Summary: You can’t defeat Jesus!
Text: Matthew 28:1-15
Truth: You can’t defeat Jesus!
Aim: I want them to trust and obey Jesus.
Life ?: Why can’t Jesus be defeated?
Jerry Seigle and Joe Shuster were barely out of high school in the down and dirty days of the Great Depression when they came up with their brainchild. During these desperate days when big governments and big business and big problems made the little man feel even less powerless, these two Jewish boys came up with a comic book hero. He was stooped-shouldered and wore round-rimmed glasses, but when he was backed into a corner, he would rip open his shirt and take charge. The first dime novel that bears the name of Superman has him throw a wife-beater against a wall, grab a spy by the leg—leaping upwards with the terrified man in tow—and pitch a wailing warmonger over a stand of trees.
As other super heroes came on the scene his powers grew to offset diminishing sales. He could see across the universe, hear a cough on the other side of the earth and sunbath in the heart of the sun. In the effort to sustain interest in Superman, writers increased and decreased his powers all in the effort of trying to make him more human. In 1992 in the long series “The Death of Superman”, he dies from exhaustion and loss of blood. He is laid in a tomb. And then—silence, as DC Comics ceased publishing its flagship title. Was it the end?
Then in the spring of 1993 he was sighted. How did he beat death? The writers spun a tale of scientific-gobbledygook. The fans could’ve cared less. Superman, like Mr. Spock of Star Trek and Jesus Himself—had risen. That’s all that mattered.
Today one of the most popular TV programs is Smallville. It’s the story of Superman as a teenager. There is talk of a new Superman movie to be made.
Whether it is Lex Luther and kryptonite or other super hero competitors or even death, Superman appears to be invincible. But in Superman’s own words to a young man whose life he had rescued, “I’m not God.” As he jets into the air, he reminds the young man he is Superman.
I’m here to tell you that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, is not a fictional character. He literally lived. No reputable historian disputes this assertion. His death on the cross and his rising from the grave is not a piece of fiction. The evidence is convincing even to skeptics. Christians have placed their faith in the invincible Jesus Christ. Jesus can’t be defeated!
The O.T. ends with the hope of the coming Messiah to the Jews. Matthew’s gospel is first in the arrangement of the N.T. because it was written to a Jewish audience. He writes to convince the Jews that Jesus is that promised Messiah. Matthew closes his gospel with the shocking report that the Jews rejected their King and Messiah. They crucified and killed Him! The Jews may have rejected their King, but God vindicates Him and establishes Him as the ruling regent of the universe. The women, the angels, the soldiers and indirectly the religious leaders all witness that Jesus is invincible. Even death cannot hold Him down.
Notice three instances that reveal Jesus can’t be defeated. These things might stop other powerful people or forces, but they don’t stop Jesus. He actually uses them to carry out His purposes.
I. JESUS USES A REMNANT (MATT. 28:1-10)
The key interest of Matthew in this last chapter is the resurrected Christ’s concern with the disciple’s future ministry in extending the kingdom of Christ. The message the women are given is to tell the disciples they have an appointment and assignment from Christ.
Another key theme in Matthew is authority, which fits with Jesus being King. This book closes with His disciples receiving a commission from the King to go make other followers of Jesus, and they are to do it in the authority of Jesus.
Jesus can use anyone under His authority to accomplish His purposes.
One of the strong evidences that the story of the resurrection is factual and not fictional is that the first to be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ are women. If someone were to concoct a story to attempt to deceive others, we presume that they would not knowingly tell the story in a way that would hurt the credibility of the story. For example, when Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the U.S., he fabricated his educational attainments and plagiarized a speech and life experiences from a British politician. He had to withdraw from the 1988 Presidential campaign because his lie destroyed his credibility.
In all the gospels the women are listed as the primary witnesses. In that day, the Jewish and Roman cultures held women in low esteem and questioned their testimony. It’d be very tempting for the gospel writers to have left this part of the story out.