Do You Remember?

Do you remember?

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” 

“Then they remembered that he had said this.” 

To me, the statement of the angel to those women on this day over 2000 years ago is one of the most powerful. I think of it often as I process this story and this day.

When I was younger, Easter was known around the Kennedy household as “Super Bowl Sunday.” I grew up in a Pastor’s House. Easter meant going to buy a new outfit (Tommy Hillfigure was in style!). It meant dressing up, and it meant some tangible nerves around the Kennedy home.

It meant seeing people we hadn’t seen since Christmas, and it meant a full church service and casseroles for lunch. It meant waking up to an Easter basket with a chocolate Easter bunny. That would be the last he would be mentioned that day because Jesus had no competition!

It was a celebration day because Jesus had gotten out of the grave. I knew that; but as a young kid who hadn’t been touched by the cruelties and brokenness of this life and world, it wasn’t real to me.

From 2020 on, Easter has meant something very different to me. How can it not?

Easter is the celebration of what Jesus did so that I have an eternity to spend with my dad, not just a history to look back on and remember.

He did what He said He would do. 

“Do you remember what He said?”

The resurrection didn’t happen randomly; it didn’t happen accidentally. No, the resurrection was THE PLAN, and it was spoken about all throughout Scripture and by Jesus himself.
This truth is so important for us to grasp because our trust in Him hangs in the balance.

One of the most legendary moments in all of sports is when the great Bambino lifted his bat and called his shot. Not only did he call it, but he also delivered.

Jesus called His shot but it wasn't a swing of the bat. In Jesus' case, it was His conquering death, hell, the grave and sin.

If Jesus did what He said He would do then I can trust that He will do what He said He would do.

It’s an amazing thought to realize that the Maker of the universe values trust so much that He did everything possible to secure our trust in Him. 

 Jesus' resurrection secured our victory over death. 

Jesus is our example period.

This is why we have 4 accounts of His life. In every way, Jesus is our example.

We talk about the promises of God being the anchor of our Hope. But the anchor to all the promises of God is the truth of Christ's resurrection. In the bedrock of all saving faith is the cornerstone that Christ Jesus overcame DEATH and that His ACTUAL BODY got up out of the grave.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
Romans 8:11 NLT

Christ's resurrection secured our victory over death.
This is why Jesus revealed Himself, His risen body to the disciples, to his friends, and to over 500 others. He was systematically destroying the fear of death over those 50 days between the resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit.

This is why Peter walked to his death; it's why Paul, when told what would happen in Jerusalem, was compelled to go anyway; it is why every disciple stood in boldness and declared a gospel of love to a culture that hated them. It is why they all willingly laid down their lives and even loved not their lives unto death. It is why, for thousands of years, believers have declared the gospel in the face of death and why we still have martyrs all over the world today for the cause of Christ. It is because they knew this truth: that to be absent in the body is to be present with God. There is no soul sleep; there is not a single moment that after salvation you were ever meant to be without the presence of God.

“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:6-8 NKJV

Christ’s resurrection secured our victory over the worst possible outcome, death.

Christ's resurrection gave us a HOPE that can never be taken away.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT

Notice, he didn’t say that our belief eliminates grief. No, what he said is that our belief enables us to grieve with hope!

My father’s favorite song was “O Praise the Name.” In fact, we sang it as his memorial service. Within the song is this simple lyric found in 2 Corinthians: “O death where is your sting.”

For years, I sang that and never thought about those words. But the day my father passed, I could not get them out of my head. Death stung a bitter sting that day to a grieving son.

We sing that statement and many others in faith, trust, and belief of what we will discover as truth one day. My daddy and the saints that have gone before us sing it in absolute knowledge currently today in heaven. In between our faith and their knowledge is the example of Christ Jesus.

As we celebrate Easter, may we remember what this day is all about. Christ risen is the greatest news any of us have ever heard. It echoes in eternity and means everything to every believer.

Take time and remember.

Happy Easter. He is risen indeed.
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1 Comment

Rebecca Alfred - April 1st, 2024 at 9:16am

Thank you Pastor Aaron! One of the best and most hopeful Easter messages you have preached!