EASTER: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR ?(or See)
Sermon Snippets from April 20, 2014
I know, I know. The words are words to the title of a Christmas song. Vs. 1 asks, “Do you see what I see?”. The 2nd vs. asks, “Do you hear what I hear?” It may seem like an odd title to an Easter message but stay with me and we’ll all get to an understanding of this thought.
As spring time arrives there are certain sounds and sights that we look for to help us come to the point of believing that spring has actually come. Various bird sounds; geese flying north – the shrill chirping of the robins – and who can forget the frogs (peepers). We look for certain other things like crocuses, budding trees, greening grass, etc. As these springtime signs happen with increasing frequency, we breathe a sigh of relief that winter is really over.
Just as there are sights and sounds of springtime, the Resurrection also has sights and sounds that point us to some powerful truths of scripture that present to us a message of anticipation and excitement for what is coming.
- THE SOUND OF FAITH
As we read Matthew’s account of the resurrection, we join those who see the resurrection through the eyes of faith. Matt 28:6. “You seek the body of Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here. He has risen as he said.”
Some people are under the illusion, you know, that the Bible is just a whole lot of spiritual truths that are put together at random. That’s not true. Every book in the Bible starts somewhere and ends somewhere. The ending becomes climactic and exciting and thrilling and confirming and affirming to all that has been said before. So what we see in chapter 28 is not just the end of 27 chapters of a long study, it’s the climax of everything. It is the point of everything and the purpose of everything.
Read I Cor.15:12-17 NLT 12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.
Charles Hadden Spurgeon wrote, “Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die, I risk my whole eternity and the resurrection is the why.”
The whole theme of the New Testament is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We are here because of the resurrection. This is Sunday…this is the first day of the week…this is resurrection day.
It’s all about giving them and us a reason to believe and have hope. God doesn’t ask people to believe in a dead religious leader. He doesn’t ask people to take up their cross daily to follow a dead savior. He doesn’t ask people to give themselves over to serve a spiritual leader who isn’t alive to provide for and reward their disciples. When we look at the resurrection event it loudly shouts and brightly shines for all the world to hear and see, “FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR AND THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN”
What we hear and what we see in the resurrection is the sound of and the picture of the foundation our faith.
- THE SOUND OF POWER
We heard of God’s Power in the past: Plagues, the Red Sea, walls of Jericho, fire on Mt. Carmel, the Flood, etc. But never in such a display as in the Resurrection.
The Resurrection was necessary. The proof of the claims and word of Christ and God the Father. Scriptures have prophesied the coming, the suffering death, and resurrection of the Messiah. So God had to let the world see and hear His supernatural power.
At the Resurrection we hear the earthquake. The stone was rolled away. One speaker I heard mentioned it could have weighed 4 ton and 6 – 8 ft in diameter.
I don’t have to tell you about the omnipotence of God. God revealed Himself through Christ in Rev. 1:8 I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the ALMIGHTY.
- THE SOUND AND MESSAGE OF SALVATION…Good News (not discouragement and hopelessness)
The early church heard the sound of the Gospel. The cross was the ultimate act of God’s love to destroy the power of sin and set His creation free. To many today though, this isn’t good news. It’s some kind of crazy delusion or mystical experience to help people get through this life which some people consider hell on earth. Some look at Christ and salvation as a crutch of sorts for those who are weak and helpless. For some Christ and Christianity is nagging reminder of how sinful they are and want to stay as far away as they can. Yet the scriptures clearly teach that the Almighty God wants you and me to fellowship and worship Him and live with Him forever. That was His initial intention and that has never changed. Jesus died and rose from the dead to make it all possible for each of us.
The good news came in the person of Christ to those in the time of Peter, James, and John and others. It was good news to the Samaritan woman; to the adulteress woman; to blind Bartimaeus; to the lame man at the pool; to the family of Lazarus, to Mary Magdalene, to the man possessed by demons; to the tax collectors and sinners; to the lepers and prostitutes; to the widows and orphans; to the soldier and thief at the cross; to the maimed, halt and blind; and to Saul of Tarsus. AND BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST THE GOOD NEWS IS STILL FRONT PAGE NEWS TODAY! It’S STILL ABOUOT HEALING, DELIVERANCE, SETTING PEOPLE FREE, AND CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES AS THEY COME IN CONTACT WITH CHRIST WHO IS THE GOSPEL!!!!!
The Gospel rests on the Resurrection. The inability of sin, hell, and the grave to hold Christ was the final and necessary accomplishment for God’s plan of salvation and redemption to be completed.
The sight and sound of FAITH! The sight and sound of POWER! The sight and sound of SALVATION! This glorious event gives us hope, and faith, and power, and salvation unto eternal life!
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?
Listen; it is Easter!! What do you hear? Listen to the sounds of spring, what do you hear? Listen to the sounds of the organ, the music, the piano, what do you hear? Listen, God’s voice is speaking to you this morning, what do you hear? Listen, what do you hear this morning, this Easter morning? Listen: I hear a rustling, a moving, I hear the sounds of new life, I hear the sounds of death moved aside for the eternal sounds of life, wholeness. I hear the sounds of the Easter Resurrection, I hear, I see, I am convinced that Jesus is alive !! JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN…..HE IS RISEN INDEED