The Resurrection of Jesus…So What?
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how much confusion there is when it comes to Easter?
One year, the Sunday before Easter, a Sunday School teacher asked her class, ''Does anybody know what today is?'' A little girl raised her hand and said, ‘'Yes, today is Palm Sunday.'' The teacher said, ''That's good. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?’'
The same little girl raised her hand and said, ''Yes, next Sunday is Easter Sunday.'' Once again the teacher said, ''That's great. Now, does anyone know why we celebrate Easter?'' The same little girl responded and said, ''Yes, we celebrate Easter because Jesus rose from the grave.’'
Before the teacher could congratulate her, the little girl continued by saying, ''But if He sees His shadow, He has to go back in for seven weeks.’'
Now let’s take a look at God’s Word and see if we can clear up some of the confusion concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what difference His resurrection makes for us today.
When you come to the 28th chapter of Matthew, Jesus has been crucified, buried in a tomb and Pilate has placed guards at the entrance of His tomb because he thought the disciples might come at night to steal the body of Jesus and claim that He had risen from the dead. Sadly, this had become the attitude of many non-believers. They just don’t believe in the possibility of a literal resurrection, and this is the result of Satan’s deception.
Church, Satan has been trying to discredit the resurrection since day one because he knows that the resurrection of Jesus guarantees his defeat and our deliverance. And don't think for one second that he's slowing down the attack. While we're in here celebrating the resurrection of Jesus there’s probably an annual meeting of Atheists taking place somewhere.
One day a 2nd grade teacher told her class that she was an atheist. Well, they didn't know what an atheist was so it wasn’t all that strange when she asked them if there were any other atheists to raise their hand that they all did, except one girl named Lucy. The teacher asked her why she decided to be different? She said, ''Because I'm not an atheist, I’m a Christian.''
Well, that didn't please the teacher very much. So she asked Lucy why she was a Christian.
She said, ''Well, my mom is a Christian and my dad is a Christian so I'm a Christian.’'
The teacher was really mad now and said, ''That's not a reason. What if your mother was a
moron and your father was a moron. What would you be then?'' With a pause and a smile
she said, ''I guess I would be an atheist.’'
The resurrection of Jesus…So what? What difference did it make then; what difference does it make now? Well, I hope to answer those questions this morning through the reading of our text.
So what makes the resurrection of Jesus so important for us today? Well, first of all, the resurrected Jesus is…
1. The Remover of Life's Fears.
There were two kinds of people at the tomb of Jesus that first Easter Sunday morning, the same two kinds of people that we see everyday: believers and non-believers, those that follow Christ and those that don’t follow Christ, the Christ accepters and the Christ rejecters.
Read vv. 4-5
Did you notice the angel only told the women not be afraid. He wasn’t talking to the guards, only the Christ accepters. In other words, ’’don't be afraid like the unbelievers…the Christ rejecters!” You see, those guards had every reason to be afraid…and so do those who have no relationship with Jesus. But once you come to know the resurrected Jesus, you no longer have to fear. Because the resurrected Jesus is the ultimate fear remover!
God has not given us a spirit of fear. 2 Tim. 1:7
Do you know what fear is? Fear is telling God that you don't trust Him to get you through the situation you're in. But God has something better in store for the Christian, it’s called trust. In fact, trust is the opposite of fear. It’s impossible to trust God and remain fearful at the same time because when trust moves in, fear moves out. When your life is being guided by the resurrected Jesus, there’s no room for fear. He removes today's fears; He removes tomorrow's fears; He even removes the fear of death.
Not only is He The Remover of Life's Fears, but the resurrected Jesus is…
2. A Keeper of His Word.
Let me bring your attention to three little words in verse 6, ''as He said.'' Say those words with
me, ''as He said.'' Now let's put those three words in their context:
Read v. 6
Jesus told them on more than one occasion that He would rise from the grave on the third day.
Matthew 16.21, ''From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to
Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be
killed, and be raised the third day.''
Matthew 17.22-23, ''Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of
Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day
He will be raised up.' And they were exceedingly sorrowful.''
Matthew 20.18-19, ''Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be
betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and
deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will
When Jesus came out of that tomb alive, everything He had said was verified and validated. The resurrected Jesus is a keeper of His word! Now let’s look again at verse 2…
Read v. 2
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the stone was rolled back to let Jesus out. I think it was rolled back to let them in so that they could see exactly what Jesus said that they would find: an empty tomb! And to prove that He was a keeper of His word … He made ten guest appearances:
That first Easter Sunday morning He appeared to Mary Magdalene, He appeared to other
women and to Peter. Sunday afternoon He appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus. Sunday evening He appeared to two disciples from Emmaus and to ten apostles in the Upper Room.
The following Sunday He appeared to the eleven apostles. And the following thirty-two days
He appeared to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee, then to 500 at a mountain in Galilee,
then to His half-brother James and then at Jerusalem. And then from the Mt. of Olives He
ascended into heaven while the disciples watched.
''as He said“…I want you to understand that the resurrected Jesus is a keeper of His word! He says what He means and He means what He says. And if you don't believe me just take a look inside His tomb!
John tells us in his account in John 20.5-7, ''And he, (John) stopping down and looking in,
saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him,
and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that
had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by
Jesus left behind His grave clothes as evidence that He was alive, they lay there like an empty cocoon. There was no sign of struggle, even the napkin which had been wrapped around His face was folded neatly in a place by itself.
Listen to those three words again, “as He said”. He promised rise again on the third day and His word was never broken. You can write it down, the resurrected Jesus is a keeper of His word.
When He said, ''I will rise again'', He did!
When He said, ''It is finished'', it was!
When He said, ''whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die'' … they won't!
When He said, ''I will come again'', He will!
“as He said” means ''it is done.” So far, we’ve seen that the resurrected Jesus is The Remover of Life's Fears and A Keeper of His Word. Thirdly, He…
3. Is Worthy of our Worship.
Read v. 7-8
Two words describe how Mary Magdalene and the other Mary responded to God's word: Obedient and Quickly. Now I don’t want you to miss this! God sent His word to them…they were obedient to that word, and guess who showed up? The resurrected Jesus! Look at verse 9.
“And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them…”
As they began to take steps of obedience, Jesus showed up. That’s because Jesus always responds to obedience. If you want God to show up in your life, then live in obedience to His Word!
Jesus said in John 14.15, ''If you love me, keep my commandments.’'
Verse 9 goes on to say, ''So they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him.''
Jesus is worthy of our worship! When God created us, He installed an instinct to worship. That means that everyone will worship something or somebody. And know this: you will become like the object of your worship.
That's why God said in Exodus 20.4-5, ''You shall not make for yourself any carved image …
you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.'' God also said not to build anything to help you
worship Him because anything you build won't measure up to Him. And once you build
something, it won't be long before you bow before what you build.
You mold an idol and before long, the idol will mold you and here's why: because we become
like that which we worship. You worship the things of this world and you will become worldly. You worship God and you will become godly.
The resurrected Jesus is The Remover of Life's Fears; A Keeper of His Word; Worthy of Our Worship. And finally, He is the…
4. Focus of our Witness.
The angel said in verse 7 ''to go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead.’'
Verse 8, ''… ran to bring His disciples word.''
They weren't casual in their witness, they were passionate. We need that same kind of urgency in our witnessing today.
Jesus said in vv. 19-20, ''Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of
Make no mistake about it: the focus of our witness is the resurrected Jesus! Sharing the good news that Jesus died so that we might live. Telling that Jesus rose that we might know
deliverance and salvation. Telling that Jesus is coming again for His church. The resurrected
Jesus IS OUR MESSAGE. And what a joy it is to share this message with those that do not know Him as their Lord and Savior.
The resurrected Jesus is …
1. The Remover of Life's Fear
2. A Keeper of His Word.
3. Worthy of our Worship.
4. The Focus of our Witness.