Christ is Risen

Matthew 28:1-10
Greatest plot twist of all times!
The resurrection is the greatest plot twist of all time...
Plot twist is when you are thinking it’s going to go one way but then it goes another
Michael Jr. says humor is just a plot twist....get you thinking one thing and then it goes another
2 guys walk into a bar…third one ducks...
Now, the resurrection is no joke, but it is a plot twist
I have read the resurrection story many times, but reading it this week, one things stood out to me that I hadn’t really noticed before
Matthew 28:8 NIV
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
So, the angel visits them and tells them that Jesus has risen...
They leave the tomb in a hurry, afraid, yet filled with joy…and ran to tell His disciples...
I am not necessarily one to intentionally write three points sermons, even though that used to be the standard protocol...
You guys remember the dreaded English class...
Write an essay!! Okay, what was the outline?
Well, it was the same that it always is
Intro, 3 points and conclusion...
That used to be the same format for sermons...
Intro, 3 points, and conclusion....
I don’t necessarily intentionally write sermons that way for a few reason, but that’s not the point...
However, this verse pulls out 3 points pretty simply, so let’s talk about these three things this morning!

1. So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid...

Let’s start with the basic question: why were the women afraid?
There are a few possible reasons why they would be afraid:
They had just seen and angel....quite often, if not always in scripture, when an angel visits people they first thing they say is “do not be afraid”
The news that Jesus was not there…we know in John’s telling of the story that Mary was outside the tomb crying thinking they took His body somewhere. It is possible they were looking for the closure of seeing His body, but it was not there...
A fearful expectation of what is to happen next… “So, what does all of this mean?” Could have been running through their heads!
Another explanation could be present in the Greek. The word is “phobos” which is where we get our word phobia or fear…however, in the Greek, there is two connotations, both negative and positive. The first is a negative, like a fear, the second is a positive, like an overwhelming sense....or awe.
Two examples of this:
1. Zechariah, John the Baptist’s dad could not speak until John was born due to doubt, but after John was born, Zechariah wrote john’s name on a tablet…and then his mouth was open and he could speak
Luke 1:65 NIV
65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.
the word “awe” here is phobos...
2. When the paralyzed man’s friend’s brought him to be healed by Jesus...
The house that they were in was packed and they couldn’t get the man to Jesus so they climbed on the roof and lowered him down...
Luke 5:20–22 NIV
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?
Luke 5:23–25 NIV
23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Luke 5:26 NIV
26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
And again, the word “awe” is the Greek word “phobos”
So, back to our original story are the women afraid with fear, or are they in “awe” of what has just happened?
Well, that ends with speculation, obviously, the translators of the NIV translation goes with fear...
And, most other translations goes with fear as well, so that’s what we will go with!
So, they are afraid, and it is probably not like a “I am going to cower in fear, afraid,” but also an excitement type of fear. An overwhel,ing “awe” type of fear
This fear that compels you to do something!
So, I wonder if we have this kind of fear as well?
Do we believe that Jesus was truly raised from the dead?
Because, this is the single most important point of Christianity!
If Jesus Christ did not raise from the dead, the entire religion is false!
Andy Stanley says, and I know there is debate about his belief about some things, but he goes to the extreme, and sometimes we need the extreme help us understand the magnitude of something...
Stanley says that the resurrection is even more important than the Bible itself...
Because, if we have the Bible, but no resurrection, it would be pointless...
It can become a bit of a catch 22 as to which is more important...
But, the point remains, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event, not just in Christianity, but in all of the world....
You see, there is a problem…
As the book authored by Mark Clark calls it, the problem of Jesus...
Not the problems with Jesus, as if he had faults, but the problem of Jesus....
A living, breathing Jesus of Nazareth, who did literal miracles, died by Roman Crucifixion, and then was raised from the dead...
Oh, and He predicted it all!
If you do not believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, you are not a christian
For the atheist or other religions in the world, this is a problem…because He is the only one to do it! And with much evidence!
For lots of evidence on the resurrection of Jesus, I turn you to:
Evidence that Demands a Verdict - Josh McDowell
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
So, back to fear…do we have a healthy amount of fear for the actual resurrection of Jesus?
I am not talking about a rear that it isn’t true…but a fear that is true..
Because if it is true, and it is, then we are responsible for that truth...
We have to do something with it!
this fear should overwhelm us, and compel us!
If we believe that Jesus truly raised from the dead, then we are responsible to respond to it and we actually have to do something about it...
These women were afraid, and they went to tell the disciples about it!
Do we have a fear that compels us to share the good news with others?
Matthew 28:8 NIV
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

2. They were afraid, yet filled with joy!

This is the celebration of the resurrection!
This is the joy that comes with today!
Jesus is no longer in the tomb!
Death, has been defeated!
The enemy has been overcome!
We get this joy that our Lord overcame death!
1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV
55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Death could not hold Jesus!
It has no victory over Him!
And when we believe in Him, we too, will not be overcome by the grave.
Philippians 3:10–11 ESV
10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Romans 6:3–4 NIV
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we confess our sins, turn from them to turn towards Christ, and believe in Him, we become grafted into Him...
We become like Him in His death and become like Him in His resurrection...
We get to spend all of eternity with Him?
Even death will have no power over us!
This is the joy that we have in Christ!
And not just that we get to overcome death, but that we get to live with Him eternally, which starts the day we accept Him as our Savior and Lord over our life
Jesus reminds us In
John 15:11 NIV
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
The women ran from the tomb with an overwhelming since of excitement, fear that Jesus was raised and overwhelming joy to tell His disciples…that Christ has risen!

3. They ran to tell his disciples

How real, and exciting, fearful, and joyous are you about sharing the good news that Jesus is alive with others?
Do you have a sense of urgency?
Sometimes I get into conversations and even debates with other Christians and we talk all this intellectual stuff about God that I just want to step back and ask:
Who have you shared Jesus with recently?
Who has come to the saving knowledge of Jesus recently?
Who has experienced the joy and living water of Jesus recently because you shared it with them?
We often quote
Romans 10:13 NIV
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
but sometimes we don’t go to 14
Romans 10:14 NIV
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Do you have an urgency to share the gospel with other?
Paul plainly explains the gospel to us, it’s not complicated
1 Corinthians 15:1–3 NIV
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:4–5 NIV
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
That’s the message that the women went to the disciples with that day!
Christ died. Christ was buried. Christ is risen!
We are going to close this morning with a fun song of celebration.
Before then, if you have never accepted Christ as your savior and you want to do that, I told you how in the message!
Confess that you have sinned against God, turn from that sin to believe in and accept His free gift, there is nothing you can do to earn it, and receive His forgiveness and salvation!
If you would like to do that, you can do it right in your seat, or we can have someone in the prayer room to explain it further to you and pray with you! Just head on into there!
For the rest of us let’s stand and celebrate with this fun one!
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