Summary: The resurrection was a powerful, indisputable event. And yet still there were differing responses to it. It matters how you respond.
Passage: Matthew 28:1-15
Intro: Here we are, almost at the end of Matthew.
1. end next week, preaching thru it since November 25, 2008
2. as far as I know, 91 sermons!
3. what we have seen is the intensifying revelation of God, and the intensifying resistance of some to that gracious revelation.
4. miracles, healings, walking on water, resurrections, blind see, lame walk.
5. reaction of unbelievers stronger and stronger, till they kill Jesus.
6. and in this passage, God’s plan continues, brushing aside the best laid plans and purposes of deceived men.
7. God’s plan was to bring life-giving power over sin and death; man’s greatest enemies.
8. this powerful event is the proof of irresistibility of that plan.
9. you can’t resist it, you can only believe and be changed by it, or reject it and remain as you are.
10. this story is a microcosm of God’s whole plan of salvation, to be completed when Jesus comes again at the end of this world. Which response describes you?
I. Anticipation or Resistance
1. now there is no doubt that the women who came had mixed feelings
2. Mark tells us they had spices to anoint the body. Some doubt, but some faith.
3. even with that mixture, they were certainly there to honor God’s Son.
4. as soon as Sabbath was over, they were walking.
5. contrast that to the results of what we saw last week.
6. the guards were under orders, so their personal beliefs are unknown.
7. but they represent those who were resistant to the claims of Jesus.
8. they were camped out to make sure that this “Jesus worship” came to a stop, and was not perpetuated by something that could be claimed to be a resurrection.
10. this local scene is a microcosm of a larger scene at the end of the world.
11. there in Revelation, we see a massive display of power, experienced by everyone.
12. and we see some who have been anticipating it; looking forward to it.
13. and we see some who are resistant to it
PP Revelation 6:16 “hide us”
14. the women and the guards were aware of what had happened when Jesus died.
-the three hours of darkness, the earthquake, the torn veil.
15. and now they saw more! Another earthquake, a mighty angel, a rolled back stone, an empty tomb.
16. they saw the same thing, but their responses were different.
II. Worship or Focus on Personal Survival
1. I’m sure these women felt the earthquake, saw the rolled stone, noticed the fallen guards,
2. then they heard the voice of this angel telling them “don’t be afraid”
3. “it’s a good thing you are seeing”
4. “you are here to honor the Son, but God has honored Him by raising Him from the dead.”
5. “He told you He would be raised, and I invite you to notice the empty spot where His body was.”
6. v7 “Then go quickly”= after you have satisfied yourselves that He is not here, go tell…”
7. try to imagine what it would have felt like to be running back to Jerusalem.
8. “afraid yet filled with joy”. We might say they were excited!