Audio recording of my sermon at Bellevue Church of Christ from Sunday Morning, March 27, 2016 (Easter Sunday).
The lesson was entitled, Why are We Here?, and was a study of the reasons why different people attend worship services on Easter Sunday and how each would regard the Resurrection of Christ. This sermon was based on Paul’s great defense of the Resurrection in I Corinthians 15.
Year after year Easter marks a day in which church attendance is usually at its peak across the world, but why is this? Why are more people sitting in church pews on Easter than any other day of the year?
I would imagine that if we could use a truth serum and survey church goers on Easter, we would find three distinct, high-level reasons why people attended worship services:
(1) They almost always attend worship because they recognize the essential need for the blood of Christ and have a desire to worship God. They are also involved in other activities of the church.
(2) They usually attend because they feel like it is what they are supposed to do, but are rarely involved in other activities of the church.
(3) They rarely attend but come to worship on Easter because of tradition or sense of obligation to other family members.
Easter is obviously intended to mark the resurrection of Jesus, but how would these three different groups regard the resurrection?
The first group would not only believe in the resurrection, but also likely echo the sentiments of Paul in I Corinthians 15:3-5 that the it is of “first importance” to the gospel message. It means everything to them, and has served as the foundational motivation for following God’s plan.
The second group would likely confess to believe in the resurrection, but it might be hard to determine what, if any, real effect it has had on their lives.
The third group would either express indifference about the reality of the resurrection or definitively state that they don’t believe in it at all.
This leads to the following questions:
For group three – What prevents you from believing in or caring about the resurrection? What do you think actually happened?
For group two – If you believe in the resurrection, why has it not transformed your life?
For group one – How do we reach those in groups two and three with the message of the resurrection?
Let’s explore these and other questions as we study about the resurrection together this morning.