By Will Graham
The Easter Sunrise Service has always been one of my favorite services to preach. There’s something so special and unique about gathering to worship the risen Savior on Easter morning. It’s a time when we can focus most on the sacrifice and glorious resurrection of Jesus, which gives us hope and removes the sting of death. I love it!
I remember several years ago when I was in college and dating the beautiful woman who would one day be my bride, Kendra. I took her with me to visit my grandfather, Billy Graham, for Easter in Montreat, N.C.
On our way back to Liberty University that afternoon, we drove up to Boone, N.C., to see my parents. We pulled into a little gas station on the south side of U.S. Route 70 to fuel up and be on our way. I vividly remember standing in line while the people in front of me made friendly conversation with the clerk behind the counter.
“Nothing’s free anymore!” the man chuckled as he handed over the money to pay for his gasoline purchase.
At that moment God told me to speak. My heart cried out to share the Gospel with these people: “Yes, God’s gift of Salvation is free! That’s what Easter is all about! God paid the debt for you through His Son, Jesus!”
My friends, that’s what I should have said.
Sadly, I kept that proclamation to myself. I regret it to this day. God gave me the words to say and wanted me to share His hope on that glorious Easter day with people who likely needed to hear it, but I disobeyed him and kept it silently in my heart. Frankly, I chickened out.
I made a covenant with God that day that if I ever felt Him speaking through me again, I would share it boldly and not hold back. Who knows? Sharing the words He gives us may be the difference between someone spending an eternity in Heaven or in Hell; the difference between a life of hope and a life of discouragement and despair.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection this year, I encourage you to listen to God as He speaks to you, and be His mouthpiece as He speaks through you. Easter is what it’s all about, and we need to take every opportunity available to us to share His saving message!
Has God laid on your heart the names of friends and loved ones who need to know Him? Visit www.MyHopeWithBillyGraham.org to learn how you and your church can be a part of a major nationwide proclamation of the Gospel culminating this November. Join the movement today!
On the Saturday after Jesus was crucified, His followers must have felt utterly defeated. Meanwhile, the Pharisees felt they had silenced a critic, the Romans felt they had quashed a rebellion, and the governor had washed his hands of the whole affair.
Then Sunday morning dawned, the gravestone was rolled away, and history was turned inside out. The news—Jesus is alive!—was almost too good to be true. Yet it was undeniably true. So true that His disciples dedicated the rest of their lives to telling the whole world the Good News about Jesus Christ.
On the cross, He died for our sins.
In the tomb, He defeated death.
Nowhere else in this sin-sick world can we find such everlasting hope.
Modern medicine is wonderful—almost miraculous sometimes—but doctors will never defeat death. Now, some of us may live to be a hundred or more.
Every day we have on this earth is a gift from God, but ultimately everyone has to be prepared to face death and judgment. Through the triumph of the cross and resurrection, Jesus has already dealt with both of those.
Unfortunately, multitudes of people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior are putting their hopes in the wrong places. In the secular West, we put our confidence in government and science. We define security in terms of money in the bank.
Globally, billions of people blindly follow religions that will never lead them to eternal life. In Egypt, a powerful group called the Muslim Brotherhood has a creed that says, “Islam is the solution.” Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet, but they do not believe He was crucified or resurrected.
Without that faith, their solution is completely futile. Apart from Christ, men everywhere are separated and alienated from God, without hope in this world or the next. The Apostle Paul wrote, “there is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. Faith in Christ’s work on the cross brings forgiveness of sin and imputes God’s righteousness to us. Lost, sinful man is reconciled to God.
Just listen to Paul, who was brutally opposed to the Gospel until he encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. “If Christ has not been raised,” he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
The resurrection assures Christians that we don’t have to fear the grave. “When you were dead in your sins … God made you alive with Christ” (Colossians 2:13).
Scripture Quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.