Whether it’s drama with your kids, health struggles you or someone you love is facing, financial difficulties, addiction to a behavior or substance, or some other struggle, we all know what it’s like to ask, “God, where are you?” And I want you to know that no matter what has led you to ask that question, today is for you. Because Easter is for everyone.
Matthew 27:45-46 - At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
The Son of God asks the very same question that we ask when bad and hopeless things happen to us—my God, why?
- You see at that moment Jesus had taken the sin of the whole world upon himself. God turned away as Jesus paid our price and Jesus could no longer see the other side.
- That’s where the disciples were as they watched Jesus suffer, struggle, cry out, and ultimately die. And God did nothing.
Have you ever been there? Where you felt like God did nothing?
But as hard as it was to believe at the time, the story didn’t end there.
>>> Jesus died on a Friday and was buried. But Scripture tells us that on the third day—which we understand to mean Sunday—something happened.
Luke 24:1-8 - On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.
A. Why are you looking for the living among the dead?
In other words, He isn’t here—He’s risen!
This was His plan all along!
John 10:18 - No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
… This is what my Father has commanded ...
- The disciples thought God was absent, idle, or not paying attention, but He was actually engineering the greatest miracle of all time.
B. On Friday when Jesus was murdered, it appeared as though God wasn’t lifting a finger to save the day.
What the disciples didn’t understand is that Jesus was moving through the cross to reach us on the other side. Through the cross conquering death and stepping out of the tomb.
All throughout history, when things looked like they were broken and man was destitute in his sin, God knew that the plan was for Jesus to go through the cross and to the resurrection so you and I could have hope and a NEW LIFE AND NEW POSSIBILITIES.
Why did God plan the resurrection? Because He cares about broken people, and He cares about a broken world. God fixes broken things.
If God had a plan for His Son, He has a plan for you now.
The story seems to have ended on Friday, yet it takes a whole new turn on Sunday!
No matter who you are.
No matter what you’ve done.
No matter how far away from God you feel.
No matter how bad things feel in your story.
Easter is for you. The resurrection is something you can hold on to.
Why? Because the resurrection allows us to have a relationship with Jesus. It offers us hope.
The resurrection gives us confidence in a bigger story. It places us in the narrative and assures us that God is still in control—even when it feels otherwise.
Because of the resurrection, our own Sunday is coming.
The resurrection gives us the hope of heaven--this is the ultimate Sunday!
Revelation 21:4 - “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I know that a lot of you feel like it’s Friday. But no matter who you are and what you’re going through, I want you to know that you can have confidence that God is here, He has a plan, and He’s offering all of us heaven one day.
Psalm 139:16-18 - You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
Jeremiah 29:11-14 - For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
>>> You can hold onto the promise that God is working out His greatest miracle yet. Sunday is coming, and that’s when…
- What is dead will be brought back to life.
- What feels forever lost will be restored.
- What’s impossible will be made possible.
And that’s the anchor you can hold on to today.
Some of you are in the middle of a situation right now where you’re calling out to God to do something big. To prevent a Friday from even happening. To stop whatever pain and hurt you’re in the middle of.
- It’s great to keep praying and crying out to God for that! That's what we are supposed to do, what he asked us to do.
But while you wait for God to move, I want you to hold onto to what He’s already done, and I want you to put your hope in what He will do one day.
- In the resurrection, God has given all of us the promise that Sunday is coming —that heaven is coming—and that one day, all the things you’re asking Him for will be true because of Jesus.
Easter is for everyone, because everyone can hold on to the resurrection.
You have a Heavenly Father who loves you so much that He sent you His Son, not simply to die and be raised from the dead, but to initiate a relationship with you, and to give people a future hope and confidence in the fact that He hasn’t abandoned us. He’s with us! He came to fix what is broken. And He did that by Jesus going through the cross to the grave and out the other side to get to you. To make you part of the story. This one event is the greatest event in human history and when you believe it and receive it, the narrative continues in you. Because of the resurrection, we can hold on, even in the most challenging of life’s circumstances, however hopeless they may feel. No matter how dark your Friday is you know that you are going through that Friday to your Sunday.