That Changed Everything
by Robert L. Cobb
-Administrator, News For Christians Dot Com
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?..." John 20:15
"He is not
here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see
Introduction: There are certain days in the timeline of history that have special significance. These are days that change the lives of people -either for good or for bad. In our generation, the first moon walk in July 1969, the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963, and, more recently, the September 11th terrorist attack on America, qualify as life-changing days. But there was one day that changed life more on Earth like no other before or since. It was the first Easter, the morning of Christ's resurrection.
of our text, "Woman, why weepest thou?" was a personal one for Christ
to Mary; but it was also a theoretical one that goes far deeper than the
surface. Certainly there have been oceans of tears shed since that
first Easter morning, but since the resurrection our tears have an end
and a fulfillment. Because of that morning, all tears will one day
be wiped away for the last time.
How did the resurrection of Christ change human life? We propose to examine that question in this message.
It was a Morning of a New Kind of Pain. (...He
is not here...)
He had been their Leader. Never had a leader spoken like this man! Never had life's mysteries been revealed and explained like Jesus had done. He did not speak with "perhaps" and "maybe" in His voice. He spoke with authority and certainty -as One Who knew the answers! And they loved Him. They had invested every part of themselves in Him! Never had they been so sure of His authenticity and lineage. This was God in flesh, the Maker and Sustainer of all of life! How could He die? How could He be gone? What pain they must have felt.
He had been
their Friend. Yes, He was their leader. But wonder
of wonders, this Great God-Man took a personal interest in each one of
them. He cared for them in a special way. Think of the hours
spent in discussion and repose with the Savior. He allowed them a
special access to Him, the access of a friend.
As much as we may sympathize with the loss of the disciples, many had lost loved ones, family members and friends before this event and since. Some of us have been affected greatly by the hand of death touching someone close to us. What makes this first Easter event so significant? Christ's was the first death which resulted in life and hope! This death was a death followed by a resurrection! It was a one-of-a-kind event. And it was a prototype for all subsequent deaths. The words to the human express it best:
up the way to heaven's gate,
It was a Morning of a New Kind of Power. (...for He
It was a
Power over the Devil. Many today do not believe in the existence
of a literal Satan. They only believe in a spirit of evil that is
not supernatural at all. But a real and personal Devil had done all
in His power to destroy Christ before He reached the cross. Numerous
times the crowd picked up stones to kill Him. In John 13:27,
"And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That
thou doest, do quickly." This is speaking of Judas. Satan had
entered into him with a mission of destroying the sacrifice of Christ,
but only hastened it instead. Truly Christ defeated the intentions
of Satan in His sacrificial death and His resurrection.
It was a
Power over Death. Death is the last enemy.
Before the resurrection, death held uncertainties and fear. How could
we know and understand its mysteries? But now, Christ has overcome
death through the resurrection. Christ saves us from our sins; He
gives us many blessings as His children. To the Christian, death
is a mere obstacle between us and our Savior.
It Was the Morning of a New Kind of Promise. ("...there shall
ye see him...")
The Promise of a Victorious Life. Wouldn't it be great to know that we could be successful and fulfilled in our lives? The angels told the disciples, "...and lo, he goeth before you..." Wherever we go and whatever we do, Christ has gone before us. He knows our weaknesses and our frailties; He knows our failures and our sorrows. He has made the way for us and promised us, "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor. 15:57)
The Promise of a Vision of Christ. Those who say that they have "seen" Christ are either speaking figuratively or telling an outright lie! No one has, with the human eye, seen Christ in our day. But we shall see Him one day! The Bible teaches that Christ will return for His saints in the rapture. (see I Cor. 15:51-54) Some scholars deny the literal return of Christ. To them I say, "Does the Christ that raised Himself from the dead have the power to return again bodily to this earth?" If you believe in the literal resurrection of Christ, you should have no trouble believing in the second coming of Christ!
coming a wonderful, wonderful day, Its glory has never been known;
Conclusion: The September 11th tragedy changed the face of modern society. We may, in the future, face more life-altering days. But nothing can happen in our future that could darken that great first Easter morning when Christ rose from the dead. All that we are --and all that we ever will be, was made possible on that day. In our bland and tasteless Christianity today, we fail to recognize the importance of that special day nearly 2000 years ago when Christ arose from the tomb.
Low in the
grave He lay--Jesus my Savior!
the grave He arose,
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