He is Risen! Scripture references are: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 15
- John 19:4-6; 14-16. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
The Sabbath: Which was Saturday; the Sabbath was over.
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Definition of a day
Exodus 20:8-9 says Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. 9 You have six days in which to do your work, 10 but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me.
- In the fourth commandment, we get a very basic idea of what to do and not do on the Sabbath (e.g. keep it holy but do not work).
- However, we are not given any specific instructions as to when to keep the day.
- Obviously, such an absence of an exact time within the Ten Commandments could be indicative of God’s intention and wisdom with respect to a law that should be adaptable to various geographical locations.
The Sabbath starts from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday night at nightfall, approximately 72 minutes after sunset.
- Why? Because Genesis 1:5 says “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day.”
- So according to Judaism, a new day begins in the evening, at sunset.
- The Old Testament represents the law requires that the Sabbath be kept as part of the legal, moral, sacrificial system
The Sunday:Which was the First day of the week
Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.
- Sunday was the first day of the week, which at the time started after the Sabbath day.
- With Jesus’ death, we are no longer under the Law (OT) but under grace. Romans 6:14 says 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
- Romans 14:6 gives us an insight into how Sunday became the day we worship
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
In fact this Romans 14 passage from verse is interesting and important to our discussion as it talks about why
- be judged by others as to what you eat or what day you choose to engage in a particular activity.
Look at Colossians 2:16-17 which also says the same thing:
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Look also with me at Acts 20:6-7
6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
- It is church time and we do see at least 2 key and very important church functions: breaking bread and sermon
What about 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, which says:
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
We know that some other churches, (e.g. Seventh-day Adventists), still observe a Saturday Sabbath.
- For such churches, honouring the Sabbath is part of the original Ten Commandments
- They believe it is a permanent, binding command that should not be changed.
But know what?
- In Acts 2:46 we learn that from the start, the church in Jerusalem met every day
- They met in the temple courts and also gathered to break bread together in private homes.
- That should tell us something, right?
- The Seal: it was broken
- Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
- Breaking the seal of the iron power and authority of the Roman Empire?
- The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe.
- In fact, the seal could only be broken on penalty of death.
- But it was broken and the FBI, DEA, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD of the Roman Empire had no clue who did it or who removed the very large stone.
- And even if they did, what could they do? About that lone angel sitting on the stone? Nothing!
- The Stone: large as it was, it was rolled away
- Mark 16:3 And they [the women] were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
- Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
- The angel was chilling on the stone, a stone that took numerous Roman soldiers to roll into place, one angel, if you will allow me to bring it into Pastor Andrew translation, flicked it with his little finger and sat on it while the sentries lay around as dead!
- The Sentries/Soldiers: they had fled (AWOL) and those remaining were as dead men
- Matthew 28:4 and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
- The soldiers were selected from that “whole band of soldiers” because Matthew 27:27 says 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
- So they were the best of the best
- The Sepulchre: it was empty
- Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
- The women carried with them myrrh and went to Jesus’ tomb to carry out their last devotions
- They went to anoint Jesus’ body with the spices and also to pour oils over it
- What a shock for them! And look at it: today, we are celebrating it.
- The moslems, hindus, sikhs, whatever can never say the same! Hallelujah!
- The Strips of linen: it lay there like how a deflated dummy retains its shape
- Luke 24:12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
- The strips of linen cloth, which were used to bind Christ’s body lay inside the tomb, in the shape of His body; He just went through those strips; the body that had been wrapped in them was gone.
- The Sermon: go and spread the good news of the resurrection
- Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
- What are we doing? People are dying and some are being deceived. Let us go and tell them the good news that Jesus is alive.
- The Saints: they heeded the call to “Go!”
- Matthew 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
- Total obedience from these disciples! And boy, did they run! Why is it that we don’t want to share the word? Why don’t we want to evangelize?
- The Son of Man, the Saviour: He is R-I-S-E-N
- Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
- Jesus Himself appears to them. When we are petrified and confused, we ought to know that Jesus is never far from us; He is always as close as the mention of His name: J-E-S-U-S! Look at the reverence! They held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
- The Sermon (repeated): go and spread the good news of MY resurrection
- Matthew 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
- The Sanhedrin: go and spread lies to cover up the truth
- Matthew 28:11-14 11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
- The Sightings (non-hostile witnesses):
- Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
- The Sermon (repeated AGAIN):
- Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- The Sightings (hostile and non-hostile witnesses)
- Saul of Tarsus despised Christ and persecuted His followers (Acts 9); he was on his way to exterminate more when Christ appeared to him. Later, he became a follower of Christ and one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection and also the apostle who wrote most of the New Testament.
- More than 500 people saw Christ at one time. Numerous Christian believers saw the resurrected Jesus. Christ remained on Earth for 40 days after His resurrection, and He made many appearances, including one before more than 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6)
- The Skeptics: they have been defied!
- John 20:24-29 (Thomas)
- Jesus didn’t swoon or faint from exhaustion and loss of blood.
- The disciples didn’t go to the wrong tomb.
- His appearances were neither illusions nor hallucinations
- His body was not stolen
- The Saved (Salvation):
- First, the soldiers: right there in Pilate’s hall they stripped and scourged Jesus
- They mocked Him and then took Him away to crucify Him.
- They watched Him suffer and they watched Him die
- But then, they also experienced the great darkness and the great earthquake says Matthew 27:45, 51
- Fact is, people heard their centurion cry out: “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).
- Others: many, many, many believed and were saved (Acts 2).
- Saul also believed and as a result became Paul the apostle.
- Over 2000 years later, I am one of the believers.
- Have you accepted the fact of His resurrection? The evidence is irrefutable.
So where do you stand? Three times the sermon was “Go ye and tell…” We have been commanded, we have been tasked with the responsibility to go and tell our family members, friends, colleagues, strangers the good news that the only person who died and rose again is Jesus and that He is a-l-i-v-e forevermore and to be with Him in heaven, one simply has to repent of their sins, confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that He Jesus is Lord.