Summary: Mary Magdalene is the first one to announce THE BEST NEWS EVER HEARD
The First Announcement of The Best News Ever Heard John 20: 11-18
What a difference a few days makes! On Friday night most of us gathered for probably the most somber event in all of history when the cries of “Crucify Him” were realized as the King of Glory took all the wrath of God toward sin upon himself: He was CRUSHED for our sins! Jesus torturous death left His friends and family grieving, and probably in shock and disbelief: The unfolding of events in the past week no doubt left them stunned. And a few days later, as the women and several disciples came to the tomb to pay their respects, the grave was empty, an angel greets them with the words, “He is Risen!” and we read part of this account in John 20:11 when Mary Magdalene meets Our Risen Lord.
John 20: 11: “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic,"Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"--and that he had said these things to her.”
NEWS THAT IS TRUE
WHY is THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS THE BEST NEWS ON EARTH? Because it is TRUE! Sometimes you may receive what you THINK is good news, only to find later that it didn’t happen. False reports do not bring good news but that’s not the case with Jesus’ resurrection. We read in the Gospel accounts how diligently Pilate and the Jewish leaders plotted to discount the news of Jesus’ Resurrection with false accounts and considerable payoffs, but they did not stand up to the outstanding truth that JESUS WAS INDEED RISEN. There are four independent accounts of the Resurrection in the Gospels which have apparent discrepancies, however, there is far more agreement in large measure, including the setting, the characters, and their testimony, showing that there certainly was no collusion in their stories.
There is the evidence of the empty tomb, the moved grave stone, and the undisturbed grave clothes. If you take all the stories and rumors that were being passed around, you still have to add the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, after He had been crucified, pierced in the side, wrapped in burial cloths, placed very DEAD into a tomb guarded by Roman Soldiers and SEALED, that He appeared not just one or two women in a garden, but to a wide variety of people in many different circumstances, not just on one day, but over the course of FORTY days, at which time He was visibly witnessed by many to have ascended back to Heaven where He said He had come from. To top it all 1 Corinthians 15: 6 tells us and “then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. The things that Jesus promised BEFORE HIS DEATH did indeed occur and He proved His Resurrection by appearing BODILY in the flesh on many occasions, proving His Resurrection to be one of the most important and stupendous FACTS in all of History.
An apparent DEFEAT
A victory is always good news, and the crowds on Palm Sunday had anticipated their king being crowned but not with thorns. They had hoped that he would rise to a throne and not be nailed to a cross. The cheerleaders in the parade had hopelessly disappeared because the battle they had been looking for apparently had been lost…but wait…did I hear right? Jesus is ALIVE. The good news becomes the Greatest NEWS when victory appears after an apparent DEFEAT! No one had ever recovered from a crucifixion before, but greater yet, no one had ever been raised from the dead, never to die again. Revelation 1:18 records Jesus' words to the Apostle John: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” Christ was not defeated at the cross; the enemy, satan was defeated: The proof is the resurrection.