Here is the sermon for Wednesday, May 5th 2010.

John part 85

Jesus has risen!

John 20:1-18.

John 20:1-18 NET – 1 Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. 2 So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. 9 (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.)  10 So the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary replied, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Because she thought he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher).  17 Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her.

INTRODUCTION

As we study our text dealing with the resurrection of Jesus tonight, let’s keep this truth in mind.  Sometimes it seems that we wonder where Jesus is while are going through times of pain and sorrow; but take heart – Jesus knows our condition.  He finds us there when all hope is gone.  We must learn to trust Him to call our name during those horrible times.  For when He does, there we find Him.

And that is how it is in our story tonight.  Jesus has been in the tomb – dead – for three days.  For the disciples, as well as other followers, hope has been lost and shattered.  But resurrection Sunday has come!  And with its coming, hope is renewed.

Let’s begin to unpack our text tonight.

Mary Magdalene visits the tomb.

John 20:1-2 NET – 1 Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. 2 So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Mary goes to the tomb of our Lord.  We know from the other Gospels that she is not alone (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1).  We also know from the other Gospels that they came with spices for Christ’s body.  Evidently, Jesus was buried quickly because of the Sabbath so His preparation for burial probably wasn’t complete.  It was still dark, so this is very early Sunday morning before the sunrise.  Mark records what their conversation was as they were coming to the tomb.

Mark 16:3 NET – They had been asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”

When Mary Magdalene and the other women arrived at the tomb, they saw that they stone had already been moved!  Mary knew something was wrong.  Can you imagine the fear gripping her heart!  I’m sure she thinks that things have just gone from bad to worse!  Mary in panic runs to Peter and John with this cry, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him.” Jesus’ words concerning His resurrection has not registered for them yet.

It can be so easy to just accept what we see and know and sometimes forget or even understand the promises of God’s Word.  But when God makes a promise in His Word, it always comes true, whether we understand it or not.

Peter and John investigate.

John 20:3-10 NET – 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. 9 (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.)  10 So the disciples went back to their homes.

Instead of realizing that Jesus was resurrected as prophesied, they run to the tomb to investigate.  They must see with their own eyes what Mary is talking about.

John outruns Peter, gets to the tomb and sees the grave cloths lying there.  What is significant about these empty grave cloths?  Well, they were tightly wrapped around Jesus body.  A thief would not un-wrap Him especially if they were in a hurry.

Peter goes into the tomb, followed by John.  At this moment John says, “He saw and believed.” But at the same time, verse 9 states, “for they did not yet understand the Scripture that Jesus just rise from the dead.”

Then we see Peter and John go back to their homes.

Mary and two angels.

John 20:11-13 NET – 11 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary replied, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!”

Mary stays at the tomb, weeping over the fact that Jesus’ body is missing.  She looks into the tomb and two angels appear and I believe try to comfort her by saying, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary responds, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put Him.” She still doesn’t believe the fact that Jesus has risen.  But notice the next tender moment.

Jesus appears to Mary.

John 20:14-17 NET – 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Because she thought he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher).  17 Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary turns around and sees Jesus, though she doesn’t recognize Him.  Maybe it was the darkness of the hour, maybe her broken heart and tear-filled eyes, or maybe Jesus concealed His identity; but whatever the case, she is unaware that this is Jesus standing in front of her.

Notice Jesus’ tender words to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” He does not admonish Mary for not recognizing Him.

Then Jesus reveals Himself to her by just the mention of her name, “Mary.” All the confusion Mary had left her in that instant.

Jesus tells her, “Do not touch me.” Perhaps she has wrapped her arms around the legs of Jesus in complete adoration, clinging to Him.  “Touch” in Greek means, “to cling or fasten too.”

Then Jesus gives a message for Mary to deliver, “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene – the first Gospel preacher.

John 20:18 NET – Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her.

Why do I call Mary the first Gospel preacher?  Well Gospel means, “Good news” and she just shared the good news of Christ’s resurrection with the disciples.

CONCLUSION

Mary experienced deep sorrow when she saw Jesus was missing from His tomb; but her sorrow turned to unspeakable joy when we saw her resurrected Savior face to face.

Like Mary, we can get bogged down by the harshness of life and forget about the joy that we have because of the resurrected Christ.  Let’s be filled with joy because we serve a risen Savior!

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