This week is Holy Week, and this marks the cornerstone of the Christian Faith. The events that took place a couple thousand years ago, changed the faith of the Jewish culture and changed the world. This is a big deal! I will say one of the biggest events that I think a lot of people overlook is the tomb being empty.
I’ve been working on a youth lesson for Easter about the importance of the tomb being empty. Empty….is good….. is proof….is powerful….is permanent! I’m excited! I’ve had this other idea in my head for some time now, but I think it that might go over teenagers heads, but a few weeks back I caught myself singing along to We Build This City on Rock and Roll by Starship and thinking to myself that if you just change two words in the title you have your self a good Sermon title. So here we are with “We Built This City on a Rock That Rolled”
So all four of the Gospels have an account of the burial of Jesus (Matthew 28:1–6; Mark 16:1–7; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–12) and Paul even makes claims of this. Jesus rising from the dead three days after His crucifixion is important because it proves that he keeps His word, and has the power to defeat death. If he didn’t rise again, we probably wouldn’t have ever heard this story.
We must believe these accounts if we are to call ourselves followers of Jesus. We must believe the virgin birth, the sinless life, the sacrifice and the effects of an empty tomb. Before these events we see Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew ask Peter “Who do you say I am?” and Peter being best buds with Jesus, trusting and believing in Him said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter had faith! Jesus then goes on to talk about Peter’s faith “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
The church is built on the foundation of our faith in Jesus. The faith in the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection.
Here is part of the cool, thing…I get to let you explore my thoughts as God reveals Himself to me, through a cheesy 80’s rock in roll song.
Say you don’t know me, or recognize my face
Say you don’t care who goes to that kind of place
Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight
We got too many runaways eating up the night
So imagine you see your best friend die. You have been hanging out for years and then you hear shortly after his death he is just scrolling through town like nothing happened. Would you believe? That might be hard? But if you had proof and saw with your own eyes, I’d say yeah. The people of the time knew Jesus, so when they were there at His death and then saw that he was alive, they believed.
When the Marys came running back into town to tell Jesus’ disciples that the tomb was empty, they ran to check for themselves. They saw, and they believed! They all went to tell the people and when they came face to face with their friend, they were overwhelmed with joy. They believed!
Two thousand years later we still have this church of faith, but how often are we really zealous of Jesus. I know it’s cliche to say that a lot of Christians just check the box, but they don’t really believe. I feel like at times Jesus might say to His church today “Say you don’t know me, or recognize my face?” I think I could see Jesus very well finishing this verse “Say you don’t care who goes to that kind of place” Are you not passionate enough to bring people to my Church, my city, my kingdom? Do you not know who I AM? I am the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I am the way the truth and the life? Do you not what them to join us in the kingdom?
You only come to me when you need something, when you’re knee-deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight. I will help you, but there is more to this than that! more than me just helping you with your struggles. Trust in me, and I will comfort you in your times of need, but in the meanwhile, while I hear your cries for help, I also hear how you treat your brothers and sisters. The ones that are broken, the runaways eating up the night. Did I not say love your neighbor? Yes, the poor, broken, runaway neighbors. Bring them to me, and I will change their lives. Some of you call out my name, but you say you don’t know me, or recognize my face, deep down in your heart. I don’t know who you are.
I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m making light of Christ, and I’m not trying to interject words into Jesus’s mouth, but with deep convictions and seriousness, I believe Jesus has already said this stuff to us all.
I could continue to break down this song, but I’ll let you see if God reveals Himself to you in it. When questioned about my proof of God, my response is “what lack of proof is there? I feel and see God everywhere. I let Him speak to my soul in whatever or however he chooses, whether that revelation is a birth of a child, a bad marriage is renewed, not believing but playing the part of Jesus in an Easter play, or even through the lyric of an 80’s non-Christian rock in roll song. I have faith and I believe! I believe in the virgin birth, the painful bloody death, and the giant rock that was rolled away from the empty tomb.
So I leave you with this
don’t you remember, we built this city on a rock that rolled!
Have faith, allow God to speak to you wherever you are and have a wonderful resurrection weekend!