Sermon Excerpt: Easter Sunday, March 27
It was early Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. As the women approached the tomb they said to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us form the entrance of the tomb” (Mark 16:3)? Suddenly an earthquake shook the land and an angel appeared, rolled away the stone and sat on it. Throughout the Bible earthquakes signify God’s work, “Listen, the Lord is about to speak.”
And He did. Through the empty tomb and through an angel whose, the passage said, was like lightening, and his clothing white as snow (28:3). Completely unnerved by this event, the guards that were standing by the tomb played dead! You see, God is a God of the supernatural and that can be unsettling to many. The angel then looked at the women and said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen…”
Well, the women stayed, no doubt startled and overwhelmed and the angel said to them, “Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead.”
Let me stop for just a moment… Can I ask you a simple question, do you believe this? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lived the perfect life that you could never live, died on the cross for your sins, and rose from the grave in order that you could have life both now and for eternity, do you believe this?
I think in some ways that was what the angel was asking them when he said, “Come see the place where Jesus laid…” It was an invitation, do you believe Jesus was who He said He was? Do you believe that Jesus set you free? Do you believe this? Then come and see…. The tomb was not empty so Jesus could escape, no, it was empty so the believers could see the power of God!
These women heard the voice of God, they obeyed and accepted this glorious invitation. Their lives were changed… What about yours? Will you accept God’s invitation to come and see? God is inviting you to a changed life, a supernatural life.
Well, after the women had this supernatural encounter with an angel they were pumped, the Bible says they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples (28:8). No doubt they were running unsure of what was happening, but they knew God was on the move, something radical was occurring.
As they were running the supernatural happened again… And behold, Jesus met them and said “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him (28:9). Immediately the women recognized it was Jesus, risen from the dead, they fell down and worshipped Him!
Why the note that they took hold of His feet? Two reasons, as I mentioned just a second ago, they fell at His feet and worshipped Him. Bowing in worship was much more prevalent then, than it is now. But, also Matthew the writer of this Gospel, is making a clear point, Jesus had a real and physical resurrection. He was no ghost. This was Jesus and those were His feet.
Did you catch what Jesus said to them when I read the passage? He said, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (28:10). That doesn't seem like much, but let’s unpack it a moment… He calls the disciples my brothers.
They certainly didn’t act that way. They constantly bickered about who was closest to Him. Struggled to understand His teachings. And when He was arrested they fled and abandoned Him. Now, He calls them “brothers?”
The disciples struggled at times… You and me, we struggle at times, the question is are you following Him? Have you surrendered everything to Jesus? Yes, then He calls you His brother, His sister…