The Pains of Easter

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In these next view moments what are you expecting? Do you believe that your life can be changed by what we are sharing together this day?

How do you view the world?

This is a tricky question. The expectations of the world is probably what we will see. We must be careful that we do not tend to any extreme in regards to this world. Easter teaches us to see the world in a certain way. A way I hope that will make a difference in how you interact with others. We are Easter Resurrection people! Easter changes everything!

The world is broken.

This is true! We do not live in an ideal world. Nor a world that is all good or all bad. It is broken. This also points to a design, an intention that is left unrealized. We are broken individuals. This should not be a surprise when things go wrong in our world.
The Easter story is one of brokenness and an example of the brokenness of the world. Right was considered wrong. Innocent man condemned to death.
Yet, Easter changes everything!

The world is full of pain.

The question is not if we will experience pain but how we will deal with the pain we are experiencing. We do our best to not have any pain and to deaden the pain around us. We hide our pain on social media, portraying only the parts we want. Or we go the opposite direction and show our pain making it a “trophy”. Look at how bad things are.
We cause pain in others in hopes that our own pain will be lessened or so that others know what it “feels” like to hurt.
Easter changes everything!

Pain/Scars tell a story.

I have a couple scars on my hands. Each one tells a unique story. The “first” scar is the result of trimming bushes. Let me just say being left-handed stinks sometimes.
The “second” happened at a conference I was helping to lead when my pinky got stuck in a hotel room door.
The “last” scar happened right before, I believe about a week before, Daniel was born and is all because of my “coffee”.
Scars can either be trophies or part of a larger story, serving a purpose but not the “end” themselves because Easter changes everything!
I have other pain in my life beyond just the physical scars. I have mental, emotional, relational, and if I am honest this morning even spiritual scars that are not “seen”.
I have shared some of my scars and pain this morning but what about you? Where are you hurting. Do you believe there is hope fo you? We cannot hide from pain but instead we must name it. We must be aware of it because it is only then we can find hope, healing and redemption in the midst of the pain.

Pain can leave us powerless.

In Luke 24 we see the pain which is starting to cripple the disciples. They are huddled together. The reports keep coming in but they are unsure of what to do. In fact, as we open up John 20 we still see them behind locked doors.

The pain of doubt and despair.

As Sunday came that first Resurrection morning there was not the feelings of triumph we celebrate today. There was doubt and despair. Did we miss something? I’m not sure I can believe anymore. I just don’t know.
Luke 24:36–38 NIV
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?

The pain of fear.

Where one is the others is closely behind. This may be the biggest pain we deal with in our world. I know I deal with it. The disciples are afraid of the Jews. They are afraid they may be next. They are afraid of not having the words to say.
John 20:26–27 NIV
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

The pain of betrayal.

The first disciples were reminded of how it was not the “enemy” who caused their pain but their friend. Luke in his second volume/book known as Acts of the Apostles, or Acts for short, we read these words:
Acts 1:12–14 NIV
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Easter changes everything!

You have heard this line already this morning but yet do you believe it? Do you believe that Easter changes everything, and I mean everything. This is true and especially when it comes to pain and scars and suffering.

Pain doesn’t have the final word.

Easter reminds us that we are not powerless but instead because of Christ we have the power to heal from the pain of this world. We have the power to let our pain be redeemed and transformed into something beautiful. Thomas allowed the pain of doubt, fear, despair and disbelief to be changed into a statement of faith, hope, and power!

Let Easter transform your_________!

I’m not sure which pain of Easter is biggest for you this day. Maybe it is another type of pain but I courageously ask you to let Easter transform it. See if we do that what may seem like a death sentence, what may seem like a grave can be turned into a garden. What seems to be awful can be turned into something beautiful.

Let your brokenness tell Jesus’ story.

In fact, the pain and the scars he experience proved who he was. After his tomb was empty it was the scars which told the disciples it was really him. Jesus did not hide the pain and scars of life. But he also did not let them have greater power than necessary.
The lyrics for “Scars” by I Am They:
Waking up to a new sunrise Looking back from the other side I can see now with open eyes
Darkest water and deepest pain I wouldn't trade it for anything 'Cause my brokenness brought me to you And these wounds are a story you'll use
So I'm thankful for the scars 'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart And I know they'll always tell of who you are So forever I am thankful for the scars
Now I'm standing in confidence With the strength of your faithfulness And I'm not who I was before No, I don't have to fear anymore
So I'm thankful for the scars 'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart And I know they'll always tell of who you are So forever I am thankful for the scars
I can see, I can see How you delivered me In your hands, in your feet I found my victory
I'm thankful for your scars 'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart And with my life, I'll tell of who you are So forever I am thankful
I'm thankful for the scars 'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart And I know they'll always tell of who you are So forever I am thankful for the scars So forever I am thankful for the scars
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