040912PM WOTB-28 HeArose
He Rose Again
Christ’s Resurrection is our focus this evening.
Step back with me and think about the entire event.
Think about the impact that Christ’s stepping out of that tomb had on the “inner circle”. If there were 500 plus witnesses as Paul speaks of in 1st Corinthians 15, then there were 16 that were those closest to Jesus.
Think of what happened to ALL of them.
What changed that whole group of 16 who were each recorded in God’s Word as being the inner circle or Christ’s personal supporters? Here they are as we know them from the Gospels:
The eleven surviving apostles.
Mary the mother of Jesus.
Mary, the wife of Cleophas.
Salome, the wife of Zebedee.
Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward.
Every one of them was touched by the common belief that Jesus had conquered death and was ALIVE after He had died.
“Now the peculiar thing about this phenomenon is that, not only did it spread to every single member of the party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual center of Judea, against the ablest dialecticians of the day, and in the face of every impediment a brilliant and highly organized camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had begun to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire.”
What happened to the formerly fleeing and fearful band of disciples? What did they see and experience that forged them into a “dynamic force? Think of what they were. The disciples after the Garden of Gethsemane could be described as consisting of:
- a habitual doubter like Thomas,
- a rather weak fisherman like Peter,
- a gentle dreamer like John,
- his ambitious and easily angered brother James
- a practical tax gatherer like Matthew,
- a few seafaring men like Andrew and Nathanael,
- and those other four we know so little about.
And made them such a dynamic force? ONE THING:
THEY SAW HIM!
Look at their confession on the Gospel by John 20:
v. 8 John saw and believed
v. 18 Mary confesses “I have seen the Lord!”
v. 25 Then the gathered disciples tell Thomas, “we have seen the Lord”.
v. 28 Finally Thomas says, “My Lord And My God!”
The great defining passage on the Gospel is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Here, the Gospel is defined as the good news that –
- “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
- And that He was buried,
- and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
There are many details we will see in the days ahead.
- Christ’s Resurrection was DECLARED as the Gospel we believe.
- Christ’s Resurrection was PROMISED in the Old Testament and New Testament.
- Christ’s Resurrection was WITNESSED by more than 500 individuals.
- Christ’s Resurrection was RECORDED by the Four Gospel writers with perfect precision.
- Christ’s Resurrection was APPLIED by Jesus for 40 days until His Ascension.
What happened on Easter Morning? Jesus was raised from the dead! Romans 1:4 Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.
- Christ’s Resurrection Confirms God’s Word. Both in the Old Testament and in the teaching of Jesus, His resurrection is clearly taught (see Psalm 16:10; 110:1). If Jesus had not come out of the tomb, then these Scriptures would not be true. Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. NKJV; Psalm 110:1 The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Declares His deity. Jesus stated that He had authority to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:17–18). John 10:17-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Warns of judgment to come. “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man who He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
- Christ’s Resurrection Supplies our power to live. We cannot live for God by our own strength. It is only as His resurrection power works in and through us that we can do His will and glorify His name. Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Celebrates our Identity. Whenever God’s people gather on the Lord’s Day they bear witness that Jesus is alive and that the church has received spiritual blessings. When the followers of the Lord gathered that first Lord’s Day, they were discouraged and defeated. 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Assures our Hope of Resurrection. Because Jesus died and rose again, we shall one day be raised to be like Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). In fact, the entire structure of the Christian faith rests on the foundation of the Resurrection. If we do away with His resurrection, we have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Anchors our souls in Heaven. Hebrews 6:11-20 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. NKJV
It is anchored in Heaven. v. 19 “the inner sanctuary (Heavenly)”. We have continual access to God’s presence, not just once a year through a fallible man, but always—at every moment—through our high priest, Jesus Christ. But we are not flotsam on the tides. We have a hope—a hope outside ourselves. There are powerful truths that cause us to have great hope in Christ our Salvation. Jesus our High Priest is the anchor of our souls, who forever keeps us from drifting away from God. As believers, our relationship with Christ anchors us to God confidently because it is “within the veil” (v. 19).
The most sacred place in the Jewish temple was the holy of holies, which was veiled from the rest of the temple. Inside the holy of holies rested the Ark of the Covenant, which signified the glory of God. Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, could the high priest of Israel enter beyond the veil and make atonement for the sins of his people. But under the New Covenant, Christ made atonement once for all time and for all people by His sacrifice on the cross. The believer’s soul is, in God’s mind, already secured within the veil—His eternal sanctuary.
It is anchored in Christ, our prodromos who has gone to prepare a place for us. Again listen to Hebrews 6:19-20 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before (prodromos) us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Philip Mauro suggests that the picture here is that of the forerunner used in ancient times to help a vessel enter the harbor safely. He would jump from the ship, wade to the harbor, and fasten the strong rope of the ship to a rock along the shore. Then, by means of a winch, the vessel was brought in. Just so, our forerunner has gone to heaven, where He stands ready to guide us safely into the Holy of Holies. We are fastened to a rock that cannot be moved. Let the storms tear our sails to shreds; let the floors creak; let the gusts of wind attempt to blow us off course; let the tides overwhelm us; we shall arrive safely into the port. Each day we are pulled a notch closer to the harbor by the One who proved He is more powerful than death.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
Our future existenceis not in the hands of doctors, nor in the hands of disease, nor in the hands of the drunk who runs into our car along the highway, or even the terrorist who slams 350 ton airplane fuel bombs into our office towers. Our life is in the hands of the Almighty, who can use any means He wishes, including the above, to have us brought into the heavenly gates. Perhaps today our name will be called. And to be ready we need to KNOW HIM! 
- Christ’s Resurrection applies His Heavenly Prayers to us. Because He lives by the power of an endless life, He is able to save us “to the uttermost”. He lives to intercede for us. Hebrews 7:23-28 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. NKJV
- Christ’s Resurrection Energizes our Hope. Because we have a living hope, we can experience hopeful living. A dead hope grows weaker and weaker before it eventually dies. But because Jesus Christ is alive, we have a glorious future. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. NKJV
So who was it that rose from the grave? God’s Word gives us a very
Who was He? By way of the following 12 verses, analyze with me just who it was that rose!
- ONE WHO HAD A NAME: John18:1-11 Who has a name above all others, that every knee shall bow before? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John18:1-11 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” NIV
- ONE WHO HAD NO FEAR: John 18:12-24 Who is absolutely fearless? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 18:12-24 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people. 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” 18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. 23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest. NIV
- ONE POSSESSING PERFECT KNOWLEDGE: John 18:25-27. Who alone knows all (omniscient)? Check out Mark 14:27-30. It happened as He said. Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 18:25-27 As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow. NIV Mark 14:27-30 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ”‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” 30 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” NIV
- ONE POSSESSING DIVINITY: John 18:28-37 (see 19:7-9 also) Who alone is not from this world? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 18:28-37 Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected. 32 This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled. 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” NIV John 19:7-9 The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. NIV
- ONE WHO WAS SINLESS: John 18:38-19:16 Who is the only one who can stand even the scrutiny of those who hate Him and no fault can be found! Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 18:38-19:16 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion. 1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face. 4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. NIV
- ONE WHO WAS GRACIOUS: John 19:17-42 Who can endure bearing shame and scoffing rude and stand perfectly at peace? Who could have called ten thousand angels! As they mocked the name of Jesus the mighty armies of God stood poised at the battlements of heaven with swords drawn ready to start Armageddon that very instant. But the call never came, “He could have called ten thousand angels, to destroy the world and set him free, but He died alone for you and me” Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 19:17-42 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. 28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. NIV
- ONE WHO WAS OMNIPOTENT: John 20:1-10 Who can be executed by professionals, be buried for 3 days and then walk out of the Grave just when they said they would ? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. John 20:1-10 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. 2 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!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes, NIV
Some have said Christ only swooned and the cool mist revived Him. At best the idea is absurd —
“It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulcher, who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening, and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to his sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that he was a conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life: an impression which lay at the bottom of their future ministry. Such a resuscitation could only have weakened the impression which he had made upon them in life and in death, at the most could only have given it a loud voice, but could by no possibility have changed their sorrow into enthusiasm, have elevated their reverence into worship.”
Others say they imagined the resurrection:
“But difficulties not less insuperable present themselves when we try to think of them uniformly and without exception coming under the influence of a complete delusion.
- Somehow the rugged fisherman Peter and his brother Andrew,
- the characteristically doubting Thomas,
- the seasoned and not too sensitive tax gatherer, Matthew,
- the rather dull Philip, intensely loyal but a little slow of apprehension,
do not fit easily into the conditions required for an absolutely unshakable collective hallucination. The terrors and the persecutions these men ultimately had to face and did face unflinchingly, do not admit of a halfhearted adhesion secretly honeycombed with doubt… “ (p. 114)
peculiar thing about this phenomenon is that, not only did it spread to every
single member of the party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought
it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly
intellectual center of Judea, against the ablest dialecticians of the day, and
in the face of every impediment a brilliant and highly organized camarilla
could devise. And they won. Within twenty
years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish church and
impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean from
Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had begun to
threaten the peace of the Roman Empire.”
 John MacArthur, Saved Without A Doubt, (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books) 1992.
 Hughes, R. Kent, Preaching the Word: Hebrews Vol 1&2—An Anchor for the Soul, (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books) 1998, c1993.
 Erwin W. Lutzer, One Minute After You Die. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1997, 141-143.
 Strauss, New Life of Jesus, I, 412(tr).