Summary: Sunrise Devotional - The resurrection - too big of a sign to ignore!
Earl Palmer, a Presbyterian minister who is with the Lord, tells the story about an experience he had while he was in seminary in Princeton, NJ. Following final exams 1 summer, he & 3 friends were returning home to the West coast from NJ. They decided to drive straight through with each of them taking turns driving for a number of hours. At about 3:00 in the morning, somewhere in Iowa, the student who was driving had just gone by a gas station when he realized he probably should fill up. He made a U-turn & went back to the station to fill up. He then woke up Earl to take over the driving, & he fell asleep without telling Earl that he had made a U-turn. Earl drove out of the gas station & began unknowingly driving back east. He drove for 3 hours before he realized he was going in the wrong direction.
There were plenty of signs that should have alerted him to the fact that he was going the wrong way:
When a Greyhound bus went by with “Las Vegas” on the destination sign, he thought to himself, “they really should change those signs more often.” He ignored all the signs. Until he saw the sun rise in front of him, that is. He said, “When I saw the sun come up, that was too big a sign to ignore.”
The apostle Peter declared on the Day of Pentecost, “Jesus Christ, a man attested to you by God with miracles & wonders & signs.” All during Jesus’ life there were signs that pointed to who He really was. It began with His birth.
-He was born of a virgin.
-In the Temple during his dedication, Simeon & Anna both declared who He was.
-At the age of 12, He amazed the teachers in the temple w/ his understanding of the Scriptures.
-John the Baptist declared who He was.
-And then Jesus Himself burst on the scene & began to provide signs after signs declaring who He was:
-He healed the sick
-cast out demons
-miraculously fed the hungry crowds
-commanded the forces of nature
-taught “as one having authority.” And His teaching was like nothing else the people had ever heard.
He declared who he was & spoke of the relationship He had with God, His Father. He provided numerous signs that told who He was, just like Earl Palmer had numerous signs telling him that he was heading east & not west.
Jesus was finally arrested & put to death & in his death more signs were provided.
-a supernatural darkness covered the land during midday
-the veil of temple miraculously torn from top to bottom
-rocks were split open, tombs were opened, saints were brought back to life & went into Jerusalem & appeared
And yet just about everyone, just about everyone totally missed all those numerous signs.
All these signs were given so that as John wrote, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; & that believing you may have life in His name.” But all those signs were ignored.
SO...God, just like in Earl Palmer’s case, provided 1 more sign that was simply too big to ignore – He raised Jesus from the dead. How’s that for a sign. How’s that for getting your attention? And as people have tried to prove down through the centuries that the resurrection was a lie, they have been unable to even put a dent into it & it stands as 1 of the most undeniable facts in history. It is too big of a sign to ignore.
And yet the truly amazing thing is, that because of man’s utter sinfulness, he still chooses to ignore it. I guess there are some people who are so stubborn & self-willed that if they thought they were going west & saw the sun rise in front of them would remark, “Well, how about that, the sun doesn’t always rise in the east.” When you consider all the signs that Jesus provided proving His deity, for someone to not believe in Him is about as foolish as someone making the comment that the sun doesn’t always rise in the east.
Jesus’ resurrection was a sign too big to ignore, yet remarkably as big of a sign as that was, God still continues to provide signs even though the resurrection should have been too big for anyone to ignore. In fact, there is 1 right there (name someone in audience). And there’s another one & another one. We have a whole lot of signs out here this morning – for every transformed life is a proof that the risen Christ is who He claims to be. The countless changed lives throughout history testify that’s it’s a fact –- not fable! You are 1 of God’s signs here in 2001.