Here Is Life!
There is a legend about a merchant in Baghdad.
One day he sent his servant to the market.
Before long the servant came back, and was trembling and fearful.
He said to his master: "Down in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd,
and when I turned around, I saw that it was Death that jostled me.
She looked at me and made a threatening gesture.
Master, please lend me your horse, for I must hasten away to avoid her.
I will write to Samara, and there I will hide, and Death will not find me."
The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant galloped away in great haste.
Later, the merchant went down to the marketplace, and saw Death standing in the crowd.
He went over to her and asked, "Why did you frighten my servant this morning?
Why did you make a threatening gesture?"
Death answered, "That was not a threatening gesture.
It was only a start of surprise.
I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samara."
Each of us has an appointment in Samara, but this is not a cause for fear,
as strange as that may sound to our world.
Because of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we have an appointment with life.
Paul calls death, "the last enemy." (1 Corinthians 15:26)
Death is our enemy!
Death makes us afraid because it separates us from our life and from our loved ones.
If we fear death, it is because we are not certain of what we face after we die.
Few people face death, calmly.
In fact, most of us would do anything we can to postpone death.
All of us have an appointment with death, and when it comes; we can do nothing to postpone it.
Death is inevitable.
Death is the result of sin.
All people die because of their sin.
Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned
Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death
Death is real.
The news reports are full of accounts of death of the young and old, rich and poor, male and female,
black, white, red, yellow and brown.
Every one of us will keep our appointment with death.
People do not like to talk about death.
We are seldom ready to confront our fears.
Most of us prefer to run away from them to Samara, and to ignore them.
Twice in our Scripture we read the words, "Do not be afraid."
Man is afraid when he is confronted by God.
Man is afraid because he knows that he has sinned, and that the wages of sin is death.
"Do not be afraid; for I know you're looking for Jesus who has been crucified.
He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said."
This is the message for you.
You do not have to be afraid.
You do not have to be afraid because the Lord Jesus died for you, and for all of us.
He took our place.
Jesus made atonement for all our sin.
He paid the price that frees us forever from sin, death, and hell.
The two women went out to the tomb fully expecting to find death.
They had seen Jesus die.
They knew He was dead.
They had come to the tomb to prepare His body for burial.
They would perform this one last deed of love for Jesus.
They did not expect to find an empty tomb.
They expected death.
They did not expect to find life.
They were surprised by life.
The angel told them not to be afraid.
This Jesus whom they were seeking was not dead, but living, just as He had promised.
Jesus was not dead.
He had conquered sin.
He had conquered sin for all mankind.
He also conquered death and hell.
The grave could not hold Him.
The women had gone expecting to find death, and found life.
The angel commanded as did Jesus, "Do not be afraid."
Stop being afraid!
Don't be afraid!
You don't have to fear again.
When sin is forgiven life comes!
The stranglehold of death has been broken for good.
Satan and death have no claim on those who living Christ.
Those who lives are hid with Christ already live.
Life eternal is already theirs.
Christ atoned for all the sins of the entire world, thus removing the cause of death,
and its eternal consequence which is hell.
When you received Christ as your Saviour, God gave you a life that has no end.
If you came here in your grave clothes, you can leave in your resurrection clothes!
If you came here dead in your sins, you can leave here with life everlasting.
I don't know what you expected when you came to this service, but I know that you can find life here!
You can have eternal life through the resurrection through your Lord Jesus Christ.
When Jesus met the two women, He said more than "Hello".
He literally said, "Rejoice!"
We can rejoice because Jesus is alive!
He is not dead!
He has conquered sin, death, and hell.
He lives forever as our Redeemer and Saviour.
And because He lives, we too shall live.
Life is found here today now!
You can have that life!
What a magnificent message!
What good news!
Come to Christ, and receive life and life everlasting.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father, except through me." (John 14:6)
Here is life!
Sermon adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White