Summary: The disciples were disillusioned and disoriented after the crucifixion.
I grew up in a family with four sisters and no brothers. There were a lot of downsides to this…which I won’t go into now. One upside, and maybe the only one, is that I had to have my own bedroom in the basement, along with my own bathroom. I loved to just go in my room and shut myself out from all the screaming…which I usually caused!
I can remember one time when I woke up in the middle of the night and it was completely dark in my room. I must have gotten out of the wrong side of the bed because I couldn’t find my door anywhere. I felt along the paneling and the door had disappeared! And then I realized it must have been a plot of my sisters…they had somehow sealed me in my room when I was sleeping! As my heart began to race and panic set in, I started screaming for my parents.
After what seemed like an hour, my dad came downstairs and opened the door and turned the light on. I remember feeling both relief and surprise because the door was not where I thought it was!
The disciples were disillusioned and disoriented after the crucifixion. They were filled with fear and thought it was all over. Jesus was dead and had been placed in a tomb built out of rock…
It was blocked by a big boulder
Protected by a Roman seal
Guarded by a contingent of soldiers
When Jesus was entombed on Friday, they felt like their faith was buried along with Him. They were in the dark and knew no way out.
That all changed on Sunday morning. John 20:1-2: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’”
Mary Magdalene discovered that three amazing events had taken place.
Stone removed – “away from the entrance” Note: The stone was moved so people could see in, not to let Jesus out!
Soldiers went AWOL
John 20:3-7: “So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”
Peter and John ran to the tomb and saw…
Strips of linen (illus: Passion movie)
Verse 8: “Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.”
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can change your life today. If Jesus came back to life, there is nothing too difficult for Him to do for you.
Perhaps you’re still in process and you need more proof – I encourage you to join us for the next series called, “Beyond the Tomb” as we look at the appearances of Jesus during a 40-day period of time before His ascension into heaven.
à Hold up insert. Our topic next Sunday is called, “Seeing the Savior.” (Read some other titles)
Is the light coming on for you? Are your eyes opening? If so, it’s time to trust in what is true and commit yourself to Christ! You must respond by receiving. It’s not enough to just say that you have faith.
1 Kings 18:21 – “If the Lord is God, follow Him.”
Joshua 24:15 – “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…”
John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
Friend, you don’t have to live in the dark anymore. If you have eyes of faith, the light of the world will flood you with forgiveness, He will give you a fresh start, and He is offering you a new beginning.
1. Admit you are a sinner.
2. Acknowledge you need a substitute.
3. Accept Jesus as your Savior. Not enough to just say you have “faith.” Biblical faith always involves the mind, the emotions, and the will. To “believe” means to “receive.”
If you have Easter Eyes, and you’d like to receive salvation right now, please pray this prayer with me.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for what you suffered on my behalf. I know you did it for me. I confess that I am a sinner and I repent of the way I’ve been living. I no longer want to live in the dark. By faith I believe that you died as my substitute and I receive you into my life. Please forgive me for my sins and give me eternal life. And give me eyes of faith that I might see you and serve you for the rest of my life. In your name I pray, amen.”
Leader: He is Risen!
Congregation: He is Risen Indeed