5 16-23 Easter's Golden Egg
liberty bible church 3/23/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“easter’s golden egg”
Illus. of the excitement of Easter as a boy. 4. Going out to eat 3. New church clothes. 2. An Easter basket with a new baseball 1. The annual Easter Egg Hunt at the high school. Thousands of eggs filled with candy and a few eggs containing a special prize. One year, I found a golden egg. I’ll never forget that moment. I can still visualize it laying there in the grass. My dad standing over it with his foot pushing some high grass aside so that I could “find” the egg. It contained a silver dollar, dated 1899. I never spent that dollar. It was kept safely in a small box that I saved special items in. I don’t know where it is today, the box or the dollar, but I’ll never forget the look of that golden egg.
My view of what is important on Resurrection Day has changed considerably over the years. I have discovered as a born again man that new clothes and eggs and gifts are not what it’s all about. Like Christmas, Easter has been affected by culture over the centuries to mean more than what God intended. Today, I want to talk about a prize of different sort that is available today. Let’s call it, Easter’s Golden Egg.
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see what’s really important to commemorate on this day.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. READ 1-15 to get the context. Today we see the fallout from this event and here see what Easter’s Golden Egg is. But first, we see what it is not.
i. easter’s golden egg is not religion vs. 16-18
Illus. of we talk about how Easter and Christmas are popular days on the church calendar and how many people may attend church only on these holidays. This won’t benefit them. Christianity is not about religion. It’s about having a close relationship with Christ. That can’t be done by going into a church a couple of times a year. In this section, we see some people that had religion, but they didn’t have a relationship. This was not a good place to be. Why? Why is religion not the Golden Egg of Easter?
a. religion enhances your enmity with God
1. When we are born into sin, we are already at enmity with God. Religion cannot make peace with God. Cf. Eph. 2:14-18 Our sinful lives confirm our standing as God’s enemies. Cf. Rom. 8:7; James 4:4 In this paragraph, we see religious people who were enemies of God.
V 16 2. This looks back to the previous paragraph where we see Jesus heal the lame man. The healing wasn’t the problem with the religious people. It’s when He did it. It was on the Sabbath. We mentioned last week that the Sabbath was created by God for man as a day of rest. Yet, the religious leaders over the years had added many ridiculous regulations that were almost impossible to keep. Illus. of the Shabbat elevators where you don’t have to push any buttons nor turn your hotel lights off at night. They go off for you. All these rules weren’t making these people closer to God. It was taking them farther away from Him so that they hated His Son.
b. Religion will keep you from understanding God’s WOrd
1. Jesus frequently healed on the Sabbath and so this became a pointy of criticism for His enemies. His disciples were also criticized for picking a few heads of grain and eating them on the Sabbath. Obviously, Jesus’ view of God’s Law was much different than that of the current religion of that day.
V 17 2. Jesus’ point is that God keeps a different schedule than man. Even though He rested the seventh day of creation week, God’s Work is continual. God sustains His creation, He cares for His people, and makes judgments. If Jesus chooses to exercise grace and mercy on the Sabbath, that’s His prerogative. It’s His Father’s will for Him to do that. When He says, “My Father,” they understand what He is saying. He is claiming deity and authority over the Sabbath. They understand what He says, but they don’t understand to the point of believing. So or…
V 18 3. The Sabbath issue was one thing, but the blasphemy was something else. To be God to them was to make two Gods, which would be polytheism. Cf. Deut. 6:4 Part of the shema that is put in the mezuzah. Israel only believed in one God. And Jesus wasn’t Him. They were not ready to accept Him as Messiah, so, they call for His death.
Trans. RELIGION IS NOT EASTER’S GOLDEN EGG. Many people are religious, but they have no relationship with Jesus, the Son of God, in fact, God Himself. If not religion then…
ii. easter’s golden egg is the resurrection vs. 19-23
Illus. of duh!!! We already knew that. We already knew that the whole world knows that. Even pagans know that it’s about Jesus being raised from the dead. But Easter is not just about Jesus’ being raised from the dead. It’s about every believer being raised from the dead. This is not something that the world understands nor believes.
a. Jesus resurrects those whom He Wills to physical life
Is He more powerful than the Father?
V 19a 1. This is a true statement. Jesus is affirming a truth that they need to understand.
V 19b 2. Jesus is acting in concert with the Father’s will. He came to do the Father’s will and all that He did was ordained and planned by God. The Two always work together. Jesus was the instrument through Whom the Father worked when he was on the earth.
V 20 3. Jesus, as one part of the Godhead, has an intimate relationship with the Father. Even though He looked independent and rebellious to these people, just the opposite was true. He had a loving relationship and had full disclosure of all that God wanted Him to do and so fulfilled His will. And, if you think what He did in healing the paralytic was amazing, you haven’t seen anything yet. He will do even more marvelous things than this. Like what you ask??? How about raise the dead.
V 21 4. God has power over life and death and so does the Son. Jesus will demonstrate that several times in His ministry. And He not only has power over physical life, but He has power over Spiritual life and resurrection as well.
b. Jesus resurrects those whom He wills to SPiritual life
V 22 1. God has given this task to Jesus and it relates to who will receive eternal life in Heaven. Cf. V 26-30, Acts 17:31 Once again, Jesus is the judge, but He is acting in concert with the will of the Father.
V 23 2. Illus. of honoring a judge in a human court. Jesus is to be honored as a judge as well. If He is not, then we cannot honor God. One cannot worship God without Jesus. He is the key to us being in the presence of God.
EASTER’S GOLDEN EGG IS NOT RELIGION, IT’S THE RESURRECTION. But this resurrection is not a slam dunk. It’s not a guarantee. What are the stipulations?
1. It’s not works of religion. Cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7
2. It’s by believing in Jesus. Cf. John 5:36-40; 46-47; 1:12 GOSPEL
3. If you are saved, share your golden egg with others. I would have never shared my silver dollar. But our golden egg can be passed on and we lose nothing and gain eternity.
Illus. of Easter is more than golden eggs and new clothes. It’s resurrection day! It’s a reminder of the hope that we have as believers in Jesus. Oh death where is your victory oh death where is your sting? It is gone.
If you don’t have this hope, this assurance, you can, if you would believe…trust in Jesus today! Easter’s golden egg is victory over the grave. If you discover this, then you have found the greatest treasure there is.
“easter’s golden egg”
In this passage, we see what’s really important to commemorate on this day.
i. easter’s golden egg is vs. 16-18
a. religion enhances your ___________ with God
Cf. Eph. 2:14-18; Rom. 8:7; James 4:4
b. Religion will keep you from…
Cf. Deut. 6:4
ii. easter’s golden egg is vs. 19-23
A. Jesus resurrects those whom He Wills to
b. Jesus resurrects those whom He wills to
V 26-30, Acts 17:31
This resurrection is not a guarantee. What are the stipulations?
Cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7
Cf. John 5:36-40; 46-47; 1:12