I had the privilege of giving the Easter sunrise devotional at my Church, Greenbush community Baptist, and the following outline is pretty much what I preached. I have added some to it for the sake of clarity.
All Scripture I will highlight in BLUE
And I will highlight in the verses what I want to draw your attention to in ORANGE.
AN EASTER DEVOTIONAL
AND THANKS FOR BEING HERE
BRIGHT EYED AND BUSHY TAILED
It looks to me like you came to get a blessing
I have GOOD NEWS for you
GOD is in the blessing business
If you leave here today without one
THEN that is on you
For our Scripture reading this morning
Turn to JOHN 20: 24 -29
AS you are turning there let me say that
AS I READ certain Scripture
I WILL BE COMMENTING so it WILL be helpful if you put a bookmark in
1st Corinthians CHAPTER 15
THAT’S THE RESURRECTION CHAPTER
READ JOHN 20:24-29
EASTER IS ONE OF A FEW Christian holidays
Is our most POPULAR Christian holiday
Though it is becoming more NONSPIRITUAL every year.
COMMUNION ISN’T A HOLIDAY
However It’s CELEBRATED REGULARLY BY ALL CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
3] GOOD FRIDAY
GOOD FRIDAY is a celebration of our Lords death.
Let me ask you something,
a] Who celebrates a good man’s death?
MY DAD was a good man and when he died I cried. I Sobbed I wept uncontrollably.
I do not celebrate MY DAD’S death.
MY DAD was a John Wayne TYPE of man
And he road through life tall in the saddle.
and everyone loved him.
IF I HAD AN HOUR – I would tell you why that is true
BUT WHEN HE IS COMPARED
TO CHRIST JESUS –
MY DAD WAS A WORM AND EVIL.
2nd Corinthians 5:21 tells us why
we celebrate the LORDS death
On Good Friday and at every communion service
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I will Read that verse again
replacing the pronouns with their antecedent
2Co 5:21 For GOD hath made JESUS to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that U AND ME might be made the righteousness of God in JESUS.
1st Corinthians 15:17-19 tells us that
CHRISTMAS AND COMMUNION AND
THEY ARE ALL JUST HISTORICAL EVENTS
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your
faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
THIS IS WHAT THOSE VERSES ARE SAYING TO US
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised,
IF THERE IS NO EASTER
your faith is vain;
IF THERE IS NO EASTER THEN
MY FAITH IS NOT WORTH A BUCKET OF PUTRID ROTTING FISH ON A SCORCHING HOT SUMMER DAY
ye are yet in your sins.
I AM still 190 pounds
of rancid hamburger
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ
THAT IS A PHRASE THE BIBLE USES FOR THE DEATH OF A CHRISTIAN
The Cross reference is 1st Thessalonians 4:15
Every Christian who has died
trusting in Christ Jesus
Trusting in John 3:16
Is right now in HELL
JESUS SAID AND
EVERYTHING JESUS DID
THE LORD CHRIST JESUS
on EASTER MORNING
WALKED OUT OF THAT TOMB WITH A
GLORIFIED BODY AND ACCORDING TO
1st John 3:2
CHRISTIANS WILL ALSO GET
A RESURRECTED BODY
SIMILAR TO HIS GLORIFIED BODY
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The flip side
IF you die lost
If you die without being born again
If you die and Jesus is a stranger to you
YOU WILL BE IN HELL
IN YOUR SAME BODY
YOU WILL FEEL
PAIN, FEAR AND SORROW
Mark 9:44, 46, 48
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Some people wonder what the worm is
YOU WILL FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT THE WORM IS
IF YOU GO THERE
LUKE 16:19-31 TELLS US THAT THE LOST
WILL STAY IN THERE
Now let us examine what 1st Corinthians 15:54-55
tells us about
the Christian’s resurrected body
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible
[ THAT IS – WHEN MY FEEBLE – SELFISH – SIN INFESTED BODY
ASSUMES ROOM TEMPERATURE.
I will stink enough to gag a maggot]
shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
LET ME GIVE YOU A
SIMPLE SESAME STREET TRUISM
There is only life and death
Is that really a simple truth?
Or is that a lie for the gullible?
Let me tell you about DEATH
DEATH DOES NOT MEAN
IN THE GRAVE AND CEASING TO BE.
DEATH IS SEPARATION
2nd Corinthians 5:8 and Luke 16:19-31 and
1st Thessalonians 4:13-18
IN DEATH YOU ARE SEPARATED FROM YOUR BODY
AND IN AN INSTANT
YOU ARE IN HEAVEN
YOU ARE IN HELL
“IN AN INSTANT”
Do you know what that means?
That means NO JUDGEMENT
YOUR FUTURE HAPPINESS DEPENDS
ON ONE THING
YOU MUST HAVE RECEIVED A
I’VE BEEN BORN AGAIN
ENTRANCE TICKET INTO HEAVEN
BEFORE YOU DIE
YOUR TICKET HAS BEEN PRE-PAID
It was ON THE CROSS OF SHAME AND HUMILIATION
THAT Jesus paid the price of your ticket, by taking your punishment
I heard this song for the first time last week
“On the cross He wore my crown
I am the blame
I caused all His pain”
JESUS MADE IT PERSONAL WHEN HE
became your sin
so you might be made the righteousness of God in Him
2nd Corinthians 5:21
YOU GET YOUR TICKET WHEN YOU GET BORN AGAIN.
It’s part of THE EASTER package
Well OVER 2000 YEARS AGO
ON EASTER MORNING
JESUS WALKED OUT OF HIS TOMB
NEW GLORIOUS BODY
HIS BODY WAS NOT
FLESH – BLOOD – AND BONES
EVEN SO, the Lord Jesus
HE WAS SEEN AS A PHYSICAL MAN
HE BUILT A FIRE
HE ENCOURAGED HIS FRIENDS
HE WAS SEEN BY OVER 500 PEOPLE AT ONCE
HE COULD WALK THROUGH SOLID OBJECTS
HIS FRIENDS SAW HIM GO UP INTO HEAVEN ON A CLOUD
I HAVE WONDERFUL NEWS FOR YOU
WE WILL ALSO HAVE A GLORIOUS BODY
AND IT WILL BE SIMILAR TO
HIS GLORIOUS BODY.
OH OH FULL DISCLOSURE
When I said
“WE [as in you me and everyone] WILL ALSO HAVE A GLORIOUS BODY”
THAT ISN’T ENTIRELY TRUE
TO GET YOUR RESURRECTION BODY
YOU MUST HAVE YOUR SPIRITUAL
“I’VE BEEN BORN AGAIN”
Of course the ticket is a metaphor
for what Jesus said in John 3:3
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
I am about to ask you a rhetorical question
It’s what I would have wanted someone to ask me.
I have always wanted the hard hitting direct truth.
I want my truth raw not sugar coated
So listen up
LISTEN REAL GOOD
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR PERSONAL ENTRANCE TICKET INTO HEAVEN
ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING
What I MEAN is
getting that entrance ticket to heaven
IS FAR BETTER THEN A BILLION DOLLARS
YOUR TICKET WILL BRING YOU
REAL JOY AND HAPPINESS
JOY AND HAPPINESS THAT WILL STICK WITH YOU WHEN YOU ARE
FOR YOUR BREATH
JUST BEFORE DEATH.
LET’S PRETEND THAT
SOMEONE APPROACHES YOU.
And this fictional person
OFFERS YOU A NEW BODY
A REPLACEMENT BODY
WILL STILL LOOK LIKE YOU
IN FACT IT STILL IS YOU
YOUR REPLACEMENT BODY IS PERFECT
You will have perfect HEALTH –
disease free – no matter what you eat or drink you – stay healthy
NO MORE GOUT, NO MORE CANCER OR EVEN BAD BREATH.
You will have an ATHLETIC
LIKE A MIDDLE WEIGHT BOXING CHAMPION
You will be SUPER INTELLIGENT
so intelligent that you can easily beat Watson,
the IBM jeopardy computer.
And this someone tells you that you can have this new body for free.
And that the transfer will be
painless and instant.
And this someone knows
that you know
that the offer is a legitimate, honest offer.
AND you refuse. You tell him,
“Nope I don’t want it.
I am not even going to consider it”
This FICTIONAL someone might lose all respect for you and just say in frustration,
Humbly and with a broken heart
ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING
I BELIEVE JESUS was broken hearted when He said in Matthew 23:37
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
JESUS SAID I WILL
THEY SAID I WILL NOT
I can picture Jesus
Saying to Himself
PERHAPS WITH TEARS
ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING
EASTER CHANGES EVERYTHING
SIN LOVING WORLD
Act 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING
HAVE YOU TURNED Greenbush and Oscoda upside down for Jesus?
EASTER CHANGES PEOPLE
HAS IT REALLY CHANGED YOU???
We read about some addicts in 1st Corinthians 16:15
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
An addicts life revolves around his addiction
They served the resurrected Lord Jesus through the local Church
WHAT ABOUT YOU????
ARE YOU ADDICTED TO CHRIST JESUS
LAST WEEK IN KENYA
147 CHRISTIANS WHO WERE ADDICTED TO CHRIST JESUS WERE SLAUGHTERED
THEY WERE ADDICTED
AND THE ENEMY
KILLED THEM FOR IT
THEY THAT ARE ADDICTED CALL SIN WHAT IT IS:
REBELLION AGAINST GOD
Act 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled
WHAT ABOUT YOU????
I said earlier that I do not celebrate my dad’s death.
That’s because he did not let Easter change his life
I have no reason to believe my dad is in heaven today.
If I knew that he was safe in heaven then I would celebrate his death daily.
My dad was catholic
for a church service
ONCE every year
Easter was special
But outside of that
He never paid much attention to it.
WHAT ABOUT YOU????