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Summary: There are many people who try to deny that Jesus did indeed die on the cross. We hear of people all the time who try to dispute the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have heard of the “swoon theory,” the “Passover plot,” and the Christian Science (neither

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EASTER GRAVEYARD DEAD

TEXT: John 19:16-30

INTRODUCTION: There is a seal of utter finality in the language of children. I remember hearing the term a “bazillion” the ultimate in numbers. There was none greater.

Another term used was “graveyard dead.” It left no room for argument. Graveyard dead was deader than dead. It was even deader than stone dead.

No intelligent child dared dispute the absolute end of an argument by the use of this term nor would he fail to understand its meaning.

We adults also grasp something of its depth, though we may never have heard the term used before. There was no doubt about it; Jesus Christ was “graveyard dead.”

We hear of people all the time who try to dispute the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have heard of the “swoon theory,” the “Passover plot,” and the Christian Science (neither Christian nor scientific) heresies saying that Jesus applied the techniques of their cult and restored Himself to physical health.

These thoughts and ideas are ridiculous, of course, but there are gullible people still around who are deceived by such spiritual stupidity. They are deceived because they don’t know the true story.

Acts 1:3 gives us a summary to show many infallible proofs were given to show that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead in true resurrection life.

3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

To be resurrected He must first be dead. If His death is not an established fact, then there is doubt about the resurrection. There are many infallible proofs of His death in the Gospel record and in the lives of those who participated.

Death by itself though, is not enough. There must also be proof of resurrection in its full meaning; and the proof is abundant.

Lazarus was brought back from the dead, but he was not resurrected. Lazarus was restored to his natural life and died again. So were the widow of Nain’s son and Jairus’ daughter.

But resurrection is so different. It means the end of death forever. The claim of sin upon the natural body doesn’t hold the resurrection body. It is eternal because its Giver is eternal.

Rev. 1:18 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

John 14:19 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. Because He lives, we shall live also.

In verifying the fact of Jesus’ death, we need to look into the records of those whom God placed at the cross and burial sight.

Both friends and enemies of Jesus Christ give us undeniable proof that He was no doubt graveyard dead.

I. THE ROMAN SOLDIERS

These were the ones who carried out the orders to crucify Christ. These were soldiers proven in battle. Not only did they know death, they knew as well that the penalty of an error in the matter of crucifixion would cost them their own lives.

Rome was a harsh unyielding taskmaster and no soldier of that realm dared to defy or to fail in such an assigned task.

The Philippian jailer was ready to take his own life because he thought that Paul and the other prisoners had escaped.

Acts 16:27 27And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

He knew that if the prisoners had escaped he would be punished with the pain of death in a cruel way, possibly crucifixion. He was willing to choose suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Roman government.

Death was certainly not unfamiliar to these seasoned soldiers. They saw it and inflicted it themselves frequently. They certainly were not about to be in error here.

When these soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus and the two thieves crucified with Him, they broke the legs of thieves but not of Jesus: 32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: John 19:32-33

The reason they broke the legs was that it made breathing impossible because in order to keep breathing on a cross they had to keep pushing themselves up and down to keep air flowing. Thus they would suffocate and die quickly.

But they didn’t need to break Jesus’ legs as they saw He was already dead. That, in and of itself, would be proof enough if there were no other proofs that Jesus was really graveyard dead – but there is more.

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