Summary: The first words of the Risen Lord bring comfort and challenge.
Easter! Christ is risen from the dead! In consequence, because He lives, we also live! Halleluiah.
What a glorious hope the believer has. Christ is risen – and because of that, we live!
There are two aspects of this wonderful life that is now ours, and both are affected by the glorious truth of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
a) There is the life that is to come – we shall be raised incorruptible.
We have the assurance of eternal life when we leave this mortal body.
b) There is the life that we now live – Christ in me the hope of glory.
We have the assurance of eternal life while still in this mortal body, for when Christ came into our lives at the ‘New Birth’ we began to live for eternity!
What a wonderful truth is this!
Let us review the account in John’s Gospel, and see there the Risen Christ and His concern for His followers, who were so confused!
I see that the Lord Jesus still has His great concern and compassion for those who where His followers. Immediately after He has risen He begins to show compassion and care for those who are in distress, bringing reassurance and comfort to them in their sorrow, and imparts strength for the task that lies ahead of them.
I want us to look at the
‘FIRST SEVEN WORDS OF THE RISEN SAVIOUR’,
as seen in John’s Gospel chapter 20
I. "WOMAN," HE SAID, "WHY ARE YOU CRYING? v 15
It is interesting to see that the first recorded words of the risen Saviour were to a woman in a garden! It reminds me of the first garden, and another question, "What is this you have done?" This was at the first sin by Adam and Eve, and now here in another garden the Lord speaks again, "Woman, why are you crying? He asks. In the first garden sin entered and death by sin. Here in the ‘Easter Garden’, sin has been conquered, and there are no need of tears for here is the Risen Christ, the Victor over death. He shows His concern for His people in their time of need. The day is coming when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Rev 21:4]
I wonder why Mary didn’t recognise the Lord Jesus? Was it the tears? On the other hand, was it that she wasn’t expecting to see the Risen Christ? Had she forgotten His words
“I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” [John 10:17 & 18 AV]
II. "MARY." V 16
Jesus called Mary by her name! Note the personal touch. He knew each of His disciples individually. I find that so encouraging, for He also knows me as an individual person! We do not get lost in the crowd with our Saviour! He knows you, and He loves you!
Jesus spoke personally to
a) Mary in her despair
b) Thomas in his doubting, and
c) Peter in his denial
Jesus used Mary’s name, and that was enough. She knew His voice, and despair was exchanged for joy.
He spoke to Thomas personally, even though he had doubted. He now knew Jesus had risen from the dead, and doubt gave way to faith.
What is especially good to note is that a little later, he speaks of Peter by name, the one who had denied Him, but Peter is included in the good news.
“Go, tell his disciples and Peter,” [Mark 16:7]
Peter had a private interview with the Lord, and denial was replaced by an acceptance of a special call to service.
III. GO INSTEAD TO MY BROTHERS AND TELL THEM,.. V 17
Mary had the wonderful message that Jesus had risen from the dead, and she was not to keep it to herself, but tell the other followers of the Lord the Good News. Perhaps we can learn an important matter just here. We have the good news that Jesus is alive, and we are not to keep it to ourselves.
a) Mary had a message for the disciples, and
b) The Disciples had a message for the world.
He told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. [Mark 16:15 & 16 NLT]
This instruction from the Risen Christ is relevant to us today. Are we willingly telling others of the good news?
IV. "PEACE BE WITH YOU!" V 19 – 21
This is a vital part of the message in our present time – the Message of Peace. If peace is going to be an effective part of our daily lives then it must start with the One who is the Prince of Peace, He paid the Price of Peace for us, securing it for us through His precious blood.