Summary: Easter sermon on why Jesus told Mary not to cling on to Him.
“After He Rose”
a. Illustration: Noel and Jill seemed to have everything. They worked in ministry with youth in Germany. Noel gave up a promising basketball career to pursue full time ministry. After five years of marriage Jill was six months pregnant. She was very excited about being a new mom. They eagerly prepared for the baby’s arrival, as well as enjoying God’s continued work in Noel’s ministry. They, like many couples looked forward to raising their child together and serving God in ministry.
Then one day Noel was headed home from a youth prayer meeting. Noel, after a long week of ministry, was very tired. He knew he shouldn’t be driving but he wanted to be home with Jill.
Anxiously awaiting his return, the phone rang. In broken English she was able to make out, “Accident . .. hospital . . . husband.” She rushed to the hospital to find her husband unconscious and barely alive. The accident was severe, but emergency surgery saved his life. Soon after Noel was conscious and communicating by writing. He was eager to be back at the church so he could share all that God was doing in his life. A total miracle that God had spared his life from such a terrible accident. Jill considered how unimaginable it would be to go on without Noel. How could she continue in ministry and raise her soon to be born child? Thank God He survived.
The next day things turned for the worse. Noel began to have a sudden aneurysm. The doctors tried hard to save him but it was too late. Noel died quickly.
When Jill found out she was complete devastated. Her worst fears realized. He was gone. He only true love was gone, forever. Her baby’s father!! How could this happen? Why God? Why?
b. Illustration: Jesus was everything to us. We placed their lives in His hands. We were trusting him with everything. We had very high hopes. He was here!! The Messiah!! Can you believe it. Of all times and places it had to be in our time. Now after so many years of oppression and sorry at the hands of the Romans, He was here! Praise God. And man, did he do some many great things. Healed the sick. Fed the poor. He taught us so many amazing things. We really didn’t understand everything, but we were encouraged and convicted all the time. The best part was just hanging out with Him. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. When He looked into your eyes he seemed to be reading the very core of your being. At first that was very scary. Then in became a great comfort. I don’t think I’ve ever felt loved by someone so much. It was overwhelming.
Then it happened. They came while Jesus was praying that night in the garden. We were all so afraid. We took off. None of us were faithful to him. I feel so bad. What was happening? Why was this happening. None of knew.
It was humiliating the way they treated him. They mocked him and spat upon him. They beat him up and then put those thorns on his head. I thought I might jump out of my skin when I saw that. Yet the worst was to come.
On the cross he was in total agony. And then . .. . the moment I will never forget. He cried out, “My God, God! Why have you forsaken me?” Then he said, “It is finished.” At that point I knew. It was over. Everything we had believed in, hoped in was untrue.
c. After Jesus died on the cross the disciples were dismayed. Everything they had been told. Everything they believed in—hoped in seemed to be falling apart.
d. Can you imagine after all of this then hearing that the tomb was empty. Come on!! Add insult to injury. You mean someone had robbed the tomb. Haven’t they done enough harm already?
i. This is where the disciples were when they went to the tomb of Jesus. Peter and John ran to see the empty tomb. It says that John believed. They left the tomb to go home, but Mary Magdalene stayed.
Read Passage: John 20:10-18
II. “Don’t Cling to Me”
a. He Came to Her
i. Mary meets Jesus at the Tomb
1. Mary stays at the entrance of the tomb.
2. Our translation says “crying” but the Greek best translates as “uncontrollable sobbing.”
a. Mary was extremely distraught.
b. Jesus was the one that had saved her from seven demons. He was very precious to her.
3. Apparently Mary was hoping someone would come by that could tell her where Jesus’ body was taken to.
ii. Looking into the tomb she sees the angels. Again she appears to be very concerned about the whereabouts of Jesus’ body.