DayBreaks for 4/18/14 – The Greatest Sermon Ever?
John 20:1 (NIV) Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
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.”
No matter what is happening in your life right now, the greatest truth ever is such a simple one: “It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin’!”
Have a glorious Easter, everyone!
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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