Summary: In our lesson today we learn that Jesus invites all people to come to him.


Every Sunday is a wonderful day to consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But Easter Sunday is a particularly wonderful day to consider Jesus’ resurrection.

Today, I would like to read Matthew 28:1-10:

1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10)


For the past several months I have been preaching through Genesis 37-50. In my reading I came across a sermon by Dr. James Montgomery Boice in which he explores the word “come.” It occurs 1,528 times in the English Standard Version of the Bible.

“Come” is a common word. It is not thought about often, but it is a powerful and wonderful word, particularly when spoken to sinful men and women by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Boice says that the wonders of this word “come” can be seen in the following story. Some time ago the Reverend E. V. Hill, a great preacher from Los Angeles, was in Philadelphia speaking to an annual gathering of black Baptist churches. He was speaking on the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Dr. Hill is dramatic on any occasion, but he was especially so on this occasion. Seated next to him on the platform was the leader of the Baptist Federation. When he got to the point of the story in which Adam and Eve were driven from Eden, Dr. Hill took off his long, black preaching robe and placed it on his distinguished colleague, using it to represent his colleague’s sin. Then he ordered him out of the church! For many long minutes Hill kept telling him to leave—as his friend got up from his seat, walked down the steps from the platform, turned and made his way down the center aisle to the main door of the church, and stepped outside.

Then Dr. Hill posted two “angels” (who were deacons) at the door and insisted that they do their job and not permit the leader of the federation of churches to return. There was a moment of silence after this outrageous demonstration.

But then Dr. Hill began to preach grace. He explained how sin separates us from the presence of a holy God, but how Jesus died on the cross to remove this sin. He explained the gospel invitation. Before Christ’s work on the cross, God’s word to us—like it was when he expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden—was “Go!” Because of our sin, God has driven us from his presence.

Now, however, his invitation is “Come!” At this point the preacher called to the “angel-deacons” who were still on duty in the back of the church and told them to throw the doors open. Then they were told to call the Baptist church leader to come back in, removing his black robe as they did so. At last the man was led back up the aisle to the platform, where he resumed his place at Dr. Hill’s side.

“Come.” It is such a simple word. We use it every day. But it is such a wonderful word, as when it was used in the context of the good news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Like Adam and Eve, we all, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way, all because of our sin against our Creator and Redeemer. We deserve to be driven from his presence. But God has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. He did so because of his love for his own. Now he reaches out to all of us with the gospel invitation, “Come!”

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