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Topic: Easter
Subtopic: Resurrection

Title: I Believe in the Resurrection

I believe in the Resurrection primarily because I have gotten to know God. I know that God is love, and I also know that we human I beings want to keep alive those whom we love. I do not let my friends die; they live on in my memory and my heart long after I have stopped seeing them. For whatever reason human freedom lies at the core, I imagine God allows a planet where a man dies scuba diving in the prime of life and a woman dies in a fiery crash on the way to a church missions conference. But I believe if I did not believe this, I would not believe in a loving God—that God is not satisfied with such a blighted planet. Divine love will find a way to overcome. "Death, be not proud," wrote John Donne: God will not let death win.

--Phillip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, p.2218, 219

Title: Live Forever

The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death -- that is not the great thing -- but that we are to live here and now by the power of the resurrection; not so much that we are to live forever as that we are to, and may, live nobly now because we are to live forever.

   -- Phillip Brooks

See:  Rom 6:4; Phil 3:10

Title:  Easter without Calvary?

   One trouble with the churches is that too many people want to have Easter without Calvary.

   -- Lawrence Pearsall Jacks

See:  1 Cor 15:3-4

Title:  Bells of Retreat

   During Napoleon's Austrian campaign his army advanced to within six miles of Feldkirch. It looked as though Bonaparte's men would take Feldkirch without resistance. But as Napoleon's army advanced toward their objective in the night, the Christians of Feldkirch gathered in a little church to pray. It was Easter Eve.
   The next morning at sunrise the bells of the village pealed out across the countryside. Napoleon's army, not realizing it was Easter Sunday, thought that in the night the Austrian army had moved into Feldkirch and that the bells were ringing in jubilation. Napoleon ordered a retreat, and the battle at Feldkirch never took place. The Easter bells caused the enemy to retreat, and peace reigned in the Austrian countryside.
   At this Easter time many of you are surrounded by enemies which storm the citadel of your soul. The Easter bells, when you realize their full significance, will cause the threatening forces to retreat.

See:  1 Cor 15:55-57; 1 Pet 1:3

Title:  Get the Story Straight

   A group of four year olds were gathered in a Sunday school class in Chattanooga. The teacher looked at the class and asked this question: "Does anyone know what today is?" A little four-year-old girl held up her hand and said," Yes, today is Palm Sunday." The teacher exclaimed, "That's fantastic, that's wonderful. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?" The same little girl held up her hand and said, "Yes, next Sunday is Easter Sunday." Once again the teacher said, "That's fantastic. Now, does anyone know what makes next Sunday Easter?" The same little girl responded and said, "Yes, next Sunday is Easter because Jesus rose from the grave" and before the teacher could congratulate her, she kept on talking and said, "but if he sees his shadow -- he has to go back in for seven weeks."

   -- Ben Haden

Title:  No need for resurrection

   In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which were placed huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words: "This burial place must never be opened." In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them. As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones.
   The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God's creative word that someday will call to life the bodies of all who are in their graves. He will also bring back every person drowned at sea, cremated, or destroyed in some other way. This is no problem to the One who made something out of nothing when He spoke the universe into existence. Unbelief cannot deter the resurrection. But faith in the risen Christ opens the door to blessings that His resurrection guarantees -- a glorious new spiritual body and a home in heaven. In new bodies we will be reunited with saved loved ones to live with Jesus throughout all eternity.

See:  John 5:28-29; Acts 24:14-15; 1 Cor 15:51-54

Title:  No Funerals

   Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the famous missionary, wrote a charming and delightful autobiography called A Song of Ascents. He tells about a layman, a newspaperman, a mutual friend, who was called upon to conduct a funeral service. Being an exact man, he wanted to do it properly and in the best Christian tradition. So he turned to the New Testament as the original source and example of how Jesus conducted a funeral. And he found that Jesus didn't conduct funerals at all. All He dealt with were resurrections.

See:  Matt 9:18-26; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:1-44

Title:  Hold the Potatoes

   It was our family custom to have a sing-along while traveling by car. It helped keep the boys out of trouble and in a good mood. On one trip our eldest, Aaron, asked if we could sing the Gravy Song.
   "What's that?" we asked. "Teach it to us."
   With all innocence Aaron began singing the Easter hymn, "Up from the gravy arose."

   -- R. Douglas Reinard, The Christian Herald, June 1989.

See:  1 Cor 14:19

Title:  Never Get Up Again

   A minister in Darby, Pennsylvania, tell this one:
   The four-year-old son of an undertaker was puzzled one Easter morning when he heard about the Resurrection. "Do you mean," he asked, "that Jesus really rose up from the dead?"
   "Oh, yes," the teacher said.
   The boy shook his head. "I know my daddy didn't take care of Him after He died," the boy said. "He'd never get up again!"

See:  Luke 23:50-24:6

Title:  Prove It

   The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without it the believer has no hope for this life or for the life to come. The apostle Paul wrote, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain" (1 Cor. 15:17). Our belief in this great teaching is not based upon some religious feeling or upon an unfounded idea about what may have happened in the past. Nor are we talking about an isolated rumor, but about a historical fact with solid evidence to support it.
   In the early part of this century, a group of lawyers met in England to discuss the biblical accounts of Jesus' resurrection. They wanted to see if sufficient information was available to make a case that would hold up in an English court of law. When their study was completed, they published the results of their investigation. They concluded that Christ's resurrection was one of the most well-established facts of history!
   In his little book, Countdown, G. B. Hardy has given us some thought-provoking questions about the resurrection. "There are but two essential requirements: 1. Has anyone cheated death and proved it? 2. Is it available to me? Here is the complete record: Confucius' tomb -- occupied. Buddha's tomb -- occupied. Mohammed's tomb -- occupied. Jesus' tomb -- empty! Argue as you will, there is no point in following a loser."
   The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reality. Countless changed lives testify that it's a fact -- not a fable!

Title:  Evidence

   John Singleton Copley, one of the great legal minds in British history and three times High Chancellor of England, wrote, "I know pretty well what evidence is, and I tell you, such evidence as that for the resurrection has never broken down yet."

See:  Matt 28:1-17

Title:  Don't Forget

   A man was going down a street when in a store window he saw a very beautiful picture of the crucifixion. As he gazed spellbound at the vividly pictured story, he suddenly became conscious that at his side stood a young boy. The boy, too, was gazing at the picture, and his tense expression made the man know that "The Crucifixion" had really gripped the eager little soul. Touching the boy on the shoulder, the man said, "Sonny, what does it mean?" "Doncha know?" he answered, his face full of the marvel of the man's ignorance. "That there man is Jesus, an' them others is Roman soldiers, an' the woman what's cryin' is His mother, an'" he added, "they killed 'im!"
   The man did not want to move from in front of that impressive piece of artwork but he had other things he had to do, so he turned and walked away. In a few moments he heard footsteps on the street behind him, and there came rushing up the boy. "Say, mister," he exclaimed breathlessly, "I forgot to tell you, but He rose again!"

See:  1 Cor 15:3-8

Title:  Wellington at Waterloo

   General Wellington commanded forces at Waterloo. When the battle was over, he spelled out by code, "Wellington defeated...," yet fog set in, and people only saw news of "defeat." The fog cleared and the message continued. "Wellington defeated Napolean at Waterloo." People looked at the death of Christ and said "defeat." Yet, at the Resurrection, God's message was finished. The resurrection spelled victory.

See:  1 Cor 15:54-57

Title:  The Resurrection of joy of peace

   Plenty of great teachers, mystics, martyrs and saints have spoken words full of grace and truth. In the case of Jesus alone, however, the belief has persisted that when he came into the world, God deigned to take on the likeness of a man in order that men might reach out.
   For myself, as I approach my end, I find Jesus' outrageous claim ever more captivating and meaningful. Quite often, waking up in the night as the old do, I feel myself to be half out of my body, hovering between life and death, with eternity rising in the distance.
   I see my ancient carcass, prone between the sheets, stained and worn like a scrap of paper dropped in the gutter and, hovering over it, myself, like a butterfly released from its chrysalis stage and ready to fly away. Are caterpillars told of their impending resurrection? How in dying they will be transformed from poor earth-crawlers into creatures of the air, with exquisitely painted wings? If told, do they believe it? I imagine the wise old caterpillars shaking their heads -- no, it can't be; it's a fantasy.
   Yet in the limbo between living and dying, as the night clocks tick remorselessly on, and the black sky implacably shows not one single streak or scratch of gray, I hear those words: I am the resurrection, and the life, and feel myself to be carried along on a great tide of joy and peace.

   -- Malcom Muggeridge

See:  1 Cor 15:51-57

Title:  Questions with the Same Answer

   All these questions have the same answer.
   What is it that gives a widow courage as she stands beside a fresh grave?
   What is the ultimate hope of the cripple, the amputee, the abused, the burn victim?
   How can the parents of brain-damaged or physically handicapped children keep from living their entire lives totally and completely depressed?
   Why would anyone who is blind or deaf or paralyzed be encouraged when they think of the life beyond?
   How can we see past the martyrdom of some helpless hostage or devoted missionary?
   Where do the thoughts of a young couple go when they finally recover from the grief of losing their baby?
   When a family receives the tragic news that a little daughter was found dead or their dad was killed in a plane crash or a son overdosed on drugs, what single truth becomes their whole focus?
   What is the final answer to pain, mourning, senility, insanity, terminal diseases, sudden calamities, and fatal accidents?

   By now you've guessed correctly: the hope of bodily resurrection.

See:  1 Cor 15:42-57

Title:  Thank You God

   The promise of the resurrection was especially comforting to a woman named Frieda Barkman after her 15-year-old foster son, Vernon, was killed in an accident. Afraid that he would soon be forgotten by most of his friends, she was writing feverishly, hoping she could in some way help to keep alive the memory of her son. Then suddenly she realized that she did not need to do this. Vernon was still alive. He was not out of existence. He and all his Christian loved ones and friends would meet again. How did she know? Her is her answer: "Because of Easter. Because at our last family devotions he had prayed, 'Thank you, God, that I am Your son.'"

See:  Rev 14:13

Title:  Thorns Become Roses

   An old legend tells of a parish priest who found a branch of a thorn tree twisted around so that it resembled a crown of thorns. Thinking it a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ, he took it into his chapel and placed it on the altar on Good Friday. Early on Easter morning he remembered what he had done. Feeling it was not appropriate for Easter Sunday, he hurried into the church to clear it away before the congregation came. But when he came into the church, he found the thorn branches blossoming with beautiful roses.

See:  Isa 53:11-12; Heb 2:9-10; 1 Pet 4:1-2

Title:  What Easter means to Christians

(1 Cor. 15:54) The German theologian Jurgen Moltmann expresses in a single sentence the great span from Good Friday to Easter. It is, in fact, a summary of human history, past, present, and future: "God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him."

--Philip Yancey in Christianity Today

Title:  Song of Easter

The Song Goes On In his allegory The Singer, Calvin Miller gives insight into the supernatural war that was waged in those days from the cross to the empty tomb. The Troubadour (Christ) brings a song of love to the world ruled by World Hater (Satan). Later, as the Troubadour is being tortured, World Hater cries out to God,

" 'Look how he dies. Cry, Creator, Cry! This is my day to stand upon the breast of God and claim my victory over love. You lost the gamble. In but an hour your lover will be pulp upon the gallows. Did you tell him when his fin gers formed the world, that he would die on Terra, groaning with his hands crushed in my great machine?'

"He laughed and turned to look again upon the Troubadour. 'Now, who will sing the Father's Song?' he asked the dying man."

Later in the story, Miller paints this scene: "World Hater reached the threshold of eternity and found the doorway of the worlds, not only open, but clearly ripped away. He strained to hear the everlasting wail, the eternal dying which he loved. All was silent. Then he heard the Song.

" ' No!' he cried. 'Give me back the door and key for this is my domain.' He felt again and found the great key at his waist had disappeared.

"He steeled himself for the battle out ahead. He would have to fight the Song. He would fight with every weapon in his arsenal of hate.

"But he knew that he would lose. And he knew that when the course of time was done, the door would be put back upon the Canyon of the Damned, and he would be locked in with all the discord of the universe. And he would suffer with all of those he had taught to hate the Song. . . ."

Title:  Legend of the Sand Dollar

Legend of the Sand Dollar

There's a pretty little legend
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus
Found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely,
You'll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman's Spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
Its center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday
Our Happy Christmastide.

Now break the centre open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread Good Will and Peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me
To help us spread his Gospel
Through all eternity.

~ Author Unknown by Me ~

Title:  Easter

by Pastor L.E. Brown

Have you ever heard the unusual account of how the news of the battle of Waterloo reached England? The word was carried first by sailing ship to the southern coast. From there it was to be relayed by signal flags to London. When the report was received at Winchester, the flags on the cathedral began to spell it out: "Wellington defeated...."

Before the message could be completed, however, a heavy fog moved in. Gloom filled the hearts of the people as the fragmentary news spread throughout the surrounding countryside.

But when the mists began to lift, it became evident that the signals of Winchester Cathedral had really spelled out this triumphant message: "Wellington defeated the enemy!"

Jesus' burial chamber was not the final word; the message was not complete until the stone was rolled away!

Title:  Easter incomplete without the scars

One detail in the Easter stories has always intrigued me: Why did Jesus keep the scars from his crucifixion? Presumably he could have had any resurrected body he wanted, and yet he chose one identifiable mainly by scars that could be seen and touched. Why?

 I believe the story of Easter would be incomplete without those scars on the hands, the feet, and the side of Jesus. When human beings fantasize, we dream of pearly straight teeth and wrinkle-free skin and sexy ideal shapes. We dream of an unnatural state: the perfect body. But for Jesus, being confined in a skeleton and human skin was the unnatural state. The scars are, to him, an emblem of life on our planet, a permanent reminder of those days of confinement and suffering.

 I take hope in Jesus' scars. From the perspective of heaven, they represent the most horrible event that has ever happened in the history of the universe. Even that event, though, Easter turned into a memory. Because of Easter, I can hope that the tears we shed, the blows we receive, the emotional pain, the heartache over lost friends and loved ones, all these will become memories, like Jesus' scars. Scars never completely go away, but neither do they hurt any longer. We will have re-created bodies, a re-created heaven and earth. We will have a new start, an Easter start.

--Phillip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, p.219