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Summary: Easter Sermon using three of the Easter stories revolving around seeing Jesus and how by that, their lives were changed forever. Closes with the song "I’ve Just Seen Jesus" by Larnel Harris

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Title: “Have You Seen Jesus, Today?” 04/11/04

West Side

Text: John 20:1-20/

Luke 24:13-34 and 35-49 A.M. Service

Purpose: An Easter Sermon with the emphasis that Christ lives in us.

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Introduction

(Sandi Patti/ Larnel Harris: “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.” Sung either right before the message, or after the message as a closing)

Recap the Resurrection scene: Paint the picture of that Easter morning.

1. It was early Sunday morning, still dark outside (3:00 a.m.)

2. By all intents and purposes it was going to be just another day.

3. The sun was going to break over the Eastern sky like it does every morning.

4. The squirrels would begin their daily routine of rounding up today’s food.

5. The birds would herald to the world that a new day has begun.

6. And yet, this day would forever change the world.

Recap:

1. Jesus had been tried, and sentenced to die on a cross

2. There he offered up his body willingly, completing the task that God had sent him to do: To die for our sins.

3. They had taken Jesus’ body down, and placed it a borrowed tomb. Rolled a very large stone in front, sealing him in. Case closed the Romans thought.

4. Sin had thought that the last chapter had been written. And that he had won.

But this day would be so different in so many ways.

In John 20 we pick up the story as it unfolds, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that it had been opened. Uncertain to what this means, she runs and finds Peter and John.

The two of them come running. John, probably the younger of the two, gets to the tomb first, while Peter follows up behind. John waits, and as Peter arrives, he enters first, and then John. Both see the linen clothes lying there in the tomb. Upon seeing this they returned to their home.

But there is an interesting verse here.

Verse 8 says, “Then the other disciple (John) also went in, and he saw and believed…”

What is significant about that? It’s significant because it sets the stage to what will follow.

In English it is not so clear, but if we refer to the original language we see that what the writer was conveying about “he believed…” was that it was written in the aorist tense.. It was a decisive action, not a process.

He had not yet seen the Risen Christ, but the sight of those linen clothes, and the absence of the body, was sufficient to assure him that Jesus was not part of the dead, but that he had risen FROM the dead.

Today I want to take these few moments to talk to us about the question, “Have you seen Jesus, today?”

I realize that we will not see the physical side of Jesus today, but have you come to the point where you have experienced him personally? If you have, may you find today, an assurance of your faith. If you have not, may I encourage you to listen closely, as we see Jesus entering into three areas of life, and how each experienced Jesus.

This first one is a continuation of this present story line.

I. Jesus comes during personal moments of reflection to bring assurance.

Who was Mary Magdalene?

In Mark 16:9 it tells us that she is one in whom Jesus had driven out 7 demon spirits.

So no doubt she had experienced what life had been like without Jesus. And so now she comes seeking his body there in the tomb only to discover that he was not there.

What will be interesting in each of these stories, will be that there is a question, an identification of need.

In this story the question is asked twice. Once by the two angels, and once by the Lord. But it is the same question.

Verses 13, 15, “Why are you crying?”

What was her need?

Jesus had obviously forgiven her of her sin, we know that from the earlier Scripture from Mark.

I like how the Scripture paints the picture.

1. It was still dark, when Mary came to the tomb, and found that the stone had been rolled away.

2. In her sin, she too had come to Christ in darkness, and Christ while not yet having died nor risen, but in essence when he forgave her, rolled the stone of sin and shame away from her heart.

3. Yet, had she recognized and experienced that and understood what Jesus had done.

For John, he simply saw the absence of the body with the clothes still there, and that was good enough for him. He believed.

But for Mary, it was different. She had not come to that conclusion.

Point of Application: It would be good for us to remember that God comes to each of us in various ways according to our temperament and ability to receive, respond, and understand. It is part of the nature of the universal gospel message.

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