- Sermon Notes
Looking for the Risen Savior
Illus. Come and see.
Matthew 28:1-5, 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.
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!
- Look Beyond the Grave
- 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.
- 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 (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 who could role away the stone that had been rolled in front of the tomb.
- The heavy stone would not have been something they could have done on their own without help. What they realize upon their arrive to the tomb, however, is that the stone had already 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.
- And the angel speaks to the women, “Do not be afraid, I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.”
- While we know the details surrounding why they were there at the tomb from the other accounts, that they had spices prepared to finishing the work of embalming and preparing Jesus’ body for the tomb, I am struck by the way their trip to the grave is described in Matthew 28:1.
Matthew 28:1, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
Illus. Looking at the grave.
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.”
- It is in believing and receiving Jesus, whom God sent, that a person obtains eternal life…Eternal life, means just what is say, “life eternal,” lasting forever, endless…
Job 14:1, Man who is born of woman is few of days and full of trouble.
Psalm 39:5, Surely everyone at best is a mere breath.
James 4:14, Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Psalm 90:10, The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Psalm 90:12, Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- There is much that we take stock of and keep count of but are we aware that our days are numbered. When we are, we understand that where we are is not where we will be.
C.S. Lewis, It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.
- I go in this direction, because there are certainly those who believe everything is headed that direction. But Jesus told and tells a different story.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11(a), What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart…
- God has placed eternity in the human heart, and Jesus made the way for it to be reality. He invites us in and shows us that we can look beyond the grave.
- As the women are standing at the grave, the book of Luke reveals an important question asked at that moment.
Luke 24:5, … “Why are you seeking the living One among the dead?”
- In other words, why has your search for the risen Savior brought you to a tomb? To the grave?
- The question is a very good question, it might even seem that the angel asking the question was truly curious, “why are you looking for the living One among the dead?”
- The angel brings up a good point, and it is an important one for you and I. If you are looking for the Savior of the World, you won’t find Him in the grave among the dead!
Illus. Where is He?
Illus. The way forward.
- If He is not in the grave, then where is He? I am glad you asked!
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.
- Not only do the Scriptures speak of Jesus being raised from the dead, but Jesus also Himself spoke of this on many occasions.
- Review What Jesus Revealed
Matthew 28:5-6, I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said…
Luke 24:5(b)-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.” And they remembered His words…
- Their search was for Jesus, the angels were 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.
- So, what exactly did Jesus say?
- There are several places in Scriptures where Jesus either spoke directly of, or alluded to His death, burial and resurrection.
Matthew 16:21, From that time Jesus began to point out to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up on the third day.
Matthew 17:23, While they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be handed over to men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.
Matthew 20:19, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and they will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and flog and crucify, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
- Those three texts in Matthew are called passion predictions.
- He followed up each prediction, by saying that on the third day He would be raised to life.
- The angels in Luke 24 don’t change any information, they simply remind the one looking of what Jesus said, that He would be killed, but He would be resurrected.
- When the angels told them “He is Risen” and recited the words Jesus had given them previously.
Luke 24:8, And they remembered His words.
Illus. John 2:18-22
- And in our lives, we need to be reminded of the same. We can look back and review what Jesus revealed, so that we can know we have much to look forward to if we put our faith and trust in Him.
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.
- In reviewing what Jesus revealed, we get direction in what we are to do in order to move forward and into the life the Lord promises to those who believe.
Matthew 28:7, 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.”
- Upon review of what Jesus had revealed, the angel pointed them forward.
- He pointed them to the place Jesus said He would be.
Matthew 26:32, After I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.
- The angel tells the women who had come looking for Him, remember what He said, go to the place He said He would be, you will find Him there.
Matthew 28:8, And they left the tomb quickly…
- And that is what we do, we must review what Jesus revealed, look back on what He said, and then head in that direction.
Illus. Look back to look forward.
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 are looking for the Risen Savior today, I want to tell you that Jesus is the way.
- Perhaps this morning you know. You know what His Word says, you know the direction He and His Word is pointing you in and you have taken a few swings, you have taken a few hits, and you know that right now in your life, you are running the wrong direction.
Illus. Review the story.
Illus. Arms wide open.
Luke 15:21-24, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Luke 15:22-24, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
- As you review what Jesus revealed, and encourage you, to head toward Him quickly.
- See the Reality of Those Who Believe
Matthew 28:8-9, And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to report to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Rejoice!” And they came up and took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him.
- The women went to the place where they knew Jesus would be upon review of what Jesus revealed…And Jesus met them.
- And He said to them, “Rejoice!”
John 11:25, “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?
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.
Romans 10:9-10, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (NIV)
Romans 10:13, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.