Easter Sunrise Service
Scripture: John 20:1-10

Easter is the day we retell the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with great hymns sung, joy bells ringing, choirs singing, and people dressed up in their finest and rejoicing.

Some Gospels accounts feature spectacular earthquakes and angels in lightning-white clothes.

Others preach the tomb empty,  with Mary standing at its entrance and Peter and John running to the tomb, where they hear the news, look in, and run back to the city. Many sermons reach their climax as they hear that the risen lord has appeared.

While it is in John’s gospel, he seems to say, "Wait, there is more."

For some reason he puts Mary center stage at the entry of the tomb. While she looks inside, Jesus appears and calls her by name.  Then he says, “Do not hold on to me.”

It is here that John begins to build a 3-point sermon:

  1. Death
  2. Resurrection
  3. Ascension.

He tells Mary to go and tell Jesus' disciples, “his brothers”, that he was going to ascend. The good news this Easter Sunday is the empty tomb and a resurrected Lord.

Sometimes we cling only to part of a Gospel story. Sentimentality surrounds the Christmas and Easter holidays. At Christmas we like gifts and we want Jesus to remain a cute infant with chubby cheeks who never grows up to become our redeeming lord.

Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrected Christ. Why, we are tuned in on new clothes and Easter bonnets, egg hunt and large family gatherings after church, and don’t forget sunrise breakfast! Easter is a time to celebrate and rejoice that the best is yet to come: a risen Lord who wants to live in our hearts and lives each and everyday until we meet Him face-to-face in the heavenly kingdom.