April 9, 2023
RESURRECTION SUNDAY SERMON
GOOD NEWS OF THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR
Matthew 28:1 – 10
Today, we celebrate the greatest day in the history of the world. Today, we celebrate the great truth that Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a Roman cross and died, arose from the dead just three days later!
This one truth is what sets Christianity apart from every other system of belief in the world! All other religious leaders have died. Buddha! Mohammed died! Confucius died! Every founder of every religion that has ever existed has died. However, only One has risen again from the dead!
If we were to strip Christianity of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, then our faith would be no more than just another religious system condemning the souls of men to an eternity in Hell!
If Jesus did not risen from the dead and is not alive today, then everything he did was in vain, His death was a waste of a life and all of His teachings are simply the ravings of a madman! If Jesus Christ is not alive, then you have no salvation, there is no hope for the world and we are all headed to Hell!
Now, that having been said, I want to say that HE LIVES!
There is a story about the deceased Dr. Adrian Rogers and his wife. Some years ago, Dr. Adrian Rogers and his wife Joyce were in Russia, and while they were there, they visited Lenin’s Tomb. People are given strict instructions that they are not to speak a word as they walked through the mausoleum.
Dr. Rogers said that his wife Joyce, “normally follows all kinds of rules, but as they came to every guard, she said, ‘My Jesus is alive.’ To every single guard she said, “My Jesus is alive. My Jesus is alive.” And not one of the guards made any remark back to her. She knew that her Savior was not in a tomb and she wanted to share the good new!
The women came there that morning with spices expecting to find the body of Christ still lying in a tomb with a stone rolled over its mouth, and being guarded by Roman soldiers! The women were in for the surprise and shock of their lives. Rather than finding the dead body of Jesus, they heard news that energized, and encouraged their hearts. They heard news that shock the earth to its very foundations. They heard news that still reverberates down the corridors of both time and eternity!
As that little band of women approached the tomb that day, the earth shook, and angel appeared, and he rolled away the stone from the mouth of the tomb. The angel did not roll the stone away so that Christ could come out; he did so that they could go in!
That gleaming angel who countenance was like lightening, and whose clothes were as white as snow then sat upon the stone which he had rolled away! The soldiers who were there to guard the tomb were so shaken by what had happened and by the appearance of the angel that they became as dead men!
The women approached, and the angel answered all the questions that filled their hearts before they had a chance to say anything. That angel preached a powerful message that morning. I want to share it with you today. He brought GOOD NEWS OF THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR. I have four movements about the facts of the resurrection the angel proclaimed.
I. THE COMFORT OF THIS GOOD NEWS v. 5
A. Be Calm – Why? The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead proves that our God is sovereign and in absolute control! A God that powerful knows how to give peace to His children in spite of the circumstances in which they may find themselves, Phil. 4:7; John 14:27.
B. Be Courageous – The message of the resurrection should give us courage!
It should instill courage in our hearts because death was defeated for all who believe in Jesus. It should give us courage because He lives, and is seated at the right hand of God praying on our behalf, Heb. 13:5; Heb. 7:25!
C. Be Confident – The command to “fear not” should fill our hearts with confidence because Jesus always keeps His Word! His promises are real, and certain. Hs words are true!
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us a “lively hope”, 1 Pet. 1:3-5!
II. THE CHALLENGE OF THIS GOOD NEWS v. 6
A. A Challenge to Examine – “Come and see the place where the Lord lay” – it is an invitation to examine the claim of the resurrected Lord. His body which had been previously placed inside the tomb by Joseph and Nicodemus no longer lies where they had placed it. It could not have been stolen away because the Roman guards sealed the tomb. The empty tomb is a powerful argument!
If we examine the claims of the resurrection, and they have been examined by the greatest of minds for 2,000 years, there is no other explanation but that Jesus did just as He had promised, John 10:18! He rose from the dead in victory, glory and power!
B. A Challenge to Experience – The message of the angel who rolled the stone away is also an invitation to experience. The word “see” means “to know”. Jesus not only wants you to believe in the resurrection of Christ, but He wants you to know Him, to experience Him in a personal way!
A recent survey shows that nearly 66% or 2/3 of Americans say that they believe in the resurrection of Christ, but that does not mean that 66% know Him. The resurrected Christ wants you to know Him! It is not enough to know the facts, you must know the Lord!
III. THE COMMANDS OF THIS GOOD NEWS v. 7
The message of the Resurrection is a message filled with commands. Once we have experienced the resurrection! Once we have come, and once we have seen…. we are commanded to go and tell. Sadly, the great themes of our hearts of our Lord’s death and resurrection have ceased to touch our hearts!
A. A Command to Depart – The angelic message is an imperative message. It calls for action, for engagement on our part. The angel says to the ladies…” Go!”
1. The women obeyed. They became the very first witnesses for the risen Lord.
2. The discouraged believers (disciples) were the first ones the women were to tell. The discouraged were to be encouraged and stirred to join the great force of witnesses.
3. The witnessing was to be done quickly.
The message of the resurrection calls us to action! It calls us to engage in the work of the risen Lord!
B. A Command To Deliver – “go quickly, and tell…” The word “quickly” means “without delay” These women were commanded to go with a sense of urgency spreading the good news that Jesus Christ was risen from the dead!
People who do not know the Lord have no hope and they need to hear the Gospel of salvation through the grace of God and the blood of Jesus. The Gospel is a message that brings hope to all who hear it and receive it by faith, (The thief on the cross, Luke 23:39-43.)
IV. THE CONFIDENCE OF THIS GOOD NEWS v. 7,8,9
A. The Lord Precedes Them – “he goeth before you” We can spread the news of the risen Lord because He precedes us! Because He walks before us, and guides us, and instructs us, and lives in us, we can accomplish great things through Him, Phil. 4:13.
Jesus is with us no matter the circumstances, Matt. 28:18-20!
B. The Lord presents Himself to Them – “there shall ye see him” in verse 7 – Oh, the women ran to spread the news, but they also ran to see Him, v. 9! It wasn’t long until they ran right into Him!
One day we shall see the risen Lord face to face! We serve Him with gladness and joy today, because we know that we will see Him in His glory, some day.
GOOD NEWS OF THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR
1. The Comfort of the Good News
2. The Challenge of the Good News
3. The Commands of the Good news
4. The Confidence of the Good News
Responsive Reading: Matthew 28:1-10