Veil Ministries

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Easter Sunday
2022


Full-length audio of service is available here PODCAST Easter Sunday 2022(To hear the audio file please right click mouse, then left click to open new tab)

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THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS
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PRAYER
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BIBLE READING LUKE 24:1-8
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On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.


INTRO CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
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CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
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1. Christ the Lord is risen today,
Hallelujah!
Sons of men and angels say:
Hallelujah!
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Hallelujah!
Sing, ye heavens; thou earth, reply:
Hallelujah!

2.
Love's redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won;
Lo! the sun's eclipse is o'er,
Lo! he sets in blood no more.

3.
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal,
Christ hath burst the gates of Hell;
Death in vain forbids his rise;
Christ hath opened Paradise.

4.
Lives again our glorious King;
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Once he died our souls to save;
Where's thy victory, boasting grave?

5.
Soar we now where Christ has led,
Following our exalted head;
Made like him, like him we rise,
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Charles Wesley (1707-88)

BRASS…INTRODUCTION: RESURGAM
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RESURGAM
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CHORAL… INTRODUCTION: ANASTASIS
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ANASTASIS
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ANASTASIS (RESURRECTION)

(Malcolm Westwood/Richard Phillips)

I was passing a place called Calvary
When I saw such an angry crowd,
They were yelling and making fun of him
As he stood all bloodied and bowed;
There wasn’t an ounce of pity it seemed,
They laughed and jeered so much,
They poked and prodded and called him a fraud,
As he struggled through the crush.

There were soldiers there who chose not to care,
Or to notice the crowd’s sad delight,
At the comical sight of a crown of thorns
On a man they called ‘The Christ’;
There were people there in clerical robes,
Such clothing seemed out of place
When the man on the cross was said to be good,
Their presence seemed a disgrace.

I couldn’t believe the cruelty of man
As they cheered as the nails went in;
When I asked what he’d done to deserve all this,
They just turned their backs on him;
I’d seen enough and I wanted to leave,
But somehow I knew I must stay.
There was something compelling about this man
Who was crucified that day.

As I looked at the cross where they killed him
I felt I had put him there,
Each taunt that was hurled my name seemed to bear
I wept with guilt and despair;
Then darkness came down and covered the land
And my heart was so strangely stirred,
For he prayed as he died, ‘O Father forgive’
Such beautifully gracious words;
I wanted to leave but I could not go,
I’d seen the divine here on earth,
I knew the cross stood for all God had said,
“This much I think you are worth!”


The crowds had gone, as were the hopes of man,
The tomb was sealed; so, too, his destiny,
A straggler stares, bewildered and alone,
The blood stained cross, its fame as yet unknown
Claims our defeat,
O vain conceit
To think its work complete!


Palm leaves lie there, reminders of the past,
Not long ago when people sang in joy;
Land, deathly still, unnat’ral, full of fear,
A place ruled by the terror of the spear;
And Satan gloats
And proudly boasts
He’s robbed us of our hopes.

No future calls, the ways ahead are dark,
Those who have killed, their trade can ply again,
Their hatred hangs and fills the stagnant air,
Its putrid smell is here and everywhere;
This evil deed,
Man’s heinous creed,
But must it yet succeed?

He is risen, he is risen indeed!
‘Where have you taken him? cried Mary that day
The stone of the tomb she had found rolled away,
‘Why search for him here-he is risen indeed’
A tomb could not hold him, nor ever succeed;.

Hallelujah!


But still there are many who go to the cross
And see him entombed sensing all they have lost;
They stay in the graveyard of doubt and despair,
Forgetting that Jesus no longer is there.

Hallelujah!
The tomb remains empty, he needs it no more
God raised him to life and his glory restored;
The sacrifice made we must never forget
Enshrined in our hearts, an unpayable debt

[Love’s redeeming work is done; Hallelujah!
Fought the fight the battle won; Hallelujah!
Made like him, like him we rise; Hallelujah!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Hallelujah!
Charles Wesley]

But the gloom of the tomb was banished today
It’s Easter for ever, God’s love on display!

Hallelujah!


INTRODUCTION : SEE WHAT A MORNING
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SEE WHAT A MORNING
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See what a morning, gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes
Tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce Christ is risen!
See God’s salvation plan, wrought in love,
Borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man, for He lives,
Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping: ‘Where is He laid?
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name:
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope,
Bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit
Who clothes faith with certainty,
Honour and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned
With power and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won
Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!


POEM: TOMB FOR SALE
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There’s a sign which hangs near Calv’ry-
It hangs on an empty tomb,
‘For sale with vacant possession
With none of the usual gloom.’
The tomb is in good condition
Used only for three days,
Inspections gladly welcomed,
It’s perfect for short stays;
Appointments are very easy,
The stone is rolled away,
The entrance is unrestricted,
Sunday is ‘Open Day’!
The sale is quite unexpected,
And some would say unique,
The body yet has not been found,
No matter where they seek;
There’s a bonus for the buyer-
The grave clothes are still there,
The man who died left a message:-
‘I’ve better things to wear!’
Apparently his father came
And raised him from the dead,
He promised all who would believe
Eternal life instead;
That promise does not help to sell
A tomb that cannot close!
It’s just a place we will pass through
As every Christian knows!
From womb to tomb, to heaven’s heights
His mission is complete.
And Jesus comes this Easter Day
His followers to greet.
We stand before that open tomb
Where once the Saviour lay;
We
know that he is risen
This resurrection day!


(Malcolm Westwood)

INTRODUCTION: THINE BE THE GLORY
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THINE BE THE GLORY
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Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.


Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,

endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.


Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.

Thine be the glory


No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Thine be the glory

SERMON
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me0021-3-3
Dr Malcolm Westwood

Again this year, we have experienced the trauma of Good Friday with all its senseless brutality and injustice. We’ve heard the gracious prayer of Jesus,
“Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

We’ve read of the bravery of Joseph of Arimathea who asked for the body of Jesus so that he might place him in the tomb which he possessed. Jesus had died the death of a common criminal and Joseph risked being associated with him.

Jesus was placed in a tomb which was securely sealed to quell any rumours that what he had said in life might be true-that he would rise from the dead.
Additionally the tomb was guarded by the soldiers to ensure no one could open it and take the body and then the claim Jesus was somehow continuing his ministry. The Roman soldiers did everything they could to put an end to such rumours. The guards made sure that anyone approaching the sealed tomb and attempting to tamper with the stone which sealed the opening of it would have found it impossible.

The stone would have weighed anything between one and two tons and have been put in place in a groove. To move it, they would have had to roll this weight UP the groove. It would have been just possible for this to have been done by two men but the guards would have quickly seen them and stopped them. It would have been more than the guards’ lives were worth if they had allowed entrance to the tomb in that way.

Certainly no one in the inside of the team could possibly have rolled the stone away even if they had mistakenly been entombed alive. Jesus had been beaten raw, crucified, speared to ensure he was well and truly dead. Everything had been done to ensure Jesus WAS dead and that the tomb was sealed and guarded.
Yet, as we know Jesus, appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time before appearing to Paul.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3 to 8, we read, “Jesus appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time before appearing to Paul himself.”

Rather than just say Jesus was raised from the dead, let’s pause for a moment in the darkness of the tomb. Jesus in the human form (as he had accepted when he came to earth in Bethlehem) had had that earthly body scourged, flogged so he couldn’t carry the cross. He was nailed in a way so he could not physically escape, his side pierced open and then he died as any human being would. Then he was laid in the tomb.
It must have been heart-breaking for God to see his beloved, and loving, son, treated in such a way.

Do you not think of all places that God would have wanted to be, would have been to be with Jesus? We are not told
that directly in Scripture but reading of the relationship between Jesus and his father- the indescribable bond of love they had for each other- could God have kept away from the tomb?
Jesus could not have resurrected himself! He was as dead as all humans are when they die.

The Bible doesn’t say Jesus raised himself. He said he WAS raised. That clearly tells us that someone else did that and obviously that could only have been his Father.
Could we imagine that God would entrust that task to anyone else?! Who else would he have entrusted to hold Jesus tenderly and love him back to life, to see Jesus’s eyes opening and the first person to see would be his father and hear him saying to his son, “Thank you-thank you for redeeming the world.”
Who else would God have wanted to embrace Jesus back to life other than himself. Can you imagine God in his heaven saying the word, ”Arise” and Jesus in the darkness of the tomb stirring to life.

And logically no-one could open the tomb from the inside to allow Jesus to come out. Dare I suggest that God must have been there in the tomb and for 3 days watched over his lifeless son, waiting, waiting, waiting for those three days to pass -which Jesus himself had said he must remain lifeless to satisfy the penalty of death.
God, looking on his son, who was fulfilling the plan to give us the promise of eternity.
We so often say, perhaps without thinking too deeply, that God is everywhere-that he is omnipresent. Could that possibly mean that God is everywhere
except in the tomb with Jesus?!

To use a human expression,”I don’t think he could have kept away” from his son in the tomb. God must have found the time waiting to bring Jesus back to life so unbearable.
And Oh! what joy there must have been as God loved Jesus back to life.

Today we celebrate and thank God for the miracle of the resurrection.
Yet there’s a further thought I’d like to share with you-God’s love is such that he is described as 'God
IS love.' He doesn’t just share his love, he IS love. And because he is love and he is omnipresent, in OUR deepest hour of crisis-when OUR hearts are breaking from some personal tragedy/when we can’t see a way out, God is there with us and his love as he embraces us, heals us, restores us and he meets all our needs.

Dear friends…In your hour of despair, when perhaps you don’t know which way to turn, sense Gods embrace of love as he meets your needs


BECAUSE LIVES
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How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and the joy that he gives
Oh but greater still, the calm assurance
We can face uncertain days because He lives.


And because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives.


And then one day, I'll cross that river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He reigns.


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives

He lives, He lives



SUNG BENEDICTION -JUDE :- Verses 24-25
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To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.






If you would like to comment on the service,  please e mail 
Dr Malcolm Westwood 
on
mw@veilministries.org

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