Summary: Believing in the unbelievable is almost impossible unless you serve an unbelievably Great God!
Please open your Bibles to John 20:1-18 which we will read in a few minutes.
Do you trust the Bible? Do you believe the Bible?
When the Bible says that Jesus:
- Was born of a virgin … do you believe it
- Lived a sinless life … do you believe it
- Performed miraculous signs pointing to His deity, that He Himself is the Son of God including:
o Healing the sick
o Casting out demons
o Multiplying food
o Controlling storms and the sea with His commands
o Raising the dead
o Walking on water
o Telling the disciples which side of the boat the fish were on
o Knowing peoples thoughts … do you believe it
Perhaps you believe that Jesus was just a good man, a good teacher and His surviving disciples “embellished” the story to create a new religion they could control.
Or … do you believe that it is all just a fairy tale like any other religion?
Today is the day when we who are disciples of Jesus Christ remember and celebrate the most epic event in the history of humanity.
This is not an account of where we sacrifice our lives to please God so that we can be saved but where God sacrificed His life and arose from the dead so that we could be saved.
Not us for Him but Him for us.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read John 20:1-18
When we read all of the accounts of Jesus’ burial and resurrection we see:
- John 19:38-42 – Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have asked for Jesus’ corpse so that they can bury Him. Jesus has been certified as dead by the Roman Centurion who oversaw the crucifixion and so Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take Jesus’ body to the tomb, embalm the body with 75 pounds of embalming spices and wrap Him for burial; for forever burial. Not temporary but for forever!
- Luke 23:55-56 - The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. Once again, not temporary but forever.
- The eleven disciples are hiding out in a locked room
- The two disciples on the road to Emmaeus “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel …”
It seems as if no one believed Jesus is risen from the dead and nowadays the same sentiment seems to be true both outside the church and in many modern churches as well!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had eye witnesses to the event?
If only someone had had their cell phone with them!
Perhaps one of the soldiers guarding the tomb!
All we have are the Scriptures. Are they reliable???
Well there was this guy named Luke; a physician and apparently an investigative reporter and historian.
We know that Luke was Paul’s beloved companion but other than that we do not know much about him other than the fact that he is the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
Here are his claims to the truthfulness of his writings …
Luke 1:1-4 NIV
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
“With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Is there any other corroborating evidence?
1 John 1:1-4 NLT
“We proclaim to you the One who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
“This One who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen Him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that He is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then He was revealed to us.
“We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”
We also have the testimony of the apostles Matthew, John and Peter, and, of Mark who was also a disciple of Jesus but not one of the Twelve.
And, we have the testimony of James and Jude who were half-brothers of Jesus but who were not believers until after Jesus was resurrected from the dead!