|Create Date||April 9, 2020|
|Last Updated||April 14, 2020|
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EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE - RAISED TO NEW LIFE
Resurrection sermon for Easter Sunday 2020
What does the Resurrection of Jesus mean to you Today?
From home 12 April 2020. Presented by Gordon Green
“Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life”
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ…Don’t think of things on earth 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is our life….”
(John 20; Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:1-4).
Resurrection Sunday is the most important day in the year--the day the followers of Jesus went to his tomb early in the morning and found it empty, for he had risen from the dead.
What does Easter mean to you? What does Easter have to do with you and me today? How does it change your life?
When many Christians think of Easter they think about the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus, the women at the tomb etc. And beyond this evil, wicked, corrupt world we have the hope that one day we will be with God – face to face. – and we shall be reunited with our loved ones. The resurrection gives us tremendous hope. Hope beyond the grave. We have an amazing future. But what about today? What does Easter mean for us today? What role does a belief in life beyond the grave play within the larger issues that face us in our daily lives?
Did you know that the resurrection stories in the gospels aren’t about going to heaven when you die? In fact there is very little - almost nothing - about going to heaven after death in the whole New Testament. That should make us think. The Bible is a very deep book. There are many dimensions and levels to the truth. There is much more to the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is an astounding, astonishing, stupendous act moment - comparable only to the original creation of the universe. God’s new world has begun. The world has been redeemed. Jesus is risen and now everything is different. A new era began then and extends to us today. This is not always obvious because we live in “the time between the times”. The “already but the not yet”. Although we are in God’s Kingdom now it will not reach its full expression until sometime in the future. He is making everything new. His life now overflows from him into us. Did you know that Easter is all about a four letter word – life. Throughout the gospels Jesus kept on speaking about this life - the highest life – God life. Easter is about life - new life, abundant life, redeemed life, resurrected life. Jesus final words on the cross were “It is finished” but on Easter morning something new happened. On Easter the words “it is finished” becomes “now it begins”
He is doing something now and he is inviting us to be in what he is doing. On the night before his death, Jesus repeatedly spoke about something that would happen as the result of his death, resurrection and ascension. John 14:1-3.
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
This verse is about something so incredible, so awe inspiring, so staggering that it just doesn’t seem possible.
- “I am in my Father”
Jesus shares and participates in an extraordinary, unique, intimate relationship with his Father in the Spirit. John 1:18 - Jesus is “at the Father’s side….” Some bibles translate it: “in the bosom of the father.” One scholar writes; “to be in or on the bosom of someone means to be in his embrace, to be cherished by him as the object of intimate care and dearest affection, or as we say in English, to be a bosom friend.” That’s where Jesus is.
- “You are in me”
Jesus “lives” in a real and joyous fellowship with his Father in the Spirit. But now he says we are in Jesus. Just like a branch is in a vine we are in Jesus (John 15:1-8). United, connected, alive with him. We are in this same relationship that Jesus Christ has with his Father. We’re not on the outside looking in trying to work out how to be in this amazing relationship – we are included in it!
- “I am in you”
Your life is much more than you ever imagined! Not only are we in Jesus but he is in us. He has taken up residence inside of us. He is in our lives, hearts, thoughts and relationships and his life is being formed in us (Galatians 4:19). That is our destiny. When you go through a difficult time Jesus is experiencing it in you and with you. He is the strength to meet that trouble. In the uniqueness, weakness and fragility of each of us, he delights to express himself in us by showing his strength, compassion, joy, patience and forgiveness through us. Paul said “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). That’s true for you too. He is your life. Abandon yourself to him. Trust him to be who he is in you.
We are in him and he is in us - there is not a part of our lives that is not in him We are sharing all that he is; he is living inside of us sharing all of he is. Do you see? We have been included in their relationship, and given us a place in their shared life and fellowship and joy.
It was all part of the plan. Before creation in eternity God wanted to impart his life and make it visible through us – his Church. God wanted to share the triune life with us. His coming and his death are the expression of the unwavering, relentless, determined passion and single-minded devotion of the Father to his dreams for our adoption to have us as his beloved children.
The message of Easter is that Jesus Christ has drawn us into himself. Easter is our annual reminder and celebration of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. But this is not only Jesus’ story – it’s our story too. Because he is our representative and substitute you were buried with him and on the third day, you arose with him - full of resurrection life. We are the body he is the head. Where the head goes the body goes. When he rose from the tomb to new, glorified life, we all rose with him to newness of life (Romans 6:3-14). Now the essence of who you are is him. We have become a partaker of his divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). Paul wrote, "for me to live is Christ." That's true for you too. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. He is your life. Trust him to be who he is in you and the divine plan will unfold.
Today is the most important day of the year. This is when we celebrate the central truth of the Christian faith. Jesus is alive but what about us? We are alive in him and he is alive in us! You could say that Jesus’ intense, astonishing words in John 14:20 summarise the whole of the Christian life. It is also a description of our union with Jesus and a summary of what Jesus accomplished in his coming.
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that, through your Holy Spirit, Jesus offered his life for us, died and was raised from the dead for us, with us and as us so that we might live a new life in him. Please open our spiritual eyes so we may see this in a way we never have before. Enlighten the eyes of our heart so that we may know the hope to which you have called us and that we will understand the incredible greatness of your power for us - the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.
In Jesus name, Amen.