Summary: A look at the effects of the resurrection.
When the resurrection of Jesus dawned upon the understanding of His followers, the results were immediate. They ran to tell the message. This was the characteristic of that day. Everyone was running somewhere. The darkness had been so deep, that everyone was eager to spread the news, the dawn indicated that a very beautiful day was beginning. No man could hold back the dawn. It cannot be hurried by anticipating it nor stopped by doubting. No one could keep Christ in the grave, not Satan, not death and most certainly not men. When the day dawned on the first day of the week and the tomb was empty, new life came to the words as Jesus was born into the world. “Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79—NIV) His resurrection is the dawn; our resurrection will follow the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us take some time this morning to look at the good news about the dawning of new life.
I. With the Resurrection came a dawning of new hope.
A. Mary Magdalene and several other women agreed to go to the tomb early on the first day of the week, so that they might show their love for Christ in completing the burial preparations.
1. Mary Magdalene was apparently the first to arrive at the tomb in the morning.
2. Nicodemus had been forced by circumstances to prepare His body hastily, and the women wanted to finish the task.
3. There was no shred of hope left among His followers of ever seeing Jesus alive again.
4. The first day of the week was still in darkness, but soon the light of day as well as the light of understanding and hope would burst upon them.
B. The Gospel of John has a unique perspective in this account as John follows the activity of Mary Magdalene alone.
1. In presenting the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, John deals more with its effect on human personality than with the material proofs the Western mind would prefer.
2. Only in John do we find the personal encounter between Jesus and Mary at the tomb.
3. One not only wonders why John gave her special prominence, but also why she had the great privilege of being the first to see the risen Lord.
4. When John accounts the events of that first day of the week, he would naturally give an important place to the one who first brought the news to Him.
5. Mary was among the ones Jesus freed from demon possession.
6. Mary followed Christ and contributed to the support of Him and His followers throughout His ministry.
7. Quite likely Mary Magdalene, noticing that the stone had been rolled away from the door of the tomb, ran to warn the disciples while the others investigated further.
C. John and Peter had an interesting experience at the tomb as well.
1. Peter and John started a footrace to the tomb. John beat Peter to the garden and looked in the tomb.
2. It is difficult to imagine what Peter and John were thinking as they hurried out of the city to the garden near Calvary. John was probably younger than Peter and reached the tomb first.
3. What kind of faith did Peter and John have at that stage in their spiritual experience? They had faith based on evidence.
4. Before John has much time to think about the situation, Peter arrives and charges into the tomb.
5. There were grounds for belief in a resurrection even before seeing the empty tomb, because of the content of the Lord’s teaching.
6. Before the dawning of another day, most of the disciples would see the risen Lord.
II. With the resurrection came the dawning of new life.
A. Peter and John had gone home by the time Mary got back to the tomb, so they did not convey to her what conclusion they had reached from the evidence they had examined.
1. Mary stood at the entrance of the tomb, exhausted, uncertain, and alone and near despair.
2. When Mary looked into the tomb, she saw two men in white. Their position at either end of the shelf where the body had been.
3. Mary apparently was not disturbed at seeing these men, and there is no evidence that she knew they were angels. The brief conversation neither dried her tears nor quieted her mind.
4. Mary was in tears and the angels asked her why she was crying.
5. Her focus is obviously on finding Jesus’ body, and convinced that the body was not in the tomb she probably turns to leave.