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An Easter Worth Celebrating

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“An Easter Worth Celebrating!” [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

April 12, 2020

Introductory Comments:

Happy Easter, once again!

Easter is a time to celebrate, and this Easter, like any other Easter, is an Easter worth celebrating!

Nothing in this world can take away the reasons that Easter is worth celebrating! I don’t care if it’s the Coronavirus, death, war, famine, poverty, evil; nothing can take away the joy of Easter Sunday.

Today we’re going to look at three elements of Easter that are worth celebrating. Before we do, join me in a spirit of prayer.


You know, many people have concerns right now. Some of us are concerned about our health, some of us are critical of leaders, some of us think conspiracies are in the works, some of us are low on groceries, some of us are without jobs, some of us are concerned about the stock market, some of us have family members who are suffering from health issues, some us may have recently lost loved ones, some of may even be ill ourselves; however, this is an Easter worth celebrating. Today is a day worth celebrating. 

I asked some of you to share what you liked to celebrate about Easter. Here’s what we came up with. Check out this video:

[show video compilation of favorite things to celebrate about Easter]

Well, those are some great things to celebrate. There are some other great aspects of Easter to celebrate that we’re going to look at this morning. 

First, . . .

I. The sacrifice of Jesus is worth celebrating.  [on screen]

We just commemorated Good Friday just a couple days ago. Good Friday remembers the death of Jesus; Good Friday remembers the sacrifice of Jesus.

Listen, church, the sacrifice of Jesus is worth celebrating. 

The Bible says in John 3:16,

For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [on screen]

God gave His Son so that we might have eternal life! He sacrificed His Son so that we might have life! 

The apostle Paul says in Romans 5:8,

But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [on screen]

God loves us and He proved His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us. God’s love for us shown in the sacrifice of Jesus is worth celebrating!

Also, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave us the opportunity to be made righteous before God. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21,

He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [on screen]

The sacrifice of Jesus is worth celebrating because instead of us being considered guilty and unrighteous before God we can be counted as holy and righteous. The sacrifice of Jesus is worth celebrating this Easter Sunday. 

You know, in ancient times Jewish times families would have to bring animal sacrifices before God to atone for their sin. They would have to bring sacrifices to seek redemption. Well, the writer of Hebrews explains what Jesus did by His sacrifice on the cross. Listen to Hebrews 9:12:

he entered the most holy place once for all time, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. [on screen]

Jesus obtained eternalredemptionfor us on the cross. That is worth celebrating.  

Church, don’t let anything take away the joy of celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus. 

Second, . . .

II. The resurrection of Jesus is worth celebrating. [on screen]

Although the death and sacrifice of Jesus are worth celebrating, we also celebrate the fact that Jesus did not stay dead! Jesus rose from the dead! Jesus was resurrected. 

The resurrection of Jesus is worth celebrating!

Let’s read now about the resurrection. Let’s look at Mark 16:1-7:

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4 Looking up, they noticed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away.

5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.’”[on screen]

At Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Nothing changes that. Quarantine doesn’t change that. The cancellation of school doesn’t change that. The inability to eat at a restaurant doesn’t change that. 

Even before His crucifixion, Jesus predicted His resurrection. Not only that, He said that He was the resurrection. Speaking to Martha, the sister of his friend Lazarus, Jesus said in John 11:25-26,

25 . . . “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die . . . [on screen]

If we believe in Jesus, even if we die, we will live. How about that? Not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but He is the resurrection, and we can also experience the power of His resurrection. Folks, that’s worth celebrating!

The apostle Paul speaks of this miracle in Romans 6:5-6. He says, 

5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin. [on screen]

In Jesus, our old self is crucified and we have a new nature. We are not enslaved to sin any longer. We are raised to new spiritual life, life in Jesus, resurrection life! That’s worth celebrating!

Not only that, but one day Jesus will also raise us to new physical life. We read of this in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18:

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. [on screen]

One day, our physical bodies will rise and we will be resurrected and glorified as Jesus was resurrected. What a miraculous and glorious moment that will be! 

There is power in the resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection of Jesus is worth celebrating!

Finally, . . .

III. The victory of Jesus is worth celebrating. [on screen]

Easter is about the death of Jesus. Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is also about the victory of Jesus, and that is worth celebrating!

Paul encourages the church in Ephesus, and us, in Ephesians 6:10 when he says,  

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength.  [on screen]

There is strength and victory found in the Lord that became available to us because of what happened that first Easter Sunday. Listen, church: nothing can take that away from us. 

Jesus spoke of this reality. He wanted His followers not to lose hope, but to look to Him. He said in John 16:33,

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”[on screen]

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to discover that there is trouble and suffering in this world. However, let us not be distracted by the troubles of this world. Jesus has conquered the world. 

Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world. There is victory in Jesus and the victory of Jesus is worth celebrating!

The apostle John reminded the early Christians of this in 1 John 5:4. He said,

Because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. [on screen]

Not only has Jesus conquered the world, but everyone born of God, through faith, has also conquered the world. We may have troubles, but the victory we find in Jesus is greater than the troubles of this world, and the victory of Jesus is ours through faith in Him. 

This world may even bring death our way, but that can’t even take away our victory and our celebration. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. He said:

55 Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting? 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ![on screen]

No matter what happens, church, there is victory in our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is worth celebrating. 

This Easter, celebrate the victory of Jesus!

Concluding Thoughts:

Easter is worth celebrating because of the sacrifice of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the victory of Jesus. Nothing can change that. 

Aren’t you glad that God sent Jesus? Aren’t you glad for the sacrifice of Jesus? Aren’t you glad for the resurrection of Jesus? Aren’t you glad for the victory of Jesus?

Let us be moved by this final verse in 1 Timothy 2:5. Paul says, 

For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus. [on screen]

That’s what Easter is all about. God sent His Son Jesus to be the mediator between Himself and us. God and man can be brought together by the work of Jesus. That’s worth celebrating. 

That takes us to our bottom line:

Bottom Line: The Gospel of Jesus is always worth celebrating. [on screen]


Nothing changes the fact that Easter is worth celebrating! Don’t lose heart! Don’t lose your joy! Don’t be overcome by fear! Don’t be overcome by anger or hate! Don’t be overcome by boredom! Celebrate Easter! Celebrate Jesus!

Challenge yourself this week to live out this sermon in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Celebrate the Gospel this week. [on screen]

Take some time with your family, or by yourself, to celebrate the Gospel this week. You may think of some creative ways to do that today. Join us for Digging Deeper on Wednesday at 6 PM as we discuss some ways that we can celebrate the Gospel as a church. 

2. Share the Gospel this week. [on screen]

Don’t let the coronavirus pandemic keep you from sharing the Gospel. Let your neighbors see and hear about the love of Jesus. 

Talk about the Gospel with your family. Call someone on the phone and tell them about the work of Jesus in your life. 

3. Make a commitment to live in celebration. [on screen]

Don’t be distracted by the ways of this world. Don’t be negative. You’ve got the greatest love in all the world: Jesus! Live in celebration!

I’ve been encouraged by a new YouTube show called “Some Good News,” by John Krasinski, the actor from the show The Office. He just wanted to share some good news, because there’s plenty of negative news out there. Well, we have the greatest good news!

Don’t be negative, be positive. Don’t be critical, be celebratory. 

Make a commitment to live in celebration this week, because of the work of Jesus!


Let those of us who are followers of Jesus celebrate Him and His resurrection!

If you don’t have a reason to celebrate, find that reason in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.