Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Although the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), our searching the Scriptures does us no good if we do not seek an understanding of this Godly wisdom by delving into the deeper things revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

Christ has risen.

Matthew 28:1-17

Regardless of how you view the 28th chapter of Matthew, the point of the narrative found in it is a dead man came back to life and got out of his grave. When we consider the events that redefined everything the world knew about God, life, and death; we develop a sense of awe and even fear at the power of the God we have chosen to serve. Although the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), our searching the Scriptures does us no good if we do not seek an understanding of this Godly wisdom by delving into the deeper things revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. The book of Proverbs 19:8 (NIV) states, ‘He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.’

As we delve into these deeper spiritual truths, let us examine some key components to gather an understanding of what took place that morning at the tomb.

1. Looking for Jesus in the wrong place – “He is not here: for he has risen, as he said.”

a. It happened "just as he said". Jesus had foretold His resurrection many times before (see Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19).

b. Although, it was a hard prophesy to believe, it was proven by the empty tomb. "Come, see the place where the Lord lay".

c. Furthermore, the prophesy was verified when the disciples met the risen Christ in person: "...he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there."

2. Given an assignment to tell the good news of the Resurrection

a. "And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead"

b. The combination of "go" and "tell," of course, foreshadows the upcoming Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20),

c. Making these women the first "missionaries"

3. Response to the Resurrection

a. "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted" Doubt seems like an odd response to introduce at this moment because the disciples were presented with irrefutable evidence that Jesus had risen.

b. Nevertheless, even in the face of such evidence, it was hard for them to believe. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

c. However, the events and their implications can be hard to understand. It takes time for people to reconsider everything they previously believed about God, life, and death. It is not doubt but rejection of Jesus that gets in the way of faith.

Jesus Appears to Thomas to connect it to reality

John 20: 24 – 31

‘Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’

1. Thomas’ statement displayed his unbelief.

a. "Unless I shall see I will not believe.” It leaves us wondering why he expects to see although the others told him they had seen Jesus.

b. However, we know how Jesus viewed this state of mind from Mark 16:14, "Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.”

2. Jesus came to prove to Thomas that He indeed had risen from the dead.

a. Thomas did not do what Jesus invited him to do. Instead, the reality of Jesus, the Christ presence overpowered him.

b. Although some of the disciples had their doubts about what this meant, that did not stop them from responding in worship to Jesus. This is because Jesus does not require us to understand everything but simply to respond to Him.

c. Nevertheless, the relevance of the words of John 20:29 is important to each of us as modern day children of God.

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