Summary: The Resurrection should challenge our thinking and decision process about what is the most important truth and experience in life to pursue.
Read - 20:1-15a
"Who is it you are looking for?
What a question – immediately after His miraculous Resurrection, immediately after overcoming the death sentence of the world’s most powerful government, Jesus responds to Mary Magdalene’s question with one of his own, “Who is it you are looking for?”
In one way or another, our world has been looking for ‘Someone’ for a long time –
• Some One who has the answers for hurting humanity
• Some Politician who can bring people together in ‘Unity’
• Some Celebrity who makes dreams come true
• Some Musician who can soothe all of our troubles
• Some Leader who can inspire everyone everywhere to get along
• Some One who can make sense out of life & answer life’s most perplexing questions
It seems to me that the Resurrection of Jesus from a dead man’s grave proves that He is the Someone everyone has been looking for. The problem is, not everyone knows what He looks like or what He can do inside of us.
Imagine that a friend of yours is trying to connect with a wealthy man on a potential business opportunity. He’s never talked to or seen the man, but he’s heard that he’s in a large crowd at a business development seminar. He’s looking over the crowd of hundreds trying to pick out the man he has heard so much about who could hopefully lead him into a lucrative business deal.
• He looks over there and sees a group of people gathered around one guy and he wonders, ‘Is that him?’ Turns out it’s not -
• Then he looks in this direction and tries to figure out ‘which one could he be?’
• He introduces himself to several people, but no one knows the guy he’s looking for
• He remembers how others have described him, but no one here looks like ‘that’
• He walks around and searches but can’t find him
• He eventually gives up and starts looking for someone else…
I think that describes what’s been going on with our world’s search for God –
• People have heard about Him
• He’s been described in various ways
• He’s been represented well at times, misrepresented at other times
• Half truths about Him have damaged His image and reputation
• So people give up on the real God and turn their attention to other, lesser ways of living
• They begin looking elsewhere for someone else, for something else, and sad to say, for something less
In that search some have imagined and then proposed ‘other gods’, even ‘no God’. So people by the thousands and millions are lost without a Savior – living without his love and forgiveness.
With time various philosophies have been developed to make people feel better about themselves:
• Secularism -(claims there is no need for God - like Nihilism & Existentialism)
• Pluralism - (many ways to God are equally valid)
• Relativism -(denies absolute truth)
• Atheism - (there’s no god so don’t worry about ‘spiritual truth’ or religiosity)
• Dudeism - (there’s no dude who knows all truth so who cares about any of this)
Jesus Christ stands on the horizon of history and still asks, “Who is it you are looking for?”
Obviously the answer to that question is wrapped up in the significance of the Resurrection.
1. The Resurrection confirms that Jesus Christ was sent by the God who actually exists.
This is important because we need to be looking for a God who is real – not some man-made belief system that leads nowhere.
Jesus was no phony – He was not just another human leader. God sent him to earth to set us free from the deception and damage of sin.
The Resurrection of Jesus is our answer to the challenges of Atheism and Agnosticism.
For 4000 years of Biblical history God was busy documenting in Old Testament Scripture that someday He would send His Son to earth to proclaim His love and forgiveness. When Jesus was crucified, the Roman government confirmed his death, buried him and guarded his tomb with soldiers. But when angels appeared and Jesus came back to life again, the strongest and bravest Roman soldiers cowered in fear.
• Death could not hold Him
• Those rough and rugged soldiers couldn’t keep him in the grave
• All the doubts of unbelievers could not set aside His amazing comeback
No one in all of human history has died and been Resurrected to Live Forever, except Jesus Christ! The Resurrection confirms that God exists! This one event proves to the open minded and searcher of truth that no one is like Jesus Christ. He claimed to be equal with God and those who knew him confirmed that truth.