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Apr 21, 2019

Grace and Mercy Rise Up - Easter Sunday

Passage: Matthew 5:43-48

Speaker: Brian Land

Series: Sermon on the Mount

Category: Grace Brevard

Keywords: easter, enemies, forgiveness, love, resurrection, retaliation, sacrifice

Jesus was put to death to pay for our everyday treason. But that wasn’t enough. Before Easter, death still had the final say; the final veto power. But Jesus’ death wasn’t the end. It was the beginning. Three days later on this Easter morning Jesus rose from the dead, putting Death to Death! He perfectly and eternally conquered Sin, Fear and Death so that, in him, we now have been given absolute absolution, having every shred of our failures wiped clean (what we call “mercy”) while simultaneously being credited with every shred of Christ’s Righteousness (what we call “grace”). Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning and the power not just for our resurrection but for the resurrection of all of creation as it will be renewed and restored back to it’s original glory. With this beauty, hope and assurance, we are now enabled to live freely with and for Jesus himself while sacrificially serving others with the power of the Holy Spirit.


PRELUDE: How Deep Montage

CALL TO WORSHIP: Matthew 28:1-7a ESV

LEADER: 1 Now after the Sabbath, towards the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women,

ALL: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead.

READING: Romans 5:6-10

LEADER: 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

ALL: 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.


PRAYER: Resurrection (adapted from The Valley of Vision)

ALL: O Redeeming God. Giver of new life.

Great is the finished work of Your Son.  

He burst the bands of sin and death,

trampled the powers of darkness down,

and lives forever.

LEADER: Our gracious surety, comes forth from the grave

free and triumphant. Conqueror. Victorious.

ALL: Show me herein the proof that his offering is accepted,

that the claims of justice are satisfied.

That the devil’s sceptre is shivered

and his wrongful throne levelled.

LEADER: Give us assurance that in Christ we died,

in Him we rise. In His life we live. In His victory we triumph.

What more could be done than thou hast done!

ALL: His death is our life. His resurrection our peace,

His ascension our hope. His prayers our comfort.

Our Redeemer lives.

MESSAGE: Grace & Mercy Rise Up

CENTRAL TEXT: Matthew 5:43-48, John 20:1-10, John 21:15-17

IlLUSTRATION: Turn Cheek Montage


BENEDICTION: Hebrews 13:20-21

LEADER: 20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ,

ALL: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


4.21.19 Album 


  1. Jesus’ command to “love your enemies” seems ridiculous and impossible. What do you think about it?
  2. How can giving grace be so much harder than “just” forgiving?
  3. Why would Jesus add this extra layer to our love?
  4. When has someone done this done to/for you?
  5. Jesus’ death was a gift of grace and mercy...taking away our debt and giving us infinite value and worth.
  6. How is his resurrection the ultimate “grace” (“giving what we don’t deserve”)?
  7. How do you think the disciples felt at the empty tomb
  8. Remember how Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times during Passion Week. How does that signify the level of grace and mercy Jesus offers to us?
  9. Jesus didn’t only forgive Peter, but “graced” him.
    1. What did Jesus Grace Peter with (what blessing)?
    2. How is that for us as well?
    3. How is Jesus empowering and sending us out to “feed” a gift of grace?


  • “The problem with hatred is that it almost sees others as the chief problem: a warped self-righteousness infects all crusades.” - F.D. Bruner
  • “When you confront your enemy think first of all about your own enmity with God and about God’s compassion towards you.” - Dietrich Bonhöeffer
  • “On the one hand, God’s demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your present failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And He knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. On the other hand, you must realise from the outset that the goal towards which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal. That is what you are in for.”-  C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
  • “What father is not pleased with the first tottering attempt of his little one to walk? What father would be satisfied with anything but the manly step of the full-grown son?” - George MacDonald
  • “It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged-creature.” - C.S. Lewis


NYT article on Polarization

How To Treat An Enemy by Sinclair Ferguson (Sermon)

The Way of Jesus: Love Your Enemies by Jeff Vanderstelt (Sermon)

Love Your Enemies by Timothy J. Keller (Sermon)

Go and Tell, “It Is Finished” by John Piper (Talk)