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Sermon Preached on Easter Day 2021
On Easter Day [today] we celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus.
It is an occasion that we visit importantly every year.
It is a day that the world celebrates as a holiday; to you and me it is so much more than that.
It is a day when we celebrate the power of Christ to give life over death.
To Christians this is the central issue; not only that Jesus rose from the dead, but that He has the absolute power to give life to the dead and dying….
This then is our Easter Day message to the world - Christ has absolute power over death and His disciples celebrate not just His resurrection power but the very fact that they now are the receivers of that power.
The biggest problem with the world is that they do not see that they are sick and dying…..
Lets look at the account of Lazarus or Eleazar, (“God Has Helped”)
I mentioned last week that the account of Jesus and Lazarus was a foreshadowing of what was to come a little time later.
Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus is sick.
Jesus says something really significant at this point. He says “This sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God may be glorified through it” John 11:4
There are several things within the Lazarus account that are significant in our learning today.
Jesus loved Lazarus
Lazarus was sick and knew it
Lazarus and his sisters Mary & Martha, loved Jesus
The relationship meant Lazarus sickness would not end in death.
Everything that happens will be for the glory of God.
See the pattern!??
Now lets look at our situation today
Jesus loves the world [John 3:16]
Humanity does not realise it is sick [Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?]
Humanity hates Jesus [The world cannot hate you [because you are of the world - mine], but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. John 7:7]
The relationship means that the sickness will end in eternal death [Romans 6:23 ‘For the wages of sin is death’]
Everything that happens will be for the glory of God [Romans 9:22-23 ‘What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory’]
According to ‘UK Rehab’…
Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a condition with which new babies are born addicted to whatever substance was being used or abused by the pregnant mother.
There has been a 22 per cent increase in the number of babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome in the past 10 years. There have been 7,800 within the last five years. These new-borns did not choose to be addicted, yet they suffer the consequences just the same. It not only means that they start life by experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but there can also be lasting consequences of this early addiction
We are told that all of Humanity is born with an addiction that is called sin.
[’These new-borns did not choose to be addicted, yet they suffer the consequences just the same.’UK Rehab]
We are told that the addiction to Sin is always more appealing than sacrifice.
but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14
We are told that the habit of sin is encouraged by the great deceiver Satan himself. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. Gen 3:4
We are told that there is only one way to rehabilitate this addiction which is the cleansing or sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ. ‘let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
We might ask ourselves ‘well to be free of the addiction is one thing, but how do I avoid death?’
Firstly, and unfortunately our addiction has already caused our bodies to decay and eventually waste away.
That is the nature of the rehabilitated addict; the harm is done already - now it is about the quality of the life left.
Humanity must first hear and understand the good news - Christ is risen and can rehabilitate us to a better life now and a glorious life to come!
The message of Easter must always be a depiction of the truth and not a deception of the truth.
As we sit to eat our afternoon lunch and enjoy the day, confident in our full rehabilitation; let us spare thoughts to those who are still suffering from addiction. Many addicts hide their addiction well; it is still an addiction that one day will kill them.
Jesus said [to her], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
Christ is risen -