Sunday, April 12, 2020

Should Easter Be Cancelled (Asking for a Friend Series)

It's Easter Sunday in the year 2020.  Due to the COVID19 virus, the country is on shut down.  Restaurants are closed.  Theaters are closed.  Factories are closed.  Retail stores are closed.  Pretty much everything is closed except for government declared "essential" businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations.  Even our churches are closed to gathering in person.  Basically . . .the United States and much of the world is cancelled and closed.  BUT, should Easter be cancelled?

Should Easter Be Cancelled?


The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled "Should Easter Be Cancelled?"  This is the first installment in his "Asking for a Friend" series.

You are invited to listen, watch, and worship with us here.

Should Easter Be Cancelled?



In 1 Corinthians 15, we learn the facts about Christ's resurrection.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
 
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.  For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. - 1 Corinthians 15:1-9

Friend, Easter CAN NOT be cancelled . . . ever.

Why?  Because . . . 

Easter is something that has already happened.  It is a fact.  Refer to 1 Corinthians 15:4 above.  Jesus was dead but now He is alive again.

I'm reminded of an old song we used to sing at church titled "Because He Lives."


 

Easter is our foundation.  We stand firm on the fact that Easter has already happened.  We stand firm on the gospel.

Because of Easter, we know that Jesus is who He says He is.  Jesus keeps His promises.  There is life after death.

The risen Jesus comes to where you are.

Jesus first appeared to Peter.  Then, He appeared to all the disciples who were hidden in a home because they were afraid.  Jesus brought peace to His disciples.  He will bring peace to you too.

You can read more about Easter morning, the empty tomb, and Jesus' appearances here in John 20.

The risen Jesus calls you by name.

The Bible tells us that He keeps a record of our tears.
You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book? - Psalm 56:8
Jesus appeared to many.  Is He appearing to you?

Who in your family may come to Jesus during this Corona-virus crisis?

Jesus came to Paul while Paul was in a state of rebellion. (Acts 9:1-19)

Are you in the middle of something right now, a situation that seems hopeless?  Jesus come to you right where you are.

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Easter is an event but it is also an experience.

There is nothing wrong with dressing up in new spring clothes, enjoying egg hunts, and bunny treats, but Easter is SO MUCH MORE!  

Easter is a personal event.  Has Easter happened to you?
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:10
What does it mean to experience Easter?

*My sin is forgiven.  (1 Corinthians 15:3)
*My present has been transformed.  I am different. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
*My future is totally secure.  (1 Corinthians 15:22)

We are all going to physically die, but because of Easter, we can live eternally.

Where will you spend eternity?

Do you have a relationship with Jesus?  Learn more here.

In closing, I'm reminded of a more recent song that beautifully illustrates my relationship with Jesus.  I hope that you will choose to begin or deepen your relationship with Jesus too.


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