Resurrection Sermon Illustrations

Resurrection Sermon Illustrations

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"Jesus Defeated Death"

An aged verger of Winchester Cathedral never tired of standing on the Cathedral roof and relating the story of how the news of Wellington's victory over Napoleon reached England. News of the history-making battle came by a sailing vessel to the south coast, and by semaphore was wig-wagged overland toward London. Atop Winchester Cathedral the semaphore began to spell out the eagerly awaited message: "W-e-l-l-i-n-g­t-o-n—D-e-f-e-a-t-e-d—," and then a dense fog settled oppressively over the land! The semaphore could no longer be seen, and thus the sad, heartbreaking news of the incomplete message went on to London, whelming the country in gloom and despair: "Wellington Defeated!"

But, ere long, the fog lifted, and again the signaling semaphore atop the Cathedral became visible, spelling out the complete message of the battle. "W-e-l­l-i-n-g-t-o-n —D-e-f-e-a-t-e-d—t-h-e—E-n-e-m-y!" Now the message was all the more glorious because of the preceding gloom. Like the spread of a prairie fire, the joyful news spread across the land, and lifted the spirits of the people onto a plane of gratitude and jubilant praise: "Wellington Defeated the Enemy!"

In the long years ago, on a hill lone and gray, situated without the city's gate, the sinless Son of God gave Himself willingly in a vicarious death upon His cruel cross for the sin of the world. The prophet Amos had predicted an interesting thing about the awesome scene in these words: "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the

clear day" (Amos 8:9). His prophecy was literally fulfilled, for Luke tells us: "And it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst" (Luke 23:44, 45). As that dense darkness enshrouded the land, obscuring from the gaze of man the open shame to which the Sufferer on the central cross was being submitted, "Jesus cried with a loud voice," and then He said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). As He thus died, the darkness deepened for His fearful followers. To them Calvary meant but one thing: "J-E-S-U-S—D-E-F-E-A-T­E-D." Placing His limp, lifeless body in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimatheea, the persistent thought of their troubled hearts reiterated its hopeless message: "Jesus Defeated!"

During the three days of His entombment, all hell was vibrant with ghoulish glee, for the prince of darkness, Satan, had apparently triumphed over the Sun of righteousness. Did ever a darkness so deep envelop the hearts of God's children as the darkness which whelmed the souls of Jesus' disciples while His body lay in the tomb? We think not! Listen to their dismal dirge: "We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:21). How unbelieving and undiscerning were His followers: "For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9) ! Betimes, the Saviour had foretold His death and resurrection: "After three days I will rise again" (Matt. 27:63); but they either misunderstood or disbelieved what He said.

The three dreary days dragged to their close, then suddenly the darkness lifted. The white radiance of a Lord's day morning flooded an Eastern garden, as the gladsome, gloom-dispelling news spread: "J-E-S-U-S—D-E-F-E-A-T­E-D—D-E-A-T-H!"—In, "Because He Lives," by Walter Brown Knight.

Do You Really Know It?

Reichel was conducting the final rehearsal of his great choir for the production of the "Messiah." The chorus had sung through to the point where the soprano solo takes up the refrain, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." The soloist's technique was perfect—she had faultless breathing, accurate note placing, flawless enunciation. After the final note all eyes were fixed on Reichel to catch his look of approval. Instead he silenced the orchestra, walked up to the singer with sorrowful eyes, and said, "My daughter, do you really know that your Redeemer liveth? Do you?" "Why, yes," she answered, flushing, "I think I do." "Then sing it!" cried Reichel. "Tell it to me so that I will know, and all who hear you will know that you know the joy and power of it." Then he motioned the orchestra to play again. This time she sang the truth as she knew it and had experienced it in her own soul, and all who heard wept under the spell of it. The old master approached her with tear-dimmed eyes, and said, "You do know, for you have told me."—The Presbyterian of the South.

Items a Skeptic Could Not Skip

One of the many interesting incidents that come out of the annals of old England is that of the conversion of two great men who were skeptics.

One was the eminent Gilbert West. The other was Lord Littleton, famous English jurist and a light in the literary world.

They were agreed that Christianity should be destroyed, but they further agreed that in order to destroy it two things were necessary.

They must disprove the resurrection of Jesus and explain the conversion of Saul in a way that met the demands of skepticism. There was a task for each of these master minds, and each accepted his task.

West assumed the task of getting rid of the resurrection and Littleton would dispose of the Scripture that had its setting on the Damascus road. They took ample time, a year or more, and then came together to compare notes.

When they met both were Christians, each confessing to his conversion as a result of his own research. The resurrection fact withstood the test of unfriendly, but honest investigation, as did also that of Saul's conversion. Both facts still stand.
There are so many things—tremendous realities—that cannot be explained without them.—Religious Telescope.

We'll Meet Again

Easter not only proclaims victory over death, it also predicts union after death. Which of these transports is the greater I dare not say; but they need not be discriminated between for they both belong to the Christian. We shall awake on the resurrection morning, not isolated, but in the company of our dear ones; not like one flower blooming in a lonely Spring, but a myriad of flowers bursting into each other's sight upon a bank together. Dr. J. R. Miller relates this incident. A father and son had been ship­wrecked. Together they clung to the rigging until the son was washed off. The father was rescued in the morning in .an unconscious state. Several hours later he awoke in a fisherman's hut, where he was lying in a soft, warm bed. In an agony he remembered his boy. But as he turned his head he saw his son lying beside him.

One by one we are being swept away with the billows of time. Some storm will carry the last and stoutest heart of us away. But when we awake beyond the raging of the sea we shall be together again. When our eyes open in the Heavenly morning, nearby us, in the bowers of Paradise, we shall see those "whom we have loved long since, and lost awhile."—The Evangelical Christian.

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