Easter Service (2012)
I love Easter. Easter was the time of the year when I got filled with the Holy
Ghost, filled with the power of God for the first time, baptised in the spirit down in
Waikanae at a camp. I had an encounter with God that changed my life, and I
want just to speak on the power of resurrection this morning briefly. You got a
Bible - be great if you could open it.
I want to draw your attention to a couple of things that people don't notice, or
don't realise, about Easter - what happened at the original time when Jesus died
and rose from the dead. One of the things that we understand in the Christian
faith, the great hope we have, is the resurrection. I don't know how people can
live their life, not being sure where they're going, what's going to happen the
other side of death, what's going to happen after you die. I don't know how
people can live like that, without having the assurance that we have, as believers
and followers in Christ, that there definitely is a resurrection. Death does not end
Let's have a look, and I want to look at two scriptures, Matthew 27 and 28, and
they describe what happened when Jesus died. We're not going to go to all of it. I
just want to draw your attention to a couple of parts of it, firstly about Jesus'
death, and so in Verse 50, Matthew 27 verse 50, and it said: Jesus cried out
again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. Then behold the veil of the
temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; the earth quaked, the rocks were
split, the graves were opened; and many of the bodies of the Saints who'd fallen
asleep were raised, and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, went into
the Holy City and appeared to many. And the centurion and those with him, who
were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and what happened, they were terribly
frightened, they were greatly afraid, said: truly this is the Son of God.
The first thing I want to describe, just to talk to you a little bit about Jesus' death.
Many have seen the film "The Passion of the Christ", so you understand the
horrors of how Jesus was put to death, and I want you to notice something about
His actual death on the cross. The Bible says that: He cried with a loud voice. In
other words, He shouted out! Now I've been with many people who died. You
know what one thing is common with all of them, apart from the fact they died
was this: they died very quietly, very quietly. I've seen, and been with many
people when they've died, and usually what happens is, their voice gets very,
very quiet, because they have very little breath left; and then as they die, often
the voice fades away completely. Then there's often a rattle, and they breathe
their last breath. That's how many people that I've watched die, and that has
been how they died. It's very, very quiet. Sometimes it was so quiet, you never
heard a thing, just suddenly you were aware that they had gone.