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Summary: Why Do You Seek the Living One among the Dead? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). The Women (vs 1-3)

(2). The Angelic Beings (vs 4-8)

(3). The Disciples (vs 9-12)

SERMON BODY:

Quote: Professor John Lennox:

"Stephen Hawkins was just ahead of me at Cambridge, I can remember him quite well although I did not know him. I was rather amused when the Times interviewed him about religion;

he said:

'Religion is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark'.

I was asked to comment, so I said;

'atheism is a fairy story for people afraid of the light'."

(John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum.)

• TRANSITION: The resurrection story of Jesus:

• Is either the biggest fairy story ever invented;

• Or the greatest miracle and the most significant event in human history!

• Now this evening I know I am speaking to the converted;

• So I am not going to do an apologetic talk showing evidence for the resurrection.

• We have already done that in the past;

• And there are plenty of such talks and good resources available online.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:

• Is the greatest miracle that the world has or will ever see!

• I don’t know if you have noticed this observation.

• In the Old Testament when talking about the power of God;

• They always refer back to creation.

• The miracle of God creating the world out of nothing.

• In the New Testament when talking about the power of God;

• They always refer to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead!

Now one word you have to associate with Jesus Christ is ‘miracle’.

• He entered our world in a miraculous way;

• Conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

• During his three years of ministry, the four gospels record 37 miracles of Jesus.

• Most scholars tend to agree with this number.

• John the apostle tells us (John chapter 21 verse 25);

• Jesus performed many other miracles to these 37 that were not recorded.

• So Jesus entered our world in a miraculous way;

• He lived a miraculous life;

• And even in death, he has that word ‘miracle’ attributed to him!

Quote: I like what Peter Larson writes:

• "Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes.

• The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin's womb and an empty tomb.

• Jesus entered our world through a door marked 'No Entrance';

• And left through a door marked 'No Exit’”

Notice: the question asked in our Bible reading:

• “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (vs 5)

• That is a great question!

• We do not normally look for the dead among the living.

• So why would you look for the living among the dead?

• That is the question the angels posed to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb;

• That first Easter morning.

• And that is the question we are considering this evening.

(1). The Women (vs 1-3)

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

(a). The Day (vs 1): “On the first day of the week”.

• In Jesus’ day the Sabbath, our Saturday was the most significant day.

• Sabbath is the last day of the week and commemorates the rest of God after creation.

• But from this moment on, for the followers of Jesus;

• The first day of the week – which is Sunday would replace it in importance!

• Sunday would forever take precedence among Christians;

• Signify and memorating the resurrection of Jesus.

(b). The Task (vs 1) – embalm the body.

• Notice: with the Sabbath day ended the women waste no time;

• “Very early in the morning”;

• To embalm the body of Jesus with spices.

• John in his gospel (chapter 19 verses 38-42) tells us that:

• This anointing process had been started by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimithea;

• On the day that Jesus had died,

• These women came to finish the job;

• Or knowing men (and the type of men Nicodemus and Joseph were);

• These women came to do the job properly!

• Now don’t miss that detail: “the women took the spices they had prepared”.

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