Our Savior Lives (John 20:1-10; 1 Cor. 15:55-57)

Resurrection Sunday

Our Savior Lives (John 20:1-10; 1 Cor. 15:55-57)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, April 21, 2019

Let’s think about children and joy. A number of years ago I was cutting the grass when all of a sudden I saw my then two year old, almost three year old, run out the back steps, get on her tricycle and ride up and down the drive way with a huge smile on her face. I saw joy, I saw excitement on her face. [This was not Meagan not paying attention] Now, at that time, we had a somewhat large yard and I was on a riding mower and I know her mother would not have let her out by herself. I was looking for Meagan but she was nowhere to be found which meant that Mercedes had found a way out. Mercedes loved and loves to play outside. I love seeing joy on her face. This made me think of the numerous moments of joy on a child’s face. I have seen it for almost 8 years now. But I think of holidays.

As Mercedes gets older she is really able to understand what is going on. One particular Christmas we carefully set out the gifts so that she could see them. She came out of her room and let out a happy scream and said “Presents!”

Do we have excitement in the Lord? Do we have joy in the Lord?

Let’s read John 20:1-10

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

Theme: In the next few minutes I want to explain the resurrection and the significance of the resurrection.

  1. Let me start by explaining the Easter Rush.
    1. For the last 20 years or so the Christmas rush has been a bigger and bigger deal. Stores were opening earlier and earlier the day after Thanksgiving. Now, they are even opening Thanksgiving Day. I realized this when I served as a shift manager at a McDonald’s in a commercial area. We were working the day after Thanksgiving and it was a new store. We did not know how busy we would be. The rush began at about 6:30 am and did not end until after 11 am. But before the Christmas rush there was an Easter rush. Let me tell you about the Easter rush.
    2. Jesus has been crucified, the disciples are in mourning. But they do not realize that Jesus cannot be kept down.
    3. Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb to see Jesus.
    4. She was the first to the tomb and she sees the stone rolled away.
    5. Mary did the logical thing, she goes to Peter and John. This is likely John, usually when we read, “The disciple whom Jesus loved” we believe it is John. She runs to Peter and John. She was in a hurry.
    6. Do you think Peter and John would have believed her? I would hope so, but she may be the one whom Jesus casts 7 demons out of in Luke 8:2. She could easily say, “I saw the tomb empty and they may say, “You saw something…” “Come on Mary…”
    7. Peter and John run to the tomb, but John ran faster. Funny thing about running, we don’t need to run fast, just faster than the one we are running with. It is like when I have been running with others and a dog comes after us. I don’t need to outrun the dog, I just need to outrun the other people. This is the Easter rush.
    8. They get to the tomb and see the tomb empty.
    9. John saw and believed.
    10. Verse 9: They had not understood the Scriptures that He must rise from the dead.
    11. Notice that Mary was the first to the tomb and the last to leave (verse 11). She was very devoted and faithful, we can learn from Mary.
    12. This Easter rush preceded any Christmas rush. The Easter rush was a big deal because our Savior Lives! No one can keep Jesus down! He had been resurrected!
  2. The disciples learned the same thing we learn– Our Savior Lives
    1. What is the significance of the resurrection? As I make each of these statements I would like you to respond with Our Savior Lives!
    2. We can have a relationship with Jesus because He lives. If He was not resurrected we would not have a relationship with Him. Our Savior Lives!
    3. Christ is our Savior who cannot die again. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again (Romans 6:9).[1] Our Savior Lives!
    4. Because of the resurrection we have new birth: According to his great mercy, [God the Father] has caused us to be born again to a living hopethrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).[2] Our Savior Lives!
    5. We have forgiveness of sins because of the resurrection. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).[3] Our Savior Lives!
    6. Because Jesus is raised we have no condemnation. Who is to condemn?Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Romans 8:34).[4] Our Savior Lives!
    7. Because of the resurrection we have the Lord’s personal fellowship and protection.[5] “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Our Savior Lives!
    8. Because of the resurrection of Jesus we know that we will also be raised from the dead: [We know] that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesusand bring us with you into his presence. (2 Corinthians 4:14; also Romans 6:4; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:20)[6] Our Savior Lives!
    9. If Jesus was not resurrected there would never be a Christianity. Our Savior Lives!
    10. The Romans would have shown the grave and it would be over. Our Savior Lives!
    11. Jesus’ resurrection shows the grave could not contain Him. Our Savior Lives!
    12. Jesus’ resurrection shows that He is the victor. Our Savior Lives!
    13. Jesus’ resurrection shows again, the miracles are true. Jesus has the power and authority over all nature. It’s not hard to figure out: He can break out because he wasn’t forced in. He letshimself be harassed and black-balled and scorned and shoved around and killed.[7] Our Savior Lives!
    14. No one can keep him down because no one ever knocked him down. He lay down when he was ready.[8] Our Savior Lives!
    15. And all God’s people responded with Amen—AMEN!
  • The resurrection is of the utmost importance in the Christian faith.
    1. The resurrection gives us hope. We have hope eternal, but we can also have a relationship with Jesus because of the resurrection.
    2. Tennent, the President of Asbury Theological Seminary said the following: “Buddhist travel to the remains of Buddha, Muslims travel to Medina for the remains of Muhammed but there is no place in the world you can travel to worship the remains of Christ!” (1 Cor 15) We cannot do that because Jesus arose.
    3. The Bible also says that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection. This means that we, if we trust in Christ as our Lord and Savior, will also have a future perfect and eternal body with Christ in His Kingdom.
    4. In 1 Cor 15:3-8 the Scriptures write about Jesus appearing to the disciples and later over 500 people all at the same time. Again, Jesus showed many that He has been resurrected.
    5. Later on in 1 Cor. 15:13-15 the Scriptures tell us that if Christ was not raised from the dead our faith is in vain! This means that our faith is useless. Later on in that same chapter the Scriptures write about our hope in the resurrection. You see, because Christ rose from the dead we have hope. We have hope that when we die it is not the end. We have hope that when our family members and friends who are Christians die they are not gone, but with Christ in eternal paradise. We can see them again because they will have resurrected bodies as Jesus did. Paul wrote, “Where O death is your sting.” (1 Cor. 15:55) There is no sting because we have eternal life in perfect bodies.
    6. Also, Christ’s resurrection shows that this is not simply His normal body coming back to life. No, this is a renewed body. In John 20:11-18 Jesus enters a room when the doors are locked. It seems as though our resurrected bodies may not be as limited as our current bodies. Jesus’ resurrected body will not die. Neither will yours. If you are a believer in Christ, you will have an eternal, perfect body.

I am going to read the words to Because He Lives

 Because He Lives

Think about it:

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

 When I was a child, on Christmas, my birthday and Easter I received gifts (probably too many definitely too many). On Christmas and Easter we would go to my grandparent house in the afternoon and I was always eager to share the news of what I received. After my birthday, I could not wait to share with my friends what gift I received.

When we have joy we share it. Joy is the gift that keeps on giving if we allow it to.

Share Jesus He has risen!

Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross paying the price for your sins? Sins are the wrong things we do.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Him. (John 14:6). The Bible teaches that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible says that God will not let the guilty go unpunished (2 Thess 1:8-9). Yet, the Bible teaches that God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). That is a dilemma. God can’t tell a lie or He wouldn’t be God (Numbers 23:19). God doesn’t change His mind (1 Sam 15:29). That is why God sent Jesus. The guilty must go punished. Jesus took our punishment on the cross. The penalty of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.

  

Let’s pray

 

[1] http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/can-t-keep-jesus-down

[2] ibid.

[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid.

[8] ibid.

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