Easter for Everyone

Jesus went to the cross to get to you!

Easter for Everyone Series

In this message series from DCCoE, we're exploring how God loves you so much that in Jesus, He went t to the cross to get to you! God Loves the current you in the condition that you are in now! He did not go to the cross for some future you!


Explore each message in this series below.

Easter for everyone - week 1 - Jesus Went to the cross to get to you!

Palm Sunday: Easter for Everybody

Sunday March 25th 10:30 AM Service EASTER FOR EVERYONE | SERMON OUTLINE

Part 1: Easter For Everyone

Palm Sunday


TEXT:

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” At first, his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.


John 12:12-16, NIV

BOTTOM LINE:

Jesus made His way through the cross to make His way to you.


I. INTRODUCTION


A. There’s an old story of two shoes salespeople who travel to a village to sell

shoes. They both soon realize no one in this village wears shoes. The first

salesperson calls back to his headquarters and says, “This is a hopeless

situation. No one here wears shoes.” The second salesperson calls back to

headquarters and says, “This is an amazing opportunity. No one here wears

shoes!”


B. Isn’t it funny how two people can look at the same situation and come up

with two completely different conclusions? The same is true for cats and

dogs. Dogs look at their owners and say, “You feed me. You shelter me. You

love me. You must be God.” Cats, on the other hand, look at their owners

and say, “You feed me. You shelter me. You love me. I must be God!”


C. I bring this up because today we are seven days away from one of the most

significant dates in church history. Easter Sunday. As a result, the talk about

God increases this time of year. Like many of you, I believe the Easter story

shares this incredible truth of the most inclusive, welcoming, amazing message the world has ever known: the message of Jesus. Everyone is invited. Everyone is welcome. Everyone gets in the same way.

That’s why we are calling this new series Easter For Everyone.

D. On the other hand, there are many people who don’t see it that way. They

view the message of Jesus sheepishly, warily, skeptically. In fact, many of

them will be here next week! ChrEasters – folks who cautiously walk into the church only on Christmas and Easter.


E. Why is that? For many people, I think it comes down to this: God is

disappointed with us. If there is a God, He must be disappointed in us. (And

Secretly we believe He has good reason to be disappointed. We know the

secrets about us, right?) We know our sins. And since we know our sins and

God knows our sins; it’s logical perhaps to think He is disappointed with us.

And do you know what happens when we think people are disappointed with

us? We stay away. It’s why many people only come to church once or twice a

year (and that often comes about from peer pressure from Mom.)


F. It gets worse. Not only do we believe that God is disappointed in us, we

believe God is going to punish us for our sins. But the truth is this: We aren’t

punished for our sins. Our sins punish us.


G. For example: If you have a secret addiction, God is not up in heaven trying to

punish you for your addiction. Your addiction doesn’t need God’s help to

punish you. It can take care of that without God’s help. What if instead of

seeing God as a punisher, we see God as a rescuer? What if one of the

greatest myths about God is that the better you are as a person, the more

God loves you? What if God loves you? Period.


H. That's why today is so important. Something happened on Palm Sunday that

is a game changer in how we should view God and His approach to us. Jesus

did something very specific on Palm Sunday. When we understand what this

is, we don’t need to approach God warily or sheepishly. We should run to Him.


I. Not only that, but we have an amazing opportunity as a church between Palm

Sunday and Easter Sunday, all based on what Jesus did on Palm Sunday. Our

hope is that people in our community will see Jesus the way He truly is – the

great redeeming Savior who came, in His words, not for the well but the

sick – for those in need of a Savior. J. Some people think Jesus is disappointed with them, and so they stay away.


Our goal as a church is for people to understand the message of Jesus

and to know Him as their Savior. This week provides us with one of the best

opportunities for a church to do this. It’s why Palm Sunday and the week

ahead is so important. We want people to know that Easter is for everyone.


II. JOHN 12:12-16


A. [Provide context for Palm Sunday.]


B. Palm Sunday finds Jesus on the move. He made His way to Jerusalem, but

He was also making His way to the cross. Jesus didn't go to the

cross. Jesus went on the cross to get to you. Jesus made His way

through the cross to make His way to you.


C. “… on a donkey…” This imagery is of a humble king. Not only is God NOT

disappointed in you, But He has also made His way to you, in humility! (Note: In

Revelation, there is imagery of Jesus riding on a horse. Different message,

different imagery, different sermon.) But the point is this: Jesus has made His

way to you, humbly.


D. Many people think, “God tolerates the current version of me but loves the

future "cleaned-up" version of me.” If you follow this logic, what this means

is that Jesus would wait and go to the cross AFTER we got our junk together

and got all cleaned-up. Right? Because if not, if Jesus went ahead and made

His way to the cross, it would mean that Jesus took the first step. He went

first. He must love me then and now.


E. Jesus loves the current version of you, not a future, cleaned-up version of

you. When you understand this, it flat-out messes you up. In a good way.


III. APPLICATION


A. This message is for you, but it’s bigger than you. What Jesus has done is so

big we believe it should extend way beyond you and me. It’s why we want to

lock arms together and share this message throughout our city. We believe

our city can be a tipping point for the Gospel. As goes our city, so goes our

region, and beyond.


B. One of the primary reasons our church exists is to share this message with

people. This week we have an extraordinary opportunity to invite people to

come and experience this truth. Some Sundays are plain easier to invite

people to church than others. Next week is one of those Sundays.


C. Be bold and invite or bring one person to church with you. Aren’t you glad

someone invited you? You might be afraid, but you shouldn’t be! I can prove

it to you. How many of you started coming here because someone invited

you? How many of you are mad at that person for inviting you?


D. [Give a specific example of HOW to invite someone to church. (Point people

to your website, Facebook page, etc.)]


E. But don’t rely solely on technology. Be bold. Call someone up and personally

invite them to church with you.


F. [Tell your Easter service times.]


G. What Jesus has done is so big; we believe it should extend way beyond you

and me. It’s why we want to lock arms together and share this message

throughout our city. We want people in our city to know that Easter is for

everyone.


IV. CONCLUSION


A. [Share a personal story about what this week and Easter Sunday means for

you.]


B. [Close by asking everyone to pray for the person they are going to invite next

Sunday.]

EASTER FOR EVERYONE | SERMON OUTLINE

Part 2: The Greatest Miracle Yet

Easter Sunday

TEXT:


On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the

spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled

away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the

Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes

that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed

down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you

look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how

he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be

delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be

raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

Luke 24:1-8, NIV


BOTTOM LINE:

You may be living in a Friday, but God knows that Sunday is coming.


I. INTRODUCTION


A. Have you ever asked someone a common question and gotten a real answer?

Let’s say you passed someone and asked, “How are you?” They responded

by sharing about how bad their kids are behaving, all the problems they’re

having with their car, and their grandmother’s health struggles. Before you

know it, they’re tearing up a bit, and you don’t know what to do. On one

hand, you appreciate the fact that someone actually answered that question.

On the other hand, you probably would’ve been happier if they had just said

“Fine” or “Doing good.”


B. The truth is that it makes most of us uncomfortable to hear someone else talk

about what’s really wrong in their lives. We don’t like to talk about (or hear

about) things like pain, sadness, sickness, bad days, death, tragedy, etc. We’d

rather talk about sports, the weather, and our bosses. Especially in church.


C. But it could be that the reason we feel so uncomfortable about negative stuff

is because it’s so confusing to us. We only know how to handle the good

stuff. When things are good, we have answers to everyone’s questions. We

have prayers of thanksgiving and praise. But when things are bad, we don’t

have a lot to offer. Which is unfortunate. Because every one of us deals with

the harder things in life at some point or another, and yet we don’t know what

to do when that happens.


D. What do we do when things don’t go the way we want in life? In those

moments, we throw up our hands and ask the questions that everyone ask at

some point or another…God, where are you? Where did you go? Why aren’t

you doing anything?


E. If you’ve ever asked any of these questions, then at some point you’ve

probably gotten mad about them, too. I mean, if God is all-powerful and

capable of pulling off the impossible, why doesn’t He do it more often?

Why doesn’t He do it for us?


F. Whether it’s drama with your kids, health struggles, financial difficulties, or

some other struggle, we all know what it’s like to ask, “God, where are you?”

And I want you to know that no matter what has led you to ask that question,

today is for you. Because Easter is for everyone. And if you fall into the

category of “everyone,” then Easter’s answer to pain is for you, too!


G. Think about rock-climbing. I don’t know how much you know about the sport.

But when climbers climb, they put clamps in crevices to hold them to the rock

in case they lose their footing. It gives them something to hold on to. [Show a

picture of rock-climbing with clamps if possible.]


H. And that’s what today is all about: giving you something crucial to hold on to

through the worst times of life. It’s something to grab ahold of that keeps you

from falling when you feel like you’re slipping during hard times. It’s

something that I think could completely change your perspective on the bad

things that happen in your life and in the lives of those around you. Whether

you’re a regular church-attender or you’re just trying to check this Easter

service off your list, this is for you!


I. We start by joining in with Jesus and His disciples during the lowest point of

their time together. Jesus is on a cross, and His disciples are standing on a hill

nearby watching their leader and friend die. We need to really tune in to what

is happening in this moment, because this where the disciples are asking the

same questions you and I have asked: “God, where are You? What are You

doing? Surely this isn’t the plan, is it? You’re going to do something, right?


You were supposed to save Israel, be our king, and rein forever. Is this how

You’re going to let it end?”


J. They were hurt, shocked, and outraged. God hadn’t done what they

expected Him to do. And here’s the crazy part: Jesus was hurt, too. One of

the things Jesus Himself yelled out on the cross was, “My God, My God why

have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). Wow. The Son of God asks the

very same question that we ask when bad and hopeless things happen to us

—my God, why?


K. That’s where the disciples were as they watched Jesus suffer, struggle, cry

out, and ultimately die. And God did nothing.


L. But as hard as it was to believe at the time, the story didn’t end there. Jesus

died on a Friday and was buried. But Scripture tells us that on the third day—

which we understand to mean Sunday—something happened.


II. LUKE 24:1-8


A. [Read Luke 24:1-8.]


B. Don’t miss this question: Why are you looking for the living among the dead?

In other words, He isn’t here—He’s risen! This was His plan all along! This is a

big deal. Because Jesus’s death and resurrection wasn’t just God stepping in

to correct the story when things took a wrong turn.


C. When the disciples thought God was absent, idle, or not paying

attention, He was actually engineering the greatest miracle of all time.

When it seemed as though God was failing, He was actually putting the final

touches on the most important event in all of human history—the resurrection

of Jesus from the dead! The resurrection wasn’t just an incident; it was the

pivotal moment in the whole story!


D. On Friday when Jesus was murdered, it appeared as though God wasn’t

lifting a finger to save the day. But on Sunday, we realize that He was actually

moving to do something so impossible, awesome, and glorious, that people

have actually been basing the hope of their lives (and eternities) on it ever

since. On Friday, people thought Jesus was dead. But on Sunday, they saw

Him alive.


E. That’s what God did for Jesus on that Sunday morning—something He had

been planning to do since the very beginning. All throughout history, when

things looked like they were broken and couldn’t be fixed, God knew that the

resurrection would eventually make things better. God was in charge of

pulling off the resurrection. Why? Because God is really interested in fixing

broken things. He cares about broken people, and He cares about a broken

world.


F. Jesus being raised from the dead wasn’t just to make Jesus look good. It was

to show the world that God had been involved the whole time. When things

seemed hopeless, and we were helpless and desperate, God was up to

something that would change the game.


G. If God had a plan from the beginning of the story for His Son, He has a plan

now for you now. Because when the story seems to have ended on Friday, it

takes a whole new turn on Sunday!


• No matter who you are.

• No matter what you’ve done.

• No matter how far away from God you feel.

• No matter how bad things feel in your story.


H. The resurrection is something you can hold on to. His involvement and plan

in the midst of your hurt and pain is like a rock-climbing clamp you can

implement in case you slip or fall. This anchor holds no matter what difficulty

you’re going through—sickness, poverty, relationship hurt, anxiety,

depression, or fear. You can hold on to the resurrection. Why? Because the

resurrection allows us to have a relationship with Jesus. It offers us hope

and Someone we can count on when things get difficult. The resurrection

gives us confidence in a bigger story. It assures us that God is still in control—

even when it feels otherwise. It tells us God is still involved, even when we

can’t always see evidence of it. It tells us that God is still active and

participating in the story. The Big Story. Your story. You may be living in a

Friday, but God knows that Sunday is coming!


I. That doesn’t mean that things always turn out the way we expect or like. Your

kids may still struggle. You may still get alarming reports from your doctors.

Your bank account may still have ups and downs. But what God has promised

us is that in the big picture, there’s another Sunday coming that will change

things forever!


J. Because of the resurrection, our own Sunday is coming. The resurrection

gives us the hope of heaven, which is the ultimate Sunday! The day is coming

when He’s going to give you, your mom, and your grandma a new body: one

that doesn’t get sick or die. The day is coming when He’s going to make this

whole planet new. It will be a place where people don’t hurt or leave each

other. He’s going to wipe every tear from our eyes.


K. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or

mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed

away.” (Revelation 21:4 NIV)


L. And I know that a lot of you feel like it’s Friday. You feel like the disciples did

when their leader was dead and they were wondering where God was. You,

too, may wonder if God is even around. And if He is, you wonder what in the

world He’s doing. But no matter who you are and what you’re going through,

I want you to know that you can have confidence that God is around, He

does have a plan, and He’s offering all of us heaven one day.


M. You can hold onto the promise that God is working His greatest miracle yet.

Sunday is coming, and that’s when…


• What is dead will be brought back to life.

• What feels forever lost will be restored.

• What’s impossible will be made possible.


N. And that’s the anchor you can hold on to today. That’s what will hold you up

no matter what comes your way in life. It might feel like Friday, but Sunday is

coming. And when we get to Sunday, God can do anything. The resurrection,

what we celebrate on Easter, shows us that He can even raise the dead to life!


III. APPLICATION


A. Here’s where this intersects your life right now: Some of you are in the middle

of a situation right now where you’re calling out to God to do something big.

To prevent a Friday from even happening. To show up and stop whatever

pain and hurt you’re in the middle of. It’s great to keep praying and crying

out to God for that! But while you wait for God to move, I want you to

hold onto to what He’s already done, and I want you to put your hope in

what He will do one day.


B. In the resurrection, God has given all of us the promise that Sunday is coming

—that heaven is coming—and that one day, all the things you’re asking Him

for will be true because of Jesus.


C. Easter is for everyone, because everyone can hold on to the resurrection.

D. So your prayers at this time could sound something like this…“God I’m

praying for my mom’s sickness. Heal it please! I need You! Let me say that

again, I need You! But while I wait, I just want to say that I’m also thankful.

Because I know that Sunday’s coming. And that’s awesome, because even if

You don’t answer this prayer the way I want you to, I know the day isn’t here

yet when everything will be as it should. The day’s coming when You’re going

to give her a new, perfect body and we’ll be together forever and ever. So

thank you that I can count on a future Sunday! Thank you that by resurrecting

Jesus from the dead, I have confidence in what will happen one day. I’m still

asking for the healing today. I still want it. But if all else fails, I’m still holding

on to the resurrection and the hope that You’re working now and for our

future.”


E. Some of you may not be in a situation like this right now, but you know

someone who is. You need to bring hope to their situation. You need to get

in the middle of it alongside of them and start praying for whatever

they’re praying for. Pray with them and for them. And as you do, know that

the hope of the resurrection is the best hope anyone could ever have. It tells

us God has a plan and Sunday is coming!

IV. CONCLUSION


A. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you so much that He sent you His Son,

not simply to die and be raised from the dead, but to initiate a relationship

with you, and to give people a future hope and confidence in the fact that He

hasn’t abandoned us. He’s with us! He came to fix what is broken. And He did

so by raising Jesus from the dead. That one event is the greatest event in

human history. Because of it, we can hold on, even in the most challenging of

life’s circumstances, however hopeless they may feel.


B. You may be living in a Friday, but God knows that Sunday is coming