Tony Campolo tells the story of a black Baptist preacher in the inner city of Philadelphia who preached a sermon Tony says he’ll never forget. Tony preached first. He was “hot,” so “hot” he says, that he even stopped and listened to himself. He sat down and said to his pastor: “Now see if you can top that one!”
“Son,” said the black pastor, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” For an hour and a half the pastor repeated these words over and over again: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’.”
“I’ve never heard anything like it,” Tony said. “He just kept saying it. The congregation was spellbound by the power of it.”
“It’s Friday. Mary, Jesus’ mother is crying her eyes out. That’s her son up there on the cross. He’s dying the agonizing death of crucifixion as a criminal. But it’s only Friday,” the preacher said. “Sunday’s a comin’.
“The apostles were really down and out. Jesus, their leader, was being killed by evil men. But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.
“The Devil thought he had won. ‘You thought you could outwit me,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got you now.’ But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”
“He went on like that for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour. Each time he said, ‘It’s Friday,’ the crowd began to respond, ‘but Sunday’s comin’. An hour and 15 minutes.
“It’s Friday and evil has triumphed over good. Jesus is dying up there on the cross. The world is turned upside down. This shouldn’t happen. But it’s only Friday. Sunday’s a comin’.
“It’s Friday. But Sunday is comin’. Mary Magdalene was out of her mind with grief. Her Lord was being killed. Jesus had turned her life from sin to grace. Now he was dead. But it’s only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”
The place was rocking. For an hour and a half. “Friday! But Sunday is a comin’. Friday. But Sunday is a comin’.
“The sisters and the brothers are suffering. It just isn’t fair…all they have to go through, but it’s only Friday. Sunday is comin’.”
“I was exhausted,” Tony said. “It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard. The old preacher was saying it and the people were with him. ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin’. It was powerful,” Tony said. “It was personal.”
Quoted from www.mthollywood.org/sermon12.htm
Some of us stay at the cross,
some of us wait at the tomb,
Quickened and raised with Christ
yet lingering still in the gloom.
Some of us ‘bide at the Passover feast
with Pentecost all unknown,
The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place
that our Lord has made His own.
If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross,
His work had been incomplete.
If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb,
He had only known defeat,
But the way of the cross never stops at the cross
and the way of the tomb leads on
To victorious grace in the heavenly place
where the risen Lord has gone.
Annie Johnson Flint
In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. Franklin didn’t profess to be an orthodox Christian; he was more a deist, a believer in a clock-maker God than in the personal God of Jesus Christ. But it seems he must have been influenced by the Church’s teaching of the resurrection. Here’s the epitaph he wrote for himself:
“The body of B. Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book its contents torn out, And stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms, but the work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ’d, appear once more in a new & more perfect edition, corrected and amended by the author.”
“Easter Is A Joke,” by Rev. Dr. C. Eric Funston
I read about a person who wrote the following to a local newspaper advice columnist: Dear Uticus, Our preacher said on Easter that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that His disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think? Sincerely, Bewildered.
The columnist replied, Dear Bewildered, Beat your preacher with a cat of nine tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross, hang him in the sun for six hours, run a spear through his heart, embalm him, put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours, and see what happens. Sincerely, Uticus.
This moving, reflective piece is great for Easter. Or use it any time to reflect on Jesus with this unique line drawing video.
I think this is brilliant and we may well use this next Easter Sunday.
Video 4min 16sec
This is a video from Igniter Media www.ignitermedia.com
I used this video during a baptism service and it was very powerful.
This song was born out of trying times for Bill and Gloria Gaither. Each day was becoming a struggle. They faced huge uncertainty in the days ahead. But through it all, they were reminded that life, in both the good and bad times, is worth the living because Jesus lives.