Easter Sunday - 4-17-2022
April 17, 2022 | Bryan Simmons
Passage: Luke 24:1-12
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and on the third day rise again. Welcome to all of you as we gather on this Easter Sunday morning and shout the cry: Christ has risen, has risen indeed! Alleluia! It's a battle cry of sorts for us as we celebrate this moment together. Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. It's a special time. We always tend to change the service up a little bit and make it a little unique and special. And we always decorate the altar with these beautiful flowers and we sing the best, most powerful hymns. On a day like today, we bring the brass in, and if the weather holds out for us, we get to have our traditional Easter snowball fight as well.
It's an exciting time in the church to celebrate this idea that Jesus rose from the dead. But it's always a puzzling one as well. A perplexing one, as the text would say, that Jesus rose from the dead. It really is a lot to think about and a lot to take in in a world of scarcity and emptiness when we look out there. And you know, we've been celebrating this for almost 2000 years and it still is hard to fully understand.
But even the people that followed Jesus, the closest had difficulty as well. The women were coming to bring spices in and anoint a dead body. And when they found the stone rolled away and the body missing, they were perplexed until they were told by the angels what had happened. And even then running to tell the disciples--and these are all people that have walked with Jesus on a daily basis--and the disciples who were hiding out of fear. Here, these women tell them this tale: Jesus is risen! Even they were perplexed to the point where they denied it altogether. Wouldn't even listen to the women. Common tale, isn't it? And then even when Peter goes out to check for himself what is going on here? He goes to the tomb and he sees the linens all neatly folded and he doesn't even go back to where the disciples and the women are and say, Well, I've checked it out for myself and it seems like the women may be correct. He's still confused. He just goes home. This event in time, this perfect moment in time that changes everything is as confusing to the people that knew Jesus as it is to you and me. For it is hard. You know, we live in this world of scarcity.
We live in this world of things that pass away that we don't have enough of. To hear that Jesus really rose from the dead? It can be a lot to take in. But it is this story. It is the message of the eyewitnesses. That brings this message to you and to me today, as perplexing as it is. It is the thing that changes how we see the world and how we see each other. Without Jesus rising from the dead. It would be easy to give in to this world of scarcity. This world of emptiness. This world where we just know that we're going to die some day and there's this panic that we're not going to do enough or enjoy enough or or be enough. Until that moment. But because Jesus lives comes with it the promise of life and abundance for you. An abundance of hope. Love. An abundance of being able to live this life to the fullest now, no matter where you find yourself. It's not going to fill your bank account or make you happy all the time. That's not the promise. The problem is, is that when you are in no matter what situation, because Jesus lives you have hope in this world. Because Jesus lives. We can look at this world of emptiness and scarcity and we can see, promise and hope.
And fulfillment. And be able to move on with strength, not fear. We don't have to fear death because we have the life of Christ. This is a promise to you and to me. And so, yes, it is a perplexing message. And whether you've been coming to church since the day you were born or whether you were dragged here by a family member or friend today. The eyewitness testimony remains that Jesus lives for you and for me. And I hope that message resonates with you today. That you could see a world of of love and hope because Jesus lives. That you would be able to not have to feel so strong yourself in this world, but be able to empty yourself. And allow God to fill you with this hope and love that is promised to us.
This is the day that affects the rest of time. And never forget that Easter Sunday carries on each and every Sunday. As we celebrate that our Lord has risen from the grave that we are promised this life and love and hope because of this moment. The God who created us is a God of power made perfect in weakness for you and for me. So that we can proclaim this day and every day that battle cry that we love so much: Christ is risen! Christ has risen, indeed! Alleluia! Amen.