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Jn 20:1-18 · 1Co 15:1-11 · Ac 10:34-43 · Ps 118
This Week's Sermons

Why I Believe in the Resurrection
John 20:1-9

You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin. During his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today. There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.

An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men's faith. "Are there any questions?" Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to the left then to the right. Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church: "CHRIST IS RISEN!" En masse the crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder: "HE IS RISEN INDEED!"

I say to you this morning: CHRIST IS RISEN! (congregational response should be: HE IS RISEN INDEED!). I am convinced! I have faith that Christ was dead and he was buried. That I believe. But, this too I accept as true: He rose from the dead and will come again in glory.

This is Easter. And to stand here on this day in this pulpit and proclaim this word. . . I cannot begin to tell you how this defines all that I am.

But, you will say to me, how do you know that the resurrection is real? How do you know that it is really valid?...

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Leonard Sweet's Sermon

What If It's True?
John 20:1 18 or Matthew 28:1-10

Christ is Alive! He has Risen Indeed!
He has Risen from the Dead, Hallelujah!
"I know that my Redeemer lives."

If I were to change the end of that last statement by only two letters, a "th" for a "s" so it would be "I know that my Redeemer liveth," you have immediately thought of a song, perhaps the most famous Easter song of all time.

What is it? . . . . Handel's "Messiah."

We may know nothing about George Frederic Handel, but we know the "Messiah" (1741).

Oh, we may know that next door to where Handel lived and composed for 36 years almost three centuries ago, a more recent musician called home.

George Frederic Handel lived at No.25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London (from 1723 to 1749).

His neighbor to the left, at No.23 Brook Street? Jimi Hendrix.

Oh, we may be aware that most of the pieces Handel composed expressly for Christian worship no choir ever sings and no congregation ever hears. But we know the "Messiah."

In the Victorian era, "Messiahs" performed at Hyde Park, London's Crystal Palace at its three yearly Handel Festivals had 3000 performers and tens of thousands in the audience. As the English music historian (Charles Burney) wrote even earlier of Handel's majestic "Messiah:" "It has fed the hungry, clothed the naked, fostered the orphan, and enriched succeeding managers off the oratorios, more than any single production in this or any other country." Some say it is the best known choral work in Western music.

But as well as we think we know Handel's defining Easter sound, "The Messiah," do we really?

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