Easter Sunday – From Ashes to Beauty to Glory

Ashes to Beauty to Glory

 Rev. Gerald F. Poe Jr.

Defender of the Faith

Easter Sunday Sermon

Good afternoon family, friends and visitors, glory be to God! After a 40 day period of fasting, prayer and penance, I want to first thank each of you for your continued respect and steadfast support. For my Christian brethren, and those whom celebrate the seasonal aspect thereof, Thank Christ for our salvation, today and everyday that we are on this Earth! Have a blessed and Happy Easter Sunday! To all, May the Grand Architect of the Universe continue to strengthen each and every one of you, so that you may continue to be powerful Men of honor, leaders, mentors, fathers, husbands, and friends, standing tall through respect, morality, fortitude and distinction.

Good afternoon, and welcome, As a striving theologian, missionary and man of God,  I understand that when one stands in right relation to God our Lord, all one’s other relations are made right too….Hmmmm, see, Knowing ourselves to be forgiven by God, we are empowered to forgive others…Hello! This too is part of our “lived knowledge”, or some may state “our…living Word, The living word!” of Scripture. So, you see,  it may be no exaggeration to say that the ultimate purpose of biblical interpretation is to….. achieve right relationships: with God, with others and with oneself.  Right? Ok, After all, Christian truth is in the service of Christian love…..That’s Right..

Ok, with that understanding, let me begin…Open your Bibles or just continue to read along..

Isaiah 61:1-3 Beauty instead of ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

we read also in 

Mark 16 The Resurrection

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone/rock, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were frightened. “Don’t be frightened,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. With a solid foundation on the Lord’s word that he would be raised from the dead, a rebirth and beginning of new, let me bigin this afternoon sermon…


Sermon – 
Easter, the Lord’s resurrection and The Lord’s resurrection in us

(Isaiah 61:1, 3) The Lord has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. 

Family, the Lord came, to preach,  to make miracles, to Die to rise and ascend! He has completely overcome those powers that had seemed to overcome him and through him, we can be resurrected! This is the story of the Lord rising again in us!! IN US!! Though we may not believe it at first, God has in store for us a rich new life of happiness,  joy,  comfort and love–even when the old pain lingers….He will see you through and resurrect you anew just keep him in your view! Ok, family, still with me?…There is a deeper resurrection that takes place in us, too. When our old self dies in flames and ashes, the new person that arises from those ashes is different from what we were before….what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger…right!!  Well, some things need to Die in you, that you may rise again without the stench of the past, but the new smell of the new…From the pain of loss and grief comes the warmth of love and compassion for others who have gone through similar dark passages.  From the questioning of God, the questioning of the church, the questioning of life itself comes a new and deeper understanding of God’s purposes and God’s love, a deeper appreciation of the Bible’s healing message, and a renewed sense of purpose in our lives.

The loss we experience at times defines more clearly for us what is important and what is not. Buildings are not important; people are. Being right is not important; understanding others thoughts and feelings is. Money is not important; human love is. This world is not important; the Lord’s deeper presence in our lives IS!!!. As we focus more on the things that truly matter– HIS Sacrifice, love, sharing, forgiveness, understanding, and giving happiness to one another…protecting, embracing and supporting one another, a resurrected spirit of unity and trust! Come on family…this is what Easter should remind us of!  GLORY!!

There is another resurrection that takes place in us. It is the resurrection of our true spiritual self: the one that is moved by love, and lives in God’s light. May the glory of Heaven continue to inspire you with this understanding of Easter, why it’s important and what we should take from it!

This is the wonderful message and promise the Lord Jesus gives to each one of us today. Our old self has died, LET IT DIE! Now our new self is ready to be born from its ashes, young, strong, and beautiful in spirit. This is the resurrection that we can experience not only once in a lifetime, but every day, and even every moment, as we turn to the Lord and open up our hearts and minds to the presence of the Lord’s comforting, powerful, enlightening, and beautiful presence.

Bless you all, have an outstanding Easter and remember..perfection of character is not of this world,  But a resurrected spirit of strength, wisdom and beauty should be your compass with our Lord as your guide! Bless you all, Amen.

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About Defender of the Faith

A Direct Action Motivational and Missions Based Ministry serving God's people where so ever dispersed!! Rev. Gerald F. Poe Jr.

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