- Sermon Notes
Searching for the Risen Savior
Intro: Where is it?
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Illus. Searching in the right place!
This morning we turn to Matthew chapter 28 where we see several women make their way to the tomb where Jesus was once laid. The are looking and searching for Him, and in the process, they understand fully and see personally, that in looking for Jesus, they are searching for the Risen Savior!
Read: Matthew 28:1-7
In going to the tomb, the women looking for Jesus’ body are looking in the very place He had said He would not be on the third day. The angel reminds them of the key to their search…remembering what He said! And for you today, in your search for Jesus, the risen Savior, it is important to remember what He said, to know that you will not find Him amongst the dead! He is Risen!
- Search According What He Said
- Mary Magdalene, a woman named Joanna, Mary the mother of James, a woman named Salome, and potentially more (Luke 24:10; Mark 16:1), were heading to the tomb of Jesus in order to finish the work of embalming and wrapping His body for burial.
- 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.
- 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 (Lk. 23:55-56).
- They then rested on the Sabbath, and early in the morning on third day, Sunday, the first day of the week, they made their way to the tomb, Mark 16:3 tells us that while they were on the way, they wondered how they were going to get the stone that had been rolled in front of the tomb.
- Upon their arrival, they would not need to source enough help to move that heavy stone which was previously in front of the tomb, had been rolled away.
- Mary and the others see a different scene than they expected.
- First, the stone had already been rolled away by an angel of the Lord who was seated on top of the stone (Mt. 28:2). Second, the tomb Jesus had been placed in three days earlier, was empty.
- The soldiers who had been stationed to guard the tomb, had fainted in fear and became like dead men at the sight of the angel.
- As the women take in all the details, the angel sitting on top of the stone, speaks to them…
Matthew 28:5-6, Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
- They were searching for Jesus; the angel is aware of that. But the angel points them back to what Jesus had said. They were looking for Jesus, in a tomb, but Jesus was not there, He had risen, just as He said.
- And if they were going to truly find Jesus, they would not find Him amongst the dead.
- Jesus said three times previously in Matthew 16:21 and 17:23 that He would be killed, in 20:19 that His death would come by crucifixion.
- He followed up each prediction, by saying that on the third day He would be raised to life.
- Here the angel, does not change any of the information, rather the angel simply points them back to what Jesus said!
Luke 24:5-7, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
- The angel asks an important question, why are you looking for the living One, among the dead?
- Why has your search for the risen Savior brought you to a tomb? To the grave? Remember that He said He would rise on the third day? He is not here!
- Jesus did say He would be crucified, the Scriptures declared this as well. But to hear that face and stop there would mean you are stopping with only half of the needed information!
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Romans 4:25, He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Romans 6:9-11, Because Christ was raised from the dead, He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Illus. Where is He?
- As the women were looking for Jesus at the tomb, they were reminded of His words, that He would rise on the third day.
- And in our lives, we need to be reminded of the same. Jesus rose on the third day, He is alive, just as He said.
John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies…
John 6:47, Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who believes has eternal life.
John 10:9, I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.
- Search for Him according to what He said, that He is the resurrection and the life, and when you believe you have eternal life, when you receive Him, you don’t have to worry or fear regarding what happens when your life on this earth ends.
- Rejoice When You Reach Him
- Just as the angel directed, the women left the tomb and went to tell Jesus’ disciples. They would give the disciples the information that Jesus was going ahead of them to Galilee.
Matthew 28:9-10, As they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
- On their way, Jesus meets the women personally, and here is how He greets them, “rejoice!”
- Many of these very women, if not all of them, had seen what took place three days earlier, looking on from afar as He died on the cross.
- They followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, likely assisting in the burial preparations. Here they were on the third day, hoping to find a way to more properly prepare His body for the grave.
- And while they are on the way, He meets them… “Rejoice!”
- The word there “chairo,” means: to rejoice, be glad, rejoice exceedingly, to be well, to thrive! As a greeting, “hail.” Commentators have described it as a very common and casual greeting in that day, similar to, “howdy!”
John 1:4-5, In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
- Perhaps you are overwhelmed, in the midst of a dark and difficult time, overwhelmed by it all, but I want to tell you that when you search for and find the Savior, you can rejoice when you reach Him!
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Hebrews 4:15, We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses…
- While they did not initially cling to the reality of His resurrection, they were now headed in the right direction. Going to report the truth of Jesus resurrection to the disciples.
- They were on their way, running with fear and great joy (Matthew 28:8).
Illus. Do I seem worried?
- As Jesus meets these women, they are warmed by His words! Upon seeing meeting the risen Savior, they take the posture of worship and praise at His feet!
- Jesus comforts them again with these words, “do not be afraid.” This is another phrase we ca apply personally in His presence.
- This is another important phase we can apply personally when we meet Jesus, “do not be afraid.”
- Fear is the term, and we are told not to fear! Fear means to put to flight, to fear, be afraid, struck with fear, alarmed, seized.
Hebrews 13:6, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
1 Corinthians 15:56-57, The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus carried 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 and no one else could 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.
- Take Hold of the Truth About Him
Matthew 28:10, Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.
- He told those who had seen Him personally, to “go and tell” the others publicly!
- This directive is consistently found in Scripture and found more than once in this chapter alone.
- So, a key factor when taking a hold of the truth about Jesus, is to “go and tell!”
- Go and tell what you have heard, go and tell what you’ve seen, go and tell that eternal life is in store for all who believe!
Illus. Come meet Him!
John 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
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.
- If you believe Him, then you understand that those who receive Him will never die. And if you know He is the only way, don’t delay… “Go and tell!”
Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
- But there is another important factor that is key for us to see in taking a hold of the truth about Him.
- This is specifically important for those who have turned away, gone astray, or rejected Him.
- As noted from verse 10, Jesus said, “Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
- I want to draw your attention to what had taken place with those who Jesus was telling these women to go and give the good news to? They were those who had turned away, those who fled as Jesus bled and died on the cross just three days prior.
- Those who said they would never deny Him, but on that dark night, they fled instead.
- Jesus told those who had seen Him, to go tell those guys, and the word He used for them was, “my brothers.”
Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Jesus here shows us a better way, we often want to set the record straight, Jesus came to show and make a better way.
- “Rejoice, do not be afraid!” He has made the way!
Acts 4:12, There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.
Illus. The way forward.
- If you have gone astray, if you have been searching, I want you to know that you are not the only one. There is One who is searching for you. Would you turn to Him? He is ready to say in and over your life and situation, “rejoice!”
Romans 10:9, If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”