Many Messengers, One Message! An Easter Sermon on 1 Cor. 15:1-11
Many Messengers, One Message
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
† Jesus! Son! Risen Savior! †
May your gift from God today be more confidence in this message – that Jesus died for your sins, He was buried, and he was raised from the Dead!. And therefore, you are risen in Him! AMEN!
I came up with an illustration for this morning’s message that would be perfect! It would illustrate the idea of many messengers, one message, it would drive home.
Only one problem, we can’t do it because of social distancing!
Too bad! We could have defeated the most frustrating team-building exercise in history if only social distancing weren’t an issue!
We could have beaten the classroom game, “telephone!”
You see, the message I would start on this side of the room with would be simple.
“Alleluia! He is Risen!”
And I am 99.9 percent sure that when the message gets over here to Brian, he tells it to me… I will be able to reply. “He is Risen indeed, Alleluia! and therefore…. Therefore…
That message would be remembered!
Remembered like it was in the days following the Resurrection and Pentecost!
Peter shared what he witnessed, the rest of the discipled shared what they witnessed, 500 others would share it, and James, and then by all those sent out with the message. (remind me to talk about that later!) And finally, Paul would encounter the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus…. And it would change everything!
The Message Obscured
There are two reasons teams fail at the telephone game.
The first is that the message is too complex, too complicated.
The second is that the message has absolutely nothing to do with the people passing it.
Let’s say the message is that “Woodworth Cadillac was acquired 46 years ago, and was nominated in 2011 for the Time Dealer of the Year.” That’s a pretty prestigious nomination! It is a great car dealership. But none of you know where it is!
So if we used that sentence in the telephone game, it would be obscured by the third person it was communicated to.
It is a complex sentence, and except for the Parkers, no one in this church knows the DeLuca family.
If there is a reason the church doesn’t grow in this time and in this place, it is because we make other messages more critical. We talk about politics, and social issues, and sports.
I am not just talking about this church. I am talking about churches in general, so people think that church is nothing more than another location for questionable news and views.
The problem with the church today? It has sinned! What Paul identifies as “most important, and what has been passed on to us” has faded into the background.
We can’t do that anymore!
We have to pass on what has been given to us.
Not because it is an obligation, but because we know the difference it will make in someone’s life, to know God loves them this much.
A simple message…
Alleluia! HE IS RISEN!
- But, ALLELUIA! HE IS RISEN!
And therefore… I AM RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!
Paul continues on,
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results.
It doesn’t matter to Paul whether he is an apostle, a pastor, an evangelist. The results are what matters.
God pours out the grace, and there are results, and he will claim this,
yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the exact message you have already believed.
If 20 people lined up to get baptized here this morning, I would not care if Bob brought them, or Tom or Doug or Gerry. There would be 20 people brought here to know God’s love, and that is worth rejoicing over!
It doesn’t matter which one of us God used! We would have 20 new people to share God’s love with. It doesn’t matter if they are 4 or 14 or 84 or 94! It doesn’t matter what ethnicity they are or what sins they were delivered from by Jesus!
This message which you already believe, they need to come to believe! That because Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the grace, they are being saved. They have been separated from their past and future sin.
Just as we are…. They are saved by the blood of Christ, made alive through the power of the resurrection.
- This is the Message
This is our message, the one passed on to us and entrusted to us. Not just for us to keep and ponder, but to pass on to those around us.
It meets the two criteria I had for establishing something that could be easily spread and kept correct in the telephone game.
- It is simple. “Alleluia, His is Risen.”
And it concerns you, for, “He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! And therefore We Are Risen indeed, Alleluia!”
Twelve me, some women, 500 people saw then and changed the entire Mediterranean Basin in 50 years. Keeping the message simple and showing people how it affected their lives.
Now the test, I want you to spread it from there to here, from the east to the west! AMEN!