“What Kind of Easter Person Are You?”

Mark 16:1-8

Easter Sunday

Listen…

Introduction

We’re all familiar with the cliché saying, “There are two kinds of people in this world…” which is then followed by some kind of fortune cookie bit of wisdom, or some kind of self righteous proclamation that incorporates a derogatory dig.

“There are two kinds of people in this world… the ones who love to win and the ones who hate to lose.” That would be the fortune cookie bit of wisdom kind.

An example of a derogatory kind would be something like, “There are two kinds of people in this world…there are Ohio State football fans, and then there are people who just watch football.

There are Pittsburgh Steelers fans, and then there are people who know better!”

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This resurrection Sunday has me considering this age old cliché, and wondering what two types of people there are in the world on Easter.

And now that we have reached the pinnacle of this Lenten season, through which we have focused on moving from brokenness to wholeness, I have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world…

There are those who are broken…

And there are those who think they have it all together.

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If I were to ask you, “Which would you rather be: ‘broken’ or ‘have it all together’?” all of us would say, “Have it all together!” Right?

Having it all together—that’s good!

We all want such because we know what having it all together looks like… we know what it would be like.

We would get everything done around the house, get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour with no melt downs, then read a good book, and still get eight hours of sleep a night.

Every morning, we would be up early to exercise, and maintain the perfect health we’ve achieved, followed by a Dr. Oz approved healthy breakfast, while we read the paper—starting with the comics and not the obituaries of course.

We would be prepared for retirement because we make methodical monthly savings contributions, while already having in place trust funds for the kids, and a living will in case the unthinkable happens.

We would work only eight hours a day, spend evenings at home, with weekends and holidays spent with the family on fun, heart warming Disney-like adventures!

We would never fight with our spouse, because when you have it all together you can read each other’s minds, and perfectly tend to one another’s needs, all with crystal clear communication.

These are just my “have it all together” dreams—no doubt you have your own list of what life would be like if you had it all together.

Imagine what life would be like if we had it all together.

But it’s in the thinking about such, that we become painfully aware of just how badly we don’t have it all together.

We become painfully aware of just how broken we truly are.

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So on this Easter Sunday, let us consider what kind of people we truly are.

But let us also consider what kind of people we truly can, and will become, because of that first Easter Sunday.

 

Move 1

All throughout Lent we have considered our brokenness and the brokenness of the world around us.

If we made such part of our Lenten walk then we have become keenly aware that the wholeness we seek cannot be found by our own accord.

So let’s have it—what kind of Easter person are you?

Are you a broken person, or are you a person who thinks they have it all together?

Now there are some who truly believe they have it all together—that their life is just as they want it to be.

But what is often the case, is that those who say, and even believe they have it all together, are really just as broken as the rest of us.

Too often we let ourselves believe that by having a nice car, a big house full of great stuff, a walk-in closet full of more great stuff that we wear out to fancy restaurants and enchanting entertainment events, that it all adds up to have having it all together.

But let’s be honest—great stuff doesn’t mean we have it all together

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A study was done on the spending habits of American families, and the findings of this study revealed that the vast majority of income is spent on items that need constant replenishing.

We spend almost all of our accumulated wealth on food that will be eaten, gas that will be burned, clothes that will wear out, and entertainment that lasts a moment.

Today is Easter and soon we will all gather with family and loved ones to share in a beautiful meal of abundance.

But no matter how many pounds of ham we put away or deviled eggs we down, come Monday morning we will be hungry again.

No matter how nice the clothes we wear today are, eventually they will wear out.

So much of what we look to, to give us meaning and purpose—that which we so often turn to, to convince ourselves that we have it all together—those things are temporary are fleeting.

They will run out. They will break down. They will go away.

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The truth is, if we believe that we have it all together, that our lives are as they should be, then this message, this Easter Sunday… well, it just isn’t for us because Easter isn’t for people who have it all together. Not at all.

Easter is for broken people.

Easter is for those who think they have it all together, but know they too are broken.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is for those who have figured out that in this life, “having it all together” is a fleeting feeling.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is for those who are broken and long to be made whole.

 

Move 2

So which are you?

Broken and well aware of it!

Or are you still trying to hide it, or even hide from it?

But then again, maybe the age old cliché of two kinds of people is too limiting, and really there’s a third kind of Easter person.

And maybe that third kind of Easter person are those who are still just skeptical—those who still can’t believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Maybe they saw some special on the History Channel that made them question the validity of the resurrection.

Well, I get it. The History Channel can be compelling. But honestly, how much credibility should we give to a cable channel whose biggest shows are about pawnshops, Bigfoot, and moonshiners? (Mind you—three shows I thoroughly enjoy!)

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When it comes to doubt, a greater authority than the History channel is found when we realize that Jesus’ disciples proclaimed the resurrection, at great risk to their very lives— and would all eventually willingly die for it.

History says that more than 500 people were willing to attest to the resurrection.

The Roman authorities never disproved or even attempted to argue the resurrection—in fact they tried to cover it up.

Furthermore, at the time, in a male-centric world where women were viewed as inferior, why would the gospel writers, like Mark, dare make up a story about women being the first to find Jesus?

They would be inviting scandal and scorn for their writing— unless, of course, it actually happened and eyewitnesses made them unable to say otherwise.

The empty tomb speaks to the brokenness of skepticism.

 

Move 3

So what kind of Easter person are you?

Do you have it all together?

Do you think you have it all together?

Are you a skeptic, still wanting answers and evidence?

Or are you just broken?

It’s essential to know because if we truly believe that our life is full, that we really do have it all together, then we have no room for, and no need for, the promises of Jesus.

If we are looking for, and demanding, evidence before we surrender to faith, then we will never be able to grasp hold of our risen Lord.

But if we’re able to admit that we are broken and needing to be made whole by something that will last, then the fulfilled promises of Easter are ready and waiting to make us whole in ways that we cannot achieve on our own.

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The celebration of this Easter resurrection means that every spouse who’s buried their husband or wife, every parent who’s lost a child, will one day have his or her grief overshadowed by God’s glory in heaven.

It means one day our earthquake riddled, tsunami-filled planet will be replaced with a calm and peaceful creation.

It means that soon there will be a day when all those who can’t walk, or hear, those whose minds are slow or bodies are broken, they will rise from their chairs, step out of their beds, leave all assistance behind and be whole.

It means that one day the brokenness of our lives, and the brokenness of the world, will be transformed into wholeness and new life—ever lasting life.

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Because the tomb is empty, it means that everything Jesus ever preached and promised is true— which is good news because Jesus has some amazing things to offer those of us who know the brokenness of this life.

The empty tomb means that Jesus’ death on the cross was, in fact, a work of grace and forgiveness.

It means that all of the mistakes we’ve made, that leave us wondering whether or not God loves us, have been pushed and put aside. But that’s not all.
The resurrection of Jesus is a glimpse of our own future resurrection.

There will be a day when Jesus returns and gives to us the same experience he had on that first Easter.

We will lay down in death, but death will be swallowed up in the victory of eternal life.

These are the promises that Christ places in the hands of those who are willing to admit they are broken and that only Christ, and his promises, can truly make them whole.

 

Conclusion

So really, what kind of Easter person are you?

If you are living with brokenness, but can barely find a way to keep going, then it’s time to hand it to Jesus.

If you work hard everyday to convince yourself that you have it all together by filling yourself up with that which is fleeting, then it is time to acknowledge your brokenness and hand it to Jesus.

If you find it hard to believe in an unbelieving world, then it’s time to take the smallest of risks and hand your skepticism to Jesus.

Hand it all to Jesus, because on Easter, we are shown that being broken isn’t a bad thing.

It isn’t a bad thing because on Easter, an empty tomb means that a once broken and dead Jesus is alive and whole again, and because Jesus is alive and whole again, the brokenness in your life tells you and assures you, that you are the one Jesus died and was raised from the dead for, and that you are ready to receive all that He has to give.

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Truly, there is just one kind of person in the world.

A broken person. We are all broken.

But today, every broken person is promised wholeness…because Jesus is risen.

Risen indeed. Amen.

 

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