Summary: An Easter sermon.
A. INTRODUCTION: MATTHEW 27:57-28:2, 11-15
1. What is the natural response to a corpse?
"He (Joseph) went to Pilate and begged the body" (27:58). "He wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (27:59). "Laid it in his own tomb" (27:60). "The women . . . stood afar off . . . beholding" (Luke 23:49). We attach deep respect to a dead body.
2. What do we do with a corpse?
"Laid it in . . . tomb, which he had hewn out" (27:60). "He rolled a great stone to the door" (27:60). We put a dead body out of sight.
3. What do we do about the gravesite?
"There was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre" (27:61). "Very early in the morning the first day of the week they came to the sepulcher" (Mark 16:2). We visit it because of
(c) respect, and
4. How much should we spend on a funeral?
"Wrapped it in . . . linen" (27:59). "His own new tomb, which he had hewn out" (27:60). "Nicodemus . . . brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight (75 lbs.)" (John 19:39). "They (the women) brought spices which they had prepared" (Luke 24:1). According to our income, love, and ability.
5. How much did the enemies hate Jesus?
(a) "Many bare false witness against him" (Mark 14:56). They lied.
(b) "Judas . . . repented himself, and brought the thirty pieces to the chief priests" (27:3). They covered up.
(c) "They cried out, away with him, crucify him" (John 19:15). They demanded punishment.
(d) "Command . . . that the sepulchre be made sure . . . but his enemies . . . steal his body" (27:64). They used governmental authority.
(e) "They gave large money to the soldiers . . . say ye, his disciples came by night and stole the body" (28:11,13). They concealed the truth.
6. How did they try to hold Jesus in the grave?
(a) "The Pharisees came to Pilate . . . we remember the deceiver said, . . . command that the sepulchre be made sure" (27:62,65). Schemed.
(b) "Ye have a watch; make it as sure as ye can" (27:65). Guarded.
(c) "Made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone" (27:64). Roman authority.
7. What happened on the Sabbath (Saturday)?
(a)"They (women) . . . prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). The women waited.
(b) "They (women) said among themselves, who shall roll us away the stone?" (Mark 16:3). They worried about details.
(c) "All the disciples forsook Him, and fled" (Matt. 26:56). The Disciples hid.
(d) "Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" (Eph. 4:9). Jesus descended into Hell.
(e) "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison" (I Peter 3:19). Jesus announced His victory
(f) "He led captivity captive" (Eph. 3:8). Jesus took Old Testament saints to Heaven.
8. What happen early Sunday morning?
(a) "The angel of the Lord descended . . . rolled back the stone from the door and set upon it" (28:2) The tomb was opened
(b) "The keepers did shake and became dead men" The soldiers fainted. (28:4).
(c) "The watch . . . shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done" (28:11). Conspiracy at the highest level.
(d) "If this (lie) came to the governor’s ear, we will persuade him" (28:14). Obstruct justice.
9. How did Jesus arise from the dead?
(a) "God, having raised up his Son Jesus" (Acts 3:26). The Father’s power.
(b) "I lay down my life that I might take it again" (John 10:17). Jesus’ power.
(c) "The Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead" (Rom. 8:11). The Holy Spirit’s power.
10. What does Easter mean to me?
(a) "Christ liveth in me" (Col. 2:20). I have new life.
(b) "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath made us alive together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heaven" (Eph. 2:5,6). I have a new position.
(c) "We shall be changed, in the moment . . . at the last trump . . . this corruptible shall put on incorruption" (I Cor. 15:51-53). I have a new hope.
(d) "Therefore, . . . be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (I Cor. 15:58). I have a new motivation.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: