Ressurection Day 2022

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Resurrection Day 2022

This morning we’ve gathered to celebrate that Jesus has risen from the dead. I’ve titled the message, Jesus did what He said He would do. Maybe this is your very first Easter Sunday going to church or watching a church service. But for most of us, this is one of several. For me, its my favorite day of the year, because without the resurrection, I could never have been forgiven, could never have been set free. I’d have no idea what would happen when I die or where I would go, but now I do.
But that first Easter, was dark and depressing, I mean before they got to the good part. But I’ve spent some time thinking about this over the past month or so. If I’m being honest it began from a feeling of being let down by people. Having expectations of others that were never lived up to.
Then I got thinking about me, and all the plans the Lord has for me, and how often I fall short, it only takes a few minutes of that for me to be ready to extend grace towards others. And I began to think about the Disciples, those that had left everything to follow Jesus. At least four of them were fishermen, one a tax collector, but as Jesus traveled, they traveled, so they were separated from their families by distance and some of them by division. See, just like today, not all believed that Jesus was truly the Messiah. In one sense or another, they had given up all to receive all. But then He died.
Now for you and I with multiple Easter Sunday’s under our belt’s... hallelujah, Jesus died, but on the third day…but for them, who walked away from everyone and everything with joy and excitement, because the Kingdom of God had come and they were going to rule and reign with their King, but He died.
Typically on Resurrection Day, we rejoice and we read a piece of the story on the morning of the resurrection. The pastor comes up with something clever depending on how many Easter messages he’s given in the past, if its a lot, maybe he just pulls something from the bottom of the pile and puts it back in rotation. But this morning, I’m going to read a big chunk from the Gospel of Mark. I don’t usually preach this message from Mark, because his version of the Crucifixion and the resurrection are really pretty brief. But rather than you think I’m cleaver this morning, or that I came up with another neat way of presenting the story, I want you to see what they saw and feel (at least a little bit of what they felt that morning). Let’s pray and would you turn with me in your Bibles to Mark chapter 14....Let’s pray.
Mark 14:12–55 NKJV
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” 16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” 19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said,Is it I?” 20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” 22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. 25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” 31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise. 32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” 43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” 45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then they all forsook Him and fled. 51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked. 53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.
Mark 14:56–72 NKJV
56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. 57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” 59 But not even then did their testimony agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. 65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands. 66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.” 71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!” 72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
Mark 14:72 NKJV
72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
Mark 15:1–47 NKJV
1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. 2 Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” 3 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4 Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” 5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. 6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” 14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. 16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. 21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. 25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS 27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28 So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” 29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. 33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” 37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. 38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” 40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem. 42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. 45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.
Mark 16:1–7 NKJV
1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
I want you to notice that none of the men that left everything to follow Jesus were there that morning, why would they be? They all believed Jesus was dead. That He had betrayed them,... they certainly had betrayed him. I mean sure, we know the story of Peter, but all of them really did the same. None stood with Him, none fought for Him, or said, If you’re going to take Jesus, you’ll have to take me too! No most of them said nothing, they just abandoned Him when He needed them the most, after calling them when they needed Him the most.
They didn’t even battle in prayer with Him, and now He was dead, and they couldn’t fix it. They couldn’t make it right, I mean dead is final and it was too late. That is such a horrible thing when we’ve let someone down or disappointed someone and they go and die and we can’t fix it. We can’t be stubborn for as long as we want to be stubborn, or be ashamed for as long as we want to be ashamed and then go to them on our schedule when they mess it up by dying, that’s what Jesus did! Only they didn’t disappoint Him, Jesus knew what was going to happen. He told them! He quoted it from the book of Zachariah, we read it, Mark 14:27
Mark 14:27 NKJV
27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.’
This was written in the book of Zachariah over 400 years before the Crucifixion....Jesus said He would be betrayed, that all of them would abandon Him, that He would be delivered to the Jews, and they would deliver Him to the Romans…Jesus said He would be crucified, and that three days later He would rise from the dead, and Jesus did what He said He would do.
But these guys, His closest followers didn’t believe Him, they didn’t show up! They skipped church on Easter, the very first Resurrection Day. Listen some of you are bugged because I’ve said Easter a couple of times instead of Resurrection Day every time. Get over it, I’m sick of the world claiming things that don’t belong to them. We don’t celebrate Easter because of some Pagan Holiday, We celebrate the resurrection every time we gather on the first day of the week and we do so, because that is when He rose from the dead!
The rainbow is God’s promise to us! Keep it holy, don’t reject it, or give it away. It was the ladies, the faithful women that gathered on that day. They were the ones who became the first missionaries really as they came back the the news that He has risen! But remember they didn’t show up to have an Easter egg hunt, or to get a basket filled with candy, I got an news bulletin email yesterday that said that American’s will spend an estimated 20.8 Billion, that’s B- Billion dollars on Easter related items and due to inflation the average price of an Easter Basket has gone up to $61.83. Talk about a nation in rebellion. It only takes a fake bunny, and some stale marshmallows to distract you from your only chance of salvation.
But even the ladies, they weren’t there for a celebration, they came for a burial. They thought He was dead, they thought that Jesus wasn’t going to do what He said He would do. We have a very different process for funerals today, where we live. We have professionals take care of the body. We might bring them a nice set of clothes, but they prepare the body, do the embalming, put on the make-up, we have professionals for that.
There are still remote areas in the world where they can’t do what we do, they don’t have professionals, so they bury the body very quickly, so they don’t have to associate the smells of death with someone they love. In this culture in Jesus’s day, they used fragrant spices, we read in the gospel of John and Joseph and Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds of it to begin the burial preparation when they took His body to the tomb.
This was days later when the ladies came. As they did, I’m sure they were weeping, they were grieving, no doubt depressed. The guys didn’t even show up. They were in hiding, in fear of what might happen to them. But they were also experiencing the grief of personal failure. Can you imagine that? Guys, we’ve been arguing for three years about who among us was the greatest, who would be at His right hand and at His left, and we lost Him. We bailed on Jesus, none of us stood with Him....and we can’t fix it, we can’t make it right, He’s dead. In their minds that was final, it was over.
You guys know the story, Mark tells in further in chapter 16, Luke gives us more of the story in chapter 24 as on this same day, the greatest day, two of his follower had given up and said we’re out of here! They are walking away from where Jesus has risen and He appears to them, but their eyes were somehow restrained so they didn’t recognize Him. Jesus asks them, fella’s why are you so bummed out? What’s going on. They respond by asking him if He’s the only stranger in all of Jerusalem, man did you just show up, it’s the talk of all the town, Jesus of Nazareth, they killed Him, it’s over. Some ladies from our group came and told us that He had risen, but other’s went to the grave and it was empty…He wasn’t there…we were hoping....Luke 24:21
Luke 24:21 NKJV
21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
Jesus then rebuked them for being so slow to believe, and He expounded the Scriptures to them, and their eyes were opened and they realized that Jesus did what He said He would do, and they went and told the others. It was the ladies first, that shared the news that He had risen, but the Apostles didn’t believe. Then these guys came and said, men, we’ve seen Him, He appeared to us. And still they didn’t believe…Maybe that’s you. The first time you heard it, you didn’t believe, you’ve heard it read this morning, and so far, you’re not buying it. You’re in good company, apparently, that doesn’t disqualify you from growing up and becoming an Apostle.
But then Jesus shows up, and says, guys, they’re right, I’m not dead. I did what I said I was going to do. I didn’t bail on you. I didn’t save Myself....I gave myself, so I could save you. And then they believed except for Thomas who wasn’t there…He heard the stories, his brothers telling Him that Jesus showed up, but he said unless I see with my own eyes and see the spot where the nails went in and tough them with my own hands, I won’t believe.
And a whole week goes by. Can you imagine everyone celebrating the resurrection, talking about Jesus, that He really is the Messiah, except for the one grumpy guy in the corner or sitting at the table, refusing to believe that Jesus was who He said He was and that He did what He said He was going to do? Maybe you can. Maybe that is what lunch will be like for you when you leave here today and grumpy Uncle Joe doesn’t want to hear any of that Jesus talk especially now that NASCAR is finally on Easter! I want to spend just a couple of minutes and take another look at the last couple of verses that we read in Mark 16:5-7
Mark 16:5–7 NKJV
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
Go tell them He did what He said He was going to do. But... go tell His disciples. GO tell the ones that He was closest with. Those that left Him when He needed them, go tell them that He didn’t forsake them. Tell them He’ll see them in Galilee. And Peter, those two words amaze me. And Peter, make sure he knows. Let Him know I didn’t abandon Him, I didn’t leave any of them. Let them Know I wasn’t surprised by what they did, I wasn’t disappointed, I told them it was going to happen. John 16:32-33
John 16:32–33 NKJV
32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Can you imagine what Peter must have been thinking, what he was feeling when he heard these words? If it was anyone but Jesus, he would probably be scared He was coming to get vengeance, but not Jesus. In that moment, Peter understood unconditional love. He knew what it was to be loved when he didn’t deserve it, did nothing to earn it. The majority of the world that we live in has no idea what unconditional love is. What that is like. Even between a husband and a wife or a parent and a child. The majority of the world is out for number one.
My affection for you and your standing with me is based on how you treat the one that I love the most, me. That is the world’s economy. Unconditional love says, I’m never going to leave you or forsake you. Stop what your doing, that’s harmful, but I still love you, I’m for you, I’ll never give up on you. I’ll always, always, be here for you. Peter, you denied that you even knew who I was, I love you.
That’s my question for you this morning, whether you’ve joined us in person today or you’re watching on line, do you know what unconditional love is? Not like mindedness, not affection, it’s nothing like lust. Unconditional love wants the very best for you, regardless of your performance or failure, or even if at first you didn’t believe. There’s only one response to unconditional love that makes any sense, and that’s repentance. That’s a church word I know, but it just means change your mind, a better one might be that to repent is to agree with God. I used to not agree with God, and now I do.
I know I’m a sinner and I need to be forgiven, I agree with God on that. So I’m going to trust in Jesus, who want’s to give me my first ever taste of unconditional love. The only one I can really count on to do what He said He was going to do. If keep reading Peter’s story, unconditional love changed everything for him. He wasn’t perfect, he still messed up some, but unconditional love changed him and it can change you. No matter what you’ve done. Two more verses, then were going to pray, sing a song, and you can go. SO if you want to continue to be like the Apostles and resist, you can resist. But if you want to experience a love greater than anything you’ve ever dreamed of these verses tell us why Jesus came. John 3:16-17
John 3:16–17 NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
If you’ve never accepted the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, I’m going to pray a prayer, and you can follow that prayer, or pray something like it in your own words quietly at your seat or in your head, He’ll hear you and answer you. Join me in prayer.
Jesus I know that I’m a sinner and I’m asking you to forgive me, to make me clean. Show me what unconditional love is and use it to change my life. I need you to save me and to be the Lord of my life, thank you for doing what you said you were going to do, so that I can be set free from sin and go to Heaven. In Jesus name, amen.
Since this is the greatest day of celebration, I’ve asked Susan to lead us in one more song of worship and I’m asking you to sing like you believe what you say you believe. If you need prayer this morning, Pastors, elders and their wives will be up front here and they will be happy to pray with you. Grace and Peace.
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