“Easter Is Your Invitation”
Matthew 28: 1-10
Pearl: There are innumerable entry points into relationship with Jesus and the reality of Easter.
Function: Sermon will provide several entry points from human experience into the reality of Easter and to set up the Cantata “Come, Touch the Robe” which will be the pinnacle of the message and Easter experience of worship.
The annual celebration of Easter as a holiday was a later development for the church of Jesus Christ in its early years. For me personally, Easter is always the big event of the year. But in reality, as the song goes, “every morning is Easter morning!”
- The early church was always aware of the victory of life over death, Jesus’ resurrection, each and every time they worshipped and when they celebrated the Passover—Eucharistic liturgy. In truth, so are we!
- The truth is that believers constantly depend upon what God accomplished in raising Jesus from the dead!
- So the point today, and in every moment of worship, and in every day is to “enter into the reality of Easter, that is, to enter into relationship with your Lord Jesus Christ and into his Way of Life.
- There are innumerable entry points into that relationship, that reality.
You and I are constantly invited to connect with the risen Christ. Every experience of life is a portal of entry to Christ the Lord. In a few moments the choir will reinforce this message with the Cantata “Come, Touch the Robe.”
- A woman lived in what might be described today as suicidal desperation due to a prolonged physical malady. Not knowing where to turn she was inspired to go to Jesus. Her faith in him was such that she believed that all she needed to do was to touch a piece of his robe. She made her way to him in a crowd of people succeeding to touch his outer garment. He knew it and felt it somehow. Perhaps by the spirit he felt her touch his robe.
- You may be desperate for healing, for restoration, for renewal, for reconciliation. Many things lead to our desperation. Your desperation, as difficult as it is, can be a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- In times of spiritual highs and shear wonder you find your Way to the power which is Easter, to Jesus Christ.
- Jesus was transfigured right before the eyes of Peter, James, and John. There are such times in life. Palm Sunday was another one. These times do come. You might be in one now. You can look forward to them if you are patient. You might ask God to give you one, if you wish.
- Another way into relationship with Jesus and the power of Easter is through serving others. By making yourself vulnerable, and by putting the interests of others ahead of your own interests, you find a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- This was Jesus’ clear intent to teach when he took off his robe and picked up a towel to wash the feet of his disciples. He told them that they should do this as well. For by so doing, they would find the power and the essence of life as intended by God.
- Maybe things are not going well for you. Maybe they are plain wrong and unjust. Maybe you are being treated unfairly as a victim. When things are going terribly wrong for you, believe by faith that even these times can be a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- Jesus’ trial before Pilate was a total farce. There was no justice in it. It was a total sham. Jesus endured it. He accepted it. He took the abuse of it. Eventually, for him it became a way to victory. When goodness stays good even in the face of evil, good prevails.
- By faith, trust that the injustice and unfairness which you are experiencing is another point of entry, a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- Many of you are strong, by no means weak. You have plenty of worldly power. You are doing well. There are many who are strong and who lift up others. The world runs by people like you. Even your strength is an entry point, a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ. You who are strong also recognize true power when you see it.
- One of the soldiers present at the crucifixion of Jesus saw Jesus for who he was. He watched Jesus take what he took. He witnessed his inner strength. He saw Jesus tortured, beaten, cursed, and shamed, yet maintaining his inner dignity. And so when Jesus breathed his last, this powerful soldier announced: “Truly, this man is the Son of God.” Your strength is also a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- There will finally be one experience that will be common for every one of us: we will all die. This great enemy of the living will become reality for each and every one of us. But through faith in Jesus Christ even death will be a portal; even death will be a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- Christ Jesus died. But three days later he was raised. He is alive. He reigns in power. Death could not hold him. Neither will death be able to hold you. Even death will be an entry point, a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.
- More than even this heaven itself will be a portal of entry to the new world through Jesus Christ. When he comes again to judge the living and the dead and to inaugurate the new earth and new heaven we will all be with him and the image of a common garment, a heavenly robe, will be the sign of our eternal reign with Christ Jesus our Lord.
- But know this, you don’t have to wait until that day sometime in the future; you can enter into relationship with Jesus on earth any day and any time because every morning is Easter morning, and every day is resurrection day!
- And now we pray that this Cantata will be a Way to the power which is Easter, a Way to Jesus Christ.