Summary: The Risen Savior has given us a new hope for a better life and for eternal life.
RESURRECTION OF HOPE
Sunday, March 27, 2005 – AM (Easter)
John 20:11 – 21:25
John 20:11, "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher…"
Last week we began a journey through the Word of God with four messages that would bring us to this great day, the day of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
1)In the first message we saw Jesus as he cried over Jerusalem and Israel for He knew that they had lost their opportunity to be the nation that God had wanted them to be. They had killed the prophets and slain the men and women of God that had tried to reach them with the truth and lead them back to God, and now they had rejected the very Son of God. Nothing was ahead for them now but judgment. We spoke of the Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem as the crowds in the streets proclaimed the coming of their “messiah”, their king, who would cast of the rule of Rome and make Israel a free nation once again. And we saw Judas as he ran from the Upper Room after Jesus exposed the plot of betrayal. We saw Jesus as He instituted the Communion Service and we celebrated that service commemorating the body and blood of Jesus that was broken and shed for our sin.
2)In the second message we studied about the “Cup” that Jesus had to “drink” and how it was filled with such terror that Jesus struggled with it for a while. He saw the sin of the world that He would have to bear. He saw physical death and he saw what it would be like to be separated from the Father in Heaven for even a moment. But we also saw that Jesus never wavered in His commitment to be the sacrificial offering for the sin of mankind.
3)In the third message we saw the hopelessness that engulfed all that had placed their hope in Jesus. They were hopeless on a sea of grief as they watched Jesus die, then begged for his body and laid him in an unused tomb, closed the door with a stone and slowly walked away, sobbing and hopeless. Then we saw how that their grief was magnified even more when it was discovered that the body of Jesus was missing. Mary Magdalene was the first to discover the empty tomb, and she ran for Peter and John. They all looked in and saw it empty, then a dark cloud of gloom and despair settled over them all. Peter and John walked away, back to their homes and left Mary at the tomb crying all alone.
That’s where we want to begin this last message this morning. With Mary sitting there crying because the Master that she had loved so much was now gone.
Jesus had given Mary Magdalene a new life. She had been a harlot, caught in adultery, but Jesus had cleansed her from that sin and turned her life around. She had cried tears of joy and wiped the tears from Jesus’ feet with her hair. In Luke 7:47 Jesus said this talking about Mary, "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." Truly Mary loved the Lord for He had given her so much to live for.
Mary sat at the tomb for a long while, then, just before she left she decided to look once more into the empty tomb. Just one more look; just one more time to see if it was really true, or was it all a terrible dream; with hopelessness in her heart, she took one more look.
Oh my friend, if Jesus isn’t in your heart this morning, just take one more look at the empty tomb. I know that life hasn’t been fair to you. I know that you often feel hopeless and drifting through life with no real purpose for living. I know that it seems that there just isn’t any answers for your grief and pain. I know that you have tried everything you know to try. Maybe you have tried the booze, the drugs, the adulterous affairs and the pleasures of sin that only last for a short time. But none of those things can satisfy and every day when you wake up, there’s a nagging emptiness on the inside. Something is missing in your life and it’s Jesus. Just take one more look at the empty tomb this morning.
Let’s look at John 20:11-16 one more time and let’s look at the rest of the story, "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master."