God reset your clock to 00:00 on Easter morning!

Pastor Jeff Struecker

I wish that those events only happened to us when we were children. But let’s be honest, sometimes we make mistakes later in life, long after leaving the playground. 

 

Maybe you didn’t read the test instructions and failed the test. Now you’re scared that you’re about to fail the course and want to do-over. 

 

Maybe you ignored the company policy, now your job is on the line, and you’re just asking for a do-over. 

 

Maybe you sent a text, and you thought it was going to your girlfriend, but it went to your mother, so you wish you could get a do-over. Easter is the ultimate do-over. 

 

We will talk about why Easter has been so significant in all holidays for Christians over thousands of years. Why do we make such a big deal out of this holiday? 

 

When I joined the military, I learned in the U. S. Army how to follow the military clock, and I’ll be honest with you: I like the military clock because every day at midnight, the clock becomes like a daily do over all of those mistakes. Everything that happened to me, those frustrations and issues from yesterday are gone when the clock changes to 00:00, and it’s almost like a brand new do-over. 

 

All of us need do-overs, and some of those mistakes that you made will follow you for the rest of your life. And Easter is like the ultimate do-over. It’s God’s way of saying, “I’m going to make all of those mistakes, those penalties, and those problems you have from the past go away.”


God reset your clock to 00:00 on Easter morning!

I want you to hear how God reset your clock to 00:00 on Easter Sunday morning from the Bible. It wasn’t just the moment that Jesus came back out of the grave alive. It’s the moment where he gave you the chance of being alive fully alive for the first time. We have been studying through the book of John. Typically on Easter Sunday, pastors will preach an Easter sermon from all over the Bible. I’m just going to keep reading through the book of John for two reasons. One, because this passage speaks directly to Easter, and secondly, every Sunday is supposed to be resurrection Sunday for God’s people.

Your Identity was reset!

We will look at how that first Easter Sunday became the ultimate do-over. It was God’s moment of defeating death and conquering evil once and for all, and because Jesus is risen now, you can have the ultimate opportunity for a do-over many times. 

 

You hear preachers who will tell you the significance of Jesus hanging on the cross on Good Friday. I don’t ever want to diminish his bodily sacrifice, but I think they miss it when they don’t connect Good Friday to his physical bodily resurrection on Easter Sunday. And this is the number one Christian holiday for thousands of years and for billions of people.

 

I’m going to make a bold statement, this is the most important day for any human being in all of history, and I’ll prove to you that Easter changes everything for everybody. 

 

We’re going to take a look at John chapter 12, and the first thing that I want you to understand is that Easter is God’s way of resetting your identity. It literally changes who you are. Your family changed on Easter Sunday morning. 

 

In John 12:20, Jesus is speaking to the crowds, and these are the final words of his public ministry. Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. That’s a big deal, and the fact that they’re Greeks is an even bigger deal because now we’ve got a problem. So they came to Philip from Macedonia in Galilee, and they requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies…” 

 

Here it is; he’s speaking specifically about his death and resurrection. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. And then Jesus was speaking about him, and now he’s going to speak directly to you. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

 

Now, I asked you to focus on the word greek because if you were living in Jesus’s day, this is a problem. You see, the Passover is the most significant of all religious festivals. Jesus is a good Jewish boy, disciples surround him, they’re good Jewish boys, and now we have a crowd of Greeks, and the word Greeks here is probably a reference to truth-seekers sometimes referred to as God-fearing men who are trying to learn the answers about Jesus and from God. 

John 12: 20-26

Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 

But the problem is they’re not Jews. They weren’t born into a Jewish family; they’re gentiles. And the gentile can’t get into the temple and learn what the Jewish boys can learn. Only somebody who was born into a Jewish family can get into the temple on the Passover sabbath. So now these Greeks are showing up and asking Jesus’s disciples, “Hey, can we learn from him too. 

This is a crisis because now the crowd has to decide, are we going to let these foreigners, those born outside of Abraham’s family, are we going to let them sit in and listen to Jesus’s message also? And to answer the question, Jesus gives him this analogy. He says, here’s what it will take for those gentiles, those Greeks, or those born outside of Abraham’s lineage to be brought into the family. 

 

The seed is going to have to fall into the ground. That seed has to die in the ground, the spring rains come, the sun starts to shine, and soon, a sprout comes out of that seed. That sprout turns into a wheat stock, and that wheat stock starts to feed, not just those that were born in this region and to this family. It also includes me, you, and these Greeks. 

 

Jesus is describing that his death is necessary so that you can become part of the family of God. God promised Abraham and said, “Abraham, you’ll have a son and that one son through that son. Every nation on the earth. Those from Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, or around the country can be brought into the family of God because of that one son. That son was not referring to Isaac. It referred to Jesus, the one born to bring together all of God’s children. 

 

And when I was thinking about this passage this week, I was thinking you didn’t choose your nationality. You had no control over the color of your skin, your gender, or the country you were born into. All of those things were out of our hands. In some places around the world, your skin color, nationality, and gender give you a massive head start over everybody else, or they can be a major disadvantage. If you’re in India and you’re born into the no-class part of society. You are literally considered less than human and less valuable than an animal just because of the class that you were born into. 

 

What Jesus is saying is, “I don’t care, I’m willing to give you a new family, and that new family comes through a new birth. In fact, way back in John chapter three, he said to one of the most religious guys in the land, “You must be born again. You were born into a physical family, and now you have a physical birth. You have to be spiritually born again to have a spiritual family. And anybody who’s born into that family, you now have a new identity, which means I am a son of the most high God. You are a daughter of the king of kings, and he claims you as his own. That’s what happened on Easter Sunday.

Your history was reset!

Your identity was reset on Easter Sunday. All of those mistakes and failures from your past were reset on Easter Sunday. Easter is God’s ultimate do-over. It’s when your history is reset, and everything from the past doesn’t matter anymore. 

 

Starting in verse 27, he’s speaking about what he’s about to go through, and he says, “Now my soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save me from this hour? Jesus knows exactly what’s about to happen to him. So he understands the suffering, the shame, and all of the pain he’s about to endure. He knows that before anybody else around him knows it. 

  

In fact, John told us last week that his disciples didn’t even understand it until much later, Jesus knows what he’s about to go through, and he’s troubled and burdened because of it, and he says, What should I say—Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die. 

 

Jesus is in deep agony because of what will happen to him at the cross. And even though he knew the suffering ahead of time, even though he understood that this is why he was sent from heaven to earth to become a sacrifice so that you and I could have our history reset, it didn’t make it any easier for him. He’s burdened, troubled, and knows that he can’t run away from this, so he just praised God. All that I want is to honor you. All that I want is to glorify you. And God looks down from heaven and says, Son, I’m pleased with you. I’ve glorified my name through you, and I will do it again. And then the crowd hears this, and Jesus says, this death is what it’s going to take to reset the ruler of this world. 

 

Now, if that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s a reference all the way back to the beginning of time. It’s a reference back to your first parents. You see, our first ancestors committed the ultimate act of treason in the garden of Eden. They took the gift of freedom that God gave them, the gift that God gave them to be able to do what they wanted to do.

 John 12: 27-33

“Now my soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die.

There’s only one rule. There’s only one off-limits thing, but they took that gift and used it as a weapon against God. They were tempted because they wanted to be like God. The Bible tells us they wanted to know the difference between good and evil. So they broke that original rule that God gave them. And when they did that, they plunged you, I, and the whole human race into evil. And as a result, death came. And there is not one human being on this planet that can run hard enough to escape death.  

 

All of us are under the brutal tyranny of this evil ruler of this world, and Jesus becomes the sacrifice to set us free from that ruler so that you and I will never have to live underneath that kind of evil and experienced genuine freedom. 

 

It is the ultimate moment of God’s forgiveness. I wish for me it was just breaking the rule on the playground. I wish it were just simple mistakes that I could put in the past and move beyond it. But the truth is, all of us have committed some mistakes that we carry to our dying day. All of us have done some things that we regret. It wasn’t as simple as test instructions or failure to follow the rules. Some of you trusted a boy, and you sent him pictures, and after he broke up with you, they ended up on the internet, and there’s no getting them back. 

 

For some of you out there, you let some hurtful things come out of your mouth, and the moment they leave your mouth, you wish with every fiber of your being that you could get them back. But you can’t, and they’ll hang there forever. For others, it was just some the bottle and having a few drinks after work it became a full-blown addiction, or maybe, it was an affair or an abortion, an assault, and you would give everything that you own, every fiber of your being, to make what you did in the past go away. But you know, I can’t make it go away. 

 

And God says, I can reset all you’ve done and make it all go away. But it’s going to come at a very, very severe price. It’s going to cost me everything to do that for you. 

 

And I wish today, we, in this world in 2022, understood the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ like those brothers and sisters in the first century because when they found out that he was risen, it changed everything for everybody. That was when they realized all of my mistakes were gone and all in the past. The Bible describes it this way: these two will never touch as far as the East is from the West. That’s how far your mistakes and your sins have been cast away.

Your future was reset!

And finally, even your destiny itself is changed. Your future is now eternal with God. 

 

Here’s how Jesus wraps up his public ministry and his last public words to the crowd starting in verse 34. Then the crowd replied to him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become children of light.”

  

Here it is again, a new identity. These are the final words of Jesus’s public ministry. This is the beginning of the end for him, and it’s a prayer over his people and a long march to his death. But that cross is not the end of the story by God’s grace. There is a future, and the proof that there is a future is that the body they laid in the grave came back out of it, of his power and ability to prove that he was the Son of God. 

 

Jesus is answering this question that they have. They’re saying, wait a second. I studied the Bible, and I remember what God said to David. God said, David, you’ll never have a son that won’t sit on my throne forever. There will be a descendant of yours sitting on the throne over my people. And Jesus, we thought you were that guy. So how can you say that you have to be raised up on a cross? How can you say that you have to die? Because we believe the Messiah will be around forever, our destiny is different because of him. 

 

And Jesus is saying there will be darkness. The greatest moment of darkness in human history is coming. It’s the moment when the son of God was killed on your behalf and my behalf. It’s going to feel dark, and it’s going to feel evil. But hang in there because the son of Easter is rising. 

 John 12: 34-36

Then the crowd replied to him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become children of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them.

I’m talking about the Son of Easter who comes back out of that tomb. It is proof that your history has been reset. Your identity is different, and your destiny dwells with the king of kings and the highest God. 

 

Easter changes everything for everyone if you will bow your knees and confess with all of your soul that he is the Lord of Light. You see, Easter is the proof that you now can become part of the family of God; regardless of your skin color, nationality or ethnicity, you are invited into God’s family through the death of His Son, and your identity changes forever. Easter is the only moment in history where all of those mistakes, failures, and everything can be cast away. 

 

Let me tell you how the Bible puts the 2 Corinthians. It says that if there is no resurrection of Christ, then you are still in your sins, and we are completely helpless and hopeless, but if he’s risen, Easter is the moment where your history and destiny were reset.  

 

You no longer have to worry about death. It’s just the door that you step through, and he’s waiting for you on the other side.