Easter Sunday. John Chapter 20.
Sermon Notes: Easter Sunday. John Chapter 20.
Our message to the world is – that Jesus died THERE and THEN, but he lives and gives LIFE to us HERE and NOW.
Just when the authorities were uncorking the bottles, convinced that this preacher Jesus was no more – He pops up again – HERE, THERE and EVERYWHERE! No longer dead and buried, but WALKING and TALKING. Having been executed and sealed in a tomb, the word on the street is – JESUS is ALIVE and in remarkably good health.
1: What John himself saw with his own two eyes, v1-9.
The Question is what did John see that convinced him?
The Tomb was empty. Joseph and Nicodemus had put the body of Jesus in the tomb on Friday evening, John 19:39, ‘Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus, asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus’ body down. When Pilate gave him permission, he came and took the body away.’ Together Joseph and Nicodemus prepare the body of Jesus and place His body in the tomb and seal it.
It’s early on Sunday morning, still dark and Mary Magdalene comes as a grieving woman to pay her respects, and she has no idea that she is going to meet a Living Jesus. But when she comes to that tomb, the tomb is empty, the heavy stone is thrown back from the entrance, and we see that Jesus is no longer there.
The grave cloths are still there, but the body has gone, Ch 20:5-8. And when John eventually puts his head right inside the tomb, what does he see? He sees the grave cloths lying there, as if collapsed, v5, ‘He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.’ if anyone had of taken the body of Jesus they would have taken the cloths as well, because the myrrh glued the cloths to the body. V8, ‘Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed.’ It sunk in, that Jesus really had been raised to LIFE and was ALIVE.
2: What Mary saw with her own tow eyes, v10-18.
Mary had obviously loved Jesus very much, but why? Because He had delivered, saved and transformed her life, and made her a brand-new person by God’s power. Her desire as she comes to the tomb is simply to weep over the bruised and broken body of the Saviour, whom she loved. When she discovers that the tomb is empty, she doesn’t think resurrection! She runs and finds Peter and John and says, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’
Then in verse 15 when everyone has gone home, she meets someone who she thinks is the gardener, ‘Why are you crying? Jesus asked her, ‘Who are you looking for? She thought it was the gardener. Sir, she said, If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’
She doesn’t recognize Jesus at first, but when she does, she throws her arms around Him, v16. And so he gently says to her, v17, ‘Don’t cling to me,’ ‘It’s okay, you can let me go, go now and tell the others I’m alive.’
With her own two eyes, her own two ears, her own tow hands, she sees the Living Jesus, hears the Living Jesus, and touches the Living Jesus, and she is absolutely convinced and she believes.
3: What Thomas saw with his own two eyes, v19-29.
He refuses point blank to believe, v25, ‘They told him, ‘we have seen the Lord!’ But he replied, I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’ What a demand!
It’s not enough that others have seen, spoken to, and physically touched the Living Lord. But Thomas will not believe unless he himself has personal, visual, concrete proof. And when Jesus comes into that room a week later, He obviously heard every word that Thomas has expressed, plus every demand that Thomas has made. V27, ‘Then Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!
Then Jesus makes this statement which is really for us HERE and NOW, v29, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.’
Far better thing in His eyes not to have seen and yet come to real and living faith in Him.
Our message is not just about the past, it’s about the present, this living message which we proclaim this day is a message of LIFE, a message which Jesus Himself spoke off in John 10:10, ‘My purpose is to give life in all it’s fulness. That’s WORTH having NOW and BEYOND. JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN TODAY!