Summary: We know that Jesus went to the cross because of love, he also rose from the grave because of love.
Love Resurrection Easter 2006
We tell our kids it’s wrong, but really we love to gloat when we win. We have to spike the ball and do the dance when we get the touchdown. We need to tell the other team we are the winner and they are the loser. We win at cards and we have to put the big “L” on our opponent’s forehead.
In “Good Will Hunting,” Will played by Matt Damon is vying for a college girl in a bar and a college guy is also interested in her. The College guy seems to be winning her attention, but before she leaves she slips Will her phone number. As Will walks home at the end of the night and he sees the college boy in the window of a coffee shop. He walks up and calls through the window, “Do you like apples?” The guy doesn’t hear, so he repeats, “Do you like apples?” the guys shrugs a yes. Will slaps the phone number up on the window and yells, “I got her number, how’dya like them apples!”
On Easter Sunday 2000 years ago, Jesus wins the greatest battle ever – he wins the battle over death. By dying on the cross, he pays the price for our wrongs and he removes the punishment of death, and he proves his victory by being the first to burst .from the bonds of death. Death could not hold him down! Jesus rises from the tomb in victory. But does he gloat? No! If it was me – I’d go first to Pilate’s bedroom and scare the bejeebers out of him, and then off to the temple to the chief priests and the religious leaders, and then to everyone who shouted crucify him. I’d step into their space and do the touchdown dance of my life – “howd’ya like them apples?”
Jesus doesn’t “get” gloating – he appears first to Mary Magdalene
God is always doing this – there were at least two types of people whose testimony wasn’t believed in court in New Testament times – 1) Shepherds: because of their job they were constantly ceremonially unclean, and learned to live as outcasts, not trusted by anyone – and 2) women: women were possessions, and were not reliable witnesses. If I was in a room with Paul and Nancy and I killed Paul and made it look like an accident, Nancy could come out of the room and say “Mike just killed Paul!” and everyone would say, that might be true, but it’s too bad we don’t have any witnesses!
Who are the first witnesses of Jesus birth? – Shepherds
Who is the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection? – a woman named Mary Magdalene.
God just doesn’t know how to gloat.
Mary Magdalene loved Jesus with a great love. Tradition tells us that she is the sinful woman who came to the Pharisee’s house and anointed his feet with expensive perfume. In Luke 7:36-50. When the Pharisee complains that the woman is a sinner, Jesus tells a parable about how those who are forgiven greatly, love greatly, and how those who are forgiven little in their own minds, love little.
Mary Magdalene loved greatly.
Scriptures tell us that she was released from seven demons that tormented her (Luke 8:2). Crazy Mary
Mary Magdalene loved her savior greatly.
When all the disciples, save John, abandoned Jesus at his greatest time of need, she remained with him, among the group of women at the cross, she stayed with him until the end. She made sure that she knew where Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus, and at the earliest time she could, she returned to the grave to honour him, even in death, by anointing him again with spices and perfumes to keep the body.
You can imagine Mary’s broken heart, how she prepared the spices through tears, how she felt totally lost as she went back to the tomb, hardly believing that he was really gone – the one who had saved here, had forgiven her was truly gone.
It adds insult to injury that when she gets to the tomb, the stone has been rolled away – it was said to be common practice for people to sell a tomb to a family, and later remove & dispose of the body and sell it again to another family.
She runs back to the disciples in great anguish because even the gift of honoring his body has been ripped from her.
Peter and John run back to tomb to see if it is true and they see the burial clothes lying there, but no body. Mary had come with them – after they left, she remained crying outside the tomb. She decides to look for herself, and sees the two angels, turns around to find Jesus standing in front of her. Through her tears she doesn’t recognize him until he speaks her name, and then she falls at his feet and cries out “teacher.”