Summary: That first Resurrection Sunday consisted of surprise after surprise. Let’s look at 4 of many surprises.
1. Last month the elders board decided to get the most handsome preacher in the State of Indiana to speak for Easter. He said no.
2. Then they thought they would get the most intelligent preacher in Indiana to speak. He said no.. Then they decided to get the pastor with the best personality in Indiana to speak. He said no.
3.. Then they said, “Let's ask our pastor.” So they asked me. And what could I say? I had already said “no” three times!
4. If you remember hearing this joke before, it is no surprise. If not, hopefully it made you smile. Good surprises bring great joy. God surprises us all the time. Although Jesus predicted His resurrection, it was still a surprise to His discples.
5. The beautiful garden of Eden where mankind lost life; the garden tomb where mankind regained life.
6. The Gospel accounts are summaries, with a number of incidents being left out or lumped together. But they are true and dependable summaries, and can be understood on their own. The Gospel writers did not belong to the TMI crowd.
7. Even though Mark is not detailed in general, he communicates some bits of information we might not glean from the other Gospels.
Main Idea: That first Resurrection Sunday consisted of surprise after surprise. Let’s look at 4 of many surprises.
I. The First Surprise: The Stone Had Been ROLLED Away (1-4)
A. These women were concerned about giving Jesus a decent BURIAL.
They did not understand God’s plan, even though it had been revealed.
Sometimes God may as well save His breath, it seems; He has given us His Word, but we don’t familiarize ourselves with it. He tells us what He is doing, but we are ignorant of it.
B. They had spent a lot of MONEY to buy the proper spices
Some people give a spice cabinet as a wedding gift, complete with maybe 30 or 40 herbs and spices. Many times certain spices go unused. When the couple dies of old age, they finally throw those spices out!
The spices they bought for Jesus went unused!
C. The concern: WHO will move the stone?
Application: Sometimes we go through life, oblivious and lost in our assumptions. God may have great blessings ahead, but we are too narrow to see them.
II. The Second Surprise: STRANGERS in the Tomb (5)
A. Mark is interested in telling us who SPOKE.
Two angels were involved in the resurrection, but only one communicated. Perhaps the other angel did the grunt work or moving away the stone.
B. Did they think that this was a mere MAN?
Application: These men were angels, but what matters most is the truthfulness of the message they conveyed.
Same with us. In a day of celebrity preachers and big-business Christian music, we need to gain our bearings and remember that the message is just as true when we share it with our friends. You don’t need to be Billy Graham to lead your child or neighbor to Christ.
III. The Third Surprise: Jesus Was GONE and Said to Be Risen (6)
A. Did they BELIEVE what he said?
B. Jesus’ ENEMIES remembered His claim that He would rise again, but did His friends?
C. Paradigm blindness: when facts do not MATCH our expectations.
Application: A healthy does of skepticism is a good thing. Fools are naïve and gullible. But when God has predicted something, we need to be ready to expect to see what He predicts (Sweden: chip implants in hand, Days of Noah/Lot).
IV. The Fourth Surprise: Shocked SPEECHLESS (7-8)
A. They did not EXPECT another trauma.
Evidence for the resurrection includes the fact that
1. the disciples did not anticipate it,
2. rather than defeated followers of a fake Messiah they were invigorated crusaders for a risen Christ.
3. They laid down their live for Him, they were so convinced.
B. They did not know how to PROCESS this.
• They had a lot to process. Sometimes things seem obvious in retrospect.
• Resurrection day was a busy day!
• We also forget how radical an idea it is for one to be resurrected from the dead, and permanently resurrected. We are brought up with it.
• We are human beings, not computers. We need to recover from an initial shock and then gain our composure before we can process. Hurried decisions may be necessary at times, but we should not hesitate to ponder important choices.
• God knows this, so He often prepares us for what is ahead.
C. Eventually they gained their COMPOSURE and communicated.
The news was so unimaginably good, they were overwhelmed.
D. Mary Magdalene would later be the first one to SEE and touch the Risen Christ, and then the other disciples over a 40 day period.