What a Difference 3 Days Make

Matthew 28:1-8

On Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, a mother received a very sad message from the Pentagon. It stated that her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait & was dead. She later wrote, "I can't begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For three days I wept. For three days I expressed anger and loss. For three days people tried to comfort me, to no avail, because the loss was too great." But three days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The voice on the other end said, "Mom, it's me. I'm alive." She said, "I couldn't believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, and he really was alive." The message was all a mistake! She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I'm sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt." Perhaps not, but some who walked the pages of the New Testament would have understood how she felt because they experienced the same emotions themselves. One day they watched their best friend and teacher being nailed to a cross. They witnessed His pain as He cried out, "I thirst!" and "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" They listened as finally He bowed His head and said, "It is finished!" and "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"

They watched as His body was taken from the cross and buried. All their hopes and dreams were buried with Him. For three days they mourned, until finally, "very early in the morning the first day of the week" the scripture says, some women made their way along the path that led to His tomb, wondering who would roll away the stone for them. But when they arrived, they found that the stone had already been rolled away. And an angel there told them, "He is not here: for He is risen, as He said..." Cf. Mt. 28:6a

I. Difference: Hope and Despair. Mt. 28:1-8

II. Difference: Darkness and Light. Lk. 24:13-27

III. Difference: Faith and Doubt. Jn. 20:19-29

IV. Difference: Victory and Defeat. Jn. 21:1-19

What a difference three days make! It is the difference between: