Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jesus is Alive! So?!

In Philippians 3:10 Paul says something that might seem rather strange: I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Who is the Him? That’s easy! It’s Jesus! The resurrection is what we celebrate today – Easter Sunday 2012! Resurrection means that Jesus died and then came
back to life. There is HUGE power in that process!
I know a man who worked for a power company fixing electrical wires. One day he was up high on a pole working on wires and he touched a live wire by accident. A live wire is one that has power still going through it. Live wires are very dangerous. Usually it kills you if you touch a live electrical wire. My friend’s name is Bryce. He didn’t die but he did lose most of one arm. He has a hook for a hand sort of like Captain Hook in Peter Pan. God got Bryce’s attention in that accident. Bryce lost his hand and part of his arm but he found Jesus which is tons more
important than a hand or arm!
What is the power of the resurrection? Well, in simple terms, it’s the power that makes a dead body come alive again. It is the kind of power that only God has! It is the most powerful force in nature – more powerful than a hurricane or a tornado or even a tsunami! The power that gives life to a dead body is awesome and scary! The Bible describes what happened when Jesus came back to life as a truly cosmic event: there was a great earthquake, an angel came from heaven and rolled away the stone that was in front of the tomb and sat on it. It was one huge stone! The angel was kind of scary too! The Bible says his face was like lightning and his clothing white as snow! I don’t know what a face that looks like lightning looks like but it sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Do you remember Peter? He is Jesus’ main man who was a real cool, crazy guy! He was all the time jumping into doing and saying things before he stopped to think. One time Peter was in a boat out on a huge lake in the middle of the night with some of his buds. He saw what looked like a ghost walking toward them on top of the water! When the “ghost” got closer Peter suddenly knew who it was – JESUS! Peter was so excited that he asked Jesus to let him walk on the water too. The Bible says Peter scrambled out of the boat and took off walking
on top of the water toward Jesus! (Read the rest of this story in Matthew 14:22-33.)
Another Peter story is about the night Jesus was arrested. Peter followed the soldiers and Jesus but hung back and watched. Peter didn’t want anyone to notice him or talk to him. He wanted to be invisible!
Someone built a fire and the light of the fire showed Peter’s face. A girl asked Peter, Aren’t you one of Jesus’ main men? Peter told her “NO!” Peter moved away and another girl asked him the same question. And Peter gave the same answer. He used a bad word too. Then some of the people watching and listening also asked him if he was one of the men who hung with Jesus. This time Peter was really, really mad so he said a lot of bad words and shouted, I do not know the man! THEN Peter heard a rooster crow. That’s exactly what Jesus told Peter would happen – that he would claim not to know Jesus three times before the rooster crowed the next morning! Hmmmm!
Peter was really, really sad about what he did. He knew he let Jesus down big time! Then when Jesus died, Peter was so very much more sad because he thought he would never get a chance to tell Jesus how sorry he was and he didn’t know if Jesus would listen anyway.
Jesus was buried in the tomb. Early that first Easter morning some women who loved Jesus went to the tomb and when they got there they saw the angel and the stone rolled back. The angel told them, Jesus is not here!
They ran and told Peter (and others). Peter ran all the way to the tomb which was uphill all the way. He was probably panting when he got there. He didn’t stop. He ran right inside to see for himself that the tomb was empty!
A while later Peter was out fishing. He had been fishing all night. He looked up and saw a man on the shore. He realized it was Jesus. He jumped out of the boat to get to Jesus. Then Jesus cooked fish for breakfast on the beach and Jesus and Peter had a talk. Jesus asked Peter, Peter, do you love me? Peter said, O, yes, I do love You! Jesus asked Peter three times. Peter answered three times: Yes, Yes, Yes, Jesus, I DO LOVE YOU!!! Isn’t that cool? Jesus gave Peter a second chance to admit he loved Jesus. Jesus gave Peter 3 chances! Jesus forgave Peter! THAT’S what the power of the resurrection is! Because Jesus is
alive – because He was resurrected (came back to life) – Peter had a second
chance to show Jesus his love! Peter had a chance to be forgiven!
THAT is EXACTLY what the resurrection means for you and me! Because Jesus is alive
we get a second chance too! We also can be forgiven! Wow! That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?!!!

--children's page written for worship, Easter 2012 @Ann Holmes, all rights reserved, 4/2012

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