We all know the story, right? But, do we really? Let’s take a deeper look at what happened that day.
To hear the sermon click here.
It was a dark time in our world. It was full of anxiety, broken dreams, broken hearts. Fear, like the bottom had just fallen out for the followers of Jesus who many thought was the Messiah who had finally come to declare victory over their enemies. Much like the world we live in now in the aftermath of COVID. We’re still haunted by the ordeal we’ve been through.
Lives are less than abundant. Are you missing something? You’re not alone. Just like those who were with Jesus. They had given 3 years of their lives following him, learning from him, watching him perform miracle after miracle. What had happened? Why didn’t he save himself? Why didn’t God save him?
You can understand their disillusionment. His disciples scattered, running away in fear! What now? Should they get back to their lives of fishing?
It was finished. Jesus said so himself before he took his last breath. What was finished? What happened to the hope they had in him?
The tomb was sealed. The stone rolled over the door. It was guarded so that his followers couldn’t take the body and say that he’d risen.
Mary Magdelene went early on that morning to finish preparing his body for burial. The day before had been the Sabbath and they weren’t allowed to work on that day. So that task hadn’t been completed. She went in darkness outside the city to where his tomb was located. It couldn’t have been safe with all the people who must have been in the city through all of the trial and crucifixion. But out of duty Mary Magdelene, who had been a follower of Jesus since he cast out the demons from her body, made her way before the sun rose. She was the first one there to find the tomb empty.
She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one that Jesus loved (this scripture was written by John, the other disciple, haha)…
Peter and John took off running for the tomb to see for themselves. John got there first (he was younger and evidently faster). He saw the strips of cloth that Jesus’ body had been wrapped in, but he didn’t go inside. Peter went inside when he arrived and saw the strips and the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. It was folded and lying by itself.
All the times that Jesus had told them that he had to die, that he had to go away for a while, what had they been thinking? It didn’t dawn on them yet that he was talking about being resurrected. Can you blame them though? It’s not like that was an every day occurrence.
As Mary ran toward the tomb, she wasn’t expecting a resurrection. She was probably dreading the trip knowing what must be finished. She did it because she honored him.
The way the cloth was neatly folded, Peter knew that this was not a crime scene. It wasn’t done in haste and the cloth thrown aside. Someone had taken the time to fold it neatly, apart from the strips of linen that was wrapped around his body.
So what do we do with all of this now?
Jesus was declared the Son of God…
Jesus has a continuing ministry. He sent the Holy Spirit to be a helper to us. We are the continuation of his ministry.
What does this mean for us?
- We don’t know enough of the facts
- Spend time with Jesus to learn more
- Disbelief must be suspended
- Believed in a Christ resurrected
Do we grasp what a resurrected Savior means?
- Petty things are uselesss
- There is power in the resurrection
- There is nothing He can’t do
- Nothing can keep us from Him
- Nothing in your past can keep you from Him
Looking at those who were closest to Jesus, we see people with troubled pasts. They were not people of high position in society. Peter and John were both fishermen. Mary, the first one to see the empty tomb, the first one to see Jesus face to face after the resurrection, was damaged goods. Jesus cast 7 demons out of her. As her witness to these events were shared with others, she became the first preacher. Spreading word of the risen Savior.
We could all share stories that may have kept us from attending church through the years. But not a single one of us deserves the love of Jesus Christ. Nothing, however, can keep you from the resurrection.
Live a life that reflects the will of God. Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love others the same way he loves them.
- Give mercy
- Give from the never ending supply that comes from God himself
There is no victory in death because Jesus overcame death.
God has a plan. At death our bodies will become perfect. Everlasting life.
- The next step — walk with Him
- Live the abundant life
- Jesus paid for all our sins
- You don’t have to wait for Jesus to forgive your sins. He’s already forgiven you.
- What can God resurrect in your life right now?
- Is your life spinning out of control?
- See the empty tomb, the folded clothes
- What has happened in your life beyond the hand of God?
The resurrection was the most significant event in all of history.
My Redeemer lives!
I never tire of hearing about the resurrection. After the fear and confusion of the crucifixion, seeing the risen Jesus must have given Jesus’ followers relief. But the work wasn’t done. Indeed they were given the task of telling others the Good News, as are we. Share the word, plant the seed. God is responsible for changing hearts if we will only do our part.
This sermon was different than most Easter sermons, which I suppose is the reason I heard one “Amen” after another. Our church is relatively conservative. It was encouraging to hear the agreement from the congregation. I hope your Easter was as inspiring as mine.