Summary: Easter / Resurrection Sunday (B) - Jesus’ empty tomb is life changing. See how people come to the empty tomb. See how the people leave the empty tomb.

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March 23, 2008 –


John 20:1-8

INTRO: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! This simple statement of fact is the bold confession of our Christian faith. Jesus’ empty tomb stands in contrast to the graves of everyone else. Kings and leaders throughout history have been laid to rest in their tombs. There they are to this very day, or at least what is left of them. The pyramids stand as a testimony to the mortality of those who once considered themselves to be gods. There was no escape for those mortals. They returned to the dust from which they were made. Today, every Sunday, yes, even every day we celebrate the fact that the tomb of Jesus is empty. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"(1 PETER 1:3). Jesus’ resurrection is our living hope.


I. See how peo-ple come to Jesus’ empty tomb,

II. See how the people leave Jesus’ empty tomb


A. The first anxious person to visit the tomb is Mary Magdalene, verse 1a. She comes very, very early.

1. Mary comes to finish the preparation of Jesus’ body to rest in the tomb. The tomb is empty.

2. Verse 2. Mary brings the disturbing news to the disciples. She asks, where? Jesus is gone.

3. Mary came to the tomb in grief. Her grief is intensified because of the missing body of Jesus.

B. The disciples are alarmed that the tomb would be empty. They wonder and are moved to action.

1. Verses 3, 4 Peter and John run to the tomb. John arrives first. He is younger than Peter.

2. John looks into the tomb but does not enter, verse 5. John is skeptical and doubtful.

3. John is questioning all these things that make no sense at all. John wonders, what?

C. Verse 6a. Peter arrives and enters the tomb without any hesitation. Peter acts first, thinks later.

1. Peter comes with overwhelming guilt. Peter denied the Savior three (3) times before his death.

2. Peter’s guilt brings him to Jesus’ tomb. The tomb is empty. Peter’s question is why?

3. Peter wonders why he did not listen to Jesus. Peter wonders why he betrayed Jesus. Guilt.

D. We dare not point to Peter and think, “I am glad I am not like him”. But, like Peter, our guilt can consume us in the same manner. We are no better than Peter or any other sinner. Our sins of thought, word, and deed are far too numerous to count or even imagine. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags…” . We say one thing and do another. We might also run to Jesus’ tomb wondering why he died. He died because of our disobedience. "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good "(TITUS 1:16). Our sins killed Jesus.

E. Like John we may be skeptical. “How can God truly know what I need?” “Where is God when I really need him?” The devil loves to plant seeds of doubt in the minds and hearts of believers. We need to face the facts. You and I and every believer spend more time in this world than in God’s word. Our world has become more and more wicked. Our society is turning away from God. What happens to us in this world? "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God"(2 CORINTHIANS 4:4). Yes, Christ is more than the Son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus is more than a carpenter. Jesus is the very Son of God!

F. People come to the empty tomb of Jesus expecting to find mortal remains. The government sealed the tomb and posted the guard. Man could not and cannot stop God’s plans and power. To this day the tomb of Christ is powerfully empty. This is the greatest power to be able to bring someone back to life. Man is not able to perform this miracle. Only the creating power of the Lord God Almighty can restore life. "…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead"(EPHESIANS 1:19, 20a). Such is the powerful testimony of the empty tomb of Jesus. Jesus lives. Jesus lives in us. The power of God that raised his Son from the dead is alive and well and working in us. All of this by faith through grace.

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