The Best Is Yet To Come
Smelling the sweet aroma of the Christ's resurrection.
It all began with Mary and Martha—that cool Easter morning—coming to a lonely Palestinian tomb. I don't think they had any idea what was going to be meeting them. They were coming to pay their respects. They were still deep in their grief. And then they heard these words that were hard to believe: "He is risen! This Jesus whom you seek, he is not here, for he is risen, just as he said."
I don't know how you would have reacted to all of that, but I like to listen to things like this and anticipate how I would have felt having heard that news for the first time. It would be hard to believe. Can it really be true? All the things that were happening that were so bad are seemingly now gone. Are they serious? Get away. I don't want to believe this. Thomas heard that news then pushed it away. It's kind of cruel joke. But more than one person heard it. Cephas heard it and he appeared to several people, and the message of Jesus Christ alive began to spread. It is the message, Christ alive, that multiplied the church in those early days. It was that message, that reality of Jesus alive that gave it wings. It was that message that sustained it. God has raised him up again from the dead, a fact to which we are all adherents. We believe it. An empty tomb. A risen Lord. A victorious Christ. Jesus is risen indeed.
I want to set the record straight about something as I begin. It is not my desire to prove that Jesus rose today. One of the things I'm aware of is that many people might come to a service like this who don't normally come to church and it's a perfect time to bring the gospel and to compelling tell them about Jesus who rose and prove that Jesus rose. We're not here to prove it. What we're here to do today ...
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Dave Johnson is the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota.