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Early Dawn

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Jesus is risen indeed!

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Introduction

Good morning and Happy Easter! Missing folks, and going old school with the song books! But even while missing some to the normal Sunday AM components, there’s something extra in our hearts because we are especially mindful of a glorious truth: Christ is Risen!
Series: Over the past few weeks we have studied the passion of Jesus — his suffering, his death, and his burial. Our reading ended last week with the body of Jesus in tomb.
This morning:
1) pick that reading up right where we left off — chap. 24—and let it’s message lead us into worship
2) reflect a little bit more toward the end of service on what it means for us.

Read

The women who had seen how Jesus’ body was laid were returning after the Sabbath with more spices. There was no question at what they expected to find.
Mk. - they were concerned about the stone
“they did no find the body of the Lord Jesus… perplexed about this”
Angelic proclamation that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
They remembered Jesus’ words, returned and told...
Named the women - While Lk doesn’t mention Jesus’ appearances to the women, the other 3 gospels make point out that he appeared first to women. No advantage in including these details—the testimony of women was regarded as worthless, not even admissible in court.
seemed an idle tale / nonsense
“But Peter rose and ran”… marveling at what had happened.

April Fools?

Read and comment on text
Lead into April Fools
It’s been sixty-two years since Easter landed on April Fools’ Day, 1956 (a day of practical jokes, we regard everything with scepticism)
It appropriate
It seems appropriate to me that we are talking about Jesus’ resurrection on such a day, because that is what a good deal of the world thinks it is: a hoax.
It does seem sort of “out there” — a man rising from the dead. It’s important that we notice that it seemed “out there” / “nonsense” to those who are responsible for telling us about it.
C.S. Lewis - “chronological snobbery” - when we think our skepticism is based on modern progress, while the ancients would have been more ready to accept the supernatural
They were skeptical, too. This was as far-fetched as anything in their time.
Yet, though they were skeptical and unbelieving, they were convinced. Fully convinced.

Appearances

When we consider evidence for the resurrection, there are two parts that taken together are very convincing:
empty
empty tomb - no one argued that point. There were questions as to what may have happened to the body, but it is a solid historical fact that Jesus’ tomb was empty.
multiple appearances -
women - no reason to include that, except that it happened
to disciples who had to be convinced
- to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote it.
“It is the report of a man who had never known Jesus before the crucifixion, and who had once persecuted Jesus’s followers, but who also believed that he had experienced the risen Christ, with such shattering power that he too preferred death to apostasy.” David Bentley Hart
There was a sudden and widespread movement that can be explained by nothing other than a real event. Movements don’t form as rapidly as this when they are based on legend… it takes a real event to so radically change peoples beliefs and behaviors. They saw the evidence.
Who would die for a hoax?
“You could mow these Christians down, you could throw them to the lions but you cold not make them deny their Lord or hate their persecutors.” —Michael Green
The resurrection of Jesus is no April Fools’ Joke. It was not a legend that spread — legends don’t don’t that.
Jesus is risen indeed!
Peter is marveling
Marvel / Wonder at this.

Early Dawn

Dawn came early
W
Living in the presence of Christ in Everyday Life
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