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Up From the Grave He Arose

Posted on April 1, 2018

Up from the Grave He Arose

John 20:1 – 18

Scripture Reading

John 20:1 – 10

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.” 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. 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.

Introduction: He was 9-in a Sunday school class of 8-year-olds. Eight-year-olds can be cruel.

The third-graders did not welcome Philip to their group. Not just because he was older. He was "different." He suffered from Down's syndrome and its obvious manifestations: facial characteristics, slow responses, symptoms of retardation.

One Sunday after Easter the Sunday school teacher gathered some of those plastic eggs that pull apart in the middle-the kind in which some ladies' pantyhose are packaged.

The Sunday school teacher gave one of these plastic eggs to each child.

On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover for himself some symbol of "new life" and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside his egg.

They would then open their eggs one by one, and each youngster would explain how his find was a symbol of "new life."

So …The youngsters gathered ‘round on the appointed day and put their eggs on a table, and the teacher began to open them.

One child had found a flower. All the children "oohed" and "aahed" at the lovely symbol of new life. In another was a butterfly. "Beautiful," the girls said. And it's not easy for an 8-year-old to say "beautiful."

Another egg was opened to reveal a rock. Some of the children laughed. "That's crazy!" one said. "How's a rock supposed to be like a ‘new life'?"

Immediately the little boy spoke up and said, "That's mine. I knew everybody would get flowers and leaves and butterflies and all that stuff, so I got a rock to be different. Everyone laughed.

The teacher opened the last one, and there was nothing inside.

"That's not fair," someone said. "That's stupid," said another.

Teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was Philip. Looking up he said, "It's mine. I did do it. It's empty. I have new life because the tomb is empty."

The class fell silent. From that day on Philip became part of the group. They welcomed him. Whatever had made him different was never mentioned again.

Philip's family had known he would not live a long life; just too many things wrong with the tiny body. That summer, overcome with infection, Philip died.

On the day of his funeral nine 8-year-old boys and girls confronted the reality of death and marched up to the altar-not with flower. Nine children with their Sunday school teacher placed on the casket of their friend their gift of love-an empty egg.

Paul Harvey - Stories for the Heart compiled by Alice Gray (Portland: Multnomah, 1996), p. 15.

Purpose: Every Christ follower should be convinced that Jesus literally rose from the dead in order to be truly born again.

Transition: Let’s talk about that empty tomb that can give us new life if we trust Christ as our Savior.

The Great Discovery – John 20:1 – 10 – The Tomb is Empty!

John 20:1

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.

  • Notice first of all that John mentions a very important, life changing detail. It was the first day of the week – Sunday
  • That would become the day that Christians would forever focus on for worship in commemorating the resurrection of Christ.

Quote: “Two thousand years ago, in the Middle East, an event occurred that permanently changed the world. Because of that event, history was split. Every time you write a date, you’re using the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the focal point.” – Rick Warren

  • The resurrection changes everything!!
  • Mary Magdalene is heading to the tomb of Jesus in the pre-dawn darkness
    • She you will remember from last week was the one Jesus set free from being possessed by seven demons
    • She was with Jesus at the cross
    • Now she is going with a group of women to the tomb and she arrives ahead of the rest of the women
    • She notices that the stone has been moved and the tomb was open
    • She was coming to finish the burial preparations that were hastily done due to the hour of the day as Sabbath was approaching by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus
    • The Sabbath was over so she was coming to finish up hoping the Roman soldiers who were dispatched by Pilate to protect the tomb would have compassion on her and help her by opening the tomb
  • Mary runs to tell the disciples that the tomb is open. She doesn’t know what to make of it. – Grave robbers?
  • “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” – Verse 2

It is significant that the first witnesses of the resurrection of Christ were believing women. Among the Jews in that day, the testimony of women was not held in high regard. “It is better that the words of the Law be burned,” said the rabbis, “than be delivered to a woman.” But these Christian women had a greater message than that of the Law, for they knew that their Savior was alive. - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 388). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

John 20:3-7

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. 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.

  • Ranto see
    • Peter and John (John does not identify himself with his name) run to the tomb together.
    • They were skeptical of a woman’s testimony so they were going to check it out for themselves
    • The fear of the unknown or that something terrible had happened made them hurry
    • John gets there first but stops and looks in
    • Peter, always the impetuous one who acts before thinking, speaks before thinking runs right into the tomb
    • The grave clothes were still lying there in the shape of a corpse. Jesus had passed right through the grave clothes and passed right through the sealed tomb. Very unlike Lazarus coming out of the tomb
    • With the face cloth folded and away from the grave cloths, it is apparent that the tomb was left in an orderly fashion which negates the idea that grave robbers had come to steal the body
    • The tomb was open NOT to let Jesus out but for the world to see that He had risen and was alive. He passed through the sealed tomb.
    • Just as side note, in Matthew 28:11-15, the Jewish leaders wanted to spread the rumor that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus.
      • They would not have left the graveclothes and the face cloth. They would have taken it with them since it encased the body!!

John 20:8-10

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.

  • Saw and believed
    • John saw first hand the empty tomb, the graveclothes and facecloth neatly lying there and it was enough for him to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead!! Can you imagine the excitement, the thrill, the joy that must have rushed through his mind and emotions?
    • Notice three times the word see is used but, in each case, it is a different Greek word with a different meaning
      • In verse 5 it means that John looked in or glanced in. Observation
      • Peter in verse 6 saw or beheld attentively
      • But notice the next word used for seeing in verse 8. This is perceiving or intellectually comprehending the significance of what was being observed. John put it all together and believed.
      • There is faith in historical evidence that says Christ lives and then there is faith in the experiential evidence that Christ is alive in me. Which kind of faith do you have?
      • But Peter probably did not yet believe.

Luke 24:12

12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

  • Peter and John head back home.

 

Application: The empty tomb is the greatest evidence of all to trust in Jesus and His words

Transition: The Minimalist Facts Approach to the Resurrection without using the Bible. 95% of skeptics who are or were historians do agree on these 12 historical facts

1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

2. He was buried.

3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

7. The resurrection was the central message.

8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

9. The Church was born and grew.

10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

11. James, the brother of Jesus was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

The Amazing Revelation – John 20:11 – 18 – Jesus is Alive!

John 20:11 – 16

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.” 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

  • The unexpected
    • Mary arrives back at the tomb and she did not cross paths with Peter and John
    • The other women were gone as well
    • Mary is at the tomb lamenting loudly and deeply as Jewish women do when they are deeply grieved in their spirit.
    • In verses 12 - 13, Mary looks in the tomb and sees 2 angels in human form in the tomb
      • They ask her why she is weeping and she believed Jesus was still dead and someone had moved the body
      • We are not sure what happened next but the angels may have gestured behind her and done something to make her think someone was present.
      • At first, she did not recognize it is Jesus
        • Why?
        • Maybe the resurrected Jesus in His glorified form was more glorious than before?
        • Maybe she just didn’t expect Jesus to be alive
        • Some have speculated that her eyes may have been blurry from weeping uncontrollably and in the dark could not recognize Him
        • Or God may have prevented her from recognizing Him until the appropriate time – Paul / Disciples on the Road to Emmaus
        • It is important to note that no Jewish author in the ancient world would have invented a story with a woman as the first witness to this most important event. Furthermore, Jesus may have introduced Himself to Mary first because she had so earnestly sought Him. She was at the cross while He was dying (John 19:25), and she went to His tomb early on Sunday morning (20:1). - Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 342). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
        • In verse 15, Jesus repeats what the angels had previously said and asked who she was seeking. Mary thought He was the caretaker of the garden
        • She was still focusing on honoring Jesus with the proper burial
        • Jesus calls her by name and she recognizes His voice
          • Remember what Jesus said in John 10, the Good Shepherd passage that the sheep know the shepherds voice? Mary knew Jesus voice as the Good Shepherd
          • She replies by calling Him “Rabboni”
            • Rab – little respect / Rabbi – more respect / Rabboni – great respect
          • She falls at Jesus feet and clings to Him, not wanting Him to ever leave again.

 

 

  • The declaration

John 20:17

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 said, in effect, “This (the physical contact) is not My real presence for the church. A new relationship will begin with My Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church.” Jesus then explained the fact of the new relatives. He called His disciples His brothers. Earlier He had said they were friends: “I no longer call you servants … instead, I have called you friends” (15:15). Believers in Jesus become a part of Jesus’ family with God as their Father (cf. Heb. 2:11–12; Rom. 8:15–17, 29; Gal. 3:26) - Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 342–343). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Hebrews 2:11 – 12

For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

  • Mary’s new responsibility was to testify to His risen presence. She was the recipient of four special graces: to see angels; to see Jesus risen; to be the first to see Him alive; and to be a proclaimer of the good news. Christians today are also the recipients of special grace; they too are given this new responsibility to witness to the world (cf. Matt. 28:16–20). - Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 343). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  • The resurrection of Jesus brings hope where there is brokenness and despair as the video we watched earlier testifies of.

“Human beings can live for forty days without food, four days without water, and four minutes without air. But we cannot live for four seconds without hope.” - Andy Crouch, "The Gospel of Steve Jobs," Christianity Today (1-21-11); submitted by Kevin Miller, Wheaton, Illinois

  • Ravi Zacharias said in a culture where people only believe what they see and what they feel, the greatest power of the Gospel we can share is our testimony and to live out the principles of scripture before a watching world. The testimony of your life and words are indisputable evidence of the resurrected Christ.

Application: The appearance of Jesus gives us hope in this life and the next

The Powerful Implications of the Resurrection – Romans 6:23 – The Gospel!

 

Application: Have you personally received the power of the resurrection that can transform your life?

  • Christians, are you strengthened in your faith knowing that Jesus historically lived and rose again? That should embolden you just like the early church and Christ’s disciples to share with those who are without hope.

Key Thought: The resurrection is God’s exclamation point on Jesus claims of equality and all His teachings about the Kingdom of God.

“The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don't worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry…He's risen!” – Charles R. Swindoll