Symbols of God's Love (5)

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings

His Tomb, His Resurrection, & His Victory

Bruce Ball said, (SC)
It is said that about 200 years ago, the tomb of the great conqueror Charlemagne was opened, and the sight that greeted the workmen startled them.
It seems they found his body in a sitting position, clothed in the most elaborate of royal garments, with a scepter in his bony hand. On his knee lay the Holy Scriptures, with a cold, lifeless finger pointing to MARK 8:36:
"For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and looses his own soul?"
It is very sad, but all of us live too much in the world around us. We depend on the world for not just our food and health, but for our entertainment; our fulfillment; and even our emotional needs.
Over the course of history, the tomb attributed to Jesus was found inside the walls of Jerusalem, but in 1885, General Gordon, found a tomb outside of Jerusalem. “The Garden Tomb, hidden for centuries, was covered with rubbish twenty feet high. When they first cleared the spot, with great caution they gathered all the dust and debris within the tomb and carefully shipped it to the Scientific Association of Great Britain. Every part of it was analyzed, but there was no trace of human remains. If this is the real tomb of Christ, then Jesus was the first to be laid there and he was also the last.” (SC)
This morning, I want to proclaim that the tomb is empty.
Let’s read John 20:1-18
John 20:1–18 NLT
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home. Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

His Tomb

Each of the gospels speak of the tomb.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the same Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night, the one to whom Jesus said, “You must be born again.”, placed Jesus in Joseph’s tomb.
Some might have followed at a distance to see where Jesus was laid, but on the third day, Mary Magdalene came while it was still dark. Other gospels speak of other women coming as well.
Matthew speaks of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
Mark speaks of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.
Luke speaks of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women.
John just mentions Mary Magdalene.
This doesn’t take away from the story but each bring their own perspective to the story. To John’s readers, he was emphasizing a certain part of the story.
In each case, when the women arrive at the tomb, it’s empty.
So Mary comes back from the tomb to tell the disciples that Jesus’ body was missing.
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome had not gone to the tomb to see it empty. They hadn’t clued in. They had gone to put spices on Jesus’ body. There was no expectation that Jesus was alive.
They wondered how they were going to roll the stone away from the tomb.
When they arrived, the stone is rolled away.
So let’s look at

Mary’s reaction...

When Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb and sees that it’s empty, what’s her first thought?
John 20:2 NLT
She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Mary didn’t understand why the tomb was empty. Let’s not be too hard on her, we look back to the empty tomb and know that Jesus is alive.
In the heat of the moment, what would your reaction have been? The stone is rolled away. Jesus body is gone. The only evidence that He had been there were the strips of linen and the burial cloth for His face.
I’m sure that her mind was racing as she was hurrying back to tell the disciples that Jesus was missing.

Peter and the other disciple...

Jesus had plainly told His disciples that He would be handed over to the religious leaders, that He would die, and be raised again on the third day. He had used the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, so must the Son of Man be in the earth for three days and three nights.
Once Peter and the other disciple, John, had heard, they ran to check things out.
Maybe they were wondering how Jesus’ body had been stolen, or where it might be, but off they headed for the tomb.
John outran Peter and waited outside the tomb. He saw the strips of linen. He saw the burial cloth that had covered Jesus’ face, but he waited for Peter.
Just what I know about Peter, he probably wouldn’t have been too impressed if John had checked things out ahead of him, but when Peter came along, he went right in to see where Jesus had been laid.
I’m not sure if Peter had seen where Jesus had been laid. He had just been through some of the hardest days of his life after he had denied even knowing Jesus…
Possibly John had seen where Jesus had been laid. He was at the cross, but Peter had to see, so he went in.

John followed and they believed...

It’s like a switch turned on. Their eyes were opened. They believed.
It’s just like when Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am.”
Peter said, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:17 NIV
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
They saw through eyes of the Spirit.
There are certain

Things not revealed by flesh and blood…

but can only by revealed by the Spirit

Instead of looking through earthly eyes, they saw through eyes of faith.
We cannot be saved, we cannot become Christians, with human eyes. As the Holy Spirit prompts, as He draws people to Himself, we can only believe through eyes of faith.
After they saw and believed, they went home. That’s a little anti-climactic, but they didn’t have instructions yet.
Did they go to tell the others? Did they go to think about what they had seen? What was going through their minds.

His Resurrection...

Mary Magdalene came back to the tomb.
John 20:11–13 NLT
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
Some other gospels say, “Here is not here. He is Risen!”
In another place, the question is asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

We have hope...

because Jesus is alive. We don’t have to look for the living among the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT
But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
If Jesus is not raised from the dead, we would have no hope in Christ, but because He is alive we have been promised eternal life.

His victory...

means that there is no enemy that He will not conquer.
Maybe there have been times that you have wondered, “Why is evil so prevalent, and why do people that are so wicked seem to prosper? It seems like there are no consequences for what they have done.”
1 Corinthians 15:21–28 NLT
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
I just want to read what a commentary has to say about Christ’s position to God the Father and His authority.
This what the Life Application Commentary says,
Life Application New Testament Commentary (The Resurrection of the Dead / 15:12–34)
When the Son has toppled all evil powers and when God has placed everything under the Son’s feet, the Son will present himself to God. “God” here refers to “God the Father.” No one can take God’s place, not even the Son. This must happen so that God will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere. Some have used this verse to attempt to prove the inferiority of Christ (that he was not equal with God). But this verse is not about the person, nature, or being of God (his essence) as it relates to Christ. Instead, this verse is speaking of the work or mission of Christ, whereby he willingly obeyed the Father by subjecting the government of the world first to himself, then symbolically and willingly placing it under God’s control. In these words, Paul was not attempting to take the three persons of the Trinity and decide their relative importance. Their essential nature is always one and the same; however, the authority rests through the work each has accomplished. God sent the Son; the Son will finish the work and then will turn redeemed humanity back over to God.
When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated the power of sin, death, and the grave.
Colossians 2:13–15 NLT
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Satan doesn’t want us to know that Jesus has already disarmed the spiritual rulers and authority. He wants us to be like an elephant that has been chained since it was young, and doesn’t know any better, that that chain has no power over it.
Jesus wants you to know that because He defeated sin on the cross that it doesn’t have authority over you anymore.
If Jesus sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Romans 8:5–14 NLT
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Because of what Christ has done, we need to know who we are in Christ, be led by the Spirit, and walk in the authority that comes because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Let’s pray!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more