Let’s go in time and put ourselves in the shoes of these heartbroken people who watched the stone roll over the opening of the tomb. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to watch the one you loved die after everything He did on this earth (The miracles, the teachings, the outpouring of love for lost and broken sinners). Can you imagine what it must of felt like for Mary (the chosen sinner) to see her son and Lord Hang their on that cross. Can you imagine how Peter felt seeing His Lord from a distance especially after the last words he spoke in front of His Lord was “I do not know the MAN”. Can you imagine what it felt like for John to see His Lord breath His last breath and the last words Jesus says to Him is “Behold your mother”
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved (John) standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26-27
Can you imagine the thought running through Nicodemus mind as He carries the body of the Man who said to him “unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”.........and what was Nicodemus’ last words “How can these things be?” Can you imagine the feeling of hopelessness they must have felt when they rolled the stone over the opening to seal it shut. Can you imagine what the attitude of the people who loved him, after the stone was rolled into its place that day? Was it joy or sadness? Because Luke writes that Jesus asked a question to the 2 men walking on the road to Emmaus “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” (v17). Can you imagine as one of them saying to yourself “No what do we do?”
- Jesus had to be forsaken by the Nations, this world system.
- Jesus had to take the place of the guilty (you and me and this world).
- Jesus had to be forsaken by the Father, abandoned as He poured out the cup of wrath on His only begotten Son.
- Jesus had to declare to the world with His last breath “It is finished”
Every Christian’s greatest hope is this! “In the resurrection of the dead!" When Socrates lay dying, he was asked “Shall we live again,” to which he replied “I hope so!” Ours is not a dead hope though, but “A LIVING HOPE” not a “hope so,” but a “hope sure! See the story of Jesus doesn’t end at the cross. The Angel asks…..Why do you seek the living among the dead? (v5). Why are you here this morning? Have you forgotten about His promise to you?Did you forget what Jesus said to you while He was with you all?
(Matt 16:21) "From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."
(John 2:19-22) "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."
(Luke 9:22) saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."
(Mark 10:33-34) "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again."
It amazes me how quickly they forgot the Lord’s Promises. It amazes me how little their faith was at times. It amazes me we are the same as them and we need to be reminded of this promise.
- He had to be crucified for our sin and rebellion.
- He had to be the sacrifice for reconciliation to happen for us.
- He had to complete His mission that the Father sent Him on.
- He had to defeat sin and the grave on our behalf.
- He had to fulfill what scripture said about Him.
Acts 2:24-27 we read “Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.....” David desired to see that day fulfilled when he penned these words in Psalm 16:8-11) 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One (Jesus) to see (undergo) corruption”. David had hope and believed in the promises of God even before Christ was physically born. David believed in a real resurrection and this brought rest and joy to his heart.
THE RESURRECTION……. Testifies to character of a holy God in all His splendour, in all His glory. Seals the promise of His divine providence for redemption. Cries to the world “that all things are under His sovereign control and power.” Displays that His word is truth and His authority and promises will stand forever? Is confirmation that “God says what He means and means what He says”
DO YOU REALIZE THE ENTIRE TRINITY PARTICIPATED IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!
- The Father (Rom 6:4) “...raised by the glory of the Father...”
- The Spirit (Rom 8:11) “...the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead...”
- The Son (John 10:48) “I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again”
See the messenger from God asks! Why do you seek the living among the dead? For He has RISEN! You could say “Why are you here with the spices? What are the implications made to this bold statement? What does this mean for a person of that era to 2016, and beyond? When the Angel proclaims this truth about Jesus “why do you seek the living among the dead?” Before I answer that let’s examine briefly those who are deceased of other major religions who claim God like status.
- Muhammad………is still dead
- Joseph Smith……..is still dead
- Ellen White……….is still dead
- Buddha………..is still dead
- Ron Hubbard…………is still dead
- Jesus Christ of Nazareth……IS RISEN and the tomb is empty!
See! This is an important statement the Angel is making to the ladies. “Why do seek the living among the dead.” Without His physical bodily resurrection we are doomed. There are over three hundred references that relate to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Therefore it must be considered as a vital element of the faith of a Christian. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel” 2 Timothy 2:8. The Resurrection of the Lord is too important to dismiss or neglect. A Christ who is not physically resurrected from the dead is really no Christ at all. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then Christianity is a false religion. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then the message we preach concerning salvation in Christ is false. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then there is no forgiveness of sins. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then we have no hope of eternal life. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then in reality we are the most foolish people who have ever lived, for we have built our confidence upon deception. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then we might as well live as we please in this world because we are doomed anyway. All this had to happen according to the scriptures!
HIS RISEN BODY WAS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE GOSPEL.
1 Cor 15:16-22 “ For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile (vain, empty, worthless); you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep (death in Christ, Old Testament saints, prophets, believers before the cross, and after) in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (miserable). But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (those who died) . For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die even so in Christ all shall be made alive (born again believers who put their faith in Him alone).” If this event never happened or took place then we are still sinners without any hope. We would be forever lost to a Christ less eternity. But we know He is Risen according to the scriptures.
HIS RISEN BODY IS OUR HOPE OF FUTURE THINGS.
1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” His death and resurrection is our security and joyful assurance over sin and death. This is everlasting for all eternity promise to you and me, proven through His physical, bodily resurrection.
HIS RISEN BODY IS OUR HOPE OF RESURRECTION TO ETERNAL GLORY.
Romans 8:33-39 “Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. A life of unending fellowship with Him, the eternal blessing of being in His glory forever. There is no condemnation for God’s children and this only made possible through His death and bodily resurrection.
HIS RISEN BODY REMOVES ANY HUMAN DOUBT/ SKEPTICISM.
John 20:26-29 “And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord (master, my authority) and my God!" (affiriming His deity, position, supremely Divine) Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Thomas put your fingers here! Feel, touch, the scares that I endured for you! Remove the doubt and believe in who I said I was “The great I”AM the One who is Risen! The Resurrection and the Life! Watchman Nee said this about the beauty of the resurrection! "Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.” As the Apostle Paul said His might power “upholding all things by the word of His power” Col 1:17. The universe and everything is constantly sustained by the power of the Son’s words, His voice………..That’s our RISEN King!
So where is our King today? Because He is not in the grave! The Lord Jesus Christ is alive and well sitting on the Throne in all His glory. As the Hebrew writer said “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Heb 1:3. He has been given the Name above all names “Lord” (Phil 2:9). He is King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). He has won and crushed Satan, the fulfillment of what was said in the garden by our LORD HIMSELF (Gen 3:15) “her Seed will crush your seed” How important are these words spoken to Mary by the messenger sent by God? “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
- The resurrection gives evidence that the Word of God is true and reliable.
- The resurrection means that Jesus is the Son of God.
- The resurrection means that salvation is complete, Christ conquered Sin.
- The resurrection establishes the church “I will build MY church” Jesus said and the “gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).
- The resurrection proved that death itself could not prevent Christ from establishing His church.
- The resurrection of Christ proves that Heaven is waiting for the true believer.
As Jesus said "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3. This is a precious and wonderful truth for you and me this morning! A wonderful promise for you and me as we anticipate His wonderful return! Can I ask you! Does your spirit jump for joy this morning, knowing this truth? Can you imagine what it is going to be like to be able to see Him in all His glory? Especially knowing that He has conquered death for us and that He will return to receive us unto Himself. MY SUNDAY QUESTION IS FOCUSED FOR THE UNBELIEF, THE ONES ON THE FENCE, THE DOUBTERS, AND THE SCEPTICS.
What more does He need to do for you in order for you to believe?
- He breathed life into existence
- He Spoke to Abraham
- He was with Moses at the Burning Bush
- He was born of a virgin
- He died
- He was buried for 3 days
- He rose again and the tomb is empty
- He ascended into the heavens
- He is seated on the Throne the Majesty on High
- He is preparing a place for those who believe (who trust in the promises of this book) and call upon Him by faith!
- He showed the greatest act of love by loving us first.
As John Piper says “The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and, if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving. That’s what God did. At the loss of His Son’s life to the totally undeserving, God gave the best gift – the display of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.” Jesus Christ has Risen from the grave and defeated death for us!
“WHAT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR YOU BELIEVE? HE IS RISEN!