He is risen! Scripture References are: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; 1 Corinthians 15;
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.
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.
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. But it was and the FBI, DEA, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD of the Roman Empire had no clue who did it or who removed the very large stone.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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)
· 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? The evidence is irrefutable.
NOTE: defying the skeptics
· 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
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.
Proposed prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the resurrection, for rising from the dead. Please let this Easter renew a right spirit within me and for those who do not know You, help me to share the sermon You have commanded me to pass on. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
Have a blessed post-Easter