Sermon – Love Springs Eternal (John 20:1 – 20:19) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Love Springs Eternal

Pete Woodcock, John 20:1 - 20:19, 9 April 2023

Reflecting on the first Easter morning, Pete preaches from John 20:1-19 and Song of Songs 2:8-13. In these verses we see that the reality of love is personified in the Lord Jesus. It is because of his resurrection that we can love others boldly.

John 20:1 - 20:19

20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Well, in just a moment, we're going to sing again. But first, we're going to have our bible readings And we are going to read from 2 places in the bible. So our first reading is taken from song of songs chapter 2. And we're going to read versus 8 to 13. And then we will turn on to John 20 and read verses 1 to 18.

So if you got a bible, first place to go is song of songs, chapter 2. Listen, my beloved. Look, here he comes, leaping across the mountains. Bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

Look there he stands behind our wall gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. My beloved spoke and said to me, arise my darling, my beautiful 1. Come with me. See, the winter is past. The rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth. The season of singing has come. The cooing of Dove's is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit the blossoming vine spread their fragrance, arise, come, my darling, my beautiful 1, come with me. Let's turn to John chapter 20 now.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark. Mary Magdalen went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the 1 Jesus loved and said they've taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don't know where they put him. So Peter and the other disciples started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

He bent over and looked at the strips of linen lying there, but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. The cloth was still lying in its place separate from the linen. Finally, the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went inside.

He saw and believed. They still did not understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wet, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw 2 angels in white seated where Jesus' body had been, 1 at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, woman, why are you crying? They've taken my lord away, she said, and I don't know where they put him. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, woman, Why are you crying? Who is it?

You are looking for? Thinking he was the gardener. She said, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I'll get him. Jesus said to her, Mary, She turned towards him and cried out in aramaic rabbi, which means teacher Jesus said, do not hold on to me for I have not yet ascended to the father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them I am ascending to my father and your father, to my god and your god.

Mary Magdalen went to the disciples with the news, I have seen the lord and she told them that he had said these things to her. Welcome. My name is Pete Woodcock. I'm 1 of the elders, pastors of the church here. It's really lovely to have you.

And this this I was gonna I really said Christmas morning, but there we go. Let me pray. Father, help us now as we listen to your word. I think of those 2 passages we've read. Help us illuminate them in our minds and hearts.

Glow them with your resurrection life. We pray in Jesus' name. Now it's obvious that we live in part of the world where we have seasons and it's spring spring spring which is glorious, isn't it? Those at the the Sunrise Service heard the birds singing and the woodpeckers pecking and saw the sunrise. We live in an area of the world that has seasons.

And if you don't originate from an area that has seasons, it must be quite sort of hard to get used to spring, summer, autumn, winter, sort of every time is slightly different. And then what confuses things more in this country is that you can have all 4 seasons in 1 day, which is sort of slightly odd. But spring, when new life is born, which is what we're in right now, the freshness of new buds and beautiful bright green leaves that come out for the first time and then the great potential of the birdsong around us and the the new joy of flowers exploding into into bloom and everything's new. Everything is beginning. And then into summer, and the eggs have hatched and the babies are maturing and they're learning their ways and the see and the ground is is warm or at least warmer.

And the evenings are long and full of fragrance. And into autumn where the birds are fledged and the leaves are turning from green into the autumn colors and they're crispy up and beginning to fade and the winds start picking up and blowing and the days get shorter and the birds and the animal. Are spending most of their time storing food for the winter. And then winter, the autumn colors turning from the colors of autumn to black and white and fading to gray. And the north wind begins to blow the icy breath.

And life seems to go into carbonation and starts sort of hiding away and then waiting and waiting and if you're in this country, waiting and waiting and waiting until spring might return. Now that's seasons, the 4 seasons. And it's no surprise. I think that the 4 seasons have been used as a metaphor or a picture of the individual life of a person. Shakespeare talks about the 7 ages of man or the 7 ages of life.

But I actually think it's better to talk about the 4 seasons of people or the 4 seasons of life. Which season are you in? There's spring and it moves on to summer, leads to autumn. And then to winter. Now I understand that life isn't always that simple.

I understand it doesn't always work like that. I understand that there are ebbs and flows in life and sometimes people's lives are cut short in spring when you'd rather they they they weren't. And then there are others that try to make themselves up to look like spring lands, but they're actually winter mutton. You know those people who don't you? And then but actually thinking about it, mostly, I think we think that the 4 seasons are a good life.

That's that's what we sort of expect life to be. And if it isn't that, it seems a little unfair. We want to be able to say to someone that they've gone through spring and summer and autumn and winter and we want their winter to be long and when the sort of icy claws of death grab hold of someone. We want to be able to at least say, they had a good innings. They saw through the whole seasons.

They had a good innings. And that's it for many people. A good innings. And there's nothing really more to look forward to than the icy claws of winter. Or the future is only in my children or the only sort of life I have is looking back in reminiscence.

To the spring of my life. I mean, of course, there are some people that haven't even had a spring of life because they were abused or treated terribly. In the spring of their life. So all we've got to move forward to and we're all moving forward to it. Is winter.

Winter is coming. Winter is on the way. Listen to this because this will depress you even more. This is Bertram Russell, quite a remarkable man, Bergen Russo. I don't know whether you've ever read his stuff.

I've read quite a few books by him. But Bergen Russo was a British Humanist, a British atheist, a very well known an established philosopher. He he wrote this. He says, man, he's talking generically, he's mankind. Man is the product of causes, which had no pre vision of the end they were achieving.

That his origins, his growth, his hopes, his fears, his loves, and his beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collection of atoms. That no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon day brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. And the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the every of a universe in ruins. Now, just to make sure you said that, he went on and said, there is darkness without And when I die, there is darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere.

Only triviality for a moment than nothing. So Bertrand Russell really believed in the winter of death. And when the winter of death hits, there is nothing, no spring. To follow the winter, endlessly cold, endlessly nothing is what you are driving towards, whether you're in spring or you're at the beginning of winter, endlessly nothing. That's depressing.

But there is good news. There's good news this morning because when you turn to the Bible, Hope springs eternal. And hope springs eternal because love springs eternal. And love springs eternal. Because love is at the center of the universe.

Not some icy cold wintery nothing. When you open the bible, you open hope and you open hope because you open love, because you open God, and god is love and god when you open the bible gives us a really clear picture of love And he shows us in human love just how beautiful love is. But then he not only gives us a picture of love in human love, love comes to town. God is love. And love comes to town and shows us the reality of the picture.

And not only that, love comes personally calling on you by name. That's what we're going to be looking at. So let's go to the first point, the picture. The love between a man and a woman, and I want you to turn to that passage in song of songs. It's a wonderful book.

We have done a series a few times at Cornerstone and Silver songs, and you can get the recordings, I think, online. But Silver songs is a love story between a man and a woman Solomon, king Solomon, the richest man that ever lived in the world, and a Schulerite woman, Solomon and the Schulerite woman. And in the passage we read, I don't know whether you noticed. We're in winter. We're in the season of winter.

Because a heart without love and even human love, a heart without love is in winter. A heart without love is ground as hard as iron and water is like a stone. Now there are some people and increasingly more and more in our age that are so scared of loving and being loved. They'd rather just love themselves. They'd rather be narcissists and gaze at their own reflection and discover only themselves.

And that keeps them in the winter. That's why we've got so many issues in our country. Love, if it's not in the heart, makes the heart hardest iron and stone like. CS Lewis in his book, the 4 loves. He writes this, and this is really perceptive.

He says to love at all is to be vulnerable. If you're gonna love, you open yourself up. And that's why some people won't do it because they're so scared. And the whole idea is that there's twice, you know, once bitten twice shy, you know, that whole thing. They've tried it, they got hurt, so they clam up and close and hide away.

And he says that to love is to make yourself vulnerable. That's what love will do. And listen to what he says, love anything and your heart will be rung and possibly broken. If you wanna make sure of keeping your heart intact, You must give it to no 1, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglement lock your heart up safe in the casket or coughing of your selfishness.

But in that casket, safe and dark and motionless and airless, the heart will change. It will not be broken. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. Powerful words aren't they?

Without love, you're in winter. You're trapped. In the iron of earth's winter, impenetrable, irredeemable, When love comes into the heart, everything changes. And so it's song of songs. Look at it.

Chapter 2 verse 11. See, the winter is passed. Why is the winter passed? Because the love's coming to the heart. See, the winter is passed.

The rains are over and done. Flowers appear on the Earth. The season of singing has come, the chewing of dov's is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruits, the blooming vine spread their fragrance and rise, come my darling, my beautiful 1. Come with me.

That's love in the heart. That's love in the heart. We have a beautiful description of a spring day. When love comes to the heart, springs come comes into the heart. Everything is different.

Everything looks different when you're in love. Even flower is quite a nice town when you're in love and the sun is shining and the flowers are out. The whole world feels different. It's bathed in new light. Everything is fresh and wonderful.

Look at the excitement, per se. Listen. My lover, look, here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over there. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag look. There he stands behind the wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice sea of flavor he is.

Listen, is that love, see the heart beginning to beat from its cold, wintry times? Is that him? Or is that no? Is it him? Listen.

It is him. No. It's not him. What is that coming over the mountains? I'm sure it's him.

No. It's a good sell. Is it a stag? No. It's my man.

Yeah. He's faster than a stag. He's faster than a hotel. Look at him. He's singing.

Ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Aint no river wide enough to keep me from you looking in bounding over to me crossing the mountains and the word mountains here. Means the mountains of separation. Nothing will separate him.

Nothing will stop him. No winter. No rain. No snow. No mountain peak.

Will stop him. No river. Will stop him coming to me and playfully peering through the curtains. Is that him? Did I see a shadow looking through the latencies?

Look at verse 9. My lover is a gazelle, a young stag. Look, There he stands behind the walls, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. The sense of excitement is a spring day after winter in the heart of human love. It's life bringing, life invigorating, winter changing, spring busting, flowers appearing, song singing, some warming, Lips, smacking good.

That's what it is. Listen, Versailles. My love and look, Kerrie comes. That's the picture. That's the picture God gives in every love affair, in every marriage, in the world is to be like.

It's the picture of love. But Of course, we know that seasons come and go. And all human love seems to end in grief. Doesn't it? And some of you just know the depth of that grief as you've looked at a new made grave and Buried half your heart.

You feel like half a person. You buried your loved 1. Spring in this picture soon turns to winter. And the icy breath of separation of winter, fading into memories. Fading into gray.

So with the joy of spring in love perhaps burnt from Russell's right, Everything ends in darkness. Perhaps, CS Lewis is wrong. You're better to close your heart to love and not be loved at all, and then you'll survive maybe a bit longer for the winter. That's the picture. But here's my second point.

When you open the bible, you don't just see the picture. You see the reality. You see love himself coming to town. You see love himself coming to town and changing even that picture into glory. Love himself comes to town.

And you see that in this wonderful story of the love between Jesus and Mary. John 20, we're in now, just flick over to that. We're starting at the grave. We're starting at winter again. And winter has had its frozen claws on Jesus.

We're in the autumn winter. It's the first Easter morning, And yet, Christ's people don't know it yet. Not yet. They're still experiencing the darkness and the coldness of winter. They have not heard the song, not yet.

They're still in the dark. They've not heard the song of songs arise my darling. Come away with me, my beauty for 1. For now, the winter is passed and the rain has ended and gone away. They haven't heard that yet.

So we do join the story in John chapter 20 very early in the morning in the dark. Jesus has been dead since Friday afternoon. At face value, it's the end. Winter is 1. Mary Magdalene, she's the only person that was there at the cross.

That saw his body taken down from the cross and placed into the tomb. And now she's the first 1 up early in the morning before any of the other disciples, and she's at the tomb. So verse 1, look at it. Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark. She's still in the dark.

Mary Magdalen went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. And so the story goes on that she saw someone's interfered with the tune. So she runs back and tells Simon Peter and John. And then there's a race and John has to tell us that he won and they run to the tomb and John gets there and Peter goes blundering into the tomb and sees that there's nobody there. But the eleninist is all folded up.

There's stuff in that I haven't got time to talk talk about. And then John finally goes in and he sees that the linen is all folded up. And it says they believe what they didn't believe that he had resurrected. They believed that someone had nicked the body. So they go home in despair, in the dark.

Mary is left on her own outside. Verse 11, look. Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. Where is he? Where is the 1 my soul loved?

What are they done with this body? She's weeping. And then she decides, what am I gonna do? Well, it's worth having a look into the tomb. The light is beginning to rise.

Perhaps Peter and John, because it was dark and dark in the tomb, didn't see the body. Perhaps they got it wrong, who knows? So she goes to investigate. And she's given the ability that the other 2 weren't to see the unseen world of angels. And so it says in verse 11, as she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw 2 angels in white seated where Jesus body had been, 1 at the head and the other at the foot.

Now just in that 1 sentence, if you know the Bible in the book of Revitikis in the pestimate, you'll know there's tons of stuff there, but no time for that either. Verse 13, they asked her, these are the angels. Women, why are you crying? They've taken my lord away, she said, and I don't know where they have put him. Now, these angels are not very sensitive, are they?

They don't seem to understand that when humans are around the grave, they cry. Why are you crying? You know? It's not very sensitive. So here Here's what's going on here.

Mary can't see the body. There's no body there. So someone's taken has the enemies? Has someone taken the body? And these 2 angels, as I say, they're not sympathetic to Mary's grief and confusion.

Are they? But see it from their point of view. See it from the angels point of view. Here's the angels. They'd been following the story of Jesus since eternity.

He is the second person of the great triune God, the eternal son of God. He had decided to become a man, and the angels are just overruled with this. When they saw the birth of Jesus, it says heart and herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king, what is going on. There were a whole host of angels looking at the birth, the physical birth of the of of the son of God. God the sun became the sun of God.

What is going on? The 1 that created the universe is created In a woman's womb and born physically, the angels were there. The angels saw Jesus being tempted and they were they were ready to protect him. The angels saw how he loved these humans that had sinned They hadn't, but the humans had, the angels when he was arrested and when he was put on the cross, they were lesions of angels. Already but being told, hold back.

Hold your horses. Hold back. Why? We're gonna let him die. Let him die.

The author of life. What is going on? The angels are seeing all this. And then on the third day, the angels see him rise again to life. He's beaten death He's dealt with sin for these humans.

That's what the angels saw, and now they're doing their job in the tomb. And the next thing they see is this long faced woman cry laying, poking her head in, try What are you crying about? Don't you realize this is resurrection day? Don't you realize you should be rejoicing? Don't you realize that you should be involved in an overwhelming celebration This is the day death died.

Why are you priding? Is there something wrong with you? Have you got something in your eye or something, do you not understand? This is resurrection day. So they didn't have much sympathy for Mary.

Thankfully, there was someone else around outside that might have more sympathy verse 14. At this, Jesus turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was him. You ought to remember, last time she saw Jesus was a dead body drained of blood and mutilated. Put into a cold tomb. So she didn't recognize this 1 because this 1 is now full of life.

Staggering vitality. He's a man that's not only beats and death, death will never touch him again. So she didn't recognize him. In verse 15, he asked her woman, why are you crying? That's what the angels said.

Don't you understand? Why are you crying? Who are you looking for? Yeah? Thinking he was the gardener.

She said, sir, If you've carried him away, tell me where you've put him and I'll get him. Jesus said, Mary. Mary. 1 word. Mary.

1 name. Mary. She turned around to put towards him and cried out in aramaic Rubona teacher. Teacher. This is resurrection day and this resurrected body was only a couple of hours old if if that.

This was new humanity. This was unkillable life, standing Mary. Teacher. She now recognizes him. I can guess the angels are saying about time in it.

Let me pull up your neck. How long does it take these humans? She recognizes him because he says her name. She recognizes the voice. Don't you see that?

In song songs, it's the same thing. In songs, chapter 2 verse 10, my beloved spoke and said to me, Oh, it isn't a gazelle then. A rise by darling my beautiful 1 come with me verse 16 of chapter 20 of John, Mary, teacher. It's beautiful intimacy, isn't it? If you know anything about John's gospel, we've just done a series through it in our evening service.

1 of the most spectacular things about John's gospel is that you often get John describing Jesus in cosmic terms he is the word of god. He created the universe. And you see him in cosmic humongous terms. God, the word of God, And then you see him with Mary, the word saying, Mary with Peter. Peter.

That's the reality of love. Love has come to town. Love spring's eternal. Spring has followed the winter of death. A new spring has come.

A new hope. Can you smell the flowers? Can you feel the warmth of the sun? That's what's going on here. That's what you're meant to see.

The resurrection of Jesus turns winter into spring. Love Springs eternal. The resurrection of Jesus breaks. Now listen to me. Breaks the unbreakable finality of death.

I want you to hear this because nothing can bring back dead people. It is impossible and that is the point Christians don't believe silliness. Christians have never, in any age, ever thought, well, Jesus rose from the dead because it was possible for someone to rise from the dead. No no no Christian has ever thought that. We know that when you're dead, you're dead.

We know that all man mankind, all of history leads to death. Everyone dies. We know that ashes to ashes Thus to dust. We know that the body dies. It is impossible to raise it to life again.

Impossible for any human to do. Bertrand Russell's right, there is no hope for us in our philosophy, our education, our entertainment. There is no hope for humanity unless There's a power outside of this universe. Unless there's the power that created life from dust in the first place. Unless there's a word that when it spoke said that dust and matter would come together and lungs would form and hearts would beat and life would come unless there's a god that would break into this dying, decaying world.

And be able to give life to death, only the power of God could do that. And that's what happens on the first Easter morning. This is like the new creation. If you, you know, talk about the big bangs starting off the universe, whatever we think about that. But this explosion of life Well, here is an explosion of new life, resurrection day, winter, final grip, blasted away, Spring has happened.

Spring eternally for those that will trust in Jesus. And this isn't just a resuscitated body. This is a resurrection body. Death can never ever come anywhere near the lord Jesus Christ anymore. It could have nothing to do with him.

This body has passed through the grave been recreated by the God of the universe. It's a new level and a new beauty of his existence. It's a spring from the winter that is altogether beautiful, beaming, and and pouring out life. This is a body that will never experience suffering or pain or tears or death Easter Sunday marks a new spring. For humanity.

Did you notice, let me just quickly do this versus 'seventeen and 'eighteen where Mary finally sees who he is and obviously wants to hug him and she hugs him. Mean, it's a whole different world. She's hugging the the future of humanity. She's embracing this. She's embracing the whole future.

Of everything, everywhere, all at once in Jesus. Right in the middle of a dying world right in the middle of a graveyard. She's hugging life. Love springs eternal, but so just hope. And so Jesus is saying to her, not at the moment.

Don't hug me at the moment. I'm gonna come for you and I'm gonna name you like I've already done when the winter of your life comes to an end and I'll bring spring to you personally. But at the moment, you've got a job to do. Go and tell people about the resurrection. Not yet.

You'll get to hug me later or I'll get to hug you later. But at the moment, stay on this earth. And now you know that hope springs eternal because love springs eternal. So you have a hope, a sure and certain hope, while you wait in the winter of this world for me to come a spring. That leads me to my third point, we're nearly done.

A personal call. Your love story. What's your love story? Are you gonna be hard to this love? In case yourself in the coffin of your own narcissistic thinking.

Is your only hope after the winter of death comes, nothing endless darkness. Your personal call to this love. Your personal call. Back in John chapter 10, just 10 chapters before this chapter in with Mary. Jesus talking about his people.

He talks about them as sheep, not not to degrade them. But he says, my sheep My people know my voice. They know my voice. And he says, and I know my sheep's name. I know their name, they know my voice.

Mary, teacher. When the North Wind of Winter blows Christian, When the north wind blows upon your body and the body is fading, the soul will hear the voice of the shepherd. Listen. My beloved look. Here he comes.

As you're dying, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. I only got a few breaths left. My beloved is like a gazelle, a young stag. Look. There he stands behind the wall, gazing through the windows.

Peering through the letters. Beep. Beep. My beloved spoke and said to me arise, my darling, my beautiful 1. Come with me.

See, the winter is past. The rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth. The seasons of singing has come. The cooing of the doves is heard.

In our land, the victory forms It's early fruits, the blooming vine spread their fragrance arise arise My darling, my beautiful 1. Come with me. That's the Christian hope. That's the Christian hope. That's Jesus will come to you.

Your future is tied up in Him. Your spring after the winter is tied up in Him. Jesus is your extinction rebellion. That's what you need. He's the 1 that will stop your extinction.

He's the future of humanity. He's the 1 that's risen again. He is the spring of your future. Wouldn't you hear that? Wouldn't you hear that?

You can say to a family member that loves the Lord Jesus. Do you hear him? I don't know about you, but I've heard of Christians literally that go into a sort of coma and look and say things like, I said, I said, that's Jesus. Who's that at the end of the bed? Who's that?

It's my lover. But if you don't know him, wouldn't it be awful? Seriously awful. When to winter wins and clause of death pull you into the grave. Wouldn't it be awful to hear the words that Jesus said on another occasion I never knew you depart from me.

Into winter. CS Lewis, phenomenal. Wrote those 9 year books, they are phenomenal. We're always quoting them because they're just so wonderful. He has a way of saying things.

But in the last book, the last battle of the Narnia Stories, which is my favorite book actually in the in the whole series. Just as the children are coming into Asland's land, as land is Jesus land, as they're gonna come in and further up and further in, and spring is already all around the door. That's then takes the children to the dwarves. Who love being in darkness that they're pictures as stupid and evil people. And there they are.

They're blind. And as like, am the children say, can't you see the spring? And Lucy picked some flowers and violets and beautiful flowers of spring and puts it under these people's noses and they smell it and all they can smell is horse poo. And they say, oh, get it away. Why are you treating us like this?

They can't see the spring, and Lucy says, can't you see? And Asland comes in and he roars gently. And all they hear is is anger and violence instead of a loving tone. And the children tried to give them some food from Asland's table, which is beautiful and delicate and delicious and full of spring flavors, but they can't taste anything but pay and straw and animal poo and they say it's disgusting. And the light is shining and the door is there.

And all they can say is I can see nothing you are a liar. And in the end, as then says, they will not let us help them. Their prison is only in their minds and they are so afraid of being taken in, that they cannot be taken out, but come now children. Cézlaan. We have other work to do and they leave that miserable group of people in their darkness.

And they stay in winter forever. That's the choice of Easter Sunday. There is 1 man who has broken through death and offers you spring, but not just spring love. Springs, eternal. Will you take that?

Will you say yes? Say my name. Jesus? Say my name. May I be a sheep?

Say my name teacher. May I learn from you? Say my name. Say my name. Say my name.

Spring eternal comes into the soul. Let's have Moment of Quiet, and I'll hand over to Tom. Further, we thank you for the wonderful scenes that we have witnessed in your word this morning. We thank you for this love relationship that exists between the lord Jesus and each 1 of his people. We thank you lord Jesus that as you rose from the dead and you spoke Mary's name, you used that personal intimate name.

To show her that you were alive, that so you will speak each 1 of our names, that if we are trusting in you when we close our eyes for the last time, we will hear you call us. We will hear the words arise, my darling, come and enjoy this eternal spring. We thank you lord Jesus that there is no other like you. You are the only 1 who has pierced this forever hole through death. And we pray that you would help us to trust you.

We pray that we would hear you say our name on that on that great day of resurrection. Then we ask it in Jesus name. And

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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