What is your defining story? It is the framework we use to determine how we understand our life mission and ultimate destination. It can guide how we face adversity and how we put into context all the suffering we see around us. This defining story can have tremendous power over us and be positive or negative. Easter gives us a chance to establish a positive life-altering narrative based on the resurrection of Jesus.
2,000 years ago Jesus was dead. The stone had been rolled in front of the tomb and the tomb was sealed. This was the end of the story for most Messiahs in the 1st century. But something different happened in the case of Jesus. It was so different that even the disciples had doubts at first. But then the astonishing truth became clear.
In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is the one who discovers that Jesus’ tomb is empty. Her immediate assumption is that somebody has taken his body. Soon she will learn that more has happened than she could imagine. When Jesus spoke her name her world changed and so did ours.
If you’re feeling soul-less and wrapped up in things that won’t let you go, Jesus offers you new life.
It had been a treacherous week. The Disciples ate the last meal with Jesus on Thursday and followed him to the garden to pray. Then there was the arrest, trial and torture of Jesus followed by his crucifixion. The Disciples were grieved and shocked by the progression of events. They knew that everything was over. All they had planned and hoped for would never happen. But then a new day started with an empty tomb.
Faith is the most powerful force in the world. When an individual believes something, it can energize them to act. When Jesus was crucified the closest people to Jesus believed he was dead. They believed that his death meant the end of their call to be disciples. But something they saw caused them to believe differently.
Easter dramatically changed the lives of the disciples. What they thought was dead was now alive. Everything changed on Easter morning. How might the empty tomb give us a different perspective on our lives? Join us for this conclusion to the “Following Jesus” sermon series. Or maybe it is just the beginning…
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on July 2, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on April 16, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg
Puppet show done at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on April 16, 2017