(Our devotion in a cemetery, early Easter morning)
Why are we here this morning and why have those that believe that Jesus is the Son of God done this for almost 2000 years?
At least five reasons:
1. We are here because we believe the Jesus Triumphed Over Death—and so shall we and so have all these that lie under these tombstones. "The New Testament writers wrote as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe—and it was." (C.S. Lewis) No man spent the last three years of His life talking about dying and then telling people He would be made alive again by the Hand of God—-but Jesus did. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the pioneer of life,’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done the impossible! We’re here, the crisp morning, like millions of others all over the globe, because we believe this. He lives.
2. Jesus Rose Physically, Not Just in Spirit…His body was resurrected, —just like yours and mine will be one day. “If the truth is that after death there comes only life as a mist, or invisible entity,, an eternity of mystical experience, what better way to destroy that misunderstanding than the appearance of a human form, i.e. Jesus resurrected, which ate broiled fish?” (C.S. Lewis) We will have bodies, just like Jesus did after the resurrection, in heaven. We will eat, drink, touch, hug, and have an eternal and perfected body.
All the buried vaults around us will one day burst open with God’s eternal children—-and we will know them and they will know us.
3. This is the Story of His Life—-i.e. that He came to die and show us that we can have eternal life! So, what are we to make of Christ?’ There is no question of what we can make of Him—we can make Him our Lord and Savior this very morning.. it is entirely a question of what He intends to make of us. You must accept or reject the story. What does He intend to make of you? It depends upon what you are willing to allow Him to make, anew, fresh, alive and eternal within you. Once you do your research, survey the evidence and make your decision that it is true, Jesus rose the dead!——all things will be possible for you.
4 The Resurrection is Central to all the we preach and teach. To preach Christianity meant (to the Apostles) primarily to preach the Resurrection. Are we? Do you think about it and ponder of this great promise? The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought.
5. In a cemetery, one such a day as this, we can learn one more thing to keep in mind: Keep nothing back while you can….life is too short. We will all pass one day—perhaps sooner than we wish. We can’t take things with us into eternity. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours—one day someone else will inherit it, steal or buy it. And think about this as well, nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Lookout for yourself, all the time, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay is yours. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him, everything else thrown in.