“Oh Happy Day”
March 27th 2016 – Easter Dawn service
Introduction: In 2 Peter 5:5 Christians are referred to as “children of the day.” This is an interesting phrase. In general it is a reference to the fact that Christians live in the light of God’s love and grace, but in a more specific sense it could be applied to the resurrection of Jesus and the light and life that he brings into our lives and to the whole world.
In our text for this morning, Mark says that when the women came to the tomb on that first Easter morning the sun had just risen (16:2). A new day had dawned, and it was a “happy day.” The Bible speaks of the “day of the Lord” and Easter certainly is that!
Ex. The hymn writer, Edwin Hawkins, put it this way:
“Oh happy day, O happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away, He taught me how to watch and pray and live rejoicing every day, Happy day, Oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.”
Ex. How many of us remember the movie, “Sister Act?”
These words were of course popularized in the movie, “Sister Act” with Whoopie Goldberg. (Watch video clip here)
I.) Easter is indeed a happy day because Jesus defeated death!
A.) The grave could not hold him
1. The disciples found it empty just as the women had said.
2. Consider this for just a moment this morning, the evidence of an empty tomb.
3. For those of us who follow Christ Jesus there are no remains to worship and call holy.
4. There is no place to go and say: “Here lies our leader and founder.”
B.) The Resurrection is a miracle of God!
1. It reveals God’s power over every aspect of creation, itself.
2. Jesus laid in the tomb for three days the scriptures tell us, in ancient world, three days was what it took to verify that someone was truly dead.
3. In that time his physical body would have become stiff and his vital organs would have begun to decay.
4. When he arose, God transformed his mortal body into a glorified state that we simply do not understand, a state that had never before existed in nature anywhere.
5. He was not merely brought back to life, indeed he was dramatically changed in every way.
6. I believe that God of all creation, who has done such marvelous and amazing things can certainly do this work of creation as well.
7. And get this, in just this very manner, we who are in Christ will also be transformed and changed when we enter into our Lord’s presence for all eternity.
8. In fact the change has already begun in us!
II.) Easter is a happy day because it points us to Jesus and his second coming.
A.) The resurrection and the second coming are inseparably bound together.
Ex. In the book of Acts, Dr. Luke records the events on the day of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This same Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.”
Ex. Paul said that the second coming of Christ Jesus will be preceded by the “shout of the Lord, the voice of the archangel, the trump of God.” (1 Thessalonians )
1. It will be heard world wide, every person, saved and unsaved alike will see and hear his coming.
2. He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.
3. Mark reminds us that this will not happen until the Gospel message, the good news is preached or presented to every person on the face of the planet.
4. We are living in the first generation where this is possible with our current technology.
5. The message of Easter motivated the first Christians, the first Church to share the message with everyone they came in contact with in that day.
6. The victory over sin and death is won, we need to tell our world, “Oh Happy Day!” When the whole world has heard and Christ returns.
7. God’s desire is that all people everywhere be prepared for his son’s return and that everyone is given the opportunity to respond!
B.) Jesus tried to tell his disciples about his death, burial, and resurrection, they were slow to understand and believe his words.
1. It happened just as he said it would!
2. He also said that he would come again.
3. Many do not believe this will happen, either.
4. Every thing that God has revealed through the prophets and through Jesus has, is, and I believe with all my heart, will come to pass, just as we have been told it will.
Conclusion to message: So “Oh Happy Day!” Remember these words of our Lord, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Amen.