Summary: There are many proofs of the resurrection, but Mary Magdalene found no peace until she SAW Jesus. Only a relationship with Christ brings peace. Intellectual proofs are not enough.
What Proves the Resurrection?
Purpose: To proclaim that Christ’s resurrection is real.
Aim: I want the listener to be challenged to have a more intimate walk with Christ.
INTRODUCTION: The Easter story is reviewed every year in every church that claims to be Christian. Most of us have heard the story of Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection many times. But, we have also heard stories about Santa Clause and the Easter bunny, too. We have heard beautiful fairy tales about castles and knights in shining armor. We have heard stories about fairy god-mothers who appeared and granted much needed wishes to poor maidens. We see well-acted dramas on television and in the movies. Technology is so advanced now, that producers can make impossible situations look real. They can make it look like spider-man really can fly from sky-scraper to sky-scraper. But, is it all real?
It is possible to listen to the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and come away being inspired. After all, a good Man was badly mistreated, falsely accused, and then executed by a mob driven mad. The plot then unfolds with a dramatic and unexpected turn of events. After three days in a grave, that Man comes to life again. The final scene shows that Man in perfect health rejoicing with all of His friends, and they all live “happily-ever-after.”
I want to challenge our thinking today. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is much more than a Hollywood epic thriller. It is more than just a story with a happy ending. What happened over 2,000 years ago on Easter morning was not only real in every sense of the word, it was also powerful. When we are confronted with the reality of Christ’s resurrection, it is impossible to remain unchanged by what happened on that day.
In the first 18 verses of John chapter 20 we find a person who was changed forever. Her name is Mary Magdalene.
Our text today shows us what convinced Mary that Jesus was really alive.
➔Vs.1-10 I. Mary Loved But Doubted
Mary Magdalene met Jesus for the first time in Luke 8:1-2 1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,(NAU) Jesus rescued her from her bondage to demons and she never forgot it. Every time we see Mary Magdalene we find her close to Christ. She was one of the women who helped provide for Christ’s needs as He traveled. We find her standing afar off while Jesus was dying on the Cross and here she is one of the first to look for Christ’s body. There is no doubt that she loved Jesus.
➔Vs.1-6 A. Christ’s resurrection was supernatural “linen wrappings lying there”
LYING literally means “Undisturbed in their place.” In other words, Jesus lifted Himself right up through the grave clothes. The wrappings were there like a collapsed cocoon.
Jesus also came right through the rock walls. He even by-passed the Roman seal on the tomb and the guards themselves.
This did not calm Mary’s fears.
➔Vs.7 B. Christ’s resurrection was physical “face-cloth...rolled up in a place by itself”
This shows us that after Jesus came through the grace-clothes He took the cloth that was used to cover His blood splattered face and carefully rolled it up and placed it neatly by itself.
So we see that Christ’s resurrection was physical. His body was now transformed, but it was still a body. Later He used this same body to pass through walls, and also to eat. He told doubting Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”(John 20:27 NAU)
Paul implies this truth when he describes the Gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,(NAU)
John tells us that Jesus must be a man as well as being God. 1 John 4:2-3 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.(NAU) John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.(NAU)