“On the morning of Aug. 27, 1883, the most stupendous explosion ever recorded took place. It was heard as far away as 3,000 miles.
“The whole of the northern and lower part of the island of Krakatoa, lying between Java and Sumatra, had blown off. Stone, dust and ashes shot 17 miles above the earth. Entire forests were buried beneath the debris. One hundred and fifty miles away the sky went dark and people had to use lamps at midday. The tidal waves reached as far as Cape Horn, 8,000 miles distant. Across the world, the weather and sunsets were dramatically affected for many months.” (Richard Bewes)
The destructive magnitude of this volcanic eruption is staggering, but we want to consider an even greater detonation—one that has been constructive and positively transformative in its effect—the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!
I. Easter Is an Event…and We Can Make a Discovery! (
[In such a powerful narrative, help the listeners feel the force of the storyline: Tell the story! Here is the place to touch the factuality of the resurrection of our Lord.]
Before dawn, a group of women come to Jesus’ tomb. The stone had been rolled away from the entrance. Remember, the stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out, but to allow us to look in and see the tomb is empty.
The women, John and Peter each saw the grave clothes, as well as the cloth that had been around His head, folded neatly. Where was the body of the Lord Jesus?
Sceptical John Dominic Crossan argues that dogs ate the body of Jesus. French critic Charles Guignebert alleges the disciples threw the body into a ditch. Where is the evidence?
John, emboldened by Peter’s brash entrance into the tomb, entered himself and believed!
The evidence is overwhelming, yet here is what is most important: We are to “believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead” (
The apostles were furnished with many convincing proofs (
There was much the disciples did not yet understand, but John saw and believed. Have we made that discovery for ourselves?
II. Easter Is an Experience, and We Can Enter Its Delight (
There is another kind of demonstration and proof: “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!” Jesus enters our daily experiences.
Mary Magdalene was distraught, crying. The resurrection was only a rumor to her; she was very unsure—even after a conversation with two angels!
Jesus was standing there, but she did not realize it was Him. She assumed He was the gardener until He spoke to her.
Jesus called her by name. He knows our names!
She expected to resume the old relationship with Jesus, but He instructed her to return to the disciples. He would be ascending to heaven (v. 17). She was not to hold onto Him. Notice the personal pronouns here: My Father, your Father, my God, your God.
In returning to the disciples, there was no way she could conceal the exquisite delight in her heart: “I have seen they Lord!”
After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, all of India was in deep mourning. Three days later, Mrs. Naidu, one of India’s greatest poets, wrote the wrenching lines:
“O Bapu, O little Father, come back.
We’re orphaned without you. We’re lost without you.
Come back and lead us. We need you.”
This was an eloquent plea, but there was no answer. Praise be to God that we do not need to cry, “O Jesus, come back!” He has come back and is alive. He is at work in His world. We are Easter people, the sons and daughters of the resurrected Christ! We are the people of the future. We are the people before time. Will you come and join with us?