My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Did you ever sit in school and think, “Why do I seriously need to know this?”
There’s a lot of life like that.
I was flying to Colorado once, and the flight attendant gave the whole, “In case of a water landing speech.”
And I was thinking, “Um, well, unless we suddenly drop in Lake Minnetonka, I’m not sure how this is relevant for this particular flight, but I’ll try and listen because, well, you never know.”
I’m sure Tilly Smith felt the same way back in 2004.
In 2004, Tilly Smith was a 10-year-old from England who was sitting in what was probably a boring geography class.
In class that day, her teacher was talking about the warning signs of Tsunamis.
And, the thing is, they don’t get Tsunamis in England, so it was probably hard for Tilly to even put into context.
It’s like doing an earthquake drills in MN.
But here’s the thing, later that year, Tilly’s family went on vacation to Thailand.
And on the morning of December 26th, 2004, Tilly was walking along the beach with her family when she saw the water beginning to bubble.
And then she noticed that the water wasn’t going in and out anymore, but just kept receding back farther into the ocean.
And just like that…she…remembered.
And that Geography lesson from back in England came to her
These were the warning signs of a Tsunami!
She tried to tell her mom that a Tsunami was coming, but her mom didn’t believe her.
Don’t judge her mom.
If your 10-year-old was like, “It’s a tsunami!”
You’d be like, “Sure honey”
But Tilly pleaded with her dad, and her dad told the security guards, who went down to see, but they confirmed the signs, and evacuated the entire beach.
Everyone climbed up to the third floor lobby of the hotel, and minutes later, an enormous wall of waves came crashing through.
And 10-year-old Tilly, from remembering her Geography lesson, saved the lives of over 100 people that morning.
This morning, I want to talk about another group of people who remembered something even more important.
And it occurred during the Easter story in the Bible
Before we get to Easter, let me set up the story for a second.
Jesus, the Savior, the Son of God was in Jerusalem.
But the religious leaders there didn’t like his teachings…in fact they hated him.
So they had him killed.
And on Friday, Jesus was killed on a cross (crucified) and died.
But now it’s Sunday.
3 days later.
In Jewish culture (as Jesus was a Jew), the day ended at sundown.
So Jesus died at 3 in the afternoon on the first day (Friday)
And so sundown on Saturday ended the 2nd day
And now it’s Sunday morning, the third day.
Let’s take a look together at what happens on that Sunday morning.
Everybody grab a Bible under the chair in front of you (or under your chair if you’re in the front row).
We won’t have this main passage on the screen.
Because I want you all to pick it up and see it, and study it yourselves.
So grab a Bible, page 722.
We are going to start at chapter 24 in the Book of Luke, so look for the big number 24 on the page and we’ll start there.
(Luke 24:1-6a) – NIV
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!
Okay, let’s pause there for a sec, but keep the Bible open on your lap because I want to explain some things.
This is a Bible-teaching church, so what we do each week here is to open up the Bible, and teach through it, so you can better understand it and thus better understand God.
So the women get to the tomb, and the stone has been rolled away (that’s v. 2)
And as they’re looking in the tomb, two shining men appear (angels), and the angels share this great line (at the end of v. 5): “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
In other words, “What are you doing here? Jesus is alive!”
“Do you look for living people in a cemetery? Of course not!”
Let’s keep reading. Verse 6 (the small 6)
THEY HAD FORGOTTEN / DIDN’T UNDERSTAND
(Luke 25:6-8) – NIV
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” 8 Then they remembered his words.
See, before Jesus was killed on the cross, he had told his followers multiple times exactly what was going to happen.
He said, “I’m going to be killed, and on the 3rd day, be raised to life”
(“Then They Remembered” Title Slide)
But now, much later, these women have clearly forgotten what Jesus told them.
If you still have the passage open to Luke 24, look at verse 1 again.
It says that the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
The spices were to help in the process of embalming the body of Jesus…to give it a proper burial
They’ve forgotten what He said about rising from the dead.
If they had remembered that He was going to rise again, they wouldn’t be bringing spices to prepare his body to stay in a tomb forever.
And maybe it wasn’t that they completely forgot, maybe part of it was that they just didn’t, or couldn’t, understand.
Like, imagine someone you admire very much said to you, “I’m going to seriously die here, but I’ll rise again”
You’d probably say, “Ah ha! That’s a metaphor! It’s not literal! They’re just going to have a really hard time, but “don’t call it a comeback”, here they come again rising back to prominence!!!”
And so the women didn’t remember that Jesus talked about “rising again” because honestly, it probably didn’t make sense to them when He said it anyway.
THEN THEY REMEMBERED
It’s like, Do you remember growing up when your parents would say to you, “The reason I’m doing this to you right now is because I’m your parent, and I love you. And someday, when you’re a parent, you’ll understand.”
And you said, “Yeah right!! I can think just fine for myself right now, thank you very much, and guess what, you’re crazy mom and dad!”
And then, years later, when you’re a parent, and your own child is driving you crazy…
…and all of a sudden you…remember what your mom or dad said to you.
And now, because well, the situation has changed, maybe they were right.
Maybe their words make sense.
That’s what’s happening here.
The women, and all of the disciples really, couldn’t understand what Jesus was saying earlier.
But now, as they’re standing in an empty tomb, the lightbulb comes on, and the Bible says, “And THEN THEY REMEMBERED His words.”
And it all makes sense.
Just like 10-year-old Tilly Smith might never have remembered that lesson on Tsunamis, but when it was right there in front of her, she remembered.
Sometimes we just need a new setting, a new way to look at things.
Many of you in this room have heard this story of Easter before.
Maybe in your youth.
From your mom or your grandma.
Or way back in Sunday School classroom or some confirmation class somewhere.
Or for some of you, maybe you didn’t grow up on church, but you’ve heard about Jesus on TV, or from others.
But for whatever reason, like the women walking to the tomb that day, for many of you, the message of Easter didn’t really stick.
Or at least not in any such a way that it became the one thing that governs your life.
It’s just been a thought, a concept, a piece of information in your head…
…kind of like Tilly Smith had filed some information in the back of her head about Tsunamis.
And because these women on Easter morning didn’t yet understand the information they knew about Jesus, they were walking that morning with sadness in their heart.
And for many of you today, that’s where you are too.
For you too, lately life has been hard. And difficult.
Some of you have lost loved ones, relationships have fallen apart.
Or your family has gone through all sorts of challenges.
And you may even feel at your wits end.
And so today, what I want you to do…is to remember.
Remember these words that have sat dormant and asleep inside so many of you for too long now:
That Jesus Christ was crucified and 3 days later, He rose again.
And He is alive today.
HE MUST DIE
And what the women begin to remember is deeper than just acknowledging that Jesus said he would die and rise again.
Let’s look at verse 7 again
(Luke 24:7) – NIV
7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”
What the women are remembering is that Jesus said He MUST die.
He had to.
His death was absolutely necessary. Why?
See, I find that many Americans can tell you that Jesus died on the cross, but few can actually explain why Jesus said he MUST die on the cross.
Think of it this way, when we see crime and sin out there in the world, what does our culture cry out for nowadays?
We believe that good authorities don’t just look the other way, but bring justice for wrongdoing.
Well, God, the ultimate authority, teaches in the Bible that there must be justice for our sins.
For how we’ve hurt others, and sinned against Him.
Someone needs to pay for our sins. Justice needs to be served.
God is good, just, and holy judge.
But God is also loving.
And God loves you so much that He sent Jesus, His own son, to pay, to die, for your sins.
Look at this verse from the Bible:
(1 John 4:9-10) – NIV
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
This is love…
That God would see every single thing you’ve ever done.
Even the things you’ve done in secret that no one else knows about.
And rather than just bringing down justice upon you, it says God sent His own son Jesus, who willingly came, as a sacrifice to take the justice in your place.
Jesus is sacrificing his own life for yours even though we don’t even deserve it.
That’s the offer He gives to you.
But like any gift, that forgiveness is only yours if you choose to open it.
You can reject a gift.
The Bible explains it this way:
(John 3:16) – NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
See, when you believe in Jesus…that is believed He died for you.
And you say, “I want to make you the leader of my life. I want to know you…talk to you…and follow you”
When you do that, God gives you what’s called “Eternal life
And that means you can know LIFE here on earth like you’ve never known it before just by walking with Jesus…WHO IS ALIVE!
And “eternal life” means that your faith will move the justice for your sins off of you, and onto Him.
And God now looks at you and says “not guilty,” so you can now spend ETERNITY in heaven.
But only your faith can do that.
You can’t earn it by being good enough.
We’ll never be good enough.
(“Then They Remembered” Title Slide)
But you can’t be saved by Him until it clicks for you that you need to be saved.
Just like a person who is trapped can’t be rescued until they grab the hand of the rescuer.
These words, these teachings (about his death & resurrection), they HAVE to come to life in your heart.
And maybe some of you are saying, “Inside of me…I’ve known this. I’ve known ABOUT this.
…that Jesus died and rose again…
…but I haven’t been living as if it were true.
It’s kind of been buried within me.
And what I’m saying to you today is to REMEMBER.
These women by the tomb, their whole life changed on those 3 words: “THEN THEY REMEMBERED”
Let this be the chapter in your story where it says, “And then they remembered!”
That Jesus came to die for THEM.
To rescue THEM.
Let that be your story.
You know these women, they came that Sunday morning, spices in hand, ready for a funeral.
They came to honor a good man, and remember his teachings, and what He did, and then to move on with their life.
And maybe that was you today.
You came to honor Jesus, but then back to your life.
But at the moment these women remembered, you can be sure that they took those funeral spices…and dropped them on the floor of the tomb
They don’t need them anymore.
And that’s where you need to drop your old life.
On the floor of the tomb.
And listen, I know some of you are hearing this for the first time.
If that’s you, hear it, believe it, walk in it.
This is incredibly good news!
But for the rest of you, somebody taught this to you long ago, and it was buried in you so that today, when you need it most, it would make sense!
Just like your parents’ advice to you as a teenager might not have made that much sense in the moment…but it makes all the sense in the world now…
Let THIS truth NOW sink into your heart when you need it most.
God LOVES you.
He sent His own Son Jesus to die for YOU
And He is alive…ALIVE…today so that when you put your faith in Him…
And when you tell him not just ““I remember….but now …I BELIEVE”
He will come into your life.
And He will save you from that eternal justice coming upon you and give you eternal life in heaven instead.
And this Jesus, who is ALIVE…will walk with you in your life right now…changing you as you walk together.
That’s what you can have in your life.
And sometimes we just need a symbolic moment to open the gift to grab the hand that came to rescue us.
And so I want to give you an opportunity to make a decision right now to say, “I BELIEVE”
I believe that Jesus Christ did come and died for me, and I want to follow Him.
That’s the decision that gives you that “Eternal Life” we read about.
In fact, let’s just have everyone bow their head and close their eyes, just for a minute.
If you need to make this decision for the first time today…to receive his forgiveness and gift of Eternal Life
In just a minute, I’m going to ask you to stand up
No one’s going to be looking at you, that’s why we had everyone close their eyes.
But sometimes in life, we just need that moment…to take a first step.
To say, “I remember, and I believe. It’s me. I do, God. Right here. And I’m following you!”
And if you need to do that today, and I bet you already know it on your heart and you can feel it inside right now…
If you need to tell God for the first time today that you do believe, and you want to follow Him and be forgiven.
Then I invite you to stand where you are right now.
The Bible tells us that in this moment we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths.
Repeat after me
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
As everyone still has their eyes closed, for those of you standing up, you just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…
So here’s what we’re going to do to get you that…as everyone has their eyes closed, I want you, in just a second, to walk back out to the lobby where it will be quiet.
You won’t walk out there alone.
There are many others standing with you, and our follow-up team is going to walk out at the same time with you
And I, and our follow-up team, for just a couple of minutes, are going to get you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life (and then you can sneak back in the service).
If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.
All right, I’m going to pray, and you can go as I pray.
Go ahead.Let’s pray
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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