by Stephen Whitney

He’s Alive
Stephen Whitney
Matthew 28:1-8

Easter Sermon
Samuel and his father along with seven others were on a plane that crashed in the jungles of Indonesia. Everyone was killed except 20-year-old Samuel who had been sleeping and banged his head when the plane crashed. He awoke some distance from the wreckage, with head injuries and bruises on his body.

When he regained consciousness, he saw a rescue team looking at the wreckage of the plane, but was too weak to call out to them. Rescuers who had located the plane two days after the crash said that everyone was killed because they weren’t able to identify each person. When the authorities brought the remains of the bodies to the family they buried what they believed to be the bodies of Samuel and his father and then put tombstones over their graves.

After the rescue crew left, Samuel got up enough strength and walked through the thick fog in the dense jungle for five days until he came to a village where a farmer found him weak and emaciated. Outside the small clinic where he was recuperating, crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of him, shouting, ‘‘Miracle.’’

When a newspaper reporter came to interview him in his hospital bed he told the reporter, ‘‘I want to remove my tombstone that says I am dead.’’ Samuel wanted people to know that he was not dead, but alive and therefore to have his tombstone taken down.

When Jesus rose from the dead God wanted people to know he was alive so an angel was sent to roll back the stone which closed his tomb so people could see that he was no longer dead, but alive.

The hymn Christ Arose expresses his victory over death:
Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever with His saints to reign.

Puritan Thomas Adams wrote, ‘‘His death did justify us, His resurrection did justify his death. His resurrection is no only the object of our faith, but the example of our hope.’’

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