Summary: Don’t allow cicumstances to keep you at arm’s length from you miracle
There are a few points about our text that I would like to mention, while we are on our way to the message.
#1, the Bible says that Mary visited the tomb early, when it was still dark. Matthew 28:1 actually says it was, "the end of the sabbath...," somewhere between 3 and 6 a.m. And whether you realize it or not that staement exposes a few very significant things. First of all, according to the custom of the day, the Sabbath was observed from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday. Now the scripture says that it was the end of the Sabbath, and on the first day of the week, or Sunday that Jesus arose.
This was a very significant fact for the early believers. So significant in fact, that they broke away from the ritual of Sabbath, or Saturday worship and began to count their days beginning with Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the Lord. Remember Matthew said it was at the end of the Sabbath, or the end of Saturday, and on the first day of the week, Sunday that Jesus got up.
Acts 20:7, and 1Corinthians 16:2 lets me know that the disciples and the rest of the believers did worship the Lord on Sunday.
I know I may be confusing somebody, but stay with me for just another moment, because some of this is just too good to pass by.
You may not know it but the Holy Spirit was poured out on Sunday. And the way we know that to be true is because Acts 2:1 says, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come..", and Pentecost was the first day after seven Jewish Sabbaths. The law reqired that they Celebrate Pentecost, which means 50th, the first day after 7 Jewish Sabbaths.
Seven days in a week, multiplied by seven weeks equals 49, plus one equals 50, or Pentecost. And on that 50th day, that first Sunday after 7 Jewish Sabbaths, while gathered together in an upper room praying, 120 people began to hear a sound as of a mighty rushing wind. It filled all of the house where they were gathered. Cloven tongues as of fire appeared on each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the ability.
And the reason I wanted to bring this issue to you is because when the Lord got ready tp pour out His Spirit, it didn’t happen on their day. It didn’t happen in their ceremony. It wasn’t their rituals and traditions that brought it about. But the greatest event known to the world, after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, unfolded on the Lords day and in the Lords time.
Could I tell you, the reason this issue of the Sabbath is important is because while the Jews were observing the custom of the Passover of the Sabbath, Jesus was laying dead in a tomb. He couldn’t observe the Passover and He couldn’t keep the Sabbath because he was dead. And by him laying in that tomb all through their ceremonies and rituals, He was trying to give them, and also you and me, a little lesson in typology. What He was doing by laying in the grave all day long on the Jewish Sabbath was telling us that the ceremonial law has no more authority over Me. Dead men are not subject to the law. Romans 7:4 & Colossians 2:20.
The word rudiments means the crude notions of men about God, reality, and truth. Jesus wanted the truth to be known, and the truth is this; the philosophies and ideas of men lead to slavery. And when we commit our lives to upholding man’s ideas, rather than fulfilling Gods purpose, then they leave us enslaved to the bondage of death.
Somebody please understand that man-made ideas and philosophies, and rules about religion do not bring freedom. In fact they can only carry you as high as the man who made up the idea. And I have a question to pose to this congregation. If you have repented of your sins, been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, in other words, if you are dead with Christ, and never have to die again, if you are in union with Him, if you’re already acceptable to God, then somebody please tell me, why in the name of Heaven are we still spending so much of our efforts trying to become acceptable to God?
I am here with a mandate from the throne, and the Word from God to the church is, Mark 16:15-18.
I must hurry, and I know I have spent too much time here, but I want you to notice what happened after Mary discovered that Jesus was gone.