Summary: Death is not the end of the story!
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Sixty-four-year-old Herzlinde Eissler had been admitted to a hospital in Austria with stomach pains. Several days later she left the hospital and was shocked when she discovered why her family had not visited her during her stay.
The hospital had made a mistake and told her family that she had died. Her son Leopold said, “I could not believe it when she walked in through the front door and the whole family was all sitting around dressed in black and planning the funeral. At least it explains why we could not find the body when we wanted to pay our last respects.”
The disciples couldn’t find the body of Jesus either. But it wasn’t because of a mix-up, it was because He has risen from the dead! (www.ananova.com)
10The disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
17Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her (John 20:10-18).
DEATH IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY
“Why are you crying?” (John 20:13, 15).
This question was a gentle rebuke. “Why are you crying when Jesus is alive?”
We all would have reason to weep if Mary had been given what she was weeping for—the dead body of Jesus.
Why didn’t Mary recognize Jesus? It’s possible that her tears blurred her vision. But there seems to have been something different about the risen Jesus so that He was not always recognized.
· The disciples in the boat on the lake of Tiberias did not recognize the man on the shore (John 21:4).
· When the disciples saw Jesus on a mountain in Galilee, they worshipped, “but some doubted” (Matthew 28:17).
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
1. Our resurrection is GUARANTEED because of Christ’s resurrection.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20).
2. Our resurrection will be a TRANSFORMATION, not a restoration.
Christ’s resurrection was not simply a coming back from the dead. Rather, when He rose from the dead, Jesus began a new kind of human life, a life in which His body was made perfect, no longer subject to weakness, aging, or death, but able to live forever.
The raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:44) was a restoration, not a transformation.
What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body (1 Corinthians 15:36-38).
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).