Summary: The resurrection shows us the overwhelming grace of God and the overwhelming humaneness of man. The disciples were afraid and confused after the death of Jesus. Look deep in the tomb and see the reality of the resurrection and the response it requires
Intro: I heard about a church organist who overslept one Easter morning. She said, "The service was scheduled for 6:30. At 6:31, the minister called to see if I was coming. Since I live near the church, I was at the organ by 6:45. Then, a year later on Easter morning my phone rang at 5:45. When I answered, I heard the minister announce: 'Christ is risen! And you'd better rise, too!'" (K Edward Skinner, Sermon Central.com)
Some of you seem to have risen just fine this morning! I’m glad you here to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with this family of faith. This morning we are going to see the reality of the resurrection and think about what should be our response. There have been attacks on the resurrection of Jesus that call it a hoax, a make believe story. Others have simply ignored the story of the death, burial and resurrection of the God man.
We can see something in the resurrection that no other religion does in the world. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus deals with man’s sin and separation from God. In the resurrection we find hope because it is not based on us working toward God it is God coming to our level and taking care of our sin and rebellion against Him. I hope that you can look at the resurrection with fresh eyes and if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus as savior and Lord that you will ask Him to show you the truth.
If you do know Jesus I pray that you will be reinvigorated with the overwhelming grace of God and overwhelming humanness of His followers.
I. The response to ------
A) The empty Tomb
1) The Disciples
a) Mary Magdalene
John 20:1-2 Mary went to the tomb and thought that someone had taken his body. She was not thinking about resurrection.
Mark 16:1-5 Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of Jesus were going to the tomb and saying who are we going to get to move the stone for us? When they got there the stone was gone and they were amazed and alarmed. They were not singing Jesus is risen to day they were alarmed and afraid.
b) The other disciples
What happened when Mary told the other disciples did they celebrate and say Jesus is risen He is risen indeed? No listen to Luke 24:11 and Mark 16:11. Two accounts report that the disciples did not believe her story.
John 20:8-10 John looked in and believed. However look at the following statement, “They did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead.” The last part is the best. Then the disciples went home. I mean really they are fabricating a story about a risen savior and they went home for fish and chips!
2) The Chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:62-66, 28:11-15)
The only people even thinking about a resurrection were the Saducees and Pharisees. They got permission from Pilate to send a guard to keep the disciples from the tomb.
Now how many guards do you think they sent? A Roman Guard at its bear minimum would have been 4 men. In Acts 12:4 four squads of at least four soldiers were sent to guard Paul. So how many do you think they would have sent to deal with at least 11 disciples?
Matthew 28 as the guards are coming back after being scared stiff by the angel flinging stone away they are bribed by the priests and elders. They bribed them to say his disciples stole the body. The story is still told today.
You have to ask this question if the disciples stole his body why did they report they were afraid and alarmed that the body was missing. If the disciples stole the body how did they remove the stone under the guard’s noses?
B) The risen savior
Luke 24:36-49 (emphasis on 36-43)
They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a spirit or ghost.
What doses Jesus say? Why are you troubled why do doubts arise in your hearts? And then to prove he is alive he asks for food and ate it in their presence.
Again why record the doubts they had about this being Jesus.
Why is this so important? The responses to the resurrection of Jesus have the air of reality about them. The doubts, fears of the disciples and the fabrications of the priests and elders. These point to the reality of the resurrection.
II. The reality of the details of the resurrection
A) The truthful eyewitness accounts
If you read the eyewitness accounts about the death, burial and resurrection it is much like reading different newspapers articles about the same event. Each writer puts his or her research insights and opinions into an article about the same event. Eyewitnesses each see form a different point of view. There was a movie not long ago called vantage point. From each witnesses point of view we see the same event. Each gospel tells us from the vantage point of that disciple or the eye witness accounts of a disciple.