Summary: Looking at the tomb accurately will reveal the meaning of easter.
Text: Matthew 28: 1-15
Title: Look at the tomb.
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”(v1)
The phrase “to look at” that is found here in verse 1 has a very interesting translation.
It really means “to look at something accurately, in order to understand its meaning.”
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb accurately, in order to understand its meaning.”(v1)
I’m really excited today because what I believe this verse is telling us is this.
In order to understand the real meaning of Easter we just need to look at the tomb accurately!
1.Let’s pray and ask God to help us to look at the tomb accurately
Then I’m going look at the tomb correctly by reading Matthew 28: verses 2-15 slowly.
The only way I can really know that we all just looked at the tomb accurately is by first making sure that the following 2 things stood out to everyone!
#1 When we looked at the tomb by reading our scripture did we all notice that the stone covering the tomb was rolled back?
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down fro heaven and going to the tomb rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (v2)
#2 When we looked at the tomb by reading the scripture did we all notice that the tomb was empty?
When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary looked into the tomb it was empty.
A.The soldiers lied and said the tomb was empty because the disciples had come during the night and stole the body.We read about that in verses 11-15.
B.The angel said the tomb was empty because Jesus was raised from the dead.
“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (v5-6)
But before we can say we have accurately looked at the tomb and can now know the real meaning of Easter one more thing is absolutely necessary.
It is necessary to also understand both the meaning behind the stone being rolled away and the meaning behind the tomb being empty
In other words: When you understand the meaning behind the stone being rolled away and understand the meaning behind the tomb being empty you really understand the real meaning of Easter!
Let’s start by understanding the meaning behind the tomb being empty.
The tomb being empty must mean that
1.Jesus is alive
2.Jesus is God
The resurrection made a believer out of doubting Thomas: “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)
2. And what is the meaning behind the stone being rolled away?
A.One possible meaning for the stone being rolled away is in order to let Jesus out.
But it’s highly unlikely this is the reason for the stone being rolled away because
1.There is no mention of Jesus coming out after the stone was rolled away
2.There is good reason to believe Jesus was already out before the stone was rolled away.
3.Jesus is well able to roll the stone away by himself. He doesn’t need any help.
B.So if the stone was not rolled away in order to let Jesus out then why was it rolled away?
A better answer is that the stone was rolled away in order to let people in.
Good evidence for this: The angel’s invitation - “Come and see the place where he lay.” (v6)
So the stone was rolled away not for Jesus’ benefit but for our benefit.
Application: The lesson of the stone being rolled away is this:
Easter is about God removing all the barriers in our lives which keep us from having a relationship with Him.
For example the barrier of sin is something that keeps us all from finding God
1. For the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
2. And the Bible also says that the wages of sin is death (meaning both physical death and spiritual death)
That’s why Jesus died on Good Friday. Not for his own sins but for all our sins.
3. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
By his death and resurrection Jesus Christ rolls away the barrier of sin and death
4. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Let us pray.