2014 Easter sermon by Rector Mark Leach at Trinity Anglican Church, Streetsville, Ontario, Canada
The world is full of suffering and death. How do you find happiness in the midst of all this? After millenniums, we have not figured out how to stop fighting each other. Jesus suffered on the cross for the joy that would come. He declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” John 11:25. It is only a great offer IF it is true! Ask yourself – Is my faith in Jesus reasonable? Unless Jesus rose from the dead, he cannot give us joy.
Consider the reasonableness of the resurrection:
- Empty tomb – there is no reasonable explanation for his body disappearing, aside from a miraculous resurrection.
- Eyewitness sightings – hundreds saw Christ after his resurrection.
- New world view – the Messiah had come and created a new way to enter the Kingdom of God
- History of the early church – the good news of the gospel spread to all peoples.
If that really happened, how does the Resurrection give us unspeakable joy? The resurrection means —
- The bad things which happen to us will work out for our good. Romans 8:28 No matter what we are going through, it is for our good.
- Our good things cannot be taken away from us. Everything outside of Jesus will be taken away from you. Everyone will die, yet nothing can separate us from the love of God “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
- The best is yet to come. All injustice and pain will go away. Revelation 21:4-5. This is a check for untouchable joy from God. It is only good when you cash it. How do you cash this check? Believe! That is the way to receive untouchable, eternal joy. When you say, “I believe,” you cash in on God’s promise.
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was only 4 years old. I have lived a happy life, in fact, I often have said I was born to be a princess except, since I did not have the trappings of a princess, I was born into the wrong family. My life was near perfect until I lost my daughter a little over five years ago. Though God gave comfort in so many ways, I thought I may never be truly happy again. Then my life was shattered when I learned my husband was an adulterer. However, God’s grace is amazing. True to His word, he has brought “untouchable, eternal joy” into my life. Have you cashed in on that check made out to you? Please share your story.