Easter 3.31.24

Dead Poets Society

  • Robin Williams played Professor John Keating in the iconic movie Dead Poets Society.
  • He’s an eccentric English teacher who attempts to connect with and inspire his students through unconventional methods.
  • During his first class, he brings them into a hallway filled with photos and trophies of former students who have long since died. Mr. Keating invites them to lean in and to look into the eyes of the young men who are now dead and feeding the daffodils. He says… “We are food for worms, lads. Believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.”
  • Because of this truth, his encouragement is that they would “Carpe Diem… Seize the day.”

He’s trying to get these young men to avoid a wasted life. He’s wants them to have a meaningful life. His encouragement to the young men is essentially, “You’re going to die, so live well.”

It’s not a bad sentiment.

It is true… we all are going to die. Because we’re all going to die, we should make the most of how we live.

It’s not bad, it’s just incomplete, because we still have to figure out how to live well.

Matthew 16:24–25
[24] Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. [25] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Jesus is essentially saying, “To truly live, you’ve got to die.”

“If you’re looking to make the most of life before you die, you have to die.”

If you’re not familiar with the teaching of Jesus this might seem a bit shocking. Is Jesus some kind of sadist? Is he a deranged lunatic?

Far from it.

When Jesus talks about a person taking up their cross, there’s no doubt he’s referring to death. The only reason someone would ever take up a cross is if they were going to die.

Listen to something else Jesus says that helps explain what he means.


John 12:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Seed Germination

  • Jesus is describing a process we call germination.
  • If you remember biology class, a seed goes into the dirt and there’s a tiny, dramatic saga happening beneath the soil.
  • The seed has to “die” in order for it bring about new life. So it dies to live.

To truly live, the seed has to leave its old self behind. There has to be death before there can be life. The grain dying is actually a really good thing because it brings about new life, more life, better life.

That’s the story of the resurrection… Jesus dies to offer new life.

There’s an important principle, an essential truth that you need to know this morning.


You can’t resurrect something that’s living. You can only resurrect something that’s dead. The only way to resurrect something that’s dead is for something that’s alive to die.

Your life doesn’t need tweaking. It doesn’t need an adjustment. It needs a complete and total overhaul. It needs a resurrection.

Without first dying, you will never be able to truly live. You have to die to live.
Some of you will be seed that never experiences new life because you’re not willing to get buried in the dirt.

Nike VP

  • Westin Bonnaventure Downtown Los Angeles.
  • Frankly, I felt sorry for him. He was seizing the day, but it was empty.
  • There was no life to his life.

It’s not what God wanted for him and it’s not what God wants for you.

The best news you will ever hear in your entire life from the Apostle Paul…

2 Corinthians 5:17
… if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away (died); behold, the new has come.

As we draw our morning to a close, I want you to consider where you stand in your journey with Jesus.

Maybe today stirred something within you… a desire or a curiosity, maybe even a realization.

Make this a marked moment where we make a personal decision. A step of faith.

Salvation Prayer

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