EASTER SUNDAY: MY DEATH IS NOT FINAL
Notes: Six hours, One Friday Series – 4 th April 2021

Luke 24:1-6

24 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! Remember

how he told you…

The calling of Christ was the cross of Christ. He left heaven and then Nazareth carpentry shop with one ultimate aim – six hours, one Friday on the hill of Calvary. The love of the Father awakened Christ to ensure victory over death forever.

We believe Jesus’ death and resurrection give us three Anchor points for our life. Points that we can stand on, lean on, build on.

1. My life is not futile
2. My failures are not fatal
3. My death is not final

As Mary was told, “remember how he told you…”, so today these stories remind us that our death is not final.

FANTASY OR REALITY: (Luke 7:11-17)

14  Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Jesus gave him back to his mother:
 What had been taken is returned.
 What had been stolen is retrieved.
 What you had given up, you are given back.

Jesus gave the woman much more than her son. He gave her a secret – a whisper that was overheard by us. “That,” he says pointing at the coffin, “that is fantasy. This, he grins, putting an arm around the boy, “this is reality.”

ROLL THE STONE AWAY: (John 11:1-40)
25  Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even
though they die;  26  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

34  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35  Jesus wept.

36  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
38  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the

entrance.  39  “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there

four days.”

40  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Stones have never stood in God’s way.
Roll the stone away – life is the offer and the call, but you still feel trapped behind a stone. Roll it away. Come
out…

COME OUT: (John 11:41-44)

43  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  44  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

How restrictive is the ball and chain of death! You try to run away from it – you can't. You try to run with it – it is too heavy. You try to ignore it, and it yanks you into reality.

But Jesus’ words must ring louder, ‘Lazarus, come out. Richard, come out. Jaci, come out.’

TAKE HOME THOUGHT:
Jesus saw people enslaved by their fear of cheap power. He explained that death was nothing to fear. The people wouldn’t believe him. He touched a boy and called him back to life. The followers were still unconvinced. He whispered life into the dead body of a girl. The people were still cynical. He let a dead man spend four days in a grave and then called him out. Is that enough? Apparently not. For it was necessary for him to enter into death, to submerge himself in the water of death before people would believe that death had been conquered.

OFFER: Peace where there should be pain. Confidence in the midst of crisis. Hope defying despair.

The answer to the question asked by every mortal, “Does death have the last word?” I can see Jesus wink as he gives the answer. “Not on your life.”
We hear these stories of Jesus commanding death to leave and life to return but how do we know that these weren’t miracles reserved for these few people?

Luke 24:5

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  6  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you…
It’s for us too. Jesus overcame death so we may have life. Our death is not final.
As the Father had been with Jesus on earth as he overturned death time after time, so the Father was with
Jesus and overturned death for him in order that we may no longer die, but live.