Easter Sunday All Age Talk

Passage Matthew 28:1-10

Powerpoint Slides

Sermon Audio

We had loads of “C and E” church-goers last week (Christmas and Easter).  Pretty close to the beginning of the talk I challenge them like this… (Do you think this sort of thing is valid / worthwhile??)

…Now imagine if Jesus had died and stayed dead in that tomb?  You know what would have happened, the women would have come, paid their respects to the memory of Jesus, they’d have gone home and gotten on with their lives without Him.

And if Jesus died and stayed dead, that would be an honourable thing to do!  They could come, pay their respects, remember the good times, remember His teaching and His love, then off home for some DIY on Easter Monday.  And perhaps they’d come back again next year, on the anniversary of His death and pay their respects again.

That would make total sense wouldn’t it… if Jesus had stayed dead.

But if He rose from the dead, then, once these women heard about it, they couldn’t dream of carrying on as normal, could they?  Once they hear that He’s alive, they can’t go back to their old lives.  Once the angel tells them, they need to meet this risen Jesus, don’t they?  Paying respects to a dead teacher has been forgotten, now they’ve just got to meet the risen Christ.

Now perhaps this morning, you’ve come to church, a bit like these women.  It is an honourable thing to do – to pay respects to the dead.  It’s understandable that you want to remember the teaching and the love of Jesus.  It’s admirable that you want to mark the anniversary of His death.

But what if He really did rise?  If He really did rise, it transforms everything.  It means Christianity is not about remembering a dead teacher.  Instead Christianity means knowing a Living Lord.

These women went home from the tomb determined to have a living encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.  Why don’t you make the same resolution this morning?  [I go on to explain about our Christianity Explored courses]…

Full sermon text below……………….

In our story we heard about what happened one Sunday 2000 years ago.  Some women were looking for Jesus.  Where did they look for Jesus?

They looked in a tomb.  Why did they look in a tomb to find Jesus?

Because on the Friday – this had happened…  What’s this a picture of?

So on the Friday Jesus died on a cross.  And Friday evening they laid Him in a tomb – like a grave.

So three days later you would expect Jesus to be where they put Him, wouldn’t you?  Dead people don’t move around.

But Jesus is the exception to the rule.

They go to the tomb and do they find Jesus?

No.  Instead they meet an angel who gives them the best news in the world:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: `He has risen from the dead.”

You know what this means for us?  If we’re looking for Jesus, we won’t find Him in a grave!  Every other person from history has ended up in a grave.  Jesus was just passing through.  In fact He passed all the way through death and came out the other side.

He’s the only person who’s ever done it.

But it means this – if we’re looking for Jesus, we won’t find Him in a tomb.  We won’t find Him in a graveyard.  We won’t find Him on an archaeological dig.  Jesus isn’t in the ground.  Jesus HAS risen.

And that means He’s alive and well today and He can be known by each and every one of us.

Now imagine if Jesus had died and stayed dead in that tomb?  You know what would have happened, the women would have come, paid their respects to the memory of Jesus, they’d have gone home and gotten on with their lives without Him.

And if Jesus died and stayed dead, that would be an honourable thing to do!  They could come, pay their respects, remember the good times, remember His teaching and His love, then off home for some DIY on Easter Monday.  And perhaps they’d come back again next year, on the anniversary of His death and pay their respects again.  That would make total sense wouldn’t it… if Jesus had stayed dead.

But if He rose from the dead, then, once these women heard about it, they couldn’t dream of carrying on as normal, could they?  Once they hear that He’s alive, they can’t go back to their old lives.  Once the angel tells them, they need to meet this risen Jesus, don’t they?  Paying respects to a dead teacher has been forgotten, now they’ve just got to meet the risen Christ.

Now perhaps this morning, you’ve come to church, a bit like these women.  It is an honourable thing to do – to pay respects to the dead.  It’s understandable that you want to remember the teaching and the love of Jesus.  It’s admirable that you want to mark the anniversary of His death.

But what if He really did rise?  If He really did rise, it transforms everything.  It means Christianity is not about remembering a dead teacher.  Instead Christianity means knowing a Living Lord.

These women went home from the tomb determined to have a living encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.  Why don’t you make the same resolution this morning?

At All Souls we’re running a course called Christianity Explored and it’s for anyone who’s looking for Jesus, looking for answers, looking for the truth.  We run it for women and provide childcare, starting this Wednesday morning.  And we also run it in the evening at the vicarage, and there’ll be a bit more time and space to ask your questions.

The whole point it to explore who this Jesus is, why He came, whether He really did rise from the dead and how you can know Him today.  Because if He did rise from the dead, then you NEED to meet Him.

BIG FISH EAT LITTLE ONES

Who has seen a picture like this before?  What’s about to happen?

The big fish is about to eat the little fish.

Well here’s some bad news.  The bad news is that death is bigger than every single person in this room.  Death is bigger than me and death is bigger than you.  We ALL get swallowed by death.

What do we do about that?  I mean we know that death gobbles up everything in its wake, what do we do about that?!

Imagine if a shark was coming to gobble up you…  And imagine if a friend of yours gave you some advice.

“cheer up, worse things happen at sea.”

“remember to count your blessings.”

“try not to think about it.”

“here, have a nice swimming costume, you’ll look fabulous!”

 “let me give you a swimming lesson”

Do you think any of those pieces of advice are very helpful??

No, and if someone gave you that kind of advice you’d think they were cruel.

But friends, that’s what all the world says when it comes to living in the light of death.  The world says

“cheer up – always look on the bright side of death.  Just before you draw your terminal breath…”

“count your blessings – you’ve had a good innings, mustn’t grumble.”

“take your mind off it, fill your life with distractions.  Take up a hobby, get busy at work, do anything to distract yourself from death.”

“try and look good while you wait.  Make the most of now.”

“Take some swimming lessons, maybe you can out-swim the shark.  This is what all the religions of the world are.  They are swimming lessons for someone about to get swallowed by a shark.  They tell you how to live but they won’t help you to die.”

Because what do we need with death bearing down on us?  We need someone bigger than the shark!  We need someone who can beat death for us.  We can’t do it.  But I know a man who can!

Jesus is bigger than death.  And on Easter Sunday He proved it.  He passed through death and out the other side into new life.  And in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul shouts out the good news.  Let’s shout it out too.

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”  (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)

You know what a Christian can say to death because of Easter?  We can say “Ner,. Ner, ner, ner, ner.”  That’s what these words are!  They are a big fat “Ner, ner, ner, ner, ner” to death.  Because of Easter, if we trust in Jesus we can turn around to death and say “You might be bigger than me death.  But my Big Brother Jesus, He’s bigger than you!  And on Easter Sunday He beat you, He came back from death.”

So the joke is on you, death.

.

Little fish, little fish
O what will you do
Little fish, little fish
Big fish will catch you
Swim harder, swim faster,
Have fun while it lasts
But know that disaster
Will catch you at last

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho,

Ah but Jesus Christ is risen today
Stepped out of the tomb
And the stone rolled away
Yes now Jesus Christ – He rose up to save
Went down into death and then swallowed the grave.

……………………………………

TALK PART TWO

Do you remember where the women looked for Jesus?

If we’re looking for Jesus, we won’t find Him in a grave!  Every other person from history has ended up in a grave.  Jesus was just passing through.  In fact He passed all the way through death and came out the other side.

But here’s some good news.  Because Jesus got through death and out the other side – He can get us through.

Let me give you one illustration of it.

BLACK CLOTH

Here’s some black cloth.  And the bible says death is a bit like this black cloth.  And one day it will wrap itself around me.  Yuck, creepy, horrible.

But you know what Jesus is like?

He’s like a needle.  Who wants to help me with this needle, you’ll have to be very, very careful because it’s sharp.

So the needle goes through the black cloth and out the other side.

What’s attached to the needle?

Thread.  Do you think the thread could pass through the black cloth by itself?  If I just had some thread and I wanted to get it through the black cloth, do you think I could?

No but if I attach the thread to the needle – the needle goes through and the thread follows.

And that’s the Easter story.  Jesus goes through death like a needle through cloth.  But if we trust Jesus we are attached to Jesus, and we get pulled through too!

Who remembers our pictures of the fish?

.

Little gal, little guy
O what will you do?
Little gal, little guy
Cos death will catch you!
Try harder, play nicer
Have fun while it lasts
But know that disaster
Will catch you at last

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho

Ah but Jesus Christ is risen today
Stepped out of the tomb
And the stone rolled away
Yes now Jesus Christ – He rose up to save
Went down into death and then swallowed the grave.

Little death, little death
O what will you do
Little death, little death
Big Jesus caught you
You frighten and bully
And think you’re so tough
But Jesus, my Brother
Will have the last laugh

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

That’s because Jesus Christ is risen today!
Stepped out of the tomb
And the stone rolled away!
Yes now Jesus Christ – He rose up to save,
Went down into death and then swallowed the grave!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Yes because Jesus Christ is risen today!
Stepped out of the tomb
And the stone rolled away!
Yes now Jesus Christ – He rose up to save,
Went down into death and then swallowed the grave!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

.

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8quLJ4mpIU”]

.

Posted on by Glen in resurrection, sermons

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

2 Responses to Easter Sunday All Age Talk

  1. Dave K

    Wonderful stuff. The talk, the powerpoint and the son… esp the laughs.

  2. Pingback: Podcast: Easter Edition | Christ the Truth

Add a Comment

Rimons twitter widget by Rimon Habib