How to get rid of fear | Easter 2021 | Chapel Hill Online
#fear #afraid #courage
Fear is our most powerful emotion we battle, and it can be paralyzing. Some fear is rational and makes sense, but other times fear is irrational and starts spinning into anxiety. In this Easter 2021 sermon, Pastor Mark Toone talks about how the disciples were incredibly afraid, and what Jesus told them to do about it!
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1. Read Mark 16
2. What story do you have of a time when you were desperately afraid? What was the cause and what happened? Read the story of the women at the tomb.
3. Easter is a call to move from fear to faith. Pastor Mark taught us that fear comes when we take our eyes off of Christ. What habits do you personally have that help you to keep your eyes on Christ in moments that you feel afraid?
4. Where can you identify that your behaviors have moved from prudence to fear in the past twelve months? Pray together for increased trust and to release control to the Lord for each specific area that this has been true of.
Last week I was clearing brush over on the coast with my nifty, expensive, Stihl chainsaw. The chain loosened up on me…that’s not good…so I set the saw down and walked up the long driveway to get a bar wrench. I was halfway back when a pickup truck WHIPPED into the driveway, the driver jumped out of the cab, ran over to the saw and picked it up! I felt a shot of adrenalin. I shouted, “Hey, put that down!” and started running toward the guy who was now holding my nifty, expensive, Stihl chainsaw.
I was angry, of course. That this guy would so brazenly steal my stuff…with me only 100 feet away. But I suppose I was frightened, too. I was witnessing a crime. What was I going to do if I caught the guy before he jumped into his truck and sped off …with my saw? But I didn’t really think about it. FRIGHTENED or not, this guy was ripping me off…and I was gonna stop him!
On the first Easter Sunday, a group of women went to the tomb of Jesus to finish preparing his body for burial, a service that had been interrupted by the Sabbath on Friday evening. They must have been grappling with a torrent of emotions as they walked to the tomb. But all those emotions were about to be swept away by the granddaddy of all emotions: FEAR. Listen to the story:
Mark 16:1-8 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
When Mary Magdalene and the other women walked to the tomb of Jesus that morning, their lives had been devastated. Jesus…their beloved friend and rabbi, was suddenly… and cruelly… dead. Killed by the religious bullies who’d plotted against him from the start of his ministry. His teaching, his authority, his power to heal people and cast out demons …no one had ever seen anything like it. But now, these brave women who had stood at the foot of Jesus’ cross…who watched him die…they trudged to his tomb in the early morning hours. And it’s hard to imagine their utter, hopeless despair. Have you ever been in such a place?
But when they arrived, they found the huge stone that blocked the tomb had been moved. And they rushed in to discover the tomb was empty. Some guy in dazzling white garments… an angel…(dazzly guys in the Bible are always angels)…that guy gave them incredible news: Jesus wasn’t there. He was risen. This man who, two days ago, was dead as dead could be…was inexplicably, unbelievably, incredibly alive… again. Jesus…was alive.
Now, this shouldn’t have been such a surprise. Jesus predicted all of this…many times. He TOLD his disciples he would be arrested, tried, tortured, killed…but that God would raise him back to life on the third day. Many times he said this. SO…when dazzly-guy gave Mary the news, she might well have been, [head slap]“Of COURSE he’s raised! Now I remember! In my grief I was confused… but now…now I remember… he promised he would do this.” ……
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