What A Difference ADay Makes!

S.D.G.

Easter: Day of Resurrection! — 4/21/19

Isaiah 65:17-19

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES: Amen & Amen!

Is. 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens

and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.

18 But be glad and rejoice forever

in that which I create;

for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,

and her people to be a gladness.

19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem

and be glad in my people;

no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping

and the cry of distress.

Life can change so quickly. Can’t it? I have always been amazed at how fast life can change. Things are one way one day, and the next day they are totally different.

You just got the job! You just got the promotion.

I’m sorry. We have to let you go. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES.

You’ve practiced hard long hours. You’ve won first place. You’ve won the tournament.

I’m sorry. Your injuries mean that you’ll never compete again.

You say ‘I do.” You’re married

I want a divorce. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

It’s a boy. It’s a girl.

I’m sorry. Your child didn’t make it.

You’re healthy as a horse.

I’m sorry. You have terminal cancer.

Congratulations! You got your driver’s license.

I’m sorry Dad. The doctor said that you can’t drive anymore.

I haven’t seen you in such a long time. It’s great to see you today!

We’re gathered together to say farewell to our dear Christian Brother or Sister.

What a difference a day makes!!!

Today is Easter. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a glorious day for followers of Jesus! But we can’t have Easter without Good Friday, and we can’t have Good Friday without Easter. They go hand in hand.

We need to remember Good Friday in order to really appreciate what God has done for us. On Maundy Thursday—Maundy is Latin for Mandate; Jesus mandated and gave us His Supper in His body and blood. He puts Himself in this meal to strengthen our faith. The disciples needed that 2,000 years ago because in a few short hours Jesus was betrayed into the hands of guards and Jewish officials. He was let away and tried before a kangaroo court where they found Him guilty on trumped up charges.

They brought Him before Pontius Pilate and after caving into the peoples’ demands, Pilate had Jesus flogged and crucified. The Romans were the best in history in regard to devising the cruelest of tortures. They beat Jesus. They put a crown of thorns on His head, and these thorns weren’t the little thorns found on rose bushes. They flogged Him with hooks and metal balls on the ends of leather strips. As the hooks entered into the back, the flesh was ripped and shredded. This destroyed the muscles used for making the lungs works.

At the crucifixion, the criminals were nailed to crosses with their knees bent. This allowed them to push up and down so that they could breath. Once they became to tired to lift themselves up, they simply suffocated to death.

Gruesome. Yes, very much so. But we need to hear this because this is the suffering that Jesus went through to pay for our sins. Mel Gibson did a very good job on researching the crucifixion in his movie The Passion of the Christ. It’s rated R because of these scenes. But every Christian—young and old—should watch this.

I set this up because Jesus actually died. You can say that God was killable that Day on Good Friday. Jesus heart stopped beating. His blood stopped flowing. His eyes dilated. His brain activity ceased. He became like us in every way—including death. Jesus was dead as a doornail. But something greater happened as well. God placed your sins on Jesus that Day. When Jesus died, God declared that all your sins are now forgiven. Many people simply shrug their shoulders and say, “So what?” or “Big deal.” But it is a big deal because the barrier that stood between you and God is now gone. You owe nothing to God. It’s His free and awesome gift to you. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES.

Jesus is dead. Satan thought he had won. The world thought they finally had this Jesus out of their hair and life could go on as before. But something happened 3 days later that no expected. Jesus would be raised from being dead—dead as a doornail! And that’s where our text comes in. It’s the Resurrection! WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!

Is. 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens

and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.

The Old Testament reading in Isaiah talks about a day that will make a difference in a lot of peoples’ lives. God speaks about a New Creation. He says, “Behold! Pay attention! Are you still tracking with Me? I create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered.”

The Greek translation of the Old Testament is called the Septuagint. What’s interesting here is that Greek word for “former things” is proteros. We get our English word ‘prototype’ from this. Do you know what a prototype is? It’s a first copy of something.

I had a friend who used to work for Buick designing cars. You have to design cars way out into the future in order to stay competitive. They then build a prototype of the car. This is what it’s gonna look like. However, no one knows what kind of technology and things will be available 10 or 15 years out into the future. So, the prototype is a functioning copy of what the final car will look like—but it’s not FULLY functioning.

All of this creation that we enjoy right now is a prototype of what God will restore in the future. These new heavens refer to the universe and the sky. Do you like looking at the sky? I do! The beautiful colors at dawn and sunset. The wonderful blues, rainbows, rain clouds. At night there are the magnificent stars, consolations and moon. When Jesus returns all of this will be restored. This is what God is saying here! Luther wrote about this. He said that on that Day when Jesus returns, we’ll look at the stars and say, “What small stars we had. And what a dim sun we had!” Think about that. You can’t even look at the sun right now without damaging your retinas or going blind. When Jesus returns, we’ll have an even better sun.

And the earth will be restored as well. ALL of creation will be restored by God back to the way He originally intended it to be. The rivers, lakes and seas will be pristine—just like God created them to be. The trees will be treeier; the flowers will be flowerier; greens will be greener; the scents will be more fragrant;

Is. 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;

the lion shall eat straw like the ox,

and dust shall be the serpent’s food.

They shall not hurt or destroy

in all my holy mountain,”

says the LORD.

Satan, sin and death do not have the final word. God does. We do not get our own individual clouds to hover on for all of eternity. We’re not going to be playing bumper clouds. And we don’t get wings either.

God gives this only to people who die in the Christian faith—followers of Jesus. If people don’t want to spend time with Jesus here on earth, then they don’t have to worry about spending eternity with Him either. But that’s not you! You are followers of the Jesus, the resurrected Lord, and this is what God has waiting for you!

Is. 65:18 But be glad and rejoice forever

in that which I create;

for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,

and her people to be a gladness.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!

But there’s still one more thing. Where does this leave you and me in all of this? Well, you too will be raised from your graves—unless Jesus returns before that. Remember, Jesus was dead as a doornail. But He was raised from being dead to being alive nevermore to die! The Bible says that Jesus is the Firstfruits of the dead. Paul wrote this in 1Corinthians 15: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20–21 ESV). Jesus was physically raised from the death. Matthew’s Gospel says that the women grabbed Jesus’ feet. Ghosts don’t have feet. On the first Easter evening Jesus appeared in the room with the disciples. He said to them, “Put your hands in My side and put your fingers in My wounds. I’m real. I’m not a ghost.”

This means that you better get used to your bodies you have right now because you’re going to be spending eternity in them. But they will be restored to the way God originally intended them to be. No more worrying about losing or gaining weight. No more blindness. No more deafness. No more cancer or stroke or dementia or Alzheimer. No more wheelchairs or walkers or canes. Those who lost limbs or were born without them will have them fully restored. No more emotional or mental issues; no more depression or bi-polar. None of those things and more because these are consequences of the powers of Sin and Death.

This, dear friends, is what Good Friday and Resurrection Day is all about! Just think: those who are blind—the first thing they will see is Jesus! Those who are deaf—the first thing they will hear is Jesus and the heavenly choir! WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!

You’ve been united with Jesus in Baptism. What happens to Jesus happens to you. He was raised from the dead never to die again, and that’s our confidence and certain hope too. This is what Easter is all about. It’s about Jesus’ death and His resurrection for you.

What more is there to say to this except AMEN AND AMEN! YES, YES it shall be so!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Alleluia and Amen!

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