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John 20:1-18

He is the Way

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • April 12, 2020

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

He is the Way

John 20:1-18

Intro: The way out.

Read: John 20:1-18

Mary Magdalene and at least two others, were heading to the tomb of Jesus in order to finish the work of embalming and wrapping Jesus body (Luke 24:24). A good portion of that had been done on Friday by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, however, when Jesus was crucified on the cross, they were up against the clock. The dead were traditionally wrapped and embalmed in many layers, but because the Sabbath day was near and it was getting late in the day, Joseph and Nicodemus were rushed in preparing Jesus’ body for the tomb.

As Jesus died, Mary and the other women stood at a distance and watched, they also followed as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus transported Jesus’ body to the tomb, which was owned by Joseph. From the book of Luke, we understand that the women saw how the body was laid in the tomb and they then went home and prepared spices and perfumes in order to come back and properly care for Jesus’ body on the third day, which would be Sunday. Upon arriving to the tomb, Mary sees that the stone, which was previously in front of the tomb, had been rolled away. She thought they had taken His body somewhere else and ran to tell the disciples.

Peter and John then run to the tomb, because Jesus was now missing. Jesus’ body was gone. Neither the disciples, nor Mary understood what had happened. The previous week had gone by so fast, the people were just praising Him with shouts of Hosanna in the highest at the beginning of the week, and now, after shouts of “crucify Him,” and a Roman crucifixion, He was gone.

Mary and the disciples would not have had the opportunity to properly say goodbye, to say thank you, to express their love for Him. It happened too fast, a situation where one might have thought they were dreaming, but they weren’t.

Jesus had been put to death, and they did not understand the resurrection, but now, upon understanding that Jesus was missing from the last know place, Peter and John, two of Jesus’ closest friends and followers (disciples), race to the tomb where just three days earlier He had been placed.

  1. Look Again
  • It was the tomb where Jesus was placed three days earlier, and the 2000 lb. stone had been rolled away by an angel, Jesus wasn’t there…He had risen.
  • In verses 5, 6, and 8 the word “saw,” is used, yet, it was written in three different forms in the original language.
      • Vs. 5, (John) saw (blepo: to see visibly with one’s eyes) the linen wrappings, but did not go in.
      • Vs. 6, (Simon Peter) saw (theoreo: to discern, find out by seeing, theorize) the linen wrappings lying there.
      • Vs. 8, (John) saw (hor – ah –oh: to perceive and know) and believed.
  • John looked a second time, only this time, He saw and believed that Jesus had been risen from the dead.
  • Perhaps you have looked, or even theorized about Jesus in your life, but I encourage you to look again, to do as John did, to see and believe.

Jeremiah 29:13, You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Illus. Where is it?

John 10:9, I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.

  1. Let nothing else satisfy
  • While John and Peter were looking into the tomb, Mary had made her way back and was standing outside the tomb as they headed home.
  • The scripture makes clear that Mary Magdalene was a woman deeply troubled prior to meeting Jesus, in that, she was demon possessed by 7 demons (Lk. 8:1-2).
  • Dominated by evil spirits, what she had suffered was extremely severe. When Jesus met her, her peace of mind was destroyed, her body and life out of sorts, her life out of control.
  • Others would see her on the surface, call her crazy, and encourage people to stay away from and avoid her.
  • When Jesus met her, He did not avoid her, He healed her. He freed her from the demons that had dominated her life and disturbed her soul. He saved her.
  • From that point on, Mary loved Jesus. She was the last one at the cross He died on and the first one at the tomb on the third day.
  • Coming back to the tomb and standing outside, no doubt her eyes full of tears, she looks into the tomb and immediately she sees two angels, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.
  • The angels say to her, “woman, why are you weeping?” She responded, “because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
  • If I was in Mary’s shoes, I may have been quite impressed at the sight of two angels. But the angels seem inconsequential to Mary, she is there to find Jesus, only He will satisfy.
  • Most would be impressed by these angels (take selfies, post about it on social media, write a book, make a movie), and then stop there…but for Mary, no one else can satisfy.

Illus. It’s just not the same.

  • Mary was looking for Jesus, though I am sure they were spectacular, there was no way they could be dressed up, no matter how dazzling they were, that would make them a replacement for Jesus.

Matthew 7:7, seek and you will find…

Psalm 62:5, My soul, find rest in God alone; my hope comes from Him.

Psalm 63:1, O God, You are my God; I shall seek you earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for you, in dry and weary land where there is no water.

  • After speaking with the angels, Mary turns around and sees Jesus in His resurrected body, but she does not know it is Him. Jesus said to her, “woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
  • Still not knowing it is Jesus, supposing Him to be the gardener she responds, “sir, if you have carried Him away, please tell me where you have put him and I will take Him away.”
  • She doesn’t say, go get him and bring Him back, or, help me carry Him back. She just says, tell me where He is, “I’ll carry Him.”
  • Love doesn’t take into account the heaviness of the object. It pays the price. It expends the energy. It finds a way. She did not pause to consider how she would carry Jesus; it didn’t matter at that point.

1 Corinthians 13:7, Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  • No greater example of this than Jesus sacrifice for you and I. Carrying the burden and weight of sin, paying the price, expending the energy, making a way.
  • Jesus made a way for us. He went all the way to the cross, dying the death of a criminal, even though He was sinless.

Isaiah 53:5, He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

  • Jesus went to the cross because nothing else would satisfy.

1 Peter 2:24, He himself, bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed.

He was the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all…for you and for me, if we would receive Him…

Hebrews 10:11-14, Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest (Jesus) offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. (NLT)

Romans 8:34, Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Illus. Check it out.

Romans 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Hope and life in Christ is received personally when you ask Him into your life, when you receive His sacrifice as payment for your sin.
  • Finding Him is worth whatever burden carrying Jesus may bring.
  • And the lost being found, was worth it to Jesus to bear the burden of bearing your sin, offering Himself as its very payment for, once and for all.
  • Nothing and no one else could satisfy. If you are looking for the Savior, looking for hope, looking for the answer, look to Him, let nothing else satisfy.
  1. Embrace Him as Lord
  • Mary did not understand the resurrection, and with her eyes full of tears, she perceives Jesus as the gardener, until He called her name.
  • Jesus, standing before her in His resurrected body, called to her, “Mary!” …And immediately, she knew it was Jesus.
  • Her eyes had failed her, but there was no mistaking His voice.
  • There was something about the way the Lord called her name. And there is something about the way the Lord calls you and I that is like no other.

John 10:27, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

  • Mary responded to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).
  • She then clung to Him. She wasn’t going to let go. She had lost Him once, and she didn’t want to lose Him again.
  • If you have lost sight of the Lord and have returned, cling to Him, don’t let Him go.
  • Mary clung to Jesus, holding on and not letting go. But she was clinging to Him as teacher, Rabbi, miracle worker.
  • Jesus says to her, “stop clinging to me.” not because her heart was wrong, but because He had not yet ascended to the Father.
  • What He is saying to her is, “Mary, my mission was to come to earth to die for your sins, to reconcile you and the world to the Father.”
  • The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. In other words, embracing Jesus as a historical figure without embracing Him as the resurrected King and Lord of our lives is missing the point.

Romans 6:4-5, As Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

  • Whatever Jesus has been in your life in the past, it is critical to recognize that He is Lord, and by His death and resurrection, you can have life.

John 11:25-26, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

  • The personal significance of the resurrection is found in one verse many are familiar with.

John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

  • If you have walked away from the Jesus, would you look again at the opportunity to find new life in Him?
  • He sent His son to seek and to save, He is pursuing you. Would you embrace Him as Lord?

John 19:38-40

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 20:1-18

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. So the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.


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