Christ Arose, Now What (John 20:1-10; Acts 1:8)?

Jesus rose again.

The resurrection changed the disciples and Jesus changes us.

Tim Keller shares:

Confucius, Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, founders of major religions, they all died in old age, in comfort and blessedness, triumphant over their opponents. Of all the founders of major religions, Jesus alone died alone, young, stripped naked, stared at, mocked, while he died by inches in agony, crying out to God who had forsaken him.

Here’s the question. Who, seeing that or even who hearing that story, would say, “That’s the message for me. That’s the spiritual leader I want. That’s the person in whose footsteps I want to walk”? Who in the world would say that? And yet here’s the empirical point. It’s a simple historical fact that the suffering and death of Jesus Christ transformed lives at a depth and on a scale that it completely changed the ancient world.

Why did that happen? Why would you see someone end like that and say, “What a great spiritual leader! There’s the message for me”? Why would anybody do that?[1]

My theme today is:

Jesus Lives and Sent us the Holy Spirit to change the world.

  1. Let’s walk through John 20:1-10.
    1. John 20:1: Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
    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. John 20:2: So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
    6. 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.
    7. Do you think Peter and John would have believed her? I would hope so, but Jesus casts 7 demons out of her in Luke 8:2. She could easily say, “I saw the tomb empty and they may say, “You saw something…” “Come on Mary…”
    8. John 20:3-4: So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
    9. Peter and John run to the tomb, but John ran faster.

John 20:5–10 (ESV)

And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

  1. They get to the tomb and see the tomb empty.
  2. John saw and believed.
  3. Verse 9: They had not understood the Scriptures that He must rise from the dead.
  4. Now, what?
    1. Jesus rose from the dead and lives forever interceding for us.
    2. What happened to the disciples after this?
    3. Jesus stayed with them for 40 days and then 50 days after the crucifixion we have the Holy Spirit come upon the church.
    4. Acts is written by Luke to follow up his Gospel account. In the first few verses Luke mentions who he is writing to and for what purpose he is writing.
    5. Luke writes about how Jesus had given commands through the Holy Spirit.
    6. Luke writes about how they were to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples that John baptized with water, but they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
    7. The disciples are confused and ask if Jesus is going to restore the Kingdom.
    8. This is interesting. After three years of traveling with Him, they still did not understand. They were still expecting that Jesus would overthrow Rome and start a physical, literal Kingdom.
    9. So, in verse 7 Jesus tells them that they are not to know the times or the seasons.
    10. Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
    11. You will be my witnesses… Jesus says that we will be His witnesses.
    12. The power that we have allows us, or compels us, or enables us, to be Christ’s witnesses.
    13. So, the power of the Holy Spirit is so that we can be a witness.
    14. In the very next chapter of Acts, in chapter 2, the Holy Spirit comes upon them and around 5000 people are saved. After that Peter and John are arrested for preaching the gospel. They are beaten and then released. Would you know that Peter and John said that they must preach the Gospel?
    15. Do you know that the term translated “witness” later became the same word used for “martyr”?
    16. The whole book of Acts is about the spread of the Gospel, even when it costs them their life. The whole New Testament is about the spread of the Gospel.
    17. This passage says that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. Awesome! Praise God! But that is not the end of the passage. They will receive power so that they can be witnesses.
  • Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth. . .
    1. This is an outline for the rest of the book of Acts.
    2. The Gospel started in Jerusalem and spread to Judea, and then Samaria and all the way to Rome. We are most accountable to spread the Gospel locally.
    3. Now what? Jesus rose from the tomb, the Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles and they tell about Jesus.
    4. We must tell about Jesus as well.

So, the disciples were changed by Jesus.

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).[2] 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).[3] 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).[4] 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).[5] Our Savior Lives!
  7. Because of the resurrection we have the Lord’s personal fellowship and protection.[6] “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)[7] 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.[8] Our Savior Lives!
  14. No one can keep him down because no one ever knocked him down. He lay down when he was ready.[9] Our Savior Lives!
  15. And all God’s people responded with Amen—AMEN!


[1] Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).


[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid.

[8] ibid.

[9] ibid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s