The Grace and Power of Jesus Demonstrated in the Greatest Event in History — the Resurrection, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 326)
TEXT: John 20:1-10:
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 326.
Dr. John Walvoord said, “If the Gospel of John were an ordinary biography, there would be no chapter 20. I am an incurable reader of biographies, and I notice that almost all of them conclude with the death and burial of the subject. I have yet to read one that describes the subject’s resurrection from the dead! The fact that John continued his account and shared the excitement of the Resurrection miracle is proof that Jesus Christ is not like any other man. He is, indeed, the Son of God.”
The first day of the week after Jesus was crucified found Mary Magdalene on her way to Jesus’ tomb. The other Gospels tell us that other women were with her. They intended to apply further burial spices and ointment to the body of Jesus. They wanted to do this to honor Jesus themselves as well as because Nicodemus and Joseph had carried out the burial hastily. They loved Jesus and wanted to make sure that His body was treated with every vestige of respect that was within their means.
However, when the women arrived at the tomb, they found that it was empty. Mary Magdalene ran to find Peter and John and told them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” She thought that Jesus’ body had been stolen. After the events of that weekend, this would have been utterly heartbreaking to these women as well as to the disciples.
Hearing this news, Peter and John ran to the tomb. John thought it important to inform us that he outraced Peter and arrived at the tomb first. When he got there, he did not go into the tomb, but he ‘stooped down, looked in, and saw the linen clothes lying.’ The Greek word describing John’s action means to contemplate, observe, or scrutinize. John looked into the tomb and paused to think about what he saw. Peter, on the other hand, rushed into the tomb first and then stopped to look. He, too, saw the linen clothes lying there, “and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”
Notice how John takes pains to describe Jesus burial garments. When a person was buried, the Jews wrapped the body in several layers of linen; between each layer, they mixed ointment, spices, and aloes. The mixture would have crusted together, and, combined with the layered linens, would serve as a sort of soft cocoon for the dead body. John and Peter clearly saw that the cocoon was in order, but that Jesus’ body was missing. They could tell that this was no grave robbery. No robber would have gone through the intricate process of carefully removing the grave clothes to get at the body. William Barclay said, “The whole point of the description is that the grave-clothes did not look as if they had been put off or taken off; they were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them.”
What did the disciples make of their conclusion? John writes that after he followed Peter into the tomb, “he saw, and believed.” John believed, based on this evidence alone, that Jesus had risen from the dead. However, he notes that neither he nor Peter were familiar with the Scriptures that indicated that Jesus was going to rise from the dead. John, who has emphasized throughout his retelling of the Passion that he was an eyewitness to these events, believed that Jesus was risen from the dead simply because of what he saw with his own eyes. What did he see? He saw a stone rolled away. He saw an empty tomb. He saw grave clothes that held no body. That was enough for John to believe that Jesus was alive again.
Robert L. Fletcher wrote:
At the grave where Christ lay sleeping,
In the arms of death’s embrace,
Roman guards their watch were keeping,
As the night wore on apace;
Where in majesty descending,
Came an angel from the throne,
At the tomb of Jesus bending,
Rolled away the ponderous stone.
Lo! the grave is rent asunder,
And the watchers are as dead;
Heaven and earth beheld, in wonder,
Death in chains a captive led:
Angels, robed in white, are saying,
He is risen, He is not here:
Christ, the call to life obeying,
Thrills the world with hope and cheer.
Re-ascend, O King victorious,
Take again Thy royal throne;
There in Heaven to rule all glorious,
Till the earth becomes Thine own:
Foes may hate Thee, they can never
Overthrow Thy righteous sway;
Thine shall be the kingdom ever,
In the realms of perfect day.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the undeniable evidence that death and Hell had no hold on Him. And, because He rose from the dead, death and Hell do not have to have a hold on you. If you believe in Him like John did and place your faith and trust in Him for salvation, you, too, will be raised from death to eternal life with God. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.