On Friday we looked at the Victory that stood when Jesus was crucified and the extra ordinary miracles that happened in that hour for the world to know that indeed Jesus was the Son of God. This testimony came from those who were charged with guarding His body.
Today is the day of Resurrection. Without today, our faith would have been in vain. The disciples of Jesus were hoping that today would happen otherwise their three years of following Jesus and their reputation was at stake. Jesus had given them the sequence of events, but right from the trial to crucifixion, we saw how difficult it was to keep the faith.
Let’s follow the events of that day from the gospel of John.
“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. 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 away from the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him”
- Why did Mary go so early to the tomb while it was still dark? Mary had an expectant heart. Deep within her, she had taken the Lord at His word that on the third day He will rise. I know that the different gospels have a different narration of what happened this morning, but I want us to focus on Mary. She wanted to witness for herself probably a debate that was taking place between His disciples, will it happen just as He had said? The gospel is a personal experience. Each of us must desire to have a personal experience with God. Mary wanted to be a witness not a hearer of the events and she made sure she was there early before anyone interfered with the scene.
- Why did she run to inform others? Mary could not withhold the good news! Even though she was not sure who had taken the body, Jesus was not in the tomb; that communicated something. Could it be that he had risen just as He had said? She must have persuaded Simon Peter and the other disciple to come with her. So together they went to the tomb to verify this information. The other disciple reached the tomb first “And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter came, he went into the tomb and he saw the cloths lying there. Both of them entered, saw and believed. Jesus Himself had said that this will happen Luke 24:6.
Friends this is the good news, we would better relay it far and wide that the Lord is risen! He is glorified, He comes with authority over all situations, He is in-charge because heaven and earth have become subject to Him. This is your moment of joy! Joy comes in the morning, Hallelujah!
There is one scripture that disturbs me in this story. Vs 10 “Then the disciples went to their homes.” Remember Mary had said that someone had taken the body of Jesus. When the scripture says in vs 9 “For they did not understand the scripture, that He must rise from the dead.” Does it mean the story they believed was not that He had risen but that someone had taken His body?
What do you believe today? To many of us this may be a story narrated and written, but do you believe? If you believe you must respond by action. We do not see any emotion of sadness or a joyous celebration with these two disciples.
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept, she stooped to look into the tomb.”
It is my prayer that there is someone right now stooping and looking for Jesus, when He can be found. Friends, do not look for Him among the dead but among the living. Whatever situation you are going through right now He is near you. Do not walk away yet, He is very near you and He can hear your cry, He will respond if you are patient, He will come through if you believe in His name.
Vs 12-16 “And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head, one at the feet. 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.’ Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know it was Jesus. 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to Him “Rabboni!” (Which means teacher).
Key resurrection lessons:
- You will not see and recognize Jesus while you are still mourning: Mary, mistook Jesus for the gardener. Her heart was filled with sorrow; Jesus is risen this morning, wipe your tears and trust in Him. Many of us behave as if Jesus is still in the grave. We have never acknowledged Him as the living king. No wonder we struggle with many things, we are filled with complains and disappointments of life. Today He is calling your name, recognize His voice and you will be set free.
- We can be certain of our own resurrection because Jesus is alive today: Friends this assures us that there is a future. Satan wanted to bring to an end the life of men through sin and death. Jesus came to bring life and to set us free. His resurrection is proof in itself that there is a future secured and guaranteed by His resurrection. That is the hope we preach this morning, that the situation we are facing today as believers is not and end in itself; it is to the fallen world but not the risen Lord Hallelujah.
- The power that resurrected Jesus is available to bring back to life our spiritually dead self: Even though Mary may have been desperately looking for hope and assurance, there was a sense of spiritual death in her when she did not recognize that Jesus had risen and she leaned more on His body having been stolen. Jesus has released to us the same power of resurrection as He did when He called Mary’s name. You can be restored today if you believe. What hope are you looking for? Jesus can revive your life today; He can revive your family today; He can revive your business today; He can revive your job today; He can revive your faith today! “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength!
- The resurrection is the power of the Church: Our basis of witnessing to the world is found in the risen Lord. This is our greatest moment of victory. Vs 19-21 “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.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” We have been charged with the great message of salvation to the world. We are the carriers of hope because we have witnessed Jesus and seen the marks of the nails on His hands and on His side. Will you withhold this message, or will you take it to the ends of the earth? If you believe in this hope of resurrection, start in your own home and those that are close to you. Use this time you have in your hands and spread the good news to all that He is alive and ready to save.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He alone is my salvation I will never be shaken.”
The hope of the world today lies with the one who loved us most. He has paid the price that we should not be held liable. Today we renew our trust, love and commitment to Him. Let us all join together and celebrate our freedom but remember it came at a great cost.
2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.”