Summary: The Resurrection is the one event in all history that can turn gloom to joy, make meaningless lives meaningful, and make the followers of Jesus Christ more than conquerors.
The Son Rise
Bulletin insert I wrote for this sermon; it has helpful info. Sermon outline follows it.
Resurrection: The Ultimate Victory
The four Gospels each contain bits of information about the events occurring after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Putting the four accounts together provides us with a detailed harmonization.
1. Christ rises from the dead very early Sunday morning. A violent earthquake and an angel rolling away the stone and sitting upon it accompany this event. The guards are traumatized because they have seen this angel and freeze (Matt. 28:2-4).
2. Mary Magdalene and another Mary either walk to the tomb together or they had planned to meet there. When she (or they) arrives, the stone has been rolled away (the guards are gone by now). She returns to find Peter and John and tells them that someone has moved Jesus’ body (John 20:1-2; Matt. 28:1).
3. Another group of women were scheduled to meet the two Marys at the tomb. They have acquired spices to complete the burial process, which had been hurried. They are concerned about finding some men to help roll the stone away, since it was large and needed to be rolled against gravity. To their surprise, these women see two angels, only one of which speaks, telling them that Jesus has been raised. The women are scared to death and leave [seeing angels has this effect] (Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8, Matt. 28:5-8).
4. Peter and John arrive after being summoned by Mary Magdalene, who apparently follows them there. John looks into the tomb, but Peter goes inside. All he finds are the burial clothes. They return, confused, but Mary Magdalene apparently stays at the tomb to grieve that someone has removed Jesus’ body (Luke 24:12, John 20:3-10).
5. Jesus makes His first appearance to Mary Magdalene, after Peter and John have left. At first she supposes Him to be the gardener, but she is then overjoyed to realize that it is the Lord (John 20:11-17, Mark 16:9).
6. Jesus then appears to these other women who had left before Peter and John had arrived. These are the women who saw the angels. Jesus tells them to communicate that the disciples were to prepare to travel to Galilee (Matt. 28:9-10)
8. The Roman guards report what they had witnessed to the chief priests. They were bribed to say that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were asleep. The priests promised the soldiers protection from military discipline through their clout (Matt. 28:11-15).
SERMON OUTLINE **********************
1. Have you heard about the cartoon of two Roman soldiers standing by the empty tomb? The stone was rolled away & one soldier was looking very worried because they had failed in their responsibility. But the other one shrugged & said, "Don’t worry about it. A hundred years from now, no one will remember."
2. Beyond the crucifixion we have the Resurrection. Although it is not yet Easter (or my preference, “Resurrection Sunday,”). we will still be on a Resurrection theme then. But, since we are in a series, we can slow down and take our time.
MAIN IDEA: The Resurrection is the one event in all history that can turn gloom to joy, make meaningless lives meaningful, and make the followers of Jesus Christ more than conquerors.
TS---------Let’s Look at Some of the Events Surrounding the Resurrection . That these events are choreographed by God seems obvious.
I. The Events Surrounding the Resurrection
A. The creating of an impossible situation
1. The sealing of the Tomb (Matt. 27:62-66)
(1) No one is expecting the resurrection except possibly the antagonistic priests
(2) They at least understood and remembered His claim that He would rise again
(3) Pilate gives them a guard (10 soldiers)
(4) Sets Roman seal on the tomb
2. The enemies of Jesus did not realize that were making any explanation OTHER than the fact Christ rose from the dead illogical
3. If there were no guard, they could simply say that the disciples stole the body!
4. Although the guards were later bribed to say that the disciples stole the body, this is ludicrous and self-contradictory (Matt. 28:11-15).
(1) if guards fell asleep on duty, penalty was crucifixion
(2) how could disciples sneak in while 10 guards were sleeping, move the large stone and take the body but still be seen by the guards (not, “his body was missing” but “the disciples stole the body“)
(3) why were the disciples not apprehended for the major offense of breaking the Roman seal, thus defying Roman authority?
5. Unbeknown to them, they created a great defense for the Christian faith!