Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

April 5, 2015 Sermon (Easter Sunrise)

"A Sense of Wonder"

Luke 24: 1 - 12

Ted Jansen April 5, 2015  Sunrise Service

 

Come with me this morning to see some objects that were visible on the first day of the week, three days after Jesus was placed in the tomb.     

 

1.)     See the spices.  They were to be used to anoint the body of Jesus.  The women were carrying them and wanted to do this out of love for Jesus.

          They traveled at the first hint of light in that new day.  The spices for burial were ones that they had used before.  This was an ancient practice.  They assumed that Jesus was dead.  It was now three days since they had seen his body been placed in the tomb. 

          The spices remind us that the women expected Jesus to be dead because that is the way it has always been.  You see there is an order, a way things are supposed to be, a tradition, a pattern in life.  The spices represent the past way of life.  Look around you and see the things that are traditions for you.

 

2.)     See the huge stone.  It has been rolled away from the entrance to the tomb.  It was a sign to the women that something unusual had taken place, something out of the ordinary.  It was a surprise. 

          The stone represents the fact that this life is filled with surprises.  There are things that we cannot explain but we know have happened.  Look around you and see what ways God is surprising you.

 

3.)     See two men standing next to the tomb.  The body of Jesus is not where it was placed.  It cannot be found.  The two men begin talking to the women and tell them that Jesus is not here.  The women came looking for a body and do not find it.  They only see that two men who share the message with them.     

          The two men symbolize the people in our lives that speak God's truth to us.  The messengers surprise us at times because of when they come to us, at other times they are the ordinary voices of our day.  Look around you to see the messengers that God is using to speak truth to you.

 

4.)     See the women.  They are quietly talking, whispering and trembling.  They leave the tomb and bring with them their spices; the job they set out to do is not done.  As they leave they begin to remember what Jesus told them about his death and resurrection and wonder.  They are in shock and don't know what to do, so they run, run back to where they came from. 

          The women remind us that when a blessing comes our way it will disarm us.  We don't know how to respond, other than to wonder.  Look around you and see the blessings that God has given you.

 

5.)     See a group of men and women gathered together that morning.  They hear the message from the women and find it hard to believe.  The group is excited, astounded, bewildered and begin to talk nervously and rapidly.  What does this mean?  

          The group reminds us of the importance of the relationships we have with one another.  We are meant to share our struggles, our doubts, our questions, our celebrations, our pain, our joys.  Remember that we need one another.  Look around and see the friendships you have, or see your need for friendships.

 

6.)     See the linen cloth.  It is lying there in the empty tomb.  Peter arrives at the tomb after hearing the news from the women.  He must see and decide for himself what it means.  Peter who has lived with so much guilt, doubt, grief and chaos for the last three days comes and holds the cloth and is filled with a sense of wonder. 

          The cloth reminds us that Jesus cannot be bound by a cloth, by death, by the forces of darkness.  He is not bound by a certain geographical place, a time in history, or by anything.  The cloth is not a burial cloth anymore but it is a cloth of new life, of resurrection.  This cloth reminds us that Jesus is no longer dead and in the tomb.

          Look and see the cloth.  Let it symbolize to you that Jesus is alive and concerned about the problems that you are facing in your life.  He is alive to your dreams, hopes, and goals.  He is ready, able and willing to forgive you for your sin.  He wants to bring healing to your body, to your mind, to your spirit.  He wants to bring new life to you today.

          Look around and see the miracles of new life all around you.