SermonCelebrating Resurrection Day
An all-creatures Bible Message

Celebrating Resurrection Day
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
4 April 2021
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Mark 16:1-8
 
Celebrating Resurrection Day is what we should be doing on this day as a holy but joyful day, but unfortunately for most people it has become the unholy celebration of Easter which is filled with candy, boiled and colored eggs, rabbits, chicks, and dining upon the tortured remains of many animals who wanted to live just as much as we do.
 
And this increase in the eating of animals all over the world became even more evident this week following the freeing of the wedged Evergreen container ship in the Suez Canal, when we learned that there were about 20 of the ships waiting to go through the canal that were loaded with more than 100,000 live animals destined for slaughter.
 
Furthermore, we believe that all of this eating of animals and their byproducts is against the heavenly will of God for it involves horrible pain, suffering, and death which does not exist in heaven.
 
Most of the people in this world are not following the peaceful and heavenly will teachings of Jesus; they are following the corrupt and evil teachings of the devil in this world.
 
This is the opposite of what we should be celebrating this and every Resurrection Day.
 
This day should be a reminder of the day that Jesus rose from the dead and exited His tomb and appeared to some of the women and others afterwards.
 
This is the day that should remind us that His rising from the dead proved that everything He taught and did was true and was from God the Father.
 
This should be the day that reminds us to repent of all our corrupt and violent ways and truly seek to be like Jesus and rejoice that we who truly believe will always be with Him in heaven.
 
Letís take a look at the resurrection account as recorded in Mark 16:1-8, but remember that Mark (John Mark) was not one of the people who was present at the time of the resurrection, though he may have been a disciple of Peter and was with Paul and Barnabas.
 
1. And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
 
At this point in time, there was nothing to celebrate, for as far as they knew Jesus was dead in His tomb.
 
They believed what the world taught about life and death, and not what Jesus taught and told them.
 
2. And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
 
This is early Sunday morning.
 
Jesus was crucified on Friday morning.
 
3. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"
 
From their conversation, we know that they really expected to find Jesus in the tomb.
 
Weíre not sure why they didnít remember that Jesus had said that on the third day He would rise.
 
Perhaps like so many people today, they just didnít believe.
 
4. And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.
 
This was the first indication that something ďstrangeĒ had happened.
 
However, we believe that they were still thinking in human terms, and that someone had rolled away the stone and they were wondering who had done it.
 
5. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.
 
From the description, it also appears that they didnít realize that this young man was an angel, and that their amazement was mostly about what they were seeing.
 
The strange thing is that they already knew who Jesus was, yet they didnít seem to remember or believe.
 
Is this also the same problem with most people today?
 
Is this why so many people celebrate this day with having their children go on easter egg hunts and get gifts of candy?
 
Is this the reason why they desire to feast upon the remains of so many animals who have feelings just like ours?
 
Instead of listening to the world, we need to strengthen our belief and faith by reading our Bibles and listening to the angels and the Holy Spirit.
 
6. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.
 
The angel was also answering them in human terms.
 
He mentions nothing about who he was or who Jesus was, and the only spiritual message is that ďHe has risen.Ē
 
And perhaps this is where they began to think a little about the spiritual side of what was taking place before them.
 
The angel continuedÖ
 
7. "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.'"
 
We donít know why Peter is being singled out; perhaps it is because Mark was a disciple of Peter, or perhaps it is because he knew that Peter was planning to have the disciples go fishing with him as we are told about in Johnís gospel.
 
We just are not told, but this is where we believe that the women knew that it was an angel speaking to them.
 
8. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
NASB
 
Other accounts tell us that they told the disciples, and that they even met Jesus in the cemetery garden.
 
And after more than three years of His ministry, why were these women afraid of this encounter with an angel?
 
Everything after this verse in Mark 16 was only found in later manuscripts, which most likely means that it was written at a later date than the original, so we will not discuss those verses at this time.
 
There is one other thing about the day that involves church goers; we refer to some of the people who go to church as C and E Christians, meaning that they only go to church on Christmas and Easter, and their true faith is unknown.
 
Personally I know Christians from all around the world who have stopped going to church because of the hardness of heart that they had encountered, and because of that they didnít get any comfort; in fact, being in church made they feel very uncomfortable, and mostly because they had little or no regard for animals, except to kill and eat them, and they even talked about this from the pulpit.
 
So, letís think about truly celebrating this Resurrection Day as it should be celebrated.
 
The first thing to do is look at ourselves spiritually.
 
Do we as individuals have the belief and faith to realize that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?
 
And if this is who we are, then we need to make sure that we are truly born again and have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and guiding us in the heavenly will of God in such a way that we have His unconditional love, compassion, and empathy within us, so that we truly feel what the whole of creation feels (all humans, all animals, and the environment).
 
And if we do, we should be joyful, not for the pain and suffering in the world, but for being close to the Lord and knowing that we will be with Him forever in heaven, and then with this assurance, we can do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
This is what truly makes us into peacemaking children of God.
 
And hopefully, we should be joyful that no animals had to suffer and die for us to enjoy this Resurrection Day.
 
This is what makes this both a holy and joyful day.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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