As we continued our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection at Eastbrook Church, I continued the themes of our series “The Good News of Jesus.” This second weekend, we explored four post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary, the disciples as a group, Thomas, and Peter in John 20:11-21:25. Each of these stories gives us insight into the ways that the resurrection of Jesus intersects with our ordinary lives, in such things as grief, fear, doubt, and failure.
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at Eastbrook Church, we begin a two-week exploration of “The Good News of Jesus.” This first weekend, with our Easter celebration, we turn our attention to the account in John 20:1-10 about Jesus’ empty tomb.
While so much could be said about Jesus’ resurrection, in my message this past weekend at Eastbrook, “The Good News of the Resurrected One,” I brought three specific aspects of Jesus’ resurrection into focus:
- light overwhelming darkness
- freedom overcoming prisons
- life overpowering death
During Lent at Eastbrook Church, we continue to explore the soul-deep hungers in our lives planted there by God in order to lead us to Himself. The series, “Hungry for God,” parallels the season of Lent, and has a companion daily devotional that you can access here.
This weekend I explored the hunger for peace. There were so many ways we could approach this topic. In fact just a short while ago, I preached on Jesus as the Prince of Peace. However, this weekend, I decided to focus in on Jesus’ Passion and the journey from the triumphal entry to the cross and beyond to the resurrection. I asked: how does Jesus’ Passion related to the peace He promised to bring?
Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. (Luke 24:12a)
unbelievable words move me,
send my heart shivering.
could this be what He meant,
or is it the nonsense of grieving hearts?
in that reeling moment,
suddenly i am running to the tomb,
leaning in, and looking at the
empty linen strips.
His body gone, but no angels for me;
none for me who left Him to die.
i feel so alone and confused,
like a soul in exile from the world.
what can all this mean?
what did Jesus mean?
were these all unbelievable words?
[This is the eighth in a group of original poems composed for Holy Week.]
A lot of times we think of the word ’empty’ in a negative light. But when does emptiness become a good thing? Our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection – and the empty tomb – sheds some important light on that.
My message this past Easter weekend at Eastbrook Church was an exploration of the meaning of “Empty” in light of the resurrection. I walked through John 20:1-31, with reference to a few different passages along the way.
You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here.
He was surrounded by the darkness of evil, but His light overcame that darkness.
He was laid into the tomb like the prison of sin on the human race, but it couldn’t hold Him as He broke free.
He endured that great fear of humanity – death – but He destroyed its powerful sting with resurrection life.
It looked like the end, but it wasn’t the end of the story.
[This post is part of a series of brief reflections from John’s Gospel on Jesus for the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.]