Summary: Jesus' Resurrection was a Game Changer. And yet the world, his disciples and friends were not ready. Are we ready to meet the Risen Lord?
Scripture: John 20:1-18
Theme: New Creation
Title: Ready or Not - Here Comes Jesus!
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
Growing up, I watched my father worked hard for our family. He not only worked hard, he worked very long hours all of his life. It was not unusual for him to work 60 or more hours a week every week all year long. Vacations and an occasional day off were not a normal occasion around our house.
So, if we wanted to be with our dad it usually happened on Saturday morning. My brother and I would get up and be ready to go with him to work around 6 AM or if we slept in it would be around 8 - 9 AM. My dad worked in the Oil fields and Saturday was the day that he would go around and check on all the company's oil wells around a section of Eastern Kentucky. We would drive to all these little places around Lee County, Owsley County and Breathitt County checking on some oil wells that would be located way back in the woods.
I remember those Saturday mornings mom coming into our room and telling us that we better get up and get ready because when dad came by to get us if we weren't ready then he would go on and leave us behind. He didn't have a lot of time so we had to be ready when he drove up in the company truck. Otherwise, we would be stuck at home. And that meant that we would spend the day cleaning the house and waxing the floors with my mom and my sisters. My mom loved to wax her kitchen floor every week with Johnson's Pax Wax and was already ready for us to help her with all the cleaning.
Usually, that was incentive enough for us to get out of bed and get ready. Going with dad meant that we would get to walk in the woods, shoot the .22 rife and if we were good we might even get a snack ( a pop and a honey bun) at the little country store that was near one of the oil wells. It also meant that we were able to hear these great stories from dad about all kinds of things. My dad was quite a story teller so it was always fun to be around him when he shared all the things that had happened to him that day/week.
The key was we had to be READY. If we were not ready then we would miss him when he came back home to get us. We had to be ready and listen for his truck. We couldn't be busy watching TV or playing in our rooms. We had to be ready. Most of the time we waited outside so that we couldn't miss him.
Apparently, a similar thing was going on in our passage this morning. When it was time for Jesus to come out of the tomb however, there was no one was there to meet him. No one was ready to receive Jesus and enjoy the morning light with Him. No one was ready to enjoy what later would be called the 8th Day of Creation. No one was ready to begin the New Life and New Age with the Risen Lord.
Let's take a few moments this morning and look at exactly who was not ready that First Resurrection Day and then ask ourselves a very important question - ARE WE READY TODAY to meet Jesus - the LORD of LORDS and King of Kings.
I. We see that the World was Not Ready
Where was Cesar - Tiberius Cesar? Where was Pontius Pilate? Where was the High Priest of God's Temple in Jerusalem? Where was the Sanhedrin? Where were all those Pharisees, scribes and Temple lawyers that use to follow Jesus around?
The truth is Tiberius Cesar was back in Rome snoozing. Most likely he was unaware that Jesus had been condemned to die. Most likely Tiberius was unaware that the One and Only True Son of God had been nailed to a Roman Cross for all of mankind's sins. More than likely Tiberius was still under the false impression that he was in fact the true son of god (Cesar Augustus being divine). At least that is what Tiberius put on all his coins - that he, Tiberius was the son of god. How sad.
Pontius Pilate was no doubt also snoozing in his digs in Jerusalem or back in his residential palace in Caesarea. I wonder if allowing the Jews to pressure him into murdering Jesus was still bothering either him or his wife. I also wonder if she was still having nightmares over how her husband and others had treated Jesus.