Summary: This is a sermon developed for telling the Easter story.
Scripture Text: Mark 16:1-8
For four hours he held the cylinder, waiting for rescue or an immediate death. After digging up what appeared to be an unexploded WWI bomb, David Page held on to it, afraid that letting go would detonate the device.
While holding the bomb, the terrified 40-year-old from Norfolk, England, called an emergency operator on his mobile phone. He even used the call to issue his last words for his family. "The woman police operator kept saying it would be okay," said Page, "but I kept saying to her, ’You’re not the one holding the bomb.’"
First responders rushed to the work-yard in eastern England, and army bomb disposal experts finally arrived. But the drama came to an abrupt end when the "bomb" was identified. It was part of the hydraulic suspension system from a Citroen, a popular European car.
There are times we find ourselves frozen with irrational fear. We know that the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world, but we forget the strength of our Protector while clutching our fear. Let go. It’s not a bomb, and you’re going to be okay!
Today we are talking about the greatest event in world History. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ! How can such a great thing drive us to fear. After today you will find we are not alone in our fear of proclaiming the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Hopefully after today though, this fear will be replaced by empowerment and will give us all strength to shine through our dark world boldly.
Mark has followed Peter everywhere and in this gospel he has recorded the single most important event of all time, the resurrection of Jesus Christ! He is proclaiming to us He is not in the grave, He is risen! How do we know he is risen? What makes us so sure?
Mark gives us three movements of the resurrection story that Peter preached to the early church and shows us how we know Christ is risen!
Witnesses declare the bond of the risen Lord with the crucified Jesus
Jesus really did die!
The original intent of this text is to share the good news of Christ resurrection. Real people saw this historical event. It isn’t just a made up story! God really did send his son down to this earth and Jesus chose to die so that we might live. He conquered the grave for us so that it would not be our eternal home.
This is an actual historical event playing out before us. Before this text, Jesus went before Pilate, he was mocked, he was crucified, he died, he went through the process of burial and then we have this! News that he is not dead any longer, He has risen!
Joseph and Nicodemus had begun the quick but lavish embalming of Jesus’ body on Friday evening. (John 19) The women come to the tomb, their witness assures the continuity of the risen Lord with the crucified Jesus. Jesus really did die and they were coming to anoint his dead body, seeking to perform one last service to him.
These women waited till the Sabbath was over at sundown on Saturday to buy the spices and made sure to get to the tomb as quick as possible to finish the process of the burial. They set out early that morning getting there at sunrise
When I was about 16 years old my grandfather passed away. He and I had been the only ones in the family who had liked the steelers. I liked them only because he did. When he passed away I wanted to give him something extra special. I thought about just writing a letter, or something like that. I decide to give him a Jerome Bettis gold stamped rookie card. I put it in his coffin as I made my last stroll up to his coffin and set in inside his flannel shirt.
2) He is not among the dead, He is risen!
He is not here
On their way there, there grows a great concern of who is going to roll the stone back for them. They had seen the heavy stone rolled by Joseph on Friday evening. To their amazement the stone had been rolled back! The descriptions and way it is said is meant for the readers to understand God had rolled the stone away. This entire event is God’s doing. John Tells us Mary Magdalene ran away to tell peter and John (20:2).
The women enter the tomb and find a “young man” dressed in a white robe. He is not Jesus, this is what is most astonishing. He was sitting on this stone that had been rolled back. This is an angel appearing in the form of a young man, the youth indicates the energy, strength, pleasant appearance and beauty of angels and all that is in heaven. Appearing in a white robe signifying the purity found in heaven. The women were amazed but probably a little frightened as well.