Summary: Just like the end of the world is actually only the beginning, this was not the end for Jesus. He Who was is ’the Beginning’ is just getting started! Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, and PowerPoint Presentation.
The Purpose and Proof of the Resurrection
After 6 hours on the cross Jesus cried aloud, “It is finished!” And then He died. Is this the end of He Who was in the beginning? Will Christianity die out in a short lived puff of smoke? Will man continue down the sin paved highway to hell now that He’s gone?
I’m happy to remind you today that although almost everyone thought it was all over, including His disciples, Jesus shouted triumphantly, “Over my dead body!” as He conquered death, hell, and the grave, and rose again just as He promised! And just like the end of the world is only the beginning, this was just the beginning for Jesus and all who would follow Him and be saved! He was about to make all things new.
I believe it is very interesting that after Jesus cried It is finished and died, from that point forward no hostile hands were allowed to touch Him. It’s as if God the Father said, ok, enough, hands off. The soldiers who usually would have broken His legs so He could no longer rise to breathe for some reason didn’t, and the scripture was fulfilled that no bones of His would be broken. Instead, they stick a spear into His chest cavity and out flowed blood and water. The blood is symbolic to us of the continual fountain which still flows today to wash away our sin. The water suggests congestive heart failure. You could say that Jesus died of a broken heart as He hung there taking our sins, thinking of us!
Not only did the soldiers never touch Him again, they didn’t even take Him down as they usually would have, that job was granted to one of His followers, this Joseph, upon begging for it. He was a secret disciple, rich, and not wholehearted, but still a follower. With him was a guy named Nicodemus who, similarly, first came to Jesus under cover of darkness [Nic at night!]
Jesus had suffered all kinds of physical abuse and indignities for at least 18 hours, but then suddenly, hands off! And these 2 men took the body down, wrapped it for burial, and laid it in the private garden tomb.
Pilate commanded that a seal be placed over the stone, and guards posted lest His body be stolen away by His disciples. But we know it was the furthest thing from their minds. They are elsewhere, hunkered in a bunker, hoping not to be tracked and killed themselves. It’s amazing to me what the religious leaders said in v. 63...
v. 63 5 times Jesus specifically told the disciples that He would rise again [Mt. 16:21, 17:9, 22-23, 20:18-19, 26:32] He even told the disciples where to meet Him after His resurrection. But they have forgotten, and are living like they have no hope, and meanwhile the unbelievers remember Jesus’ words!
What a picture it must’ve been—the Rock of Ages sealed behind an aged rock. The Light of the world is now shut up in darkness. The One Who came to give life is now dead, but not for long! I don’t care for the crucifix because my Jesus is no longer on that cross...I serve a living Savior! “Gospel” means “good news”...and it wouldn’t be good news if He had only died for us, and not risen again.
4 Purposes: [why He had to literally rise from the dead]
1. His resurrection was the single sign of His deity.
He claimed to be God, but this was the day He proved it. Many have made the claim, but never have any of them beaten death! Doing miracles wasn’t enough...others in the Bible worked miracles, which was a sign that they were OF God, but only the resurrection could prove that He was God! Even the antichrist will be able to work miracles, but once he is sent to hell it is never to rise again, but not Jesus—because you can’t keep the God man down!
Many wanted a sign from Jesus that He was God. He said the only sign you’ll get is Jonah’s sign, 3 days and nights in the belly of the earth, and then out I’ll come!
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
2. His resurrection verifies the truth of Scripture.
The Bible falls apart if He remained dead. But since He rose, we have proof that the Bible is true. The OT made numerous predictions about the Messiah someday coming and conquering death. The odds were against that, it was next to impossible that the Jews would kill their own Messiah, and no one had beaten death before...until now!