Easter Saturday message on Shame to Sovereignty based on John 20:1-18 by Wong Chong Wah.
Today is Saturday evening which is the 3rd day.
Hung 9am. Darkness from 12pm. Buried by Friday 6pm.
(Jews not allow body to hang after sunset 6pm).
Thus today (at 7pm) is the 3rd day.
Women went to the tomb on Sunday morning.
Today is the day Jesus if risen from the dead (no one knows the exact time).
Yesterday we saw Jesus die in shame in the worst form of execution- crucifixion.
By right story should end there. All books biography/autobiography until person’s death.
Something happened! Jesus died BUT is no longer in the tomb!!
Luke, writer of Both Luke & Acts, as a doctor writes accurately.
In Luke chapter 1, Luke is writing the biography of Jesus which he & others have witnessed.
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. (Acts 1:1-2 NIV)
But in Acts, Luke is writing about the risen Jesus.
Yet then there were people who did believe Jesus. Or believed in vain & had fallen away.
People’s response either excitement or fear.
By rising from the dead what Jesus says that “Your sins are forgiven” is true.
Gospel merely proves to us that Jesus is the Son of God.
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:32, 36 NIV)
Empty tomb & empty cross are ‘receipts’ that Jesus died for our sins. Our sins are forgiven. Our sins are no more.
Conspiracy theory: Jesus body stolen by disciples
Q: Could disciples move the stone & steal the body?
A: The tomb is carved into or a natural cave. There are often many levels. And the stone covering is 2 tons! Tomb before closed has rock on groove. Then rolled & locked into place the stone. Additionally Jewish leaders due to fear requested tomb guarded. Thus guards were posted & Roman seal placed. Believed likely 16 soldiers forming perimeter & anyone approached killed. Soldiers did not approach own centurion but went to Jewish leaders & were paid a large sum.
Q: Jesus not really dead. Rolled away stone.
A: 2 ton stone?!
Q: Disciples saw hallucinations?
A: Reverse is true. Disciples actually saw Jesus but did not believe. Truth is more than 500 people saw Jesus after resurrected.
In John & other gospels we see a progression of faith.
1st frightened & run away.
Burial ceremony done by Joseph of Aramithea & Nicodemus in hurried manner without bathing body to be done before sabbath.
Women went there as very concerned & loved Jesus.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. (John 20:1-7 NIV)
Mary went early Sun morning but did not see Jesus’ body.
Mary was afraid & her faith was eclipsed (shaken). Like the eclipse from 12-3 the day Jesus was crucified.
Mary quickly ran to report the matter to Peter & John.
If stolen, entire body would have been taken away.
Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (John 20:8 NIV)
John saw & believed (!)
In the mind of John there can only be one conclusion – Jesus is risen!
“saw” appears 3x in the passage but different meanings in Greek
- v5: to glance at casually
- v6: to look carefully; observe
- v8: to perceive with intelligent comprehension
Challenge to you to not just glance or look BUT to PERCEIVE with intelligent comprehension that Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus previously talking in parables “will destroy temple & 3 days again raise it up”.
Disciples difficult to fathom Jesus talking on his death & resurrection.
Disciples saw then believed. Even Jewish leaders in a sense believed but tried to hide the truth.
For us, we have the Gospel to help us believe.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29 NIV)
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:8 NIV)
Suddenly dawn on them like morning sunshine that Jesus is no longer in the tomb.
Respond in JOY!
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:18 NIV)
Jesus said to Mary, “You have seen me. Now go & tell!”
When you come for this meeting are you looking for a historical narrative OR are you seeking to know on Jesus who has died & risen!
Do we view Jesus as a hero, prophet & a great man? A good ‘guru’ with good examples & good sayings? Jesus principles good to apply in business & life?
Jesus is much more than that!
Jesus wants you to know that He is your savior & my savior. He is your Lord & my Lord. He is my Master & your Master!