The Impact of Jesus' Resurrection
Tony R. Nester
Last Sunday I explained that the reason I believe in the resurrection of Jesus is because I have had an experience similar to the experience Mary Magdalene had on that first Easter morning. Just as she recognized Jesus when he called her my name, so I have recognized the voice of Jesus calling me by name.
But while that is my primary reason for believing in the Living Christ, it is not my only reason. There is a second reason for my belief in the Risen Christ and that is what I want to share with you this morning.
This second reason has to do with the change that came over Jesus followers. When Jesus died on that Friday afternoon before the Jewish Passover no one expected him to rise from the dead. All of Jesus' followers were dispirited -- their hope in Jesus had been destroyed and they hid in fear from the Jewish authorities.
I'm going to repeat a story I told at our Easter sunrise service -- my apologies to those of you who heard it then -- but it bears repeating today with more of the Congregation present.
Three-year old Nicole was as anxious for Easter to come as she had been for Christmas to come. As her mother was expecting their third child in just a few weeks, many persons were giving the family baby gifts. Nicole had picked out a new dress and her mother had given her a new white bonnet. As they stopped at a store to buy her a new pair of shoes to go with her outfit, she once again said, "I can't wait for Easter, Daddy!" Her father asked her, "Do you know what Easter means, honey?" She replied, "Yes." "Well, what does Easter mean?" In her own sweet three-year-old way, with arms raised, a smile on her face, and at the top of her voice she said, "Surprise!" (1).
Jesus' followers were caught completely by surprise by Jesus' resurrection. No one was expecting a resurrection. They expected, instead, to slink out of Jerusalem when they thought they could make a safe escape and ...
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