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Will Easter Change Your Life?

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Easter Sermon 2018, Ressurection

Notes & Transcripts

Easter

Easter Day

Isaiah 25:6–9

1 Corinthians 15:1–11

John 20:1–18

This Gospel reading is not, as one writer has suggested, ‘a sanitized story about a trip to a garden and a lovely surprise’. If Easter is in any sense the happy ending after a sad story, that is the least important thing about it. It is not primarily an ending, but a beginning. It is the start of God’s new creation.

Line up John 20 alongside John’s prologue (1:1–18). The themes come full circle: light and darkness, new life ‘in’ the Word, the right of Jesus’ followers to become children of God (in v. 17, for the first time, Jesus calls God ‘your Father … and your God’). The later scene with Thomas echoes 1:18: the Son has unveiled the invisible God. John 1 echoes Genesis 1; in John 20, God’s new day has dawned. Twice John reminds us that it is the first day of the week.

Of all the passages which strike me as eyewitness testimony from the shadowy figure we call ‘the beloved disciple’, verse 8 is among the strongest. This ‘other disciple’, who had reached the tomb first but had paused and allowed Peter to go in ahead, went in, ‘and he saw—and believed’. Simple words with limitless depth.

This is a moment of great intimacy and power. As many find when they hear this story, the previously unthinkable dawns, not as the logical conclusion of an argument, nor as a scientific proof, but as a sudden but lasting warmth of heart and mind, an assurance in whose light the rest of the world makes a different and more powerful sort of sense. Don’t be fooled by the way people talk of ‘belief as a lesser kind of ‘knowledge’ (‘Is it raining?’ ‘I believe so’—in other words, I don’t know for sure); when John says ‘he saw and believed’ he is talking at the level of world-view, speaking of rock-bottom convictions that create the context within which knowledge itself can spring to new life.

This new sort of believing is hardly, then, the recognition that Jesus had simply ‘gone to heaven’—as one frequently hears people say, both outside the Church and inside. As Paul emphasized, quoting the earliest known confession of Christian faith, this was an event that happened at a specific time after the crucifixion (if Jesus had ‘gone to heaven when he died’, why would anyone suppose it had taken place ‘on the third day’?).

Jews like John and Paul believed firmly that the souls of God’s people were in God’s hand against the day when, in the future, God would raise them all to new life. If all Easter had done was to reaffirm that belief, there would have been no news, no new creation, no reason to break into a trot, let alone a breathless chase (people hardly ever run in the Gospels; on Easter morning they do little else). Isaiah spoke of death being abolished. Beware of speaking, instead, of its being merely redescribed.

Easter Sermon Joy of Jesus’ Resurrection
Chaos of Grief
Peached at: Hurstville Corps, Easter Sunday 2017

Introduction

Marcus Wunderlich 15th April, 2017
I have found it hard to choose the title of my sermon. I was tired between two titles. Joy of Jesus’ Resurrection with subtitle Chaos of Grief.

Introduction

Before this sermon play
Play “Easter only changed my day” by OneTimeBlind
Click

Introduction

Or Will Easter Change your life? Please feel free to let me know which title you feel is best after the sermon.
I will be focusing on the telling of Easter Sunday from John’s version. When you read each gospel account you will notice that their accounts do not match up all the time. That each witness account has differences. We see this in John that Jesus carries his cross the whole way to his crucifixion, and that there is no earth quake when his dies or darkness during Good Friday.
Turn your eyes to the screen.
Click
These difference in fact are a good thing. For more information google ‘Cold Case Christianity’.
Play “Easter Only Changed My Day” by OneTimeBlind

Chaos

Illustration of Chaos
I will be focusing on the telling of Easter Sunday from John’s gospel version. When you read each gospel account you will notice that their accounts do not match up all the time. That each witness account has differences. We see this in John’s account that Jesus carries his cross the whole way to his crucifixion, and that there is no earthquake when his dies or darkness during Good Friday.
Let me begin by sharing with you this story.
These difference in fact are a good thing. It gives more credibility of them being unique eyewitness accounts and for more information google ‘Cold Case Christianity’.
Click
Picture a young boy and if possible picture that you are that little boy.

Illustration of Chaos

The little boy is turning 4; he is playing with his toys in the lounge room. He starts to feel the pains of hunger. So he goes looking for is mum. He goes to her room and opens the door. She is lying in her bed, the phone has split from her hand. He feels unspeakable dread start to grow within his heart and all thoughts of hunger are total forgotten. His dread continues to grow with each step that he takes to his mum.
Let me begin by sharing with you this story.
He tries to wake his mum but as hard as he tries she will not wake. Finally he has to ring for help because his mother has gone to sleep to never wake again.
Picture a young boy and if possible picture that you are that little boy.
The centre of his life has gone. All that is left is her body.
The little boy is about to turning 4; he is playing with his toys in the lounge room. He starts to feel the pains of hunger. So he goes looking for his mum. He goes to her room and opens the door. She is lying in her bed, the phone has split from her hand. He feels unspeakable dread start to grow within his heart and all thoughts of hunger are total forgotten. His dread continues to grow with each step that he takes closer to his mum.
His mother is buried in a new grave, all hope is gone. All that is left is despair, sorrow, anger, tears, and chaos. The chaos of never being able to touch his mother ever again, never having her comfort and reassurance that all will be ok. Her arms are no longer there to comfort him and her kisses are no longer there to reassurance him.
He tries to wake his mum but as hard as he tries she will not wake. Finally he has to ring for help because his mother has gone to sleep to never wake again.
The next day he asks his father to take him to her grave. When he gets there he tells her all the things that have happened. Finally with despair he throws himself on top of her grave telling her how much he loves her, that he misses her so much that his heart will not stop aching. The only way for his heart to stop aching like this before was in her loving embrace, having his head caressed with sweet kisses, hearing her voice encouraging him that tomorrow all will right.
The very centre of his life has gone. All that is left is her body.
The next day, again he pleads with his dad to see his mother’s grave. Before the car pulls up his seat belt is off, before the car stops his door is open, and before the car’s engine has stopped he’s out the car running with all his strength. His dad notices that the boys stopped dead 5 metres from the grave.
His mother is buried in a new grave, all hope is gone. All that is left is despair, sorrow, anger, tears, and utter chaos. The chaos of never being able to touch his mother ever again, never having her comfort and reassurance that all will be ok. Her arms are no longer there to comfort him and her kisses are no longer there to reassurance him.
The boy has seen the soil has been removed. With each step closer he sees that more and more of the soil is missing. Until he can see that at the bottom still covered with some soil is the coffin. Finally he gets close enough to see that the top part of the lid is open. Her body is gone and he cries out “Where is my mum?”
The next day he asks his father to take him to her grave. When he gets there he tells her all the things that have happened. Finally with despair he throws himself on top of her grave telling her how much he loves her, that he misses her so much that his heart will not stop aching. The only way for his heart to stop aching like this before was in her loving embrace, having his head caressed with sweet kisses, hearing her voice encouraging him that tomorrow all will right.

Disciples Chaos

The next day, again he pleads with his dad to see his mother’s grave. Before the car pulls up his seat belt is off, before the car stops his door is open, and before the car’s engine has stopped he’s out the car running with all his strength. His dad notices that the boys stopped dead 5 metres from the grave.
For those who witness the death of Jesus it would have been an earth shattering experience. To see Jesus humiliated and shamed by being totally exposed on the cross. Darkness has come because the light of the world has died. For the disciples the centre of the universe has gone, almost to the extent that there is no reason to go on.
The boy has seen the soil has been removed. With each step closer he sees that more and more of the soil is missing. Until he can see that at the bottom still covered with some soil is the coffin. Finally he gets close enough to see that the top part of the lid is open. Her body is gone and he cries out “Where is my mum?”
click
For the little boy at his age his mother is the centre of his world and her passing bring chaos.

Disciples Chaos

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … Through him all things were made;” (,, NIV) “So the word of God became a human being and lived among us.” (, Phillips)
For those who witness the death of Jesus it would have been an earth shattering experience. To see Jesus humiliated and shamed by being totally exposed on the cross. Darkness has come because the light of the world has died. For the disciples the centre of the universe has gone, almost to the extent that there is no reason to go on.
The centre of the universe is crumbing bring about chaos. The one who orders the chaos of day one of creation is now dead. The one who spoke life and light into being is now gone.
For the little boy at his age his mother is the centre of his world and her passing bring chaos.
This is the very chaos that Mary is walking with as she heads to the tomb of Jesus. In her grief she will be facing the denial of Jesus’ death, anger for Jesus being killed, bargaining that she could have done something to prevent his death, depression from Jesus dying, and finally, but may not now, she will acceptance Jesus’ death.
Click
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … Through him all things were made;” (,, NIV) “So the word of God became a human being and lived among us.” (, Phillips)
Mary needs space to grieve to be close to Jesus, or was she just wandering aimless, being pulled irresistibly towards Jesus tomb. She needs to time to be alone and finally we see her arrive at the tomb.
The centre of the universe is crumbing bring about chaos. The one who orders the chaos of day one of creation is now dead. The one who spoke life and light into being is now gone.
When she arrives she sees that the tomb has been opened, that the massive stone has been moved. She looks into the tomb enough to see that Jesus’s body has been taken. She runs back to home to get help.
Click
This is the very chaos that Mary is walking with as she heads to the tomb of Jesus. In her grief she will be facing the denial of Jesus’ death, anger for Jesus being killed, bargaining that she could have done something to prevent his death, depression from Jesus dying, and finally, but may not now, she will acceptance Jesus’ death.

John’s Faith is growing

Mary needs space to grieve, or was she just wandering aimless, being pulled irresistibly towards Jesus tomb, to be close to Jesus. She needs time to be alone and finally we see her arrive at the tomb.

Faith is growing

Peter and John run to the tomb and see that it is open. John stops outside the entrance. Does John start having a spiritual awakening? Was he thinking about what could have happened to Jesus body? Was his chaos starting to clear slowly as he recalled Jesus telling him “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” () Because we are told that “After he [Jesus] was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.” ().
When she arrives she sees that the tomb has been opened, that the massive stone has been moved. She looks into the tomb enough to see that Jesus’s body has been taken. She runs back to home to get help.
Click
Was John starting to feel the winds of a new creation when he stepped into the tomb? Was he coming to the conclusion that no one would have taken Jesus body unwrapped from the tomb because it would have begun to decomposing. That something more fantastic had occurred. Did this realisation come from him remembering Jesus words “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (,

John’s Faith is growing

And were John’s thoughts being flamed into faith when he was reminded that only a few days before Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. That Lazarus’ resurrection shows that Jesus had the power of resurrection.
When Peter and John hear the news they run to the tomb and see that it is open. John stops outside the entrance. Does John start having a spiritual awakening? Was he thinking about what could have happened to Jesus body? Was his chaos starting to clear slowly as he recalled Jesus telling him
Click
“Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” () Because we are told that
short pause
Click
John returns home with faith, but Peter returns home without, still in the chaos of not knowing what happened to Jesus’ body.
“After he [Jesus] was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.” ().
Was John starting to feel the winds of a new creation when he stepped into the tomb? Was he coming to the conclusion that no one would have taken Jesus body unwrapped from the tomb because it would have begun to decomposing. That something more fantastic had occurred. Did this realisation come from him remembering Jesus words
Click
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (, )

Mary the disciple to the disciples

And was John’s thoughts being flamed into faith when he was reminded that only a few days before Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. That Lazarus’ resurrection shows that Jesus had the power of resurrection.
Mary stay behind and looking into the tomb. When she sees the two angles they do not give her comfort. They did not say “Jesus is not here, he has risen” like in Matthew’s gospel. They only rub salt into her wound of grief and despair by asking her “Why are you crying?” (). Yet again as turns around the unrecognised Jesus asks again “Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (). Twice she says that Jesus’ body is taken away.
John returns home with faith, but Peter returns home without, still in the chaos of not knowing what happened to Jesus’ body.
It is Jesus Christ himself who is the one to announce his return, Jesus himself who turns her sorrow into joy. Now Jesus tells Mary to carry the message to the other disciples of his resurrection.

Mary the disciple to the disciples

Section heading slide is not show to later
She is commanded to “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”() Mary is sent to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. To turn the disciples mourning into joy. She will turn there chaos into a new order, where Jesus has been risen and they have a new relationship with Jesus and God the Father.
Mary stay behind and looking into the tomb. When she sees the two angles they do not give her comfort. They did not say
Click
“Jesus is not here, he has risen” like in Matthew’s gospel. They only rub salt into her wound of grief and despair by asking her
Click

We are now Jesus’ Brother and Sisters

“Why are you crying?” (). Yet again as she turns around the unrecognised Jesus asks again “Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (). Twice she says that Jesus’ body is taken away.
Click
Here is a very important shift in the Gospel of John. Jesus now calls the disciple “my brothers” for the first time. Jesus goes further to address God as “your God” and “your Father”. The very act of Jesus’ death and resurrection has allowed the disciples to be adopted into God’s family. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God … born of God.” ()
It is Jesus Christ himself who is the one to announce his return, Jesus himself who turns her sorrow into joy. Now Jesus tells Mary to carry the message to the other disciples of his resurrection into new life.
So What?

Will Easter Change Your Life?

So What?

Click - show section header
Play ‘WHO DO YOU SAY I AM? MARY MAGDALENE (EASTER MORNING)’ by Skit Guys Studios
She is commanded by Jesus to “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”() Mary is sent to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. To turn the disciples mourning into joy. She will turn there chaos into a new order, where Jesus has been risen and they have a new relationship with Jesus and God the Father.
Click
What are we going to do after this meeting? Are we going to allow this Easter Sunday to change only today or will it change our lives?
For as we saw the first Easter Sunday changed Mary’s Life for ever.
Are we going to leave with the joy of Jesus’ resurrection as Mary did?

We are now Jesus’ Brother and Sisters

Will we leave with a fresh faith like John?
Will we leave to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus to others like Mary?
During the recent years I have had being struggling with my relationship with God. Will I allow God to bring the fresh breeze of being one of God loving children? Or will I continue to be return back to my normal life, of walking in the same rut over and over again?
Here is a very important shift in the Gospel of John.
Click - shows with bolded quoted section of verse below
Jesus now calls the disciple “my brothers” for the first time. Jesus goes further to address God as “your God” and “your Father”. The very act of Jesus’ death and resurrection has allowed the disciples to be adopted into God’s family.
Click
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God … born of God.” ()
What will you do today, because it is Sunday and Jesus has risen, he has risen in deed.

So What?

Let us turn our eyes to the screen.
Click
Play ‘WHO DO YOU SAY I AM? MARY MAGDALENE (EASTER MORNING)’ by Skit Guys Studios
Click (Slide with title Will Easter Change your Life?)
What are we going to do after this meeting? Are we going to allow this Easter Sunday to change only today or will it change our lives? For as we saw the first Easter Sunday changed Mary’s life forever. Are we going to leave with the joy of Jesus’ resurrection as Mary did? Will we leave with a fresh faith like John? Will we leave to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus to others like Mary?
Pause
During the recent years I have had being struggling with my relationship with God. Will I allow God to bring the fresh breeze of being one of God loving children? Or will I permit myself to stagnate by return to my normal life, of walking in the same rut over and over again?
What will you do today, because it is Sunday and
Click
Jesus has risen, he has risen in deed.
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