Summary: Resurrection message.
The Grave Wasn’t the End
November 15, 2009
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
This is the third Sunday in November, and normally we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving, with thoughts of grandma and grandpa, turkey, pumpkin pie, and football on TV.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to go home and have all that right now, how about you?
Well today, we’re not going to talk about Thanksgiving, we’re going to talk about Easter.
We’re going to look at the day Jesus rose from the grave.
Why? Because that’s where we’re at in our walk through the gospel of Matthew.
It’s pretty much that simple.
And in looking at Easter today, I have a real simple goal: to help strengthen your faith in the historical truth about how Jesus overcame death in His resurrection.
And my hope is that even those of you who have believed in Jesus’ death and resurrection for many years will find even more encouragement and even more reason to rejoice in the hope that the resurrection brings.
God: We’re doing something a little different today in that the portion of Scripture we’re looking at actually covers parts of two chapters of Matthew.
They’re right next to each other, and describe related events.
The first portion describes the burial of Jesus, while the second portion describes what the people discovered three days later.
Matthew 27:57-28:15 (p. 706) –
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
This is very important. Not only is a name given for the owner of the tomb, it also gives the names of witnesses who saw where Jesus was buried.
I’ll mention why this is important in a bit.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ’After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."
65 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Then we move onto the first portion of chapter 28:
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Remember, these were the same women who had seen where He was buried.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ’He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you."
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, "You are to say, ’His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.