The Resurrection

 

 

 

 The Guard at the Tomb

Matthew 27:62-66

62 The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. 63 They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ 64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” 65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” 66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

The Resurrection

Matthew 28:1-15

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.  Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and He is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

The Report of the Guard

11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.

INTRODUCTION

Today, we will pretend that it is Easter. Since I was unable to share this message then, we {Lord willing} will do it now. Actually, every day is a celebration of the Resurrection. I just want to make few brief points, some that I have not considered before and I am indebted to Dr. T.W. Hunt for his insights.

I. FIRST: JESUS IS THE ONLY PERSON IS HISTORY WHOSE GRAVE HAD TO BE GUARDED TO KEEP HIM INSIDE THE TOMB.

 I understand that Pilot acted weakly and sinned against his own conscience and the sound advice of his wife but he actually does a couple of things that are commendable. First, he refused to change the wording on the charge. He wrote on the placard…Jesus, King of the Jews. The elders ask him to change the wording but he refused saying, “What I have written, I have written.” I’m like, way to go Pilate! Then when they for guards to guard the tomb, I love what he says, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” You have to love the irony. It sound as if Pilate has doubts as to whether or not the tomb of Jesus can be guarded. He says, “Do the best you can,” as if to say, your best is not going to be good enough.

As far as we know, Jesus is the only person who died and was buried and then the tomb guarded to keep HIM from escaping. It is just one more unique fact about our unique Savior.

II. SECONDLY: JESUS WAS IN FULL CONTROL THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE ORDEAL: ARREST, TRIAL, FLOGGING, CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION.

Dr. T.W. Hunt and Dr. Warren Wiersbe believe that Jesus of His own volitional will decided what moment He would give up His Spirit [die physically] and that He arose from the grave by His own divine will and power. There is scripture for this conviction in John 10:17-18… “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” Think about it folks, can you arrest God unless He allows it? Everything that happened was according to plan. The arrest, the conviction, the beating, the crucifixion and the resurrection was all a plan. At no point was Jesus out of control. By His own sovereign will, He chose to become weak and helpless for our sakes. He could have defended Himself and without His help they would never have gotten a conviction. They convicted Him on His own testimony because everyone else in the room were liars or false witnesses. Finally Jesus had to help them…“You have said it [I AM the Son of God]. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This did it, Caiaphas ripped his clothes and threw his hands in the air, Did you hear Him, He has blasphemed, what more proof do we need.” Just as you cannot arrest God, flog God, crucify God [unless He allows it] you cannot keep HIM in a grave.

III. THIRDLY: THERE ARE GOOD REASONS WHY JESUS REMAINED ON THE CROSS UNTIL HIS MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED

Lets go back to Matthew 27:41-43…. The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. He saved others,” they scoffed, “but He can’t save himself! So He is the King of Israel, is He? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

Liars, liars….He could have come down but they would not have believed even if He came down. Which is the greater miracle? Getting of a cross when you are attacked by three spikes or coming out of a grave after being dead three days? Would you not agree that the RESSURECTION is the greatest miracle of them all. Jesus knew that He must stay on the cross to [1] make atonement for our sins [2] to go to the grave and come out victoriously. You can not experience a resurrection until you experience death. If Jesus hadn’t died, He would not have been placed in a grave and He would not have come forth from that grave.

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing: it was the Jewish religious leaders [everyone at the time] who were in the dark.

IV. THE ATTEMPT OF THE ELDERS [SANHEDRIN] TO FABRICATE THE STORY OF GRAVE ROBBERY IS LUDICROUS.

 Lets go back to Matthew 28:11… As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.

One question: if the guards are asleep, how can they know who took the body? The story fabricated by the high court is laughable, insane, absurd, ridiculous. How can an eye witness be taken seriously when they slept through the entire event.

V. ALMOST LAST BUT NOT LEAST: JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF WHEN HE CHOOSES AND TO WHOM HE CHOOSES.

He revealed Himself first to the women, then to Peter {Luke 24:34}, then to the Disciples on the road to Emmaus, then to the 10 [Thomas not present], a week later to the 11 then 500 or more. Jesus was not a ghost: he had a nail scarred body that ate and drank but He could also appear and disappear in a second and he could be present without you recognizing His presence. We all want manifestations and miracles but Jesus wants us to live by faith. He has given us His word and for now, that is sufficient. Jesus said to doubting Thomas“You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

VI. LAST OF ALL: IF THE RERESSURECTION WAS A FABRICATED HOAKS, WHY WERE THE DISCIPLES SO SLOW TO BELIEVE?

Think about it, if you are going to conjure up some fictitious tale would you make yourself look like and idiot? The disciples do not shine in the crucifixion and they do no better with the resurrection…they were retarded when it came to faith…they were slow to believe. Notice Matthew 28:16-17…Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! Out of the 500 or so that witnessed the ascension and heard the great commission, some doubted. Would the disciples be struggling with doubt if this was a conspiracy? No, they would have guilt, but no doubt.

CONCLUSION

Jesus is, He always has been is and He always will be is…He His the GREAT I AM the God of Abraham. He is not only alive, He is the source of all life. The life you know have in your flesh and blood body is because of HIM and you will not have eternal life unless you repent of your sins and trust Him.

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