Summary: If Jesus is not here, where is He? If Jesus is not in you, where are you?
If Not Here, Where?
Today is Easter. It is a day that we celebrate not His death but His resurrection.
I don’t want to trivialize the trials Jesus went through, or the beating He endured and by no means the horrible death on a Roman cross, but Jesus was not the first one ever to go through such agony.
If you read the history of the Roman cross, you would discover that the Romans would line both sides of a road with their crosses as they crucified hundreds of criminals.
Jesus went through this ordeal without crying out or pleading for mercy. He went just as a Lamb to the slaughter. Just as the prophet Isaiah prophesied in chapter 53:7, He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Jesus’ only words of agony were when His Father could not look upon Him. Jesus felt abandoned and alone in His last moments. The sins of the world were on His soul.
Matthew recorded this in chapter 27:45-46 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
The Father could not bear to see the sins of the world on His Son.
Jesus cried out when His Father turned away from Him. The disciples and followers cried as Jesus was going through the trials, the beatings and the crucifixion.
That is the horrible, sad and devastating part of this Easter story. The good news, the good part of this story is what happened three days later. And it has only happened ONCE.
In your bulletin, you have some facts that the Sermon Central’s staff gathered.
ALL THE DIFFERENCE
All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical propositions. Of the four that are based on personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.
In 1900 B.C. Judaism’s Father Abraham died.
In 483 B.C. Buddhist writings say Buddha died “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.”
June 6, 632 A.D. Mohammed died.
In 33 A.D. Jesus died but came back to life appearing to 500 people over a period of 40 days.
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (I Corinthians, 15:14).
What do you think about these facts?
I believe that they confirm the reason for us to celebrate. Today is a day to celebrate, because our Jesus is alive. He has defeated death, hell and the grave.
I want to concentrate on verses 6 and 7 of our text this morning.
Mark 16:6-7 "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. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"
If He is not here, - - - where?
As the followers came to accept His death, they came to prepare His body for burial on the morning of the first day of the week; they find that He is not there. He was not where they thought His body would be.
If He is not here, then where is He? If He is not in your life, then where is He?
Is Jesus always where you expect Him to be?
Sometimes He has gone ahead of you, to prepare the way.
If He is not here, where is He? Jesus had told them where He would be and in their grief, they forgot or even doubted His words.
They were told where to find Him. How do we find Him? Follow the simple instructions. Just ask and obey.
I have a license plate in my office that says: “If all else fails, follow directions.”
They were told to go into Galilee and they would see Him there. If they did not go to Galilee, would they have seen Him?
Thomas was not there when Jesus first appeared to the disciples but Jesus did return to show Thomas his wounds and then question Thomas’ faith in what he heard, and not what he could see.
If you remember, Lazarus was the first person the disciples saw resurrected from the grave and Jesus did that. Now it is Jesus’ body they are dealing with and they can’t find it. Who was going to raise Him from the grave?
We know that dead people are dead and death is inevitable for all of us eventually, in one way or other.