I must give credit to Dr. Ellsworth Kalas for the title of the sermon. He coined this title in the summer of 2008 for a sermon on a different text which I do not remember. However, the title has stuck with me and I believe that it is more than appropriate for this Sunday’s scripture.
The above picture is an emboldened Peter preaching Jesus’ resurrection to all who would hear him. This is the same Peter who told Jesus he was crazy at the suggestion that he must “die and rise again”……3 times! This is the same Peter who told Jesus that he had better not wash his feet. This is the same Peter who just recently denied Jesus 3 times in his greatest hour of need. This is the same Peter who saw the empty tomb but didn’t understand what he saw and went home. There is a huge difference between the two. But what was it? Did Peter finally decide to perpetuate the conspiracy that some modern interpreters have suggested by stealing Jesus’ body and perpetuating this resurrection story for his own benefit? I think not. After all, as Peter’s previous statements show, he really didn’t have a clue what was going on. The difference then between scared and confused Peter and now bold Peter? Easter. It was the Easter difference. It was the “cloths still lying in their folds” in the empty tomb Easter difference! Something between the day of Jesus’ resurrection and his above illustrated preaching happened which made Peter understand the resurrection, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together of his previous years with Jesus. It is plain to see that the Easter resurrection made all the difference for Peter, who preaches from this point until his own martyrdom in Rome decades later.
So what does Easter mean for you. We’ll see in the coming weeks how Easter affected those early Christians. Now that we have past Easter by a few weeks having read the accounts of resurrection and Thomas’ doubt, how do you understand The Resurrection? Has Easter made a difference for you?
Blessings for the journey,