We are here today to declare the absolute reality of Jesus The Christ’s Resurrection. I know my redeemer lives! Christ’s resurrection is crucial, if you do not believe it,why would you surrender your life to Christ? If you are here today with any doubts about Jesus of Nazareth’s permanent, bodily resurrection, I want to encourage you to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to enable to to fully believe.The Resurrection of Jesus Christ takes a minute to absorb, it was meant to be a process…but most importantly it takes God’s Spirit.
Jesus Died! Why?
God choose to demonstrate without a doubt His massive love for you and me. God did this as one of us! Virgin birth, sinless life then the most brutal of deaths. He payed a price only the all powerful God of the universe could pay… But then on top of all that HE demonstrated His control over ALL things! He rose from the dead to point us to the hope of OUR resurrection! This is a day to place all of our hope, all of our faith and all of our joy into.
I want to encourage you, if you have surrendered your life to Christ you have surrendered to a living savior who rose from the dead. If you are not all the way there, there is no better day than TODAY to place all of you trust and faith and hope in the living Christ.
In this text we see how Christ gives His followers what they need to believe. He will do the same for you!
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
- Peter & John were someplace by themselves
- They assume someone has robbed the grave
3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
- It’s a race to the tomb, John is faster, but when he gets there he hesitates…
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
- Peter does not hesitate
- It looked like if someone had undressed a dead man
- If Jesus was taken up to heaven, the ‘grave-clothes’ would look different
- It says John saw and believed… but what did he believe?
- He didn’t understand what the scriptures meant by ‘rise from the dead’
Perhaps they thought Jesus was treated by God like Moses or Elijah…He was taken up to heaven…
He had told them:
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.~ Matthew 16:21
There was something missing from their understanding… they didn’t have the ‘Illumination’ of the Holy Spirit yet.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
- She had returned with Peter & John, after they looked, they left.
- But not Mary… we should all be like her, determined to find Jesus
- She talks to Angles, yet she think ‘people’ have taken Jesus
14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
- She doesn’t understand what is going on
- She can’t comprehend Jesus is not dead… but she know what Jesus said too
- She only wants to care for Christ, do what is humanly possible
- But God wants us to see beyond what is humanly possible to what HE can do!
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
- Jesus needs only to say Her name and it reveals Him to her (In Person God)
- But she calls Him ‘Teacher’, not God, not Lord…
- Jesus tells her He is ascending to His God and Her God
- By the time Mary gets to the group of the Disciples she calls him: ‘The Lord’
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
- The 1st thing HE brings is Peace! This is the peace to experience HIM
- They embrace the reality of HIM; fully understanding Christ’s Resurrection
- They now recognize Him as Lord!
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
- This time the gift of peace flows from understanding to purpose
- As believers in Christ’ resurrection they were commissioned to join His mission
- And because of their faith they are given the Holy Spirit
- Not the permanent indwelling of God’s Spirit
- This was a spiritual enlightenment particular to this situation, like with Prophets
John was given the info by the HS that this book was dictated by HIM / God / Jesus
and so He knows that the Spirit Has been given to Christ’s disciples (US) so they will understand Christ’s resurrection by God’s Spirit !! (illumination)
After this a week later Jesus appears so ‘Doubting Thomas’ can see Him as well. Why did Thomas still doubt? He didn’t get the Spiritual illumination until God gave it.
The last verse gives the purpose of John’s Gospel: So we can believe in Christ’s birth, life death & resurrection
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
- God’s Word, Scripture, is given to us for the express purpose of creating belief
- Belief in Christ’s Resurrection, as well as His virgin birth and sinless life
- For us to believe all of this we need God’s Spirit to connect the dots for us
- Ask God to put it all together for you
To fully believe in Jesus’ Resurrection takes a little time, the Word of God and His Spirit’s illumination.
Mary finds the opened tomb, she gets Peter and John and they examine the empty tomb. They can understand that Jesus is gone, but not that He has been bodily resurrected. Part of salvation is full belief in Christ’s resurrection!
Mary in her confusion cannot fully comprehend Christ’s resurrection until He personally illuminates it all for her. God wants to personally illuminate it for you!
The Disciples are brought to full belief in Christ’s resurrection through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Their belief in Christ’s resurrection commissions them to be witnesses’ to it, just as you and I are!
The Resurrected Christ given pure Shalom to HIS disciples, then and now. He shows them what the truth is and through an outpouring of HIS Spirit brings them to full belief in exactly who HE is, and in that they have eternal life!
Why is it crucial that we understand exactly how God’s word describes Christ’s resurrection and fully believe it?
What are specific decisions you have made that reflect your belief in the resurrected Christ?
God’s Word and God’s Spirit give Christ’s followers the gift of Shalom. If you don’t have it how can you get it? If you have it, how might you live more fully from it?