Easter and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

April 9, 2023

This is my sermon from Easter Sunday, April 9th, 2023


There are some very high and holy moments as a preacher. Ash Wednesday, Christmas Eve, and Easter Sunday. You want to make sure you get every word just right. You do not want to waste a single moment.

So I would like to take a moment and tell you about some scientific views of the Tyrannosaurus that have changed recently. A recent article from the AP was titled Has T. rex lost its bite? Menacing snarl may be wrong.

“The Tyrannosaurus rex is often shown baring massive, sharp teeth, like the ferocious creature in “Jurassic Park.” But new research suggests that this classic image might be wrong.

The teeth on T. rex and other big theropods were likely covered by scaly lips, concludes a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The dinosaur’s teeth didn’t stick out when its mouth was closed, and even in a wide open bite, you might just see the tips, the scientists found.”

As a child who was traumatized by seeing Jurassic Park as a kindergartener, this is really big news. There was one major flaw though. The science was done by a professor at Auburn University in Alabama…

Now, I do not know what this has to do with the sermon. I just wanted you to know about this development.

Why Does the Resurrection Still Matter?

Today, I want us to ask, why does the resurrection still matter today? We heard the Easter story read at the beginning of the service. What happened 2,000 years ago was beautiful, remarkable, and shocking. But what does it matter for Christians today? Is it about nice pictures, egg hunts, or pictures?

The early church was working this out also. One of the leaders of the early church was the Apostle Paul. If you were to do a poll of the followers of Christ asking, “Who is the least likely to convert to Christianity?” I would argue Paul would win it hands down. Even after hearing about Christ’s resurrection Paul went around trying to murder Christians and stop Christianity. But God, in His grace, saves Paul. And Paul becomes a leader, defender, and champion of the church. 

As part of Paul’s ministry he wrote letters to church to encourage them.

Today, we are going to look at one portion of a letter where Paul is discussing why the resurrection still matters.

We are going to look at selections of this argument in 1 Corinthians 15 (3-8, 12-14, 51-57)

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

2 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Death Still Has a Sting

The end of the passage here is usually read at funerals. Death, where is your sting? Paul is most likely remixing a passage from Habakkuk. And let’s be honest. Death still has a bit of a sting for all of us. 

Pastor Rick Warren, in the Purpose Driven Life, talks about this:

You have an inborn instinct that songs for immortality. This is because God designed you, in his image, to live for eternity. Even though we know everyone eventually dies, death always seems unnatural and unfair. The reason we feel we should live forever is that God wired our brains with that desire.

Most of us do not want to die or look forward or look forward to the dying process. All of us love to hear we look younger or haven’t aged. Yet, everything in this life is wearing down and dying. That feeling of dread of dying is from God because we are made to last forever.

The good news is that Jesus’ death on the cross and his power over death show us we can enjoy God forever! As one theologian says, “To Christians death is still an enemy, but it is a beaten enemy.”

It is Easy to Forget This

For believers we celebrate this on Easter… yet we also need to remember this each and every day.

One of my favorite stories from a former church was about one of the young ladies in the church as a child. After Easter she enjoyed all her eggs. Her mistake was she left one of her boiled eggs in her bedroom and forgot about it. Several weeks later her mother made the stinky discovery… the forgotten egg made a rotten mess.

This is what happens when we forget… we can make a rotten mess of our lives when we forget what God has done for us. I can make a rotten mess of my own life when I forget what God has done. 


O.k. preacher, how can I remember this? How can I live as someone walking in God’s grace?

The first step is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a simple and easy process to start. It is a beautiful journey for the rest of your life. Romans 10:9 says: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

If you would like to make that decision today, nothing could make me happier. You may also need to rededicate your life to God. You may have made that decision long ago but have not lived like that… today you can reconnect with God.

My other challenge is to consider the rhythms of your life. Having a regular rhythm of scripture reading, devotions, and church are helpful.

We would love for you to come back next week for the start of the Video Game Fever series or mark your calendar for vacation Bible school.


Friends, today is a day of Good News. Christ the Lord is Risen. As Paul says, “Our Labor is not in vain.” Death is an enemy. Still scary, yes. But you have a God who loves you and cares deeply for you. That will be with you even in your death…

Death is a lot like a T-Rex… it is very menacing. I would never want to encounter one… but maybe a T-rex is not as scary as we once thought.

Happy Easter.

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