Summary: When the ladies came to the empty tomb, the angel said, "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified." This statement begs us to answer this question, "Who or what is it that you seek?"
Life’s Most Important Question
• To read about the resurrection of Jesus is – well – just plain exciting. Jesus’ heart stopped bleeding, His blood stopped flowing, His human brain stopped working, & He was buried for THREE DAYS before HE CAME BACK TO LIFE is nothing shy of AMAZING! It is so amazing that many, throughout the years, haven’t believed it & refuse to celebrate it. Our text is this story in living color.
• Let me give us the cliff notes: Jesus was betrayed by a member of his inner circle. Judas was not just a member, he was the treasurer. Handed over to his enemies, Jesus suffered much. Declared innocent by the only one with the authority to hand out the death sentence, Jesus was scourged, abused, and killed by crucifixion. Joseph and Nicodemus received permission to bury Jesus. His body was laid in a new tomb, the massive stone was rolled in place to cover the entrance, and the stone was sealed into place to make sure no one bothered it. They did, in fact, prepare His body for burial (but they were just men). So Mark 16 opens around daylight on Sunday morning with the ladies headed to the tomb to complete what they knew the men had started. What develops is a landscape altering event which impact you and me even today. Jesus was gone, He was & is alive.
• Against the backdrop of the resurrection story we discover a simple message which I would like to glean from the words of this text. After the ladies arrived at the tomb, the young man dressed in white on the right said these words, “You see Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.” My question for you today is “Who or what is it that you seek?” This question is answered not so much by our words, but by our lives. These ladies were heartsick about the death of Jesus. The watched as the tomb was closed. That was then, but now they are coming back to express their commitment.
1. They recognized the obstructions – the stone, the seal, & the soldiers.
2. They recognized the opportunity – To see their Lord one more time, To make sure He was honored in death more than He had been in life, To give Him their all
3. They recognized the outcome – It might be said, ‘The potential outcome’ because they couldn’t see into the future – THEY could have peace of mind, personal closure, and move forward.
• They came seeking Jesus. The rest of their lives were on hold because “Jesus was indeed the sweetest name they knew” and the Lord of their lives.
1. Look at their APPROACH – The got up early in the morning to seek Him, their goal was to see Jesus. In the face of opposition, they made their way to Him. What was that opposition? The aforementioned soldiers, seal of the government, and the stone. Even though they face insurmountable odds, they came. Even though they had NO IDEA that they would actually get to see Him, they came seeking Jesus. Let’s us pause and apply that thought to us. You and I can honestly answer the question about “Who is it we seek” or “What is the purpose or the main focus of our lives” when we look and see what it is that we do or seek to do that we cannot be deterred from. Some say, “I love my God, I love His church and this is what I seek.” Yet, when we look at our lives & schedules, the decisions we make about faithfulness to God, participation with God, and to His church do not line up with the words we speak. These women would let nothing stop them from coming to Jesus. How many times do we allow the least little thing stop us from serving the Lord, being faithful to His church and by extension to Him. It all comes down to your most important question in life, “Who is it that you seek and what is it that you are focused on?” Allow me to point out one other truth: When you seek Jesus – God will make a way for you to get there.
• I love the way verse 4 is phased; “Looking UP – they saw.” What did they see? They saw the stone was rolled, the seal was broken, the soldiers gone, and they had a clear opening to Jesus.
• Had they not come seeking & they not ‘looked up’ – they would have never witnessed the miracle. Yes, they would have heard about the resurrection, just like today people have ‘heard’ Jesus is alive, but it is one thing to hear about it and another thing to experience it. Today Jesus is alive, the stone is rolled away, and all the obstacles have been removed – you are invited to approach Him, just like the ladies did. Why not turn loose of the other things you seek & seek Jesus? He’ll give you forgiveness from your sin, He’ll give you freedom from your past, & He’ll give hope for the future! NOTE: it is interesting that Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit, & at the tomb He sent an angel.