Sermons

Easter Day

April 21, 2019

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.

I know that today is Easter, but I want to start this morning with a scene depicted in Holy scripture that led to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus is standing before Pontius Pilate, and as Pilate questions Jesus, we read this exchange:

“Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.’  Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’”

I would like to suggest that what we are here today to celebrate is the truth.  I would like to take a little time to talk about truth.

We live in a different culture than the one of my youth.  Truth has become a relative term.  This began before the advent of the internet, but I think that the internet has made it an even greater issue. 

With a little Google search, you will be able to find someone who agrees with what you think is the truth.  For instance, I did a quick search and found plenty of articles that talk about Jesus being an alien.  Truth has become something for each individual.

Then there are scientific truths -- For instance, gravity.   I may choose to believe that there is no such thing as gravity.  But if I fall off of a roof, the same thing will happen to me as it would for someone who did believe in gravity.  Scientific truths are ones that we really have very little choice about.

The truth that we are celebrating today is something different.  The truth of Jesus is one that is based on faith and not on the scientific method.  And, at first thought we might be able to argue that whether or not we believe in the truth of Jesus is not going to affect our lives.

It may be that people who do not believe in Jesus can live very kind and virtuous lives.  They can feed the hungry and visit those in prison.  They can do a lot of good in the world.  It is completely possible for humanists, who do not believe in god to do good in this world.  So, on first thought it may very well seem that it does not matter whether or not we believe in the truth of Jesus.

Scientific truth and the truth based on faith are not the same.  But that does not mean that it has no affect on people’s lives.  Actually that is the main point of what I want to say today. 

If what we celebrate today does not affect your life, then why bother?  What is the point of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection if it does not affect who you are and how you live?  What does belief in the truth of Jesus mean if it does not affect how you treat other people?  What does the truth of Jesus mean if it does not affect every moment of every day?

Is that a bit much?  I do not think so.  If you believe the truth of Jesus Christ – that He is the incarnate Son of God, that He lived a fully human life, that He taught, that He performed miracles, that He was betrayed by those He loved, that He was put on trial and sentenced to death of a cross, that He died on the cross and was buried, and was placed in a tomb, and when the women who loved Him came to anoint His body, it was gone because He rose from the dead.  That Jesus Christ died for you and for me because there was no other way for our sinfulness to be reconciled with the love of God for His creation.

If you believe this, it is a radical thing.  If you believe this, it is truth based on faith.  And, if you believe this -- If you and I believe this, then it makes us different from the world.

          “Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.’  Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’”  The truth is Love.  The truth is Jesus.  The truth is what we celebrate today.  AMEN.