Easter is the Super Bowl of Sunday services.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to say that. So feel free to quote me.
I do my best on Easter Sunday to meet a few qualifications in my preaching. They are as follows (in no particular order):
- Be brief
- Be clear
- Be memorable.
Last year’s Easter sermon was “The Good News of Bill Gates.” I wish I had a recording of it. It went over well. People still quote parts of it back to me. That’s always important, but I think especially so on Easter.
There are always going to be those in the service who are only there for Easter, and you want to make sure they hear you. You’re also going to get those who came with their grandparents or parents because there’s promise of a meal afterward. As much as we may complain about CMEs (Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter….”C ME! I’m in church!”), they desperately need the gospel, and it needs to be understandable to them.
I will also confess this: I put a lot of effort into Easter sermons. I like to get my time’s worth. So, this was a “retread” of one I preached back in 2009. I shortened it up a bit and changed a few things around, but the points are essentially the same. That’s ok, though, because the gospel hasn’t changed either.
It is Finished . . . or is it Refinished?
Most of my Easter sermons are retreads these days. Face it, there aren’t that many different texts to preach on Easter, and there are only so many ways to say it.
To illustrate that point, the following Easter, I preached the same text again. Exact same text, even the same title, but completely different points. I don’t think I realized I had done this until after Easter. Easter week can be stressful, and our focus can narrow so tightly that we don’t see anything but what’s right in front of us!
I also almost always go back to Romans to back up my points in my Easter sermons. It seems to work well.
So, here it is. “It is Finished!” Technically, this would have been a Good Friday message, I guess, but since we didn’t hold a Good Friday service, it works for Easter too!
I was puzzling this week over how to end this message. I borrowed the whole “you have one chance” part from a podcast sermon that’s no longer available. It was an interesting point, but when I tried it out last Tuesday with my leadership, I could see I needed to work on it a bit. The message from my friend could not have come at a better time.
In case you couldn’t make it out, the visual aid this week was a mallet and a railroad spike. I guess it was kind of an auditory aid too.
Awaiting the Hour of Glory
This sermon was part of a series leading up to Easter. The series focused on the time references in John’s Gospel. It’s a fascinating way to read John and move toward the cross. If you’re looking for a good series for Easter, definitely check it out.