The one thing most people want is happiness. Our expressions at Easter indicate that Easter is supposed to a happy time, “Easter Joy” and “Happy Easter” are just a few expressions which come to mind. It is a time of rejoicing not because of our happy circumstances but because, and only because of what God has done for us in the Resurrection. True Christians are happy regardless of the hardships they may face. If circumstances indicate that you may be experiencing hardships, handicaps and misfortunes God has a message for you this day – Easter joy is based not on outward circumstances rather on God’s victory which He invites you to share this day.
Easter is a happy time because…
I. It is a feast – Isaiah 25:6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines.
“On this mountain,” the LORD will prepare a sumptuous, Julia-Childs-worthy meal. The LORD crawls to the back of the wine cellar to retrieve the best vintage wines. Wines that have aged for years. Perhaps in preparation for this very occasion. V 6
On this same mountain where the china has been laid out and the wine glasses are sparkling, the LORD will not only nurture and feed; He will destroy. The LORD will destroy “the shroud” and “the sheet” that cover all people (verse 7).
Turns out this a feast to commemorate the LORD’s defeat of nothing less than death itself.
A. This passage from Isaiah looks forward to the day when God would destroy death forever. Isaiah looks to the day when God would offer a fest for all the nations. A banquet in the Old Testament stood as a symbol of the consummation of God’s saving purpose in history.
B. This feast is a celebration of God’s victory over death. God will swallow death up forever and thus death will no longer plague mankind. This is the work of God, and people have reason to celebrate His salvation with joy.
At this event, God will demonstrate that He is able to supply far more than any of His children could ever dream. There will be feasting and celebration in abundance!
In eternity, we will not need to give up any good thing to be with God! What God offers will far surpass any good thing we could imagine in this world!
Paul speaks this way. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21
The Lord God can do so much more than we can imagine! What He offers is far better than what this world offers. Everything in this life will pale in comparison with this feast. He will prepare the most epic party ever for His people!
II. It is a victory – Isaiah 25:7-8 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
A. A question could be asked “how can we find an Easter message in an Old Testament passage?” It is found in the form of a promise of the future. The future was fulfilled on Easter.
B. Today we’ve been given a perspective of God’s plan of salvation which was in His mind from the time of creation. When Isaiah wrote these words is was God Himself giving us His Word. On Easter God gave us His deed!
Notice who is invited to this feast; it is “for all peoples” v 6, “from all faces;” and “from all the earth” v.8
You may well remember Jesus speaking of a feast where many were invited. “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. - Matthew 22:2-3; 8-9
Jesus’ parable shares this similar scene, of a feast where people of all kinds invited to celebrate with the king.
This feast on the mountain includes all types of people: every race, language, culture, background, economic make-up; they’re all invited.
So, all peoples, that is; all that God has saved from the earth, will gather in one place, at a homecoming feast with their Savior.
III. It is salvation – Isaiah 25:9 In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD; we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.
A. Your happiness does not depend on your well being in this world. Christians to this hour are oppressed, persecuted, and defeated yet they still rejoice. How so?
B. The reason is the source of Christian’s joy – God. A person can rejoice because God Himself has defeated our worst enemy – death. God has provided a banquet feast for us.
This feast, however, is THE moment that God’s people have been waiting for. Death is dead, sorrows are gone, tears flow no more, and God has kept His promise.
They will say, ‘This is our God! He’s the one that we’ve waited for! We are now in His presence! We will rejoice in Him!’ This will be a joyous celebration, forever!
On Easter we celebrate the reality that life overcomes death by the power of the resurrection. This was the promise Isaiah hoped for – for us today we celebrate its reality. Now death is dead forever! This is what God has done for us! This is reason for rejoicing and celebration.
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Easter copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things