#280 (08/04/07)
Let’s Celebrate Easter

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Best of Easter 35 years

Special Music

" Christ is Risen, Raise Your Voices "
" Christ the Lord is Risen Today "
" It’s Easter! It’s Easter "

" Worthy is the Lamb "

JENS LINDEMANN - "Easter Medley"
NITA WHITAKER - "Redeemer"
DEVON GUTHRIE – “I’ve Just Seen Jesus”

The Message

I myself came before dark. Oh man I was driving through the dark and you won’t believe what happened. This little creature darted in front of my car and I slammed on my brakes and I could not stop in time, isn’t that sad? And I ran over him and I jumped out of the car and I went running over there and there he was, dead. A little bunny and next to him was this big basket of eggs. I was mortified, I didn’t know what to do, so I did what every good grown up man does, he calls his wife. I said, Donna what am I going to do now, and she goes, I think I might have something. And she went to the car and she opened up her purse and she said, I think I’ve got just the ticket. And she pulled out this little can and she went running over to the bunny and she (SPRAYING SOUND) and she looked at it; nothing happened so she (SPRAYING SOUND) did it some more and pretty soon his nose started to twitch and his ears perked up and pretty soon he stood up and he shook, just like a wet dog and he grabbed his basket of eggs and he ran off. And he stopped and he’d wave, and then he’d run a little bit further and he’d stop and he’d wave and he did that until he just went off into the darkness.

Oh my wife saved me. I said what did you spray on that bunny? She handed me the can I took a look at it, I said, of course, hair spray. Says right here, gives life to dead hair. Creates permanent wave; wow, good stuff.

The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is not found in a can. The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is found in the personal relationship when we come face to face with who He is; The reality of His presence and His grace and His goodness in our lives. And Easter is a time where we recognize the fact that Christ broke through the chains of hell and death and came back to life again. That’s what Easter is all about, that’s the message of Easter.
Jesus came, He died and three days later He rose from the grave. Why? So that you and I can experience the presence and the love and the grace of God, that’s why. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have tragedies in our life. Tragedies are going to happen, just the physical death that we experience alone is tragic enough. And we all know that the most natural thing in life is physical death.

We receive the promise from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” And throughout history there have been pastors and there have been teachers who claim that that meant physical life. But we know today that that’s not true.

The physical life as we’ve experienced it will pass away. And there will come a time when we have to go through the grief and the agony of losing loved ones and people who are dear. And that’s a tough time. We need for the people who are going through very difficult times today, all the families whose, whose loved ones are in troubled parts of this globe, like Iraq and Afghanistan and there are many other troubled parts of this globe. There are families who are in hospitals this morning.

In fact yesterday I went to the hospital to call on some good friends of ours. Brenda and Mike, they have a little boy, his name is Jordan, and over a week ago he started having what they thought was the flu and the flu just persisted for three days and his fever continued until finally he started getting delirious and started saying things and doing some weird things. So they took him to the doctor and the doctor diagnosed him with spinal meningitis. He’s been in the hospital now for a week, and for a long time he wasn’t able to eat. And so yesterday I was there with the family and I put my hand on his head and we prayed together and I could feel that heat coming off of his head and they were very happy because his temperature was now down to 99.6. We prayed for him.

It’s a tough time, there are many people in the hospital this morning on Easter morning, but the good news about Easter is that we have the promise that when the time comes and it will come for every single one of us; when the time comes for us to leave this earth and to enter this new spiritual realm that we do not understand but we know exists, we see it, we understand it, it’s a science, molecular mechanics is starting to comprehend it and tried to mathematically equate it, so we know it’s there. But the time will come when that happens and we will remember Easter.

What is Easter all about? I was reading my Bible yesterday and a little girl Marisa came up to me and she said, what are you reading? I said well I’m reading my Bible. She said, oh what’s it about? I said oh it’s about Jesus, do you know Jesus. She goes yeah, I know about Jesus. I said so do you know about Easter? She goes, yeah I like Easter, I get presents on Easter. I said so do you know about Jesus dying on the cross? Yeah I know about Jesus dying on the cross. Do you know about Him coming back from the dead and that’s what Easter is? She goes no I didn’t know that. I said, well Jesus died and after He died they put Him in this great big cave and then they rolled this great big rock in front of the cave so the animals wouldn’t get His body or somebody wouldn’t try and steal His body and that’s the way they buried people 2000 years ago because this book is 2000 years old. And her eyes got this big, that book is 2000, no not this book, I’m sorry this message is 2000 years old, oh, okay. So that’s a copy? I go, yes this is a copy. I said, so they rolled this big stone and then these ladies went to the tomb to pray for Jesus and to put some spices on His body and stuff and when they went there the stone was rolled away because He came back to life again. She goes, oh good now I know what Easter is all about. She goes, well how do you know it’s true? Boy out of the mouth of babes. Phew. How do you know it’s true? I said well, there were these four people actually witnessed and saw Jesus after He resurrected from the dead, after He came out of that tomb. There’s four different people who wrote about Him and there was a whole bunch of people who saw Him and so we know it’s true. Oh, she says.

The message is real. It took place 2000 years ago and today we don’t have the liberty of seeing Jesus physically in our presence. I have heard testimonies of people who say they have, I personally have not. Very rare those who have. But what’s more important is the words of Jesus when He said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” And that’s most of us here today. We have not seen the resurrected Jesus Christ. We have not had the privilege of hearing His voice speak to us and say put your hands in My sides, put your hands in My palms if you do not believe. Instead we believe because we have heard the testimonies of people who gave their lives because it was true and by not renouncing the reality of it, they gave their lives.

And the day will come when we each come face to face with God. That is a guarantee. You know there’s two things in life that are guaranteed, one is taxes and the other one is the fact that the physical bodies that we have will not last forever. In fact the Bible says they can last up to 120 years, “man’s day shall not be forever” it says in Genesis 6. “Man’s day shall not be forever, it shall be 120 years.”

So there may be some people who live to be 120 years old. But the time will come when we face Jesus and we see God face to face. And God will ask us when we come into His presence, why should I let you into heaven? And if you answer, oh, and start listing all the good things you’ve done, He’s not going to be very impressed. Even if your name is Mother Teresa, He’s not going to be very impressed. The answer when God asks you why should I let you into heaven, it’s very simple. Because Jesus gave me an invitation, that’s why. And then He’ll ask you, oh did you send in your RSVP? And your answer is, of course I did, it was Easter Sunday, 2006. I sent in my RSVP and said Lord when I get there you can count on me coming, I’m coming there, I’m accepting the invitation of Jesus Christ, but don’t make it too soon. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

And so we’ve been given the invitation and today we send in our RSVP and the way we respond with the RSVP is very simple: we simply pray and we tell God that we’re accepting and believing in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. And the day will come when we stand before God and we are invited in. He’ll prepare a place for you and you will sit at the table of God. Would you like to join me in a prayer and send your RSVP in today? Let’s do it.
Dear heavenly Father, we send to You our joy, our belief, our prayer. This is our RSVP to Your invitation to join You when that day comes when You call us home. And so oh Lord we ask You to prepare a place for us, to prepare a place that when we come into Your presence we will receive the invitation and we will receive the joy and the goodness of Your grace and Your love and Your joy for truly this is what Easter is all about.

And so we thank You Lord for Your love, and Your grace, Your goodness, Your peace, thank You God for everything. Amen.

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