After the greatest act of love ever committed, Jesus lay dead in a donated tomb. His loyal companions and followers were stunned, sickened by what they had witnessed. But beyond the gory details of this death, they were hit with the uncomfortable thought that perhaps all they had known the past 3 ½ years was a lie, fake, delusional. This man Jesus they had trusted and loved was dead. He died like everyone else. There was no last minute fire from heaven to kill the Roman soldiers or the angry mob of his own brethren demanding his death. There was no angelic rescue team to pull him off that dreaded piece of wood. He was dead. For real. No one was coming to save them from the Roman rule. They would not be sitting on anyone’s right hand in the new government. They had seemingly been duped. Now what? Well, three days later, it was imperative that the risen Jesus convince them beyond a shadow of doubt that all he had promised was REAL and was happening. His followers needed to be 100% convinced and energized to tell the Good News at any cost to all who would listen. The man Jesus was gone forever, but the spirit Jesus would have life within himself, and power to restore all of mankind back to his Father. They needed to urgently tell that story to you and me. How did they go from feeling ultimate betrayal and grief to absolute certainty and joy?
Thinking about the death of Jesus always produces a variety of emotions. On one hand, we feel a deep sense of gratitude, hope and praise, for without his willing sacrifice and ignominious death, we would all remain under the sentence of sin with no possible way out. In short, we and the entire human race would be doomed to destruction. On the other hand, when we think of his death we feel the dull, persistent aching pain of sadness, because we know Jesus was an entirely innocent man who was subject to the most unfair and devious kinds of deception, mistreatment and torture. Did you ever wonder what was behind the events that brought Jesus to the point of crucifixion? Did you ever think about who did what and why to position the Savior of all mankind as an enemy of the state?
The life of Jesus truly is the greatest story ever told, for because of his life, all of mankind will also have life. The life of Jesus reflects all that is good and selfless in humanity. The death of Jesus reflects all that is courageous and noble and the resurrection of Jesus – well, that reflects all that is godly and loving. Jesus truly did leave us a legacy to follow. Today we honor his resurrection by following some of the legacy he left behind for us during his last day.
It was 2,000 years ago today, early in the morning, that the world changed. It was not the brash outward change of a military coup, nor was it a treaty of the leaders of great nations to be lauded by the people. The world did not change because of some medical breakthrough or some magnificent discovery. No. The world changed because there was one tomb, just one tomb that was empty. It was a borrowed tomb, given to a man who had no earthly possession and who just three days previous, had been cruelly and unjustly tortured and crucified. This tomb was empty and that meant that nothing would ever be the same…
Life, death and taxes – those are three things that we as a race have all come to experience. It is a cycle that we accept and a process we adapt to even though the ending is not to our liking. About 2,000 years ago, a man born of a woman came to change all of that. He was Jesus of Nazareth, born to live so that he could die, so that we – all of us – can live again – beyond the cycle that all of human history has documented. Stay with us as we honor his life, his death, and his kingship!
There have been many world changing events in human history. The printing press made knowledge accessible to the masses. The light bulb literally illuminated man’s course and fed an industrial revolution which brought previously unthinkable invention and convenience to many. Penicillin protected life in a new way. These and many other events changed man’s course and were breathtaking in their scope, yet limited and even restricted in their reach throughout history, for each of these events could only touch those then living or yet to be born. There was only one event at any time in all of history that would alter man’s DESTINY – all of man’s destiny, from Adam and on through all of the civilizations ever experienced, on an eternal scale. That event was the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is that event that we celebrate today.
It was some 2,000 years ago that the world was changed by the faithful, selfless and courageous actions of one man. It is today, as we do every year, that we celebrate this gift of life that Jesus gave us. Come and spend some time with us as we stop, look and listen to a portion of his story – the greatest story of the greatest life ever lived.
It was a long time ago – about 2000 years when he came. The world was going on just as before when he began preaching at age 30. He died young, at age 33½, unjustly crucified for deeds he did not commit. He had no family, he personally wrote no books or lessons to be handed down through the ages, yet his life and his death are the most celebrated in all of history. Why? Because he changed human destiny! How could the change have been good, for 2,000 years later the world seems worse off than ever! His actions and teachings in those short 3½ years of preaching were only the beginning, for he started a new cycle in human history, the results of which will be clearly seen and understood in due time. For now, let’s just take some time and honor the life, death and resurrection of Jesus – the son of God and the Savior of men!
Sometimes, one life makes all the difference. Sometimes, all it takes is a mission, a lofty mission and a calling – a calling to do that which has never been done before and in so doing the mission is accomplished and the world is changed. Such a life was lived some 2,000 years ago. The mission and the calling compelled that life to change the course of humanity forever. It is this life, this mission and this calling that we honor today – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who gave his life so we might have life and is now raised to power on high!
Throughout history, there have been many whose lives have had a massive impact on their world, for better or for ill. There have been leaders like Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King Jr. There have been doctors and scientists like Louis Pasteur, Madame Currie and The Mayo Brothers. There have been inventors like Guttenburg, the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison. There have been explorers like Louis and Clark and Sir Ernest Shackelton. There have been heroes like Mother Theresa, Jackie Robinson and Harriet Tubman. And there have been those who have overcome unthinkable odds, like Helen Keller and Ludwig Van Bethoven. All of these lives were of great impact and importance. On this program we are going to focus on another life - the life of one man - the man Christ Jesus, whose impact was so great on this world that the full effect of it has not yet been understood, much less felt. Join us as we honor this life and its sacrifices, lived 2000 years ago that forever changed the course of humanity. Jesus Christ – He is Risen!!!