Summary: This is a sermon that deals with what should happen when we really believe that our Lord is risin.

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“Do you believe that He Lives?” 4/3/04

John 20:1-18

Recently I received a DVD of the Jesus movie free in the mail. Now as I read the outside of the case I was excited to watch the DVD and when I got home I went to do so. But to my surprise when I opened the case the only thing to be found was a slip of paper with big letters, EMPTY.

This reminded me of how the different people who went to that tomb must have felt when they went to the tomb that early morning to find it empty. This morning I want to look at this and see how He got up for each and everyone of us.

Now we know the movie “The Passion” has created quiet a stir with all the pain and suffering that Christ endured. But if the story ended there then all of His suffering would have been in vain. We might as well just worship some graven image. A dead god can not do anyone any good. Not only did He have to die, but He also had to rise. It does you no good to believe one part without believing the latter. I serve a risen God. One who is able to do all, because He is not dead, but alive!

This morning I want to us to look at this and see when you believe this.

They did not believe what He said

We read in the Gospels that it was three women who went out to the tomb early that morning, Mary the mother of James, Salome, and Mary, the last woman we find at the cross and the first of the woman to arrive at the tomb.

Now Jesus had told His disciples that on the third day He would rise.

Luke 9:22 saying, The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priest and scribes, and killed, and be raised the third day.

Now I would think that if they had believed that, there would have been a crowd of people there that morning. Many others had heard He had said that.

Matthew 27:62-63 On the next day, which followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, After three days I will rise again.

The Pharisees remembered it. And Pilate commanded that a guard be placed at the tomb to make sure that no one would have taken away His body. The Old Testament had prophesied it. So I would think that there would have been more than three women there that morning at the tomb. But evidently they did not believe what He said.

We read in Mark how hard it was for them to believe what He had said.

Mark 16:10-14 She went and told them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After that he, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Latter He appeared to the eleven as they sat at table, and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. It is easy for us to sit around and condemn and say, “How could they do that”. But how many times in our own life to we not believe either. Now you might be thinking, I believe that He arose from the dead. But how different would we live our lives if we remembered what He had said? He gave us His words in the Bible and yet many times we live our lives as though we do not believe what He said either. And when we don’t believe, just as Jesus rebuked their unbelief, He rebukes ours as well.

We need to believe ALL His words, and live our lives accordingly.

When they believed they wanted to be close to Him

We read in our text that when Jesus revealed Himself to Mary that she wanted to be close to Him (verse 17). That is the nature response. The more we believe in Him and the more our lives reflect that we believe His words the closer we will be to Him.

James 4:8a Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

And as you believe you begin to trust. And when you begin to trust, you begin to obey. And by obeying God you develop this closeness that fills all the voids.

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