Easter Sunday 2017: Christ is risen, the tomb is empty!
About this morning’s sermon
Today’s “sermon” tells the Easter story in the words of Scripture. Verses from the Gospels and New Testament letters are woven together in a way that tells the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Here are some comments to help you get the most out of this Gospel story:
- So many things in the Easter story provide answers to questions we all have. Be on the look-out for answers to things you wonder about and doubt you have.
- Sometimes people try to follow along in their Bible. But the narrative jumps around from Gospel to Gospel. Instead, sit back and listen.
- As people in the story respond to what God is doing, ask yourself, “In what ways am I like them? In what ways different?”
- Pay special attention to God’s faithfulness. God is the Great Promise-Keeper. He promised to raise his promised king, the Messiah, from the dead. And he did so! Allow God’s faithfulness to develop your faith in Christ as Promise-Keeper.
- In the resurrection, God began making all things new. The world will be different because Jesus rose from the dead. God reversed evil and now offers a fresh start in his Son. Know that, with simple renewed trust in Jesus, you can experience God’s re-creating work!
- Here’s the background to some lines that might otherwise get lost:
- Wine mixed with gall: In Roman times, gall was used as an anesthetic. It deadens pain. Imagine: Jesus refused to deaden the pain of his crucifixion!
- My Lord and my God! Doubting Thomas comes full circle when he sees the Risen Jesus. For him to affirm that Jesus is his “Lord and God” is not a throwaway comment: his skepticism has been answered, his personal beliefs are transformed.
- He’s calling Elijah: Jesus’ cry from the cross begins with the Aramaic word “Eloi,” which means “my God.” But “Eloi” sounds like and can therefore be confused with the word “Elijah.”
- 153 large fish: Only an eye-witness could report the exact number!
- Peter, do you love me?: Jesus asks Peter this question three times, corresponding to the three times Peter denied him a few days before. This is a healing question.
May God bless his Word this morning. May he accomplish remarkable things in your life and mine. All glory to the Risen Christ!