The Significance of Easter
Baptist Church in Warren
April 8, 2007 Easter Sunday 10:30 am
Rev. Esther Irish, Minister
*Let those who are able, please stand
Ushers will collect Prayer cards during the first hymn.
*HYMN # 163 Christ the Lord is Risen Today
CALL TO WORSHIP
“Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.
He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6 NIV).
*HYMN OF PRAISE #165
*INVOCATION (the Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
*GLORIA PATRI (Sung together) #575
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.
*PSALM FOR TODAY Psalm 118:1-2, 14-18, 24 (NRSV)
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (bold/italic)
SCRIPTURE READING Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
OFFERING TO GOD
*DOXOLOGY (Sung together) #572
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below:
Praise him above ye heavn’ly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
*PRAYER OF DEDICATION
*HYMN OF PRAYER # 177 Rejoice, the Lord is King
For God so loved the world
[All]: That all might have eternal life.
*HYMN OF PRAISE # 168
The Day of Resurrection
SCRIPTURE TEXT Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV)
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
MESSAGE Rev. Esther Irish
The Significance of Easter
|The single most significant event in the history of the human race took place on Easter.|
*HYMN OF RESPONSE # 158
Attendance:, 2007 -
PAPA GINO’S – April 12 2007
April 12 – 4- 9 pm Papa Gino fund raiser
April 17 – 7-9 pm Diaconate Meeting
April 29 – 10:00 am worship at FBC, Swansea
May 5 – Fancy Feast
May 6 - Rev Dr Lilliana DaValle Installation service at Calvary Baptist, Providence
May 20 – First Baptist Church, Swansea worships with us
May 27 – First Baptist in America, Providence worships with us
Rev. Esther Irish – Interim Minister (h)354-2048/(c)316-4392
Dorothy Yoreo – Organist 246-1223
Rosalyn DiIorio – Carousel Nursery (h) 508-336-6432
Dan Cahoon – Custodian 245-4658
Priscilla Drummond, Secretary 253-3917
In our Thoughts and Prayers:
Virginia Conklin, 81 Rogers Avenue, Barrington, RI 02806
Madelyn Thompson, East Bay Manor #221, 1440 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence, RI 02915
Lisa Clark, 785 Main St., Warren, RI 02885
Gussie Ginalski, 147 Bay Spring Ave., Bay Spring Village, Barrington, RI 02806 Room 112
Esther Robinson, 24 Barney St., Warren, RI 02885
Romeo and Joyce Lombardi, 27 Barney St., Warren, RI 02885
Ruth Strom, East Bay Manor, 1440 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence, RI 02915
Pat Everett, 19A Sisson St., Warren, RI 02885
Ruth and Bill Frazel, East Bay Manor, 1440 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence, RI 02915
Dorothy Garvin, 27 Cottage St., Warren, RI 02885
(If you know of someone not on our list, please call the Church office: 245-3669)
Church Office and Food Pantry Hours:
M-W-F 9 a.m. – 12 noon
16 Miller Street
Warren, RI 02885
Web Address: http://starturl.com/bcwarren
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|The single most significant event in the history of the human race took place on the Sunday after Passover in about the year 30 A.D. It's the day we're celebrating today: Easter. Or, as some call it, Resurrection Sunday. Why is it the most important day in history? Because the events of that day—the events we just read about in Mark 16:—confirm three very important things about life. Without Easter Sunday, the church never would have come into existence. Without Easter Sunday, the name of Jesus Christ would be about as recognizable as the name Theudas. Who, you may ask, is Theudas? That's my point. He lived in Israel several years before Jesus. He was, in his time, a popular prophet and teacher. He attracted hundreds of followers, and when he offended the wrong people, he was put to death. Sound familiar so far? Then why haven't we ever heard of him? Because after his death his followers scattered and went on to other things, and the world soon forgot about Theudas. When Jesus died, it looked like the same thing would happen—before he was even dead the overwhelming majority of his followers had deserted him. In fact, do you remember the Apostle Peter? He was one of Jesus' key disciples. Jesus had said to him sometime earlier, "You are a rock, and on this rock I will build my church." But Peter the rock crumbled like sand when Jesus was facing death—he deserted him, he denied ever having anything to do with him, and he disappeared—he went back to his fishing boat. When Jesus died, it appeared that his cause would die with him, and that he would become as obscure as Theudas. But oddly enough, it didn't happen that way. The followers of Jesus didn't fade into oblivion. In fact, they all came back bolder and more courageous than ever before. What happened? What made the difference? Easter Sunday, that's what made the difference. Jesus died, they put him in a tomb, and everyone assumed that that was that. Then, he came back to life. He was dead and gone, and then he was alive and with them again. Seeing firsthand his resurrection from the dead changed his followers' perspective on life, and everything related to it. Now, as I said, Easter Sunday (and what it stands for—the resurrection of Jesus) confirms three important truths about life. Let's look at each one, and consider how these truths affect our lives today. First of all, because of the resurrection, we know... 1. Jesus is who he said he was. Jesus claimed to be God, and he proved it. He did what Theudas could not do: he beat death. You have probably heard people say something like, "Jesus was a great moral teacher, like Buddha, or Confucius, or Mohammed." You can't really say that, and here's why. Buddha and Confucius claimed to be moral teachers, and nothing more. Mohammed claimed to be a prophet of God, but he never claimed that he was more than just a man. Jesus made claims about himself that Buddha, Confucius, or Mohammed never made about themselves. Jesus claimed to be God. He claimed that he had always existed, that he would always exist, and that this world and everything in it belonged to him and would someday be ruled by him. Now, if I made those claims—if I stood before you this morning and said, "Folks, I am God and someday I'll rule the world"—would you leave here today thinking, What a good moral teacher our pastor is? Of course not. You would think, That woman is lying, she's crazy, and she's dangerous. And, of course, if I made those claims, you would be correct in thinking that. But when Jesus made those claims, he wasn't lying, he wasn't crazy, and he wasn't dangerous—he was telling the truth. Repeatedly Jesus claimed to be God, and it drove his enemies crazy. John 5:18 says, For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18) When Jesus referred to God as his father, he didn't say it like we say it—"I have an earthly father and God is my heavenly father"—Jesus meant quite literally that "God is my Father." Jesus claimed to be God, and he proved his claim by conquering death. Do you know what that means? It means that we have to take seriously everything he said. For example, he said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) This means we have to abandon the notion that "all religions lead to the same place" and "it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere." Jesus said specifically, "I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved." (John 10:9) Because of the resurrection, these words carry weight they never would have carried otherwise. If he had remained in the grave, the question of whether or not he is the only way to heaven would be a matter of debate. However, the resurrection answers the question, and ends the argument once and for all. Is Jesus really the son of God? Well, he has power over death, so I guess that means he is everything he claimed to be. Another important truth that Easter confirms is... 2. No situation is beyond God's power. On the surface, it appears the death of Jesus ruined everything he had talked about. It appears that his death initiates the death of his dream. It appears that God lost the battle and the devil won. He died the worst possible death that a man could die in those days. He was ridiculed, mocked, spat upon, beaten, stripped and hung on a cross—the ultimate humiliation for a Jewish person. [Galatians 3:13] The turn of events towards the end of Jesus' life ran contrary to what everyone expected would happen when the Jewish Messiah appeared. They had expected the Messiah to usher in a political kingdom. Instead, they watched everything unravel for this man whom they had come to believe was the Messiah. It was unthinkable to most people that God would be behind the events of Jesus death. Yet, God had a plan. The death of Jesus would pay for the sins of the world. Through his death, all of creation would be reconciled to God. [Colossians 1:19-20] And through his resurrection, he would be shown to be the Lord of all. Through his death, the power of death would be defeated once and for all. [1 Corinthians 15] When you read the Gospels, and read about the death of Christ, or if you've ever seen a “Passion Play” or Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, or if you've ever watched a movie that realistically portrays the life and death of Christ, you can't help but experience a sense of tragedy—a sense of loss—as Jesus is nailed to the cross. He did nothing to deserve death, yet the events of his life seemed to spin out of control and, on the surface, it appears that his enemies won the war. But God wasn't finished. In fact, since we know how the story turns out, we can almost hear God laugh triumphantly as they laid Jesus' corpse in the tomb. You can almost hear him say, "Aha! I've got you right where I want you!" Because he knew on the third day the stone that closed his tomb would be rolled away, and the blood in his lifeless body would begin to flow again, and his lungs would fill with air, and strength would return to his body, and he would stand again. He knew that through the death of Christ all the world could be saved. The resurrection proves that no event in the world is beyond God's power, or out his control. And if God can bring a dead man back to life, he can cause a resurrection in your life as well. What has died in your life? What dreams, what hopes, what relationship, what vision? What seems to be spinning out of control? What is happening in your world that appears to be beyond the hand of God? No situation is beyond his power. No circumstances are out of his control. Have you heard the sermon called "It's Friday...but Sunday's Coming!"? Oh, I wish I could preach it like the man who made it famous. His delivery, I'm afraid, is more dynamic than mine. But the idea of the message is: "It's Friday...Jesus has died...the devil is laughing because he thinks he has won...Jesus lies cold in the grave...but Sunday is coming! It's Friday and it looks that devil is winning...but Sunday is coming. It's Friday and it looks like the dream has ended...but Sunday is coming. It's Friday and you may be tempted to give up and quit...but Sunday is coming." Easter morning teaches us that no matter what happens on Friday, Sunday is coming. Nothing is beyond God's power. The resurrection makes the word "hopeless" obsolete. It makes the word "impossible" meaningless. It makes the word "despair" insignificant. That's why Paul said, And if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he ... will also give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit. (Romans 8:11) And it is why Paul said, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory...(Ephesians 3:20-21) It is also why Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) No situation is beyond God's power to save, and the resurrection proves it. Thirdly, another important truth that Easter confirms is... 3. God's forgiveness is available to everyone. As the women stepped into the empty tomb that Sunday morning, they were met by an angel dressed in a white robe. He told them that Jesus had been risen from the dead. /// I want you to notice what he said to them"Go tell his disciples AND PETER, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee...'" ...(v. 7)Why did the angel mention Peter specifically? So there wouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that God intended to fully restore this fallen disciple. All of the disciples (with the exception of John) had deserted Jesus in his final hours, but Peter's failure was the worst of all. He denied Jesus. Three times. And remember, Jesus said, "But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny before my Father in heaven." (Matthew 10:33 NRSV) I'm sure Peter believed that he was washed up as a follower of Christ, and I'm sure some of Jesus other disciples believed the same thing...about Peter. God wanted to make it clear to them, and he wants to make it clear to you now: His forgiveness is available to everyone—even you. Here's the part about the death of Jesus that no one really understood at the time, but it became increasingly obvious as time went on. When Jesus died on the cross, all the sins of the world were placed on his shoulders. Every sin ever committed—sins of the past, sins of the present, sins of the future—were all placed upon Jesus. The Bible says, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for your sin, and he paid it all. There's nothing left for you to pay. There's nothing left for you to do...except receive his forgiveness. All through his earthly ministry Jesus went around forgiving sins. His promises of forgiveness would have been meaningless without the resurrection. But the resurrection proves that he has the power to forgive your sins. Listen to me closely. If you have sin in your life, and the guilt is eating you up, God will forgive you. Your husband or wife may never forgive you. The people you work with may never forgive you. Your enemies may never forgive you. But listen! Forgiveness isn't theirs to give or withhold. The one who has power to forgive is the one who has power over death—and he will forgive you, absolutely and completely, without fail, when you come to him in repentance. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) That's why the angel said, "Tell his disciples AND PETER." Conclusion Easter Day is the most significant day in all of history. Were it not for Easter, our world would be a much different place. Because of Easter, because of the resurrection, we know that Jesus was who he said he was; he is who the Bible says he is—God in the flesh. Because he is, he has power over death, and the power to change your life. And because he is who said he was, he has the power—and the love—to wipe away your sins forever and welcome you back into his arms. Adapted from(c) Steve Maywww.PreachingTodaySermons.com|