Sermon for Easter Sunday-04-24-2022
Acts 5:27-32′ Psalm 118:14-29; Rev. 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
The Sadducces had ordered the apostles to be placed in jail for teaching in the name of Jesus Christ; yet during the night the Holy Spirit overcame the guards, for they let out the apostles and took them to the Temple and in the morning they began again teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit overcomes Satan’s attempts to hinder the church through greed and pride. Human jealousy and fear cannot overcome imprisonment to add to the church, but the Gospel message overcomes legal rulings and threats to increase the power, unity, and generosity of the church. Spirit-filled leaders help the church overcome cultural disputes and continue to increase in numbers.
What upset the authorities was that these Christians were teaching the people in the Temple area. This episode attests to the power of “Instructional evangelism” as a tool for communicating the gospel. Whenever we have to choose between obeying God and religious authorities, we should obey God. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to those who obey Him. Jesus had promised His disciples that when hey were on trial because of their faith, the Spirit would give them words for self-defense. That promise was fulfilled before the Sanhedrin; the apostles defended themselves simply by preaching Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior. The Spirit bears witness concerning Jesus, the church hears His witness and is thereby enabled to give its witness concerning Jesus. All who bear this witness and accept it are given the Spirit, and thus become equipped to proclaim Christ.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of he Lord. From the house of he Lord we bless you.” These words of greeting were given annually, possibly and the Feast of the Tabernacles. This will be the cry given as a welcome to the ancient Temple and Holy City reverberates as the glad cry of the New Jerusalem.
God has no beginning and no ending. Thus, He has authority and knowledge to warn the churches and describe the future hope. For those who merely “attend” church, you will miss the message, for you are of the world and not of God. For those of God know that Jesus is the One rules all earthly leaders. He loves us, has redeemed us by His blood, and formed us to be what God has always intended His people to be—-a kingdom of priests representing God to the nations. The obedient people is the believing church, God’s kingdom on earth waiting for the day of fulfillment.
Early in the morning 2,000 years ago, Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb, but realized He was not there. The rock had been moved away and she ran to tell Simon Peter that someone had removed him, so they all ran back to the tomb and found it as Magdalene had described it. In John’s account they note the strips of cloth that had been used to coven him along with the burial cloth that had wrapped Jesus’ head had been neatly folded, separate from the linen. Magdalene looked in again and saw two angels sitting where Jesus’ body had lain, one at his had, the other at his feet. They asked here, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know they have put him.” She turned and saw Jesus standing there, but he did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” She thought of him as a gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if ou have carried him away tell me where you have put him and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni.” Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. God instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
Jesus found his disciples back where they had been staying, with doors locked and He simply: “Peace be with you.” In His resurrection body, He was easily recognizable to them, and they praise Him and He breathed upon them and they received the Holy Spirit. Thomas not being with them, Jesus repeated his appearance among them behind locked doors with the same greeting, “Peace be with you,” only this time he allowed Thomas to touch his wounds and his side, and Thomas believed it was the Resurrected Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen yet believed anyway.
Beloved, people have risked their lives preaching Christ Crucified and certainly some died in that belief. During the past Lent, we all collectively have spent time reflecting on our beliefs, we have sacrificed something important in our lives as part of our Lenten experience and yes, some have even taken on new projects in the spirit of serving Christ in new ways. Today, we have come to church and found the tomb empty, the linen cloths are laying in the tomb and the head covering has been neatly folded and placed at the head of where our Lord and Savior had been laid. He has Risen, he as Risen Indeed! I pray that this Easter Day has found you changed somewhat or a whole lot! I pray that if you have not made the decision to accept God through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will do so. If not, I pray that you are still discerning the decision, for nobody can make it for you, this is a decision only you can make.
Remember this, He loves you and always has. The worldview will only lead you down a path to destruction, while becoming a true believer will change your whole world, but in a very good way. Peace be with you, now and for evermore!