'17 Sonrise Service

1 Corinthians 15:3,4 [NIV] the Apostle Paul wrote
For what I received
I passed on to you
as of first importance: 
that Christ died for our sins
according to the
Scriptures, 
4 that he was buried, 
that he was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures

EASTER STORY IN A NUTSHELL
JESUS: Died for our sins
Was buried
Raised from the dead 

Remember; Rick Warren’s best selling book; “The Purpose Driven Life” and the first line of the first chapter. “It’s not about you.”
While a few years before Rick, quite a few years –God wrote a best selling book called the Bible and the first line of the first chapter is all about God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” The whole book is about God, and climax of the book is: 
 JESUS: Died for our sins
 Was buried
 Raised from the dead
 
Let’s pick up the resurrection account in the gospel of John at chapter 20. I’m going to read the first 10 verses and interject some ponderings. John 20:1-10
1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, How early? Dark early! 
O dark early on Sunday Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 
How close to the tomb did she get? Could she even in the darkness of early morning see from a distance that the tomb was open? WHY WAS THE STONE ROLLED AWAY? TO LET JESUS OUT? 
TO LET US IN? 
 
Verse 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. You’ve got to love the Apostle John in the same sentence he speaks to his humility and to his confidence- what a great example, great role model – oh that we could with some consistency be both that humble “other Disciple” and at the same time that confidant “beloved!”
She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 
They, who? Who’s the they? 
Or better yet, let me just ask; 
What hurt, what habit, what hang up is keeping you from finding Jesus? 
Remember- sometimes you have to read the Bible and sometimes you have to let the Bible read you. 

Verse 3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 
Did John’s great love for Jesus make him run faster, or was he just younger than Peter? 
Did Peter’s great guilt keep him from hurrying, it had only been three days since he denied Jesus three times, or was he just older? 
Verse 5 says He [John] stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Why didn’t John go in? 
Was he just waiting for Peter? 
Just how much slower was Peter? 
Why the mention of the linen wrappings?
 
The word “saw” is used three times in four verses, each time it’s used - it has a different meaning. Here in verse 5 the word “saw” refers in the Greek to a glance, a quick peek. 
Verse 6 says; Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there. The word noticed, or saw refers to a more careful observation. More than a glance, there is a pondering, a wonder brewing. 

Verse 7, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. More intrigue! What’s up with this? 
God in his glory gives us a glimpse of His grace 

Verse 8 reads: Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—The Greek work used here for “saw” meant to reason, to scrutinize, to theorize, to weigh, to ponder; to perceive with intelligent comprehension. In short. John GOT IT! He as much as says so in the next verse.
 
9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 
 JESUS: Died for our sins
 Was buried
 Raised from the dead
John saw and John believed and verse 10
10 Then they went home. 
Anticlimactic or just simply honest? 

On your way home – some ponderings: 
A.W. Pink said; “We cannot make too much of the death of Christ, but we can make too little of His resurrection.”

At first glance Mary made assumptions
At first glance Peter was intrigued. 
At second glance, John believed! 
JESUS: Died for our sins
 Was buried
 Raised from the dead 

LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK 

I love how David Platt says it; “Our goal is not great faith. That is not our goal, to have great faith; our goal is to have just a little bit of faith in a great God”

If I were to attempt to describe, to explain Easter in a word. I’d just shout; Hallelujah
 
 JESUS: Died for our sins
 Was buried
 Raised from the dead 

If I were to attempt to describe, to explain Easter in a phrase. It would be: BUT NOW
 
Romans 6:13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were
dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 

Romans 6:17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 
Romans 6:22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 
BUT NOW
I’M FREE FROM THE POWER OF SIN How did Paul say it; of first importance: that Christ died for our sins BUT NOW - I wholeheartedly obey
- Excerpt From: Manning, Brennan. “The Ragamuffin Gospel.”If a random sampling of one thousand American Christians were taken today, the majority would define faith as belief in the existence of God. In earlier times it did not take faith to believe that God existed almost everybody took that for granted. 
Rather, faith had to do with one’s relationship to God whether one trusted in God. The difference between faith as “belief insomething that may or may not exist” and faith as “trusting in God” is enormous. 
The first is a matter of the head, the second a matter of the heart. The first can leave us unchanged; the second intrinsically brings change.” 

BUT NOW - I wholeheartedly obey
BUT NOW - I have new life
BUT NOW - I’M FREE FROM THE POWER OF SIN 

Hallelujah 

 JESUS: Died for our sins
 Was buried
 Raised from the dead
               according to the Scriptures