Good Morning, Camp Creek Baptist Church family.
Several years ago, Dos for Dummies – I know I am dating myself, but when the PC first came out, or let me say, when I was able to get my first computer it was Ms-Dos based. You turned your computer on and once it booted up, there was a blinking curser at the top of your screen.
No windows, no icons, no pictures.
C: and blank space.
You literally had to type in commands.
If you wanted to see the files on you directory, you had to type it in. And you couldn't misspell or mistype or have the wrong letter capitalized and so many rules. But if you wanted to use your computer, you had to learn these rules.
That is when these books for dummies became so popular. They had one simple thought that dictated the whole book. They wrote the book with the understanding that the person reading this did not know anything about a computer. So they didn't skip a step. You could know nothing about a computer or Ms-Dos or anything like that, get a computer and one of these books and you could be productive and do what is needed almost immediately.
Well, what has led me to my messages this morning has been our Sunday School lessons that last few weeks that have taken a church word, a word that is commonly used in churches, but sometimes we get so familiar with them that we forget what they mean. But also we forget that people outside of church and our little group may not know the word at all.
Well, what I want to try and do this morning, and for the next three Sundays is look at Easter in that light.
I want to share three brief messages, that if someone from outside the church where to hear, they could understand. This will be my attempt at Easter for Everybody! I will refrain from calling anyone a Dummy!
This morning we are going to get our introduction and talk a little bit about the time before Easter, specifically looking at the need for Easter. What events, what in human history led up to and caused Easter to happen. Next week we will look at Easter and the Sunday after we will look, of course, at the time after Easter.
I want to begin, this morning by reading a portion of the last days of Jesus. Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 26
Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. 57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. 67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? 69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. 72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. 73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Matthew 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
The question and the thought that I would like to look at this morning, what led us to this point. That this man, Jesus, is being brought before a make believe court and they could not find the false witnesses yet they wanted him dead. Why did this man, Jesus have to die?
He told them, if he wanted to he could cry out to his father and the Heavenly father would send legions of angels. That lets us know that
Jesus did not die because he was overpowered
Jesus dd not die because he was caught off guard
Jesus did not die because things got out of hand
Jesus had already told them that this moment was coming, time and time again. Jesus had already told them that no one was going to kill him, he was going to lay down His life.
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
So the Bible tells us that Jesus did not die because of the Romans, or the Jews or the Pharisees or any of his enemies, but that He laid is own life down. Why, what led to this.
The very simple reason is sin. Now, I know this is another church word and so what do I mean by sin.
So what is sin, the word that is behind sin has to do with an archer missing his target. The root the word, means to miss the mark.
God gives us the mark, God gives us the target. The Bible gives us the target!
When we miss the mark, the commands and teachings of God, we sin.
When we knowingly rebel against His commandments. When we mess up out of ignorance.
When we make a mistake, when we decide to enjoy the things forbidden.
All of these are sin.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Now I know some will say, well according to the Bible everything fun is a sin, all the Bible is a book of don'ts.
Well, let me give you another way to look at what God commands us to do and don't do, in the Bible.
As a parent, if you see your child out playing in the middle of the road, they are having all kinds of fun, in the street. As a parent you are going to go and tell your kids, hey, stop playing in the middle of the road!
You, as a parent, are not doing that to stop your kids from having fun. You, as a parent, are telling them no because you love them and you don't want to get them hurt.
If this world would follow the principles in the Bible, in just a couple of generations
we would end sexually transmitted diseases
we would end poverty world wide
we would end all physical, mental and verbal abuse and assaults
we would end the need for prisons
we would end all wars
But the reality is that we all sin, we all rebel, we all go against God in some form or some way.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
So, we are all sinners, so what? Well that fact is what leads up to Easter, the fact that we are all sinners. Listen to Romans 6:23
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The wages of sin is death – so what we owe, the penalty for our sin, for our transgressions, for our rebellion for our mistakes, the penalty, what we owe is death.
Because God is righteous, He must punish sin.
That is what leads to Easter, Easter is the celebration of Christians because Jesus Christ, on the cross paid the penalty for our sins!
The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ, God's son was born of a virgin, Mary, and that He lived a sinless life,
that is a life without error
a life with no fault
a life without rebellion and disobediance
lived a life without sin
And that reason He came was to die for our sins,
to die for our errors,
The Good News of Easter is that Jesus did not just die, He died in the place of you and I.
The last word I want us to think about this morning is a word that we don't use in our modern language any more, this word propitiation.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Propitiation involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to him.
Sin, our wrong doing demands the wrath of God. God must punish sin. That principle is taught from Genesis to Revelation. What the Bible means when it talks about Jesus being the propitiation for our sins, it simply means that He took on that punishment for us.
He is died in our place, a substitutionary death.
I like how one preacher I heard described the truth about propitiation, we can look at it like this, our cars today all have shock absorbers. What do shock absorbers do, they are on cars, between the wheels and the cars. As the cars go down the road and hit bump after bump. They absorb the shock, they absorb the hit, they take the punishment to keep the rest of the car safe.
Jesus Christ, on Calvary became our shock absorbers! He took on the punishment, the wrath of God that was meant for us.
The one that knew no sin became a sin sacrifice and laid down his life, willingly. Because He loved us so much! And now that our penalty for sin has been paid for, we have been reconciled to God through Him!
My Friend that is what we celebrate at Easter, Jesus Christ dying for our sins and being resurrected in power and in Victory!
The question I would like to ask you, this morning. Have you personally experienced Easter.
Have you believed the promise that Jesus died for you and that if you will put your faith and trust in Him, He will save you from God's wrath, He will save you into His glorious kingdom?
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
That is the simple message of Easter for Everybody! Jesus died for your sins, if you will repent and trust in Him, you too can be saved.
If you have any questions or would like to contact me, please do.
Lord we thank you for Easter!
Bro. Chad Higgins