April 21, 2019 Sermon

Ebenezer Erskine was born after his mother died. It was a long time ago and she passed away. The funeral took place soon after. The preacher saw that her ring was still on her finger and he decided to supplement his income by waiting until midnight, digging up the body, and removing the ring. When he cut into her finger with a knife, she sat up, startled, and climbed out of the casket. The family was shocked, yet elated that she was "risen from the dead". Later, she would give birth to Ebenezer and his brother. Later, Ebenezer would found Erskine College and Seminary.

While it was not totally rare for situations like this to happen, we do know that while Ebenezer's mom was still alive, Jesus was dead...for sure. When Jesus was buried, the people saw their hopes and dreams close behind that stone of the tomb. He was dead. This is true. This wasn't fake news. He was beaten, battered, nailed to The Cross, and had no pulse. Jesus was gone. He was wrapped in a linen cloth. The stone, too big for one man to move, was rolled into place by the Roman soldiers. Later, two women, despite their belief that He was gone, still decided to check on Jesus anyway. "He is risen!"

The Cross was the place for Romans to punish the worst of the worst. Jesus was crucified and this made The Cross something special. We hold The Cross with such reverence that we wear necklaces, printed shirts, and even tattoos to show our appreciation for what The Cross did for us. The Cross guaranteed us that our sins have already been paid for.

The Resurrection changes people. We think about how broken our lives are, but we must be happy that the broken people of The Bible was left in there! They could have taken that out, but by leaving that in, we have hope for our own broken and battered lives. It also shows how most (all?) of our problems are minor compared to the lives that were broken and battered in the Good Book. If each of these people were able to come back from their broken and battered lives, what does that say about what we can do if we just follow their script for our own lives?

Look at the transformation of all of the people in The Bible. They went from being scared of other people to being transformed into strong, powerful people with the Power of God on their side and willing to do whatever it took to bring people to the Feet of Jesus. His Death gave us hope because Jesus is ALIVE! His Blood was shed to cover us. He will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Easter isn't just some memorial service for Christ. He IS Risen! Jesus is the only door to Heaven. The Resurrection gives us the message that everyone who needs to hear it. We need to share the Good News with all. The Message of Jesus means that our sins are washed away, our condemnation was nailed to The Cross, and our names are written in the Book of Heaven.

Praise the Lord that He was Risen then and is still Risen today!

Matthew 28:5-6, I Corinthians 15:1-58

- Jon Bruney

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

Jon Bruney, Pastor          Gene Force, Elder

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Credit to BibleGateway.com for verses.