Sorrow Does Not Win- Do You Believe This? John 11:25-26; 20:1-8
?Sorrow Does Not Win- Do You Believe this?? John 11:25,26; John 20?1-8 Easter 10:30
[For a video of this sermon, click here:? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYLj470EfLM
We met a lady in our state who had absolutely nothing. She didn?t even have an elementary education- and her parents didn?t encourage her to go to school at all. She was 70 years old, lived by herself, she couldn?t get around very well- had tons of health problems from not eating right- you know the old SC diet of fatback, carbohydrates and sugar. Her husband died or left her years ago. She had children who had mental problems, and a few who died tragic deaths- one of them to drugs. She could not afford a car- and there were no buses and a sporadic taxi service where she lived. But the wonderful thing about her is she had no worries. She had no pride. She was able to hold so lightly to this world. She was deeply sincere, deeply moral, and deeply Christian. She often shared verses with me- even though she couldn?t read well- she learned them by memory. She prayed and sang all the time. She went to church every day- she wanted to be there. To her, that small church was her bread and butter. She was an Easter person. It wasn?t that her pastor was that great- or had inspiring words to say- she loved the Lord deeply. She lived Easter every day. For Easter is a reminder that this world is not all there is. It is a reminder there is hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary, and joy for the broken hearted. It means that those beneath life?s crushing load- will have their load lifted. It means that the final word is not the despair of the cross or the meanness of human beings. Easter means the vindication of the Meek- as Jesus the Meek who told his followers to put away their swords was vindicated and triumphed over the worst they could do. The faith in many ways is simple. It is not that we know all about life in order to believe- but as Augustine said, ?We believe in order to understand.? Life makes more sense when we believe. John Leith said, ?The resurrection means that the ultimate power is not the impersonal forces but the purposive, loving action of God. The possibility of the resurrection rests upon the power of God to act personally in the created order.
OVERTURNED WHAT EVIL PEOPLE HAVE DONE- On Good Friday appears Pilates, Caiaphases, the people who were shouting crucify Him on the streets were the winners. We live in a world in which evil seems to be winning. Lust seems to be winning over love. Power seems to be winning over meekness. Unkindness and bullying seems to be winning over kindness and grace. I hear things like- you might as well give in and quit fighting against drug abuse because it is more powerful and it is eventually all going to be legal. I hear people say things like the gangs aren?t here yet- but give it enough time- they will get here. I hear things like- you might as well give up being able to speak about your faith or pray publicly- the great silencer is coming. Well- they silenced Jesus. They killed Him- but the Good News came pouring out three days later and it hasn?t stopped. Evil, silence, skepticism, doubt, death, hopelessness, meaninglessness is not the way to live.?? Good Christians even seem to be giving up on hope and good. But the resurrection is a reminder of who really wins in the end. Maybe we are at a Good Friday moment in our culture. ???? The real world- is not the one that says evil wins. The real world- is the risen Christ. It takes faith to believe that there is more to life than what we see. But it also takes faith to believe that all there is to life is what we see. Before they invented the microscope we didn?t know about little organisms called bacteria. One philosopher said we could never ever see and atom. But there is more to life than what we can see. Before they invented the Hubble telescope some doubted that there were any other planets out there. But why not? God is a big God and He is not just God of our little channel. He has the full spectrum of channels. Our vision is limited. Some said we would never be able to see in the dark- but now we have infrared cameras- we have on in our gym that sees even when the lights are off. But our eyes are limited- don?t let your mind be limited as well. Jesus told Thomas who doubted to believe.? He also said blessed are those who do not see yet believe.? One day we will be amazed at how wonderfully great God is. We think death is all there is. But the resurrection is a sign to us that there is more out there. We only can see the short sight and not beyond the horizon- but there is a whole world on the other side of the horizon. We may think the world is limited. But there is more to the world than death. ???? There are some of you who are here and thinking that you do not really belong here. Maybe you think you aren?t good enough. Maybe you are stuck in some problem you had in your past. But look around you. Everyone on your pew has messed up. Everyone has problems. Everyone sins. The church is the place we come to get better. The church is not a museum for the saints but a hospital for sinners. The good news is your evil does not win- it has no power over you unless you believe more in the power of your evil than in the power of Jesus to change you. In the end Jesus wins- no evil- including your own- is too great for Christ to overcome. There is a movie coming out this week- ?Heaven is for Real.? It is one of hundreds of thousands of testimonies of near death experiences- where people who come close to death experience heaven or in some cases the other place. My point is- do not walk by what you see alone. There is another world out there beyond our vision- beyond the horizon. Jesus? resurrection gave us a glimpse of that world. We have the opportunity to follow Him.?? CONFIRMATION OF TEACHINGS- ABOUT MEEKNESS AND LOVE= Not power, money, and hate. There was no more powerful yet meek man than Jesus. There is a reason to love more than it is the right thing to do- it is that God vindicates and rewards love and meekness in the end. Evil and mean-ness is stopped dead in its tracks. There have been many times when you may grow tired of doing what is right. You might feel like the people who do what is wrong are the winners.?? They will point to the cross of death. But I invite you to look at the risen Jesus. Death is no longer the final answer. Evil is not the final word. It is life. It is hope. It is love. It is a purpose. It is Jesus. I invite you to know this risen Lord. Ask Him into your heart- do not be afraisd to commit to life and leave death behind. Then, do not keep that good news to yourself. The women told the disciples. The disciples told the world- He lives! The world needs to hear words of hope. Angie?s list tells us where the good plumbers, electricians, restaurants, and more are. Millions will go there to testify. But in the end- plumbing breaks, wires falter, you have to eat again. But there is an eternal answer to our deepest need. It is the living death-defying-meek- loving Christ! Sorrow does no win- God gives us the victory through Christ. Commit to Him, believe in Him- follow Him- and tell someone about Him!