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He Is Risen! - Matthew 28:1-20

 

He Is Risen!

Matthew 28:1-20                                 click here for audio

 

It’s interesting to see how movie producers in Hollywood handle the story of Jesus. I’ve seen several dramatization of the crucifixion of Jesus.  I will have to say many film writers do a fair treatment of the crucifixion, but not so with the resurrection.   It’s like they just can’t say for sure that Jesus actually rose from the dead.  Some give the impression that Jesus rose again only in the hearts of His followers.   Some movies will end with joyful music and then show a ghostly view of Jesus in the clouds, but it shows no resurrection.    You’ve got His followers looking up in the clouds and they say to one another,  “He’s now looking down on us.”  You look up and see a huge image of his face that disappears.   If that’s all we’ve got for a resurrection, then we have nothing firm to stand on.  Our faith is empty.

I’m glad we have the infalliable Word of God.   We have the true historical events of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The four Gospel writers,  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all give details of the Resurrection. They declare Jesus rose from the dead bodily and spent 40 days speaking with the disciples before His bodily ascension to Heaven.  During those days it is said by the Apostle Paul  “five hundred disciples saw him in his resurrected body all at one time”.

The Evidence for the Resurrection is overwhelming!  Jesus Christ Rose bodily triumphantly from the dead.

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

4 Powerful Words --  4 commanding words –

1.  Come –

Here’s the message to the women-  “Come”     Why did they come to the tomb of Jesus in the first place?    They did not come expecting to see  - the stone rolled away --   The ladies had this discussion among themselves on the way to the tomb,  “Who will roll away the stone for us?” (Mark 16:3)    They were surprised to see the huge round Rock roll away from the entrance to the tomb of Jesus.  No….they did not come expecting to see the STONE ROLLED AWAY.

They did not come expecting to see – an Angel -    Luke 24 says there were two angels.

The Angels tell the women -  He is not here! For he has risen!

They did not come EXPECTING to see an empty tomb….

There are other things they did not expect….   What about the earthquake?    See v.2

EARTHQUAKE---    what caused it?      was it Jesus trying to get out of the tomb….with all his strength…did that create the earthquake???    No.    v.2  “…an angel of the Lord…”

Why did the angel roll back the stone?     Someone says…that’s easy…so to let Jesus out…

Jesus was already gone!    The stone was rolled back  NOT to let Jesus out;    to let the women in.

And the other disciples Peter / John…   and for all believers to look in….and see for themselves…HE IS RISEN…

To the empty tomb….the women are invited to COME…  and examine for themselves…

COME -  that great invitational word --  they were commanded to come;  

What could have kept them from coming?

1)   Fear -   They were women out before daylight….  Not a good thing to do…  it would be dangerous to be out in desolate places such as this…  They could have had fear of Roman authorities… it was the government of Rome that put a seal on the tomb with soldiers to guard the tomb…  anyone tampering with what Rome had declared “off limits”  could face severe consequences..and what about the very presence of angelic beings….that would produce another kind of FEAR…   for fear of the angel the guards trembled and became like dead men…..  The Angel did not say to the guards  “fear not”     they did say to the women  “Do not be afraid”

To the unbelieving -  THEY HAVE RIGHT TO BE TREMBLING WITH FEAR..  BUT TO THOSE WHO LOVE Jesus and want to see Jesus --   they should have no fear to COME

2)   SiN – What about sin?     I think the thought of one’s own sin could have been a good reason to stay away and NOT respond to the angels’ invitation to come inside the tomb….the women could sense this is holy ground….this is sacred ground…. Something miraculous  has taken place…Something of DIVINE Power and DIVINE PRESENCE had overshadowed the tomb….

What is it that keeps you from COMING….  Coming closer to get acquainted with the RISEN LORD?

Is it FEAR?   Fear of what others might think of you?     Fear of what it might cost you?  Fear that you will have to give up something you treasure?    Give up some sin?   Give up some pleasure/

Maybe you think--  your SIN is too great,  and you are not  good enough,  or clean enough  or  you’ve done some very bad things….and so you are not ready to COME….

This INVITATION to COME is for those who are undeserving,  unqualified,   and unsuitable,

Jesus did  not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”  (Luke 5:32)

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-29)

This is why we celebrate EASTER -   Jesus CAME to die….Jesus CAME to identify with sinners…

Jesus CAME so that we CAN COME….    We can COME and receive the benefits of Calvary.   We can COME and see the Empty Tomb….and know that Christ is RISEN

There can be no salvation until YOU COME.

There can be no forgiveness until YOU COME.

There can be no hope of Heaven until YOU COME.

I pray you have obeyed that invitation.

 

2.  See –

“come and see the place where he lay”

What is it that we should expect to SEE when we look into the tomb?     What should we see when we see the place where he lay?

Charles Spurgeon preached a message entitled  The Tomb of Jesus from Matthew 28 and he suggested seeing the following five things:

(1)                The condescension of Jesus Christ

For Jesus to condescend….. For Jesus to come down from the beauties of Heaven to die  and to be placed in a tomb  is NOT NATURAL…    Jesus is God.    This is no place for God the Son!   YET HE DID.   He gave his life for us!        He condescended to the lowly state of man…even death…He paid our sin debt……Jesus was in the place of the dead…His dead lifeless body was in the tomb for 3 days and nights….  We SEE the condescension of our Lord!

(2)                The horror of our sin

It was OUR SIN that put him there!      Jesus did NOT die for his sin  BECAUSE he had no sin!

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5)

When we look into the TOMB OF JESUS---  we should have a great dislike for our sin!   As Believers we should have an ever increasing hatred for sin.   It was for SIN that put Christ on the cross and in the TOMB.

(3)                Be reminded that we too will die

We are to LOOK into the TOMB and be reminded of our own death.  Unless the Lord returns soon we will one day be placed in our tomb…. Not something we want to think about,  but it’s the truth.  WE MUST PREPARE BEFORE THAT TIME COMES.

(4)                See that Jesus is not in it

This is the GOOD NEWS-  He is NOT there!    He is RISEN!      This is the GREATEST Evidence of the Resurrection!     There’s one thing EVERYONE agreed upon   whether the person was a believer or not a believer!---it’s empty….the tomb is empty!         What had become of the body of Jesus?

Here’s where the BIG LIE came in.    (see vv.12-15)

Why would the disciples steal the body of JESUS,  and make up a story of the resurrection?  And then because of a myth,  a false story---  suffer and die the death of martyrs?

It’s a silly thing, utterly nonsense to die for a fabricated story!

WE LOOK in the tomb and see that Jesus is not there…because as the angel said,  reminding us of what Jesus said…  HE HAS RISEN…just like He said!

(5)                We shall also rise, as Jesus did

Jesus’ purpose did not end with His death and His resurrection….   His purpose is to save all that are HIS!   Jesus did not SAVE US to  LOSE US.     He’s coming again!    In His resurrection  He declares our resurrection with Him!

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  (IJohn 3:2)

When we LOOK into the tomb – we see our future resurrection!   There is LIFE beyond the grave!

 

3.  Go –

The angel tells the women – “come and see the place where he lay”   then  v.7 “GO quickly…”

That’s the next word --  the next command is  GO !

Standing around the tomb of Jesus  is NOT what we are to do..   We learn lessons from the tomb, and then we must GO…

Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

 

There is WORK to do!     There is a MISSION that our Lord has given to us!

The letters  “G”    “O”   begin the word    “G O S P E L”.   The Gospel means we have good news of Christ to share to others.

LOOK at v.19

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The great business of the church…for every believer….is that of declaring the Gospel…being a witness….GO …make disciples…see that they are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit….

 

4.  Tell –

As we go--- don’t forget  WHY you are going!     We tell the good news that Jesus has risen!

 

v.7    “then go quickly and tell his disciples………..”

Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

We’ve been to the TOMB and we have learned that Jesus is NOT there…He is risen!

We have received the message from the Lord…  It’s a message to be TOLD.     We don’t keep it all bottled up.     YOU don’t withhold good news!   YOU tell it!

We give to MISSIONS  so that others may be TOLD that Christ is Risen!

We witness to others  so that they may KNOW that the Christ who died for their sins  -  Has RISEN!

 

One of the joys of coming home from work each day is seeing Patty and the children… the grandkids come running toward me when they hear I’m in the house……and all of them will tell me of something that happened that day….some BIG Thing that happened….   Here’s how they tell it…  All together…and each one repeats the same thing… in their own way of expressing themselves…

That’s what we’re called to do….  TELL the GREAT NEWS ….the GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST TO OTHER PEOPLE

The resurrection of Jesus proves  HE IS GOD’S SON……..AND HE IS OUR SAVIOR…

….IT PROVES   HIS DEATH HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY  HIS FATHER AS A TRUE ATONEMENT FOR OUR SINS,……THERE IS POWER FOR VICTORY OVER SIN FOR ALL WHO BELONG TO JESUS, AND THOSE WHO ARE JOINED TO JESUS BY FAITH WILL THEMSELVES BE RAISED FROM DEATH TO LIFE IN HEAVEN.[1]

 

We have a glorious message to TELL!     A powerful message!    A much needed message for all who are perishing and separated from Jesus Christ.

 

We must be BOLD to TELL the good news --  because the enemy of Christ…the enemies of the gospel work hard to  TELL LIES  -  (see vv.11-15)

Satan, the devil is a Liar…the father of lies….

There are those who use the media,  documentaries,  science, archaeologist to come up with theories advocating another answer for the EMPTY TOMB!

There’s only ONE explanation -  it’s the truth--  Jesus was raised from the DEAD!   That the Gospel…the gospel truth……anything else is a lie…

 

What do you believe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] James Montgomery Boice,  Matthew commentary, pg 642


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