4. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;
  5. and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.
  6. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there,
  7. and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.
  8. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.
  9. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
  10. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
  11. But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping;

Three went to the tomb and each had a different perspective that Easter Sunday. Peter looked and was curious. He went in saw the tomb empty and went home wondering what was going on. Mary looked and was sad. She couldn't even bring herself to go in. She stood outside weeping thinking that someone had come and stolen his body. John looked and believed. The Bible says he went in and saw all that Peter did and believed.

Three people saw the empty tomb that first Easter. One was curious, one was sad, and one believed. Today each of you are in one of those three categories.

Today you may be curious, "What is all the fuss about?" Speak to me or another believer and we will share with you more of this fantastic story. We will tell you how his death allows you to be forgiven of any sin no matter how horrible you may think it is.

Today you may be sad. Someone or something has stolen your hope. Well Jesus brings us all hope. It can be yours no matter how sad and hopeless you may be.

Today you may believe in which case this is a wonderful time to celebrate.

How do you look at Easter? How do you look at Jesus? I hope all of us will believe.




All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.