Summary: Easter sermon ... resurrection of Christ
"SOLUTION TO A ’GRAVE’ PROBLEM!"
TEXT: John 20:1-31
INTRO: There is no event greater in human history than the resurrection of Jesus Christ! If there is no resurrection, there is no Christianity! The apostle Paul says this clearly: (I Cor. 15:17-19) "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."
The Christian faith rises or falls on the resurrection of Christ. There is deep evidence of Christ’s resurrection, both from history and from nature. Every cycle of this planet is a "death-resurrection" cycle. In fact, it is a known fact of science that life springs from death. It is therefore appropriate that Spring is the time we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
This is the greatest joy in Christianity, no Christian can ignore the resurrection of Christ, it is what makes us Christians!
ILLUS: On the Easter just before he died, D. William Sangster painfully printed a short note to his daughter. A deeply spiritual Methodist, he had been spearheading a renewal movement in the British Isles after World War II. Then his ministry, except for prayer, was ended by a disease which progressively paralyzed his body, even his vocal chords. But the last Resurrection Sunday he spent on earth, still able to move his fingers, he wrote: "How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ’He is risen!’ Far worse, to have a voice and not want to shout." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 167.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that Christ opens a way for man to have fellowship with God, and it is through His son Jesus Christ who died for us and now ever lives. Those who receive Christ as Lord and savior will also live forever with Him.
I. TERROR OF DEATH 20:1-9
A. Fearful 20:1-7
1. Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb on Sunday morning early, she had come to properly prepare Jesus’ body for burial.
a. She had been unable to do this earlier because all the shops were closed due to and the law forbid it on a sabbath and Passover.
b. This was the first day by Jewish law she could embalm Jesus’ body.
2. What makes the idea crazy that the disciples somehow stole Jesus’ body to make up a story of a resurrection is the fact that none of them expected Jesus to rise from the dead...the disciples were in hiding for fear, and the women were buying spices to properly embalm Jesus’ body....none of them were hatching plans to deceive the whole world!
a. Besides this, there was stationed a special guard of soldiers to make sure this didn’t happen anyway.
b. And a huge stone had been placed over the tomb to seal it, it would not be possible for a few women to move it.
3. Jesus’ friends and loved ones were all afraid...they were too afraid to deceive the world.
a. Like most people, death brought fear into their hearts.
b. They saw Jesus’ death as final, they weren’t even thinking resurrection!