Summary: This sermon gives several arrival points on the first Easter Sunday.
The Arrival Of Easter
I want to begin this morning by stating a historical fact:
Christ is RISEN – Christ is risen indeed!
Because Christ has risen – because of this historical fact – we as Christians – throughout the world join together – on this day – and every Sunday to worship a Risen Savior. If this event had not taken place – if Christ had not been resurrected from the death – we who are Christians would have no hope – our faith in Christ would be useless. Paul said it best when he spoke to the church at Corinth saying:
“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-14 (NASV)
I like the way the Message Bible states verse fourteen – it says:
“Face it--if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors.” 1 Corinthians 15:14 (MSG)
False hope – false faith – No! – not if Christ has risen from the dead. Our faith is based on a historical fact. Our faith is in a Risen Savior – Our hope is in a Risen Lord. Because Christ has been raised from the dead we can sing:
Up from the grave He arose – with a mighty triumph over His foes.
He arose a victor over the dark domain – and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
We are a people not be pitied. We are a people not feel sorry for. We are a people that you don’t have to worry about. We have a hope – and our hope is founded in a historical fact. Jesus Christ was crucified – He died – He was buried – BUT on the third day – He rose from the grave – He is alive – He is seated at the right hand of the Father – and He will come again to judge the living and the dead – and He will reign forever – and ever – and ever.
You know the story – you have heard it before. This morning we are going to look at it again. It is found in Mark chapter sixteen. Would you follow along with me as I read:
“And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ’He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.’" Mark 16:1-7 (NASV)
Today I want to look at seven points of arrival in the resurrection story. Let’s look at point one:
1. They arrived with a PURPOSE
These three ladies came to the grave because they had unfinished business to take care of. They brought spices to anoint the body of the one that they loved. They had seen Him crucified – they knew He was dead – but there had not been enough time to anoint the body. The situation was out of their hands – the proper anointing had not taken place and to make matters worse – the Sabbath had delayed the process of the anointing – so they arrived that day with a purpose. They had to take care of the body. They had a mission in mind. They came to the grave with a purpose. They had to give Him a decent burial.
2. They arrived EARLY
I’m sure that they had some sleepless nights. They had seen Him die. They had watched His body be taken down from the cross of crucifixion. They had seen the body taken to the empty tomb – a borrowed grave – unused up to this point. They had seen Joseph of Arimathea take the body and wrap it in linen cloth – and they had seen the large stone rolled in front of the entrance. In fact the stone was the topic of discussion along the path to the cemetery that early Sunday morning. Who will roll away the stone? How will we get it moved?