Summary: The third message in the series.

His Return

Never Alone Again

Back To Christmas (3)

IT- was dark. IT – was early. IT – was Sunday morning... THEY - got up and put on their garments grabbed their spices and headed out on the dirt road that lead out of the city. AS - the sun began to rise over the Jordan River, the narrow path on which they walked was lined with many dark shadows... BUT - no shadow or darkness could compare with the darkness that hovered over and was consuming their soul.

THE - thoughts and sights of the last week ripped through their minds like violent tornados… THEY - had been there when Jesus rode in on the colt before thousands shouting his praises, what an incredible moment that was. BUT - unfortunately BOTH their minds and the events of last week didn’t stop there. TRY - as they might they couldn’t stopped those other thoughts, they could not keep those terrible scenes from playing out again and again in their minds.

THEY - saw Jesus tied to a post a Roman scourge filled with (broken pieces of pottery, glass and bones) ripping across His back. AND AS - they recalled the purple robe, the beatings, the cruel mocking, the torn flesh and the crown of thorns, the tears began to flow like a river once again.

THEY - had seen it all -- they had seen Jesus, their teacher, their friend, their Lord brutalized. THEY - had witnessed everything that Jesus went through... AND - these 2 women, these two Mary’s (Mary of Magdalena and Mary the mother of James) were there on that hill called the Skull... THEY SAW – Jesus’ body peireced nailed to a blood stained cross… THEY SAW - His body struggle and wince with pain with every breathe that he took... THEY HEARD - Jesus shout out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me…” AND THEY WATCHED - his head fall as He cried out, “It is Finished…”

YES THEY - were there when Jesus died… AND - when He died they died too.. O’ they were still alive physically but their hopes, their joy and their future died on that dark Friday nearly 2,000 years ago…

SO - what are they doing up so early on this Sunday morning? Why aren’t they lying in bed wallowing in their misery... What was it that drove them from their beds before dawn, and put them on this dark up hill climb.

UNDERSTAND - the thing that drove these 2 Mary’s, was their love for and devotion to Jesus. I MEAN - someone had to prepare the body for burial and no one else had volunteered; John didn’t, James didn’t and Peter was nowhere to be found… SO - it was up to them, 2 faithful followers, 2 women who had never left the side of Jesus, 2 Mary’s who were with Him until the end.

NOW – the task they were going to perform was not a pleasant one to say the least. THINK – about it… THEY - would be the ones, who would wipe the blood from the face, from the legs, from the sides, from the feet, from the hands and from the fingers of Jesus… THEY - would be the ones, to clean the blood from His body... THEY - would be the ones, to remove the blood that had matted in his beard and hair… THEY - would be the last ones, to touch his face and close His eyes.

AND - as they were nearing the tomb, suddenly a problem, something they hadn’t thought of until now entered their minds… THEY - turned to each other… AND - we’ll pick up our reading at Mark 16:3

"Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" (UNDERSTAND – those stones were huge, massive… AND – there was no way that these 2 ladies would be able to even budge it… YET STILL – (despite what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle… they continued up the path that led to their Lord…) 4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6"Don’t be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. (QUESTION – do you think they went inside or just looked from a distance? What would you have done?)

7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ’He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ "

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