JOURNEY TO THE CROSS--PART VII

SERMON TITLE: THE IMPLICATIONS OF EASTER

SERMON THEME: DEATH IS NOT THE END

SERMON TEXT: JOHN 20:1-18

 

THE WORLD CLAIMS THAT DEATH HAS THE FINAL WORD, BUT GOD CLAIMS THAT LIFE HAS THE FINAL WORD.

 

JOHN 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

·         THE BASIS FOR THE RESURRECTION IS AN EMPTY TOMB AND A LIVING BREATHING JESUS THAT IS CONFIRMED BY SIGHT, REASON AND FAITH.

 

JOHN 20:31

31 But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

LIFE IS IN JESUS CHRIST, THE HOPE OF OUR RESURRECTION

 

I) THE DISCIPLES WERE CHANGED, AND INFLUENCED BY SIGHT.

 

JOHN 20:1-2

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

 

·         THE DISCIPLES COULD NOT CONCEIVE THAT JESUS WALKED OUT OF THE TOMB BY HIMSELF.

 

LUKE 16:31

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

 

·         THE RESURRECTED JESUS APPEARED ONLY TO THOSE WHO DID BELIEVE.

 

II) THE FOLLOWERS WERE CHANGED, AND INFLUENCED BY REASON.

 

JOHN 20:3-10

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

 

·         PETER IS PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER AND WORKING ON FIGURING IT ALL OUT.

 

EPHESIANS 4:17-18

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

 

·         DARKENED REASONING HAS BEEN AT WORK FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS RATIONALIZING AWAY THE RESURRECTION.

 

III) THE BELIEVERS WERE CHANGED, AND INFLUENCED BY FAITH.

 

JOHN 20:11-16

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

·         IT IS THE RESURRECTION THAT CHANGES OUR WHOLE UNDERSTANDING OF WHO JESUS IS.

 

I CORINTHIANS 15:12-20

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

 

·         IF WE ARE TO BELIEVE THAT LIFE HAS THE LAST WORD, THEN WE CANNOT RELY ON OURSELVES, WHAT WE SEE, OR OUR REASON, WE MUST LOOK TO FAITH IN GOD'S WORD.

 

JOHN 20:18-20

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

 

CONCLUSION: IT IS THE WITNESS OF REVELATION, THE REVEALED TRUTH OF GOD THAT LEADS TO FAITH, THAT JESUS HAS THE FINAL WORD.