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4/21 Easter 2019

Seasons: 2018-2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:47
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For the choir director: “Do Not Destroy.” A Davidic Miktam. When he fled before Saul into the cave.

1 Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me,

for I take refuge in You.

I will seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings

until danger passes.

2 I call to God Most High,

to God who fulfills His purpose for me.

3 He reaches down from heaven and saves me,

challenging the one who tramples me. Selah

God sends His faithful love and truth.

4 I am surrounded by lions;

I lie down with those who devour men.

Their teeth are spears and arrows;

their tongues are sharp swords.

5 God, be exalted above the heavens;

let Your glory be over the whole earth.

6 They prepared a net for my steps;

I was despondent.

They dug a pit ahead of me,

but they fell into it! Selah

7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident.

I will sing; I will sing praises.

8 Wake up, my soul!

Wake up, harp and lyre!

I will wake up the dawn.

9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing praises to You among the nations.

10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens;

Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

11 God, be exalted above the heavens;

let Your glory be over the whole earth.

Intro

In this morning’s passage we read, not of a triumphant David, but one who is despondent. As someone who is with very little hope. Of someone who has low spirits. David is on the run right now and it is not because he is a criminal, it is because Saul, in his paranoia, is seeking to kill David. David has been wildly successful in battle, conquering all of the enemies of Israel for Saul and Saul fears David because he knows that God has left him and is on David. And so in his jealousy and his anger, he attempts to kill David multiple times.

In chapter 18, the first attempt is interesting, because Saul promises Michal to be David’s wife if he will go and slay 200 Philistines and bring back proof of his accomplishment. I’ll leave out the proof, but you can read it in ch 18. He is hoping that the Philistines will rid him of his problem. But that fails because David comes back, unharmed with the bride price.

Body

Saul gets a bit more anxious and in chapter 19, we learn that Saul has ordered his own son and the all his servants to kill David. Jonathan intervenes on David’s behalf but then soon thereafter he hurls a javelin at David. David goes on the run and just so you get a picture of how much running David does, here is a map of David’s travels.

It is during this time where David is on the run where we he composes this psalm. Now there were two occasions for when he could have written this psalm, the first in , while hiding in the cave of Adullam after recovering the sword of Goliath. The second in , which records the very well known incident of David cutting off a piece of Saul’s robe when he is… “relieving” himself in a cave, a cave where David just so happens to be hiding in.

The second occasion is more likely the event which inspired David to compose this lament and praise psalm. Acutely aware of his need, David brings a suitable prayer. He calls out to God for mercy while at the same time, displaying complete confidence in trust in God.

Body

He read of David crying out...

Psalm 57:7–11 HCSB

7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident.

I will sing; I will sing praises.

8 Wake up, my soul!

Wake up, harp and lyre!

I will wake up the dawn.

9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing praises to You among the nations.

10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens;

Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

11 God, be exalted above the heavens;

let Your glory be over the whole earth.

David, in his time of despair, is shown as a righteous servant. He trusts God to deliver him form those who were seeking to kill him. It was not just Saul, they Philistines were also after David. He describes himself as “surrounded by lions” (verse 4). And if in fact David is writing this from the cave in the wilderness near Engedi, then it is odd that he is saying these things. He could have ended Saul. He could have killed Saul, he had several chances to do so, but he does not sin, he does not attempt to take matters into his own hands. No, vengeance belongs to the Lord. And God will be faithful to accomplish His promises and God had set up David to be king and David was not about to take it by force or on his timing. David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.

But what does any of this have to do with Easter?

Easter is so significant, it is in fact what all of the Scriptures point to. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.

INTRODUCTION Easter has been and always will be significant in the life of the Church, regardless of tradition or denomination. Most who grew up in the faith probably hold memories of buying a new outfit, hunting eggs and eating a home-cooked meal with families and friends. It’s always been a big deal, as it should be. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.

And although, we are recognizing Easter today as a day, we do not just rejoice one day out of the year. And just because we have church seasons…Easter season leading up to June 9th when the last church season of Pentecost begins…does not mean that we only recognize the resurrection of Christ for a few months. No, our lives are centered around this very real event that has implications on how we understand God, our faith, and how we live our lives. This is a significant event. An event that brings us joy and hope.

INTRODUCTION Easter has been and always will be significant in the life of the Church, regardless of tradition or denomination. Most who grew up in the faith probably hold memories of buying a new outfit, hunting eggs and eating a home-cooked meal with families and friends. It’s always been a big deal, as it should be. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.

Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.

We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life.

Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.

Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—what Paul summarizes

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 HCSB

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:3–7 HCSB

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

5 and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

7 Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

1 Corinthians 15:3–9 HCSB

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

5 and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

7 Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born,

He also appeared to me.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

1 Corinthians 15:3-7

As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

at Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

David, in his time of despair, is shown as a righteous servant. He trusts God to deliver him form those who were seeking to kill him. It was not just Saul, they Philistines were also after David. He describes himself as “surrounded by lions” (verse 4). And if in fact David is writing this from the cave in the wilderness near Engedi, then it is odd that he is saying these things. He could have ended Saul. He could have killed Saul, he had several chances to do so, but he does not sin, he does not attempt to take matters into his own hands. No, vengeance belongs to the Lord. And God will be faithful to accomplish His promises and God had set up David to be king and David was not about to take it by force or on his timing. David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.

Easter is a moveable season, not set on a particular date but based around a system established by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. In this system, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which means the date of Easter can range between March 22 and April 25, depending on the lunar cycle.

Christians have celebrated Easter in a number of ways over the centuries, but the most notable is the Easter Vigil, a service between sundown on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Historically an event to baptize new converts, this service features a progression of light, starting with complete darkness, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the victory of light over darkness. When practiced indoors, churches will often time the service to take place as the sun rises and begins to shine through the windows of the building, or the lights will be turned completely up at the climax of the service.

He is with hope in the midst of despair and yet what is his response? Complete trust in God. He has this advantageous opportunity to end his "vacation” in the desert but he refuses to kill Saul. And God delivers him and David responds appropriately.

David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.

While the Easter Vigil tends to be practiced in more traditional, liturgical churches, many other churches make music a focal point of Easter, specifically on Easter Sunday. In these settings, there will be special musical arrangements and songs focused on the resurrection of Christ. Some churches also display an empty tomb or flowering cross in the entrances of their buildings as prominent symbols.

What does any of this have to do with Easter?

There is a story of a man was hiking on a mountain. And as he is enjoying his trek, he loses his footing and begins to slide down the face of the mountain towards a cliff, a cliff which would be the end of him. As he is sliding he is frantically trying to slow himself down, but he knows there is nothing that he can do and so he lifts up a quick prayer to God to save him and promises that he would dedicate his life for him and give away all that he has. And miraculously, out of nowhere, his pant leg gets caught by a tree root that was sticking up out of the ground and it stops him right before he goes over the edge. The man gets up and walks away from the ledge and says, “Never mind God, I handled it.”

David is not like that man. He did not think for even a minute that he had done something to bring himself salvation.

Flowers and Greenery: white lilies, hydrangeas

Verse 2-3 “I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. He reaches down from heaven and saves me.” David put his trust in God. He does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God was the One who brought him salvation. We can be like that at times, can we not? No, instead we read a completely different reaction from Him.

David does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God had saved him.

Psalm 57:7–11 HCSB

7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident.

I will sing; I will sing praises.

8 Wake up, my soul!

Wake up, harp and lyre!

I will wake up the dawn.

9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing praises to You among the nations.

10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens;

Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

11 God, be exalted above the heavens;

let Your glory be over the whole earth.

Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.

Remember what?

Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.

does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God had saved him.

When was it that God reached down from heaven and saved us? When was it that he sent us faithful love and truth? When was it that the challenging one was trampled under foot?

Easter brings us these answers. As I am sure you are all aware, today is Easter. It is the most significant event in the life of the Church because without the resurrection, we are as Paul describes us, pitiable fools.

We are those who are without hope. Without the resurrection, everything that Jesus had done on earth, to include his death on the cross is meaningless. His words are just the ramblings of a man who is crazy. Someone who is a deceiver, claiming to be God and saying that he will rise again in three days would decisively conclude that he was a blasphemous, false prophet. His works would be difficult to explain, but would be reduced to simply tricks or the work of Satan.

But what does any of this have to do with Easter?

Easter is so significant, it is in fact what all of the Scriptures point to. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life With God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.

And although, we are recognizing Easter today as a day, we do not just rejoice one day out of the year. And just because we have church seasons…Easter season leading up to June 9th when the last church season of Pentecost begins…does not mean that we only recognize the resurrection of Christ for a few months. No, our lives are centered around this very real event that has implications on how we understand God, our faith, and how we live our lives. This is a significant event. An event that brings us joy and hope as we remember that God sent His son to save those who had not earned salvation.

Romans 5:8 HCSB

8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. That the lions that surround us and the net prepared before our feet is the end of us.

We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life.

The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—what Paul summarizes in his letter to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 HCSB

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

In Easter, The Most High descended low. God has sent His Son from heaven to save you. In steadfast love, the immortal God took on mortality in Christ and was crucified and buried. But that’s not the end of the story. The cross does not have the final word. Because Christ humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross, God has exalted Him in the heavens (). David’s worship is passionate because his recollection of God’s mercy is fresh. On a day like this, we remember—with exploding thankfulness—that we have been rescued! The Lord is risen. Let your praise pierce the morning!

Conclusion

How can it be that on this day, when we, along with the whole world is reminded of the greatest news ever can we give little praise.

1 Corinthians 15:50–58 HCSB

50 Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery:

We will not all fall asleep,

but we will all be changed,

52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye,

at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound,

and the dead will be raised incorruptible,

and we will be changed.

53 For this corruptible must be clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal must be clothed

with immortality.

54 When this corruptible is clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal is clothed

with immortality,

then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

55 Death, where is your victory?

Death, where is your sting?

56 Now the sting of death is sin,

and the power of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ!

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Cor 15:

As David trusted in the Lord to accomplish His promise to him, not taking matters into his own hands, and despite all of the danger in his life…may we also trust in the Lord and hold on to His promises. He is faithful. He is worthy of praise, not just on Easter, but all the days of our lives.

But Easter is more than just a Sunday. While it centers around one specific event—Christ being raised from the dead—the Church has historically practiced Easter not as a day but as a season. It is a time to celebrate the glorious Resurrection and to consider the implications of that Resurrection, both for how we understand God and our faith and how we live our lives.

Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.

Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the

hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.

HISTORY & TRADITIONS The history of Easter goes back to the very beginning of the Early Church. We see that in the book of Acts, Christians were gathering together the first day of the week, in honor of Easter Sunday (). In AD 321, after Rome became a Christian nation, Sunday was officially named the day of Christian worship. Easter was originally a part of Passover, but as the Church began putting a greater emphasis on Holy Week, early Christians started celebrating Easter as a separate, annual feast sometime in the fourth century, and it’s remained an annual celebration since that time.

Easter is a moveable season, not set on a particular date but based around a system established by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. In this system, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which means the date of Easter can range between March 22 and April 25, depending on the lunar cycle.

Christians have celebrated Easter in a number of ways over the centuries, but the most notable is the Easter Vigil, a service between sundown on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Historically an event to baptize new converts, this service features a progression of light, starting with complete darkness, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the victory of light over darkness. When practiced indoors, churches will often time the service to take place as the sun rises and begins to shine through the windows of the building, or the lights will be turned completely up at the climax of the service.

While the Easter Vigil tends to be practiced in more traditional, liturgical churches, many other churches make music a focal point of Easter, specifically on Easter Sunday. In these settings, there will be special musical arrangements and songs focused on the resurrection of Christ. Some churches also display an empty tomb or flowering cross in the entrances of their buildings as prominent symbols.

Posture: celebratory, courageous, joyful, hopeful Colors: white, purple, gold Symbols: empty tomb, sunrise, lilies, flowering cross

Flowers and Greenery: white lilies, hydrangeas

DEVOTIONAL Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.

So, what did God do? Why is He worthy of praise? The Most High descended low. God has sent His Son from heaven to save you. In steadfast love, the immortal God took on mortality in Christ and was crucified and buried. But that’s not the end of the story. The cross does not have the final word. Because Christ humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross, God has exalted Him in the heavens (). David’s worship is passionate because his recollection of God’s mercy is fresh. On a day like this, we remember—with exploding thankfulness—that we have been rescued! The Lord is

risen. He is risen indeed! Let your praise pierce the morning!

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