Summary: The greatest wonder of all is the empty tomb, and is evidenced by Christ’s suit of clothes lying there undisturbed.
AN EASTER SUIT W/O A WRINKLE
You know, today is a day when we wear our finest. Churches today all over our land are filled with people wearing floral dresses,new suits, Easter hats, gloves, patent leather shoes and on and on we could go. And by the way men, when it comes to dress and dress-ing up, women have got us beat. They are far more complex than we are. How do I know
Well, take Sandie for example. In her closet she has a clothes section, a shoe section with all shoes pointed north,and a purse section. And in that purse section she has brown, black, blue, multicolored, spring, winter, casual and Easter purses. My closet, on the other hand, has no such sections. I have wallet--one wallet. You know, I’ve never heard a guy say,"I can’t wait to take out my spring wallet." or "I found a perfect new pair of shoes to match my spring wallet."... Guys let’s face it, we’re not as complex,but nevertheless we wear our finest on Easter Sunday. (A tradition by the way that dates back to the early church. One tradition was that wearing new clothes was a sign of you being born again.)
But this morning I want to tell you about an Easter Suit without a wrinkle-v.12.(explain
And he left "wondering". That word grabbed me this week. He was amazed, marveled.
They now believe not because Jesus had told them but because they see it with their own eyes. "Wondered" You know we talk about the 7 wonders of the world-like the great pyramids, or the temple of Artemis @ Ephesus. And then we’ll see something great and add the words "this is the 8th wonder of the world." Well my friends, I’m here to tell you that the Resurrection is the greatest wonder of all time!!! Not just number one on a list of 7 or 8. It is number 1 of all time.
And this great wonder, the resurrection, is marked by 2 wonders that I want us to see.
1. THE WONDERFUL TOMB vss.2-3
(Explain the tomb’s construction)....APPL-That tomb is darkness. It is death. That tomb is us. We are spiritually dead. We are in darkness. A good example is Lazerus. He was dead in the tomb for 4 days. That stone seperated Lazerus from Jesus. The stone is sin. Sin seperates us from God. No hope. It is dark; it is death. But suddenly new hope breaks in and on to the scene. (read John 1:1,4-5,14). Jesus went into that tomb for us once and for all; so that we could live again. And the stone, that one particular wonderful stone, was rolled away--not so Jesus could get out, but that we may look into that wonderful tomb and see that we have victory over death thru Jesus Christ! AMEN,AMEN!!!!
2. THE WONDERFUL MESSAGE vss.4-8
vs.4-same word vs.12=wondered. Note the parts of this wonderful message:
A. "Why seek ye the living among the dead" There is a tone of rebuke in the angels question. These women had brought spices and were not expecting to find Jesus risen from the dead. Their only plan was to finish anointing the body for burial.
ILLUS: In a very humorous and accidental way(and let me stress ACCIDENTAL) our federal government believes in the resurrection. In Greenville,SC the Department of Social Services sent this interesting letter: " :Your food stamps will be stopped, effective immediately, because we have received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." Your tax dollars at work.
Listen, a corspe can’t change his or her circumstances. Only One has ever done that, the Lord Jesus Christ. He arose from the dead and is alive. These women had come to honor a dead Saviour. How do you honor a dead Saviour? He is no Saviour if He is dead.
APPL: Yet how often do we look for God among the dead? You study the Bible as a mere historical document and go to church as if it is a memorial service. BUT JESUS is not among the dead. HE LIVES!!! He reigns in our hearts and He is the head of His church. This brings us to the next part of the message;
B. vs.6 "He is not here, but risen." He had been there. The women had seen Him put there-Lk.23:50-56. (tomb used just for the weekend). He literally died. Not fainted. No swoon theory. Do you know that there are actually liberal preachers preaching this.
ILLUS: one lady wrote in to a question and answer forum. "Dear Sirs, Our preacher said on Easter, that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that the disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think? Sincerely, Bewildered.