16 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
After the death of Jesus the oppressive darkness over the earth is lifted. Everyone knew something significant had happened. The substitutionary death of Jesus brings light (salvation) to a world lost in sin and darkness, that is, to all those who believes in Him by means of faith. “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, He was crucified. He is risen! He is not here”.
Once Jesus was in the tomb, the religious leaders knew how damaging it would be for rumors of a resurrected Jesus to spread around. He’d predicted his resurrection throughout His ministry, but of course they didn’t believe it was any more possible that He was the Savior or Messiah. But what they did believe to be possible was for Jesus’ disciples to plot and carry out the body of Jesus so it’d be possible to spread rumors of a supposed resurrection. Even though in their minds it couldn’t possibly happen, Of course, Jesus did raised three people from the dead. So they went to Pilate and pressed him to assign Roman soldiers to guard the tomb and prevent anything from happening until after the third day. You can see the fear they had of anyone claiming Jesus was raised. There is so much evidence testifying to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ it’s almost ridiculous, and yet many still to this day can’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
Why do we believe? This happened two thousand years ago. What evidence do we have to convince people about the risen Christ other than the Bible? “Just believe me friend, its right here in the Bible, the word of God”. If only it was that easy!
Have you ever taken time to think that the enemy, from the time of the virgin birth has always tried to deceive many from believing in the Savior. Our heavenly Father promised us a Savior. Lets look at the stories real quick. Jesus is born of a virgin and King Herod tries to kill Him. Jesus sets his path to the cross and Satan tries to tempt Him. Jesus is pouring His heart out in the garden and Judas betrays Him. But none of it mattered. Jesus came to earth for those very things: to be born of a virgin, live in victory over sin, die a cruel sacrificial death for you and me and finally be raised from the dead that Sunday morning long ago.
If the claim that Jesus made about rising from the grave is true, then we are compelled to believe that everything else He ever said is absolutely true too.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The only way someone could come to the Father apart from Jesus is if that person had lived a completely sinless life, in thought, in word, or in deed. And no one but Jesus Himself fits that profile. No one ever lived a sinless life other that Jesus. Remember... “no one is righteous, not even one”.
This means that everything Jesus declared about Himself is true: He is the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Light of the World, the one and only way, the Bread of Life, and the Living Water! If everything Jesus said is true – then there are no other ways, there is no second chance after death, your good deeds can’t outweigh your bad ones, none of your religious beliefs matters, and He’s not worried about whom you might impress here on earth by trying to do good.
As the risen Savior Jesus is also the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible declares Him to be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the coming King and Judge. Now there are only two possible destinations after this life, and there’s only one way to the one you want. Deny the Lordship of Christ all you want; it doesn’t make it any less true, that He came to save the lost. Jesus is the free gift the world denies. Why? Why deny something so precious and True? What does it take to believe in the One True Savior? Even His disciples at one point could not understand what He was saying about Himself...
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
Why did the disciples not understand what Jesus was saying? You would think that after all this time being with Jesus that they would just believe everything He was saying. They already witnessed a lot of the miracles that Jesus performed. “But they understood none of these things, this saying was hidden from them, and the did not know the things which were spoken”.
Christ is risen from the dead! Because He is risen, the Christian, you and i will also rise from the dead. The Christian lives between two resurrections. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of themselves, meaning the resurrection of the redeemed! The destiny of Christians is bound together with the destiny of Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus is a prophecy foretelling that death is not the end of man.
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
When a person believes in Christ, he or she is joined to Him in His death and resurrection. Before we came to Christ, sin and death had a hold on our lives, and on our own we could do nothing to escape it,but to serve it, as its obedient slaves. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, however, we gain the power to live for God, and no longer live in the chains of sin, and death. Death has no longer has its grips on you and I. Every believer has one mindset, and that is to do His will, To tell the whole world about Jesus, and nothing else, nothing else matters.
1 Corinthians 2:2
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Paul could have preached about a thousand different topics, but he knew the Corinthians needed most to hear about how the death of Christ could free anyone from the power of sin. “Free anyone from the power of sin”.
“For i determine to know nothing among you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”.
“If you have no share in the living Lord may God have mercy upon you! If you have no share in Christ's rising from the dead then you will not be raised up in the likeness of His glorified body. If you do not attain to that resurrection from among the dead then you must abide in death".
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the source of eternal life for every believer. “because He lives, we live also”.
1 Corinthians 15:12-14
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
“and your faith is empty”, still dead in trespasses and sin. No forgiveness, no new life, no eternity, no Jesus. The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is essential to the Truth and power of the gospel. There is no such thing as Christianity without His resurrection! None!!!
Paul addresses the problem that needs correction. Some of the Corinthians, perhaps without denying that Jesus had been raised, were questioning the doctrine of the resurrection because of their belief. Paul needed to show them that the resurrection of Jesus cannot be separated from the resurrection of those that are His. “the resurrection of Jesus, cannot be separated from the resurrection of those that are His”. ( If He lives, we live also) To deny this truth, or to think otherwise, is nothing but false religious beliefs... To deny that Jesus was raised from the dead... to deny the empty tomb, destroys the message of the Gospel. The truth of the Christian message is tied to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul cannot conceive of this message as having any spiritual value if its historical foundation did not exist...We live by Faith and not by sight, Jesus lives, there was an empty tomb, and nobody can take that away from us. We believe!!!
Our Lord Jesus faced the cross, so that we can live...
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God took the sins of you and I, piled them on the back of Jesus Christ, the One person who had never committed a single sin. Jesus Christ took our punishment, so that we may receive His righteousness. An important summary of the Gospel. God as judge assigned the responsibility of our sin to Christ, making it possible for Him (Jesus) to justly receive the punishment that we so rightly deserve! Jesus Christ was our substitute, accepting the penalty of sin in our place! One innocent life, for the lives of many, for the lives of many here tonight. Tell me...is that fair? No, fair is we take our punishment for the sins that we did. But we received mercy. It was the only way, Jesus, the Son of God is the Only Way. That is how you measure the Fathers love. One life, for many. God made a Way, and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ... Jesus is why we have been set free.
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
When the Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, to test Jesus, His reply was, “ who among you has never committed any sin, be the first to cast the stone”. Nobody threw a stone at her, why? We’re all sinners, we’re all guilty. Jesus asked the woman, “where are your accusers, has no one condemned you? She replied, No one Lord. And Jesus said, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”.
Put yourself in her place, and hear those same words, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. Who can condemn those that are in Christ? No one! “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”. Where are your accusers church,who can condemn you? No one!!!
We have been forgiven, “Because He lives, we live”. Nobody can take that away from us. Who can separate us from Christ?
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Once God has set His love His love on you and I, and this love is through faith in His Son Jesus, nothing can ever break the bonds of love that only He creates. Nothing!!!
This passage gives assurance to believers who are suffering persecution that such sufferings should not be interpreted as indicating that God no longer favors them or loves them. No amount of persecution or opposition can overwhelm the believer since the believer always has the victory in Christ. Neither the turmoil of this life nor death itself can separate the believer from Christ’s love. (John 10:27)
The title of this message is “The Empty Tomb”, The resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Where do you stand, what do you believe tonight church, or will you be like Thomas who needs proof in order to believe?
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
When Jesus appeared to Thomas, hope became a reality. The resurrection renewed his confidence in God, and motivated him to spend the rest of his life proclaiming the certainty of the Risen Christ. If uncertainties have smothered your confidence, your beliefs in the Lord. His power is so evident in the empty tomb. The Crucifixion was not the end of the story... Choose the path of faith, believe, and declare that Jesus is Risen.
“Because He Lives, We Live”
Pastor Richard Santos
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