I did a quick calculation and figured out that this month will be my thirty-fifth year to celebrate Easter in full-time ministry. Counting Sunrise services and multiple morning services at most of the churches where I have served, that comes out to about ninety-five Easter morning services and sermons!
I have not preached a different message at each one of those Easter services, but still, that’s a lot of Easter sermons. Every year it’s a challenge to come up with a new and fresh way to tell the “old, old story” of Christ’s triumph over the grave.
Think for a moment about how many Easter sermons you have heard in your lifetime. Are any of them memorable? Do any of them stand out in your mind? I didn’t think so. I don’t even remember most of the ones I have preached.
And yet, the story never gets old because it’s the story that shapes all other stories. It’s the story that changed human history forever. As the Apostle Paul said, it’s the story that’s of “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3) – that Christ died for our sins and that on the third day he was raised from the dead.
Christ is risen from the dead! That’s the message of Easter, and no matter how much preachers might try to dress it up or express it in different words, that’s really all we have to say. Christ died and he lives again.
No doubt I will say more than that on Easter Sunday. I never get tired of preaching it and I hope you never get tired of hearing it. It’s the story that never gets old because it’s the story we need to hear every day: because Christ lives, you and I live as well. Amen. See you in church this Easter!
Grace and peace,