In Case you missed it: Before and After

Here is the sermon that I shared Sunrise Service Easter Morning in case you missed it.

Mark 16:1-8

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

When dealing with stories in the Gospels We often have to look to the other Gospels to get the full story. Now the other Gospels tell that the women did tell the disciples about what had happened at the tomb that morning. They also tell that this information triggered a foot race between Peter and John. The only comparison I could give would between Craig (my brother) and I, with Craig giving me a 100 meter head start. On the way Peter had to thinking “Why single me out, out of the twelve why me?” The angel did say to go tell the disciples and Peter.

After all Peter was a nobody. A fisherman from Galilee just as his father was and the father before that and you get the picture. That is until Jesus steps into the boat. He is told to go out further and cast his nets. The nets are instantly filled with fish to the point of sinking both Peter’s boat and Andrew’s boat as well. At this point Jesus calls Peter to be one of his disciples.

Peter’s journey over the next three years would prove to be nothing short of spectacular. Witnessing miracles beyond belief, from the healing of his own mother to the feeding of over 5000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. And who could forget walking on water.

However despite all the highs, as Peter running to the tomb, he is at an all time low.

You see the last conversation that Peter had with Jesus while he was alive, came with some disturbing news. Even though Peter was willing to go the end for Jesus, Jesus told Peter that before the rooster crowed the next morning Peter would deny Jesus three times. And despite the court yard’s bystanders attempts It happened just as Jesus said it would.

Peter and John found the tomb exactly how the women described it. Stone, rolled away, tomb, empty, angel, still sitting on the right with the same message to return to Galilee where Jesus would meet them and ultimately set Peter straight, but that’s a whole other sermon for another day.

That morning Peter found the tomb empty marked a turning Point in Peter’s story. From this point on there is a before and an after. Before Peter may have been the unspoken leader of the twelve, but when the time came be was to scared to even be associated with Jesus. After Peter became the outspoken leader of the group and boldly took the News of Jesus where no one else dared to go.

I know for a fact that many of us in this room could tell a before and after story. Some are more simple than others but they’re there.

Think of a moment in your life that changed you. I will leave you to interpret that how you want. Write that moment on the index card you were given. On the other side, I want you to write who you were before and after that moment. You should find pens in the Hymnal holders

(Give two minutes)

I’m sure that if we took a survey of the moments represented on those cards. Your moment is very different from the one sitting next to you.

However there is one moment that we will all have to face at one moment or another. It is the same moment that Peter was faced with. It is the moment at the empty tomb. The moment that you realize that Jesus is indeed Risen from the dead.

That moment you realize that Christ died for you. No matter who you are or what you have done Christ loved you so much he died for you.

That moment you hear of the free gift of God. That all you have to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross to take your sins, smashed them to smithereens when he rose again anthe d is coming back for each of us.

The moment you cry out to God for this gift. Romans 10:23 states that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I realize that the only thing between you and breakfast is me.

I also realize that we are about to share a meal with one another. Take this opportunity to ask those around you about this gift. Our church has been blessed with three pastors, several laymen and women, and others who have come to this moment and are writing their afters. Go ahead ask any questions you may have and for the rest of you, don’t be afraid to answer those questions.

Let us pray.

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