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Summary: Often we do not recognize when God is at work in our lives. Even those that walked with Jesus had difficulty recognizing the Risen Lord (Ideas for this sermon taken from an article entitled A Manifold Resurrection by John Witte and a Christianity Today

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Introduction

As I was reading the accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ … most started with …

Mk 15:22 Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

(Picture- skull/cross bones, Tina Manthorpe)

There is a principle that unfolds out of scripture-

life comes out of death

In a spiritual sense-

death comes first, then life

crucifixion precedes resurrection

despair is followed by hope

darkness is invaded by light (Gen 1:2-3)

Consider this word spoken by Jesus looking towards His crucifixion and resurrection …

Jn 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. NLT

It was easy for the disciples to understand- Jesus died.

They witnessed it on a hill side outside of Jerusalem.

They were stunned because they expected Him to …

save them from- oppressive Roman rule

establish His Kingdom in Jerusalem,

but they watched Him die the horrible death of Roman crucifixion- they knew He was dead.

They may have been there when He breathed is last-

Mtt 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. NASU

Jesus was dead!

They may also have watched as Joseph of Arimathea took His body down from the cross.

Mk 15:46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. NASU

There hopes were one by one smashed to the ground.

Defeat, despair, death had prevailed, there was nothing left to do now but go home.

Jesus had died/buried for all to see in clear view.

Birth of Jesus

Back up 33 year before when Jesus was born in Bethlehem- it also did not happen in secret.

God orchestrated the incarnation of Christ-

God taking on the form of a man

God taking off the robes of heaven and putting on the robes of mortality and human life.

His birth …

was foretold by the prophets many years before,

God commissioned an angel to announce His birth to a virgin,

He set a star in the heavens to summons the wise men,

He sent a company of singing angels to pronounce His birth to the shepherds,

He revealed to Simon/Anna- Jesus is the Christ.

Jesus was …

born amidst great activity and hope,

then He died publicly for all to see, and

now it appeared to be over- hopes dashed to the ground.

But that was not to be the end of this man Jesus.

He would live again!

However, His resurrection was not as well announced as His birth or as public as His death.

It all happened in the early morning hours.

An angel like a flash of light rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb.

There was an earthquake, but it all happened while everyone slept.

No angels, no stars, no wise men, few truly understood what had taken place.

In fact, those that encountered Jesus after His resurrection had a difficult time recognizing Him.

Not unlike us today, who struggle many times to see the risen Lord at work in our lives/circumstances.


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