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Message From an Empty Tomb

The resurrection of Jesus offers us a message of hope, love, and grace.

I'm not quite sure how to say this. We have always said in the church that our faith was based upon facts. It was a faith built upon evidence that led us to the facts.

My friends, something has come to light just this past week that is out now in the professional journals and will be out shortly in magazines and newspapers, I'm sure. I felt it best that it come from me. At least I may make some consolatory comments with it. Let me simply read the announcement.

I quote: "Archaeologists have made a startling and remarkable discovery. They have found recently, in a newly unearthed tomb in the suburbs of Jerusalem, the remains of an ancient man who quite evidently died of crucifixion. On the walls of that tomb they found also a plaque written in ancient Hebrew, which translated reads thusly, 'Here lies Jesus of Nazareth, the great and good teacher. We secreted his body away in order to place him beyond the reach and rage of his enemies. He was the best of men. May he rest in peace.' "

That is a scene from a recently published novel in England. It is, I'm happy to say, pure fiction. I hope, however, that it had its impact in your heart this day. The author of When It Was Dark describes a situation in which a wealthy atheist, a skeptic, an unbeliever, decides to destroy Christianity. So he hires a venal archaeologist to create this fraudulent find in Israel, to bring to light this contrived discovery of supposedly the remains of Christ.

The result in the novel is catastrophic. It seems as if a new Ice Age has descended upon the earth. Spirits flag like the branches of a willow tree. Hope goes out like a candle in the wind. Joy disappears from life. Men seek for mirth, saying, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." It is ...

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. The resurrection is a message of hope

II. The resurrection is a message of love

III. The resurrection is a message of grace

Conclusion