''The Impact of the Resurrection''
Introduction: It is a fact of history that Christ was CRUCIFIED for our sins at Calvary. But an even greater fact of history is Christ ROSE from the grave. When approaching the subject of the RESURRECTION, I always feel as though God is saying, "Take thy shoes from off thy feet, for the ground whereon thou standest is holy ground."
A philosopher once proclaimed, "You Christians live on the fragrance of an empty tomb."
Someone rightly said, "Christianity begins where other religions end, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All other religions of the world can point to a FOUNDER; and a founder's grave, but we can say as we point to an empty tomb, Our Founder was buried there and on the third day He came out of the tomb."
The question being asked in this Easter service is "What impact does the resurrection have upon your life today?" In answering this question we need to read from the text, in John 20:1-16,
“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. (11) But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, (12) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. (13) And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. (14) And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. (15) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. (16) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
Now from this text let me focus your attention on FOUR truths of the resurrection in answer to the question, "What impact does the resurrection have upon your life today?"
First: The impact of the resurrection is upon “WHEN IT OCCURRED.” Again notice the opening words in verse 1, "The first day of the week…" As you study your Bible, you will discover that the Holy day of the week before the crucifixion was not the first day of the week, Sunday; rather it was the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, Saturday. However, beginning with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is a shift from the SEVENTH day – Saturday, to the FIRST day – Sunday.
In Exodus 20:8-11 God gave to us the fourth commandment where we read, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Here God tells us how we are to act upon this special day called the Sabbath. This was a very sacred and solemn holy day.
In John 20:1 we read, “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre…” Notice the phrase "the first day." As you begin to read the New Testament, first the disciples and then the church, began to make "the first day" more significant than the seventh day Saturday, or the Sabbath day. They began to make "the first day" of the week the sacred day of rest, reflection and worship of God. Even Paul declared in I Corinthians 16:1-2 it is upon the “first day” of the week when we are to bring the collection unto the house of God.
In Matthew 28:1 we read “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” Would you notice it was, "In the end of the Sabbath" when the women came "to see the sepulchre." I believe there is a deeper meaning to the saying "In the end of the Sabbath." Not only was it the end of this day but it was truly "the END of the Sabbath," as far as the commemoration of a special day was concerned. Thus the Sabbath was abolished by the resurrection of Jesus.
Strictly speaking, THERE IS NO SABBATH, during this age of grace. We worship on the "Lord's Day" the first day of the week. To speak of the Lord's Day as "the Christian Sabbath" is to speak in error. There is a difference.
The Sabbath Day or the seventh day commemorates the completion of God's great work of CREATION. In Genesis 2:2-3 we read, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (3) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Notice "On the seventh day God rested." This day provided the rest of satisfaction because of the completion of the great work of creation.
The First Day, Sunday, commemorated the completion of God's great work of REDEMPTION. Therefore every single Sunday should be an Easter Sunday where you remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
You know, it is inconceivable for us who know and love the Word of God, and are endeavoring to live and make each and every moment count for Christ, to believe people would be so preoccupied with the Easter bunny, new clothes, and the newness of spring that the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Easter Sunday morning in the house of God would totally slip by with not so much as even giving it a thought.
Yet, I believe God is just as perplexed over our relating this event, this CAPSTONE of the Christian faith to one DAY in a year, where we meet together to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Someone said, "The resurrection of Christ is the only historical event that was ordained to be celebrated every first day of every week in an entire year. Fifty-two weeks a year when we assemble together we ought to, at some time in that service, flash through our minds the thought of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead."
Ignatius, one of the disciples of the Apostle John in the first century, said, "Christians are a people who have come into possession of a great new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath day but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, the day on which our life has also sprung up again in Him." My friend, every Sunday ought to be a day we commemorate our new life in Christ.
Here in John 20:1 we find the impact of the resurrection "The first day of the week…" introduces us to a brand new age, one in which every Sunday, we remember His glorious resurrection. Sunday ought to be a day of rest in Christ, and of reflection and worship of Christ in the House of God. To the believer every Sunday ought to be an Easter Sunday in commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection.
Second: The impact of the resurrection is upon “WHAT IT INVOLVED,” the Empty Tomb. Would you notice the last phrase of John 20:1, "…And seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." Interestingly all the gospel accounts make reference to "the stone," and what happened to this stone. And when you put all these passages together it has tremendous significance, which perhaps we have overlooked.
Jesus was not buried down into the earth as we do with the burial of people today, but He was buried in the side of the earth. Now in order to close up the tomb, in those days they would take a huge stone in the shape of a wheel and roll it in a trough right to the entrance of that grave. Once in place it acted as a seal, because it became practically impossible to remove it from that place.
You have the women, including Mary Magdalene, coming to the tomb very early, even before the daylight. The guards are no longer there, and even the stone that would have been impossible for three women to remove has been removed. Now would you briefly trace with me what is said in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John about this stone?
In Matthew 27:59-60 we read, “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, (60) And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” The Greek word for “rolled” is "Kulieo" and it is used by each of the Gospel writers with a slightly different meaning. The word "Kulieo" in this verse simply means to roll.
In Mark 16:1-4 we read, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (2) And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (3) And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? (4) And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.” Please note in verse 4, this was a very great stone. Notice in verse 3 it says the "stone was rolled away." Here the Greek adds a preposition to the word “rolled” "Ana-kulieo." Now the word means to roll up an incline or a slope.
In Luke 24:1-2, we read, “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.” Here the writer uses the word "Apo-Kulieo," which means to roll one object, the stone, away from another object, the grave itself.
In John 20:1, we read, “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.” You will notice the words here read "the stone taken away from the sepulchre."
In Matthew's account it is "Kulieo" which means to roll.
In Mark's account it is "Ana-kulieo," which means to roll up an incline or a slope.
In Luke's account it is "Apo-Kulieo," which means to roll an object a distance away from another object.
In John's gospel, it is "Ereo" which means to pick something up and literally carry it away.
Now if you take what each of these gospel writers said it is basically this, "This great stone was lifted up and transported some distance away up hill." Now since that is true I ask, "Why was that stone rolled that distance from the tomb uphill?" We all know the answer to that question, "It was to let Jesus OUT." My friends, is that the reason why, to let Jesus out? Think about it for a moment, did Jesus need to have that stone rolled away to be let out?
I call your attention to John 20:6-8, “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.” It appears Jesus literally just walked OUT OF THOSE GRAVE CLOTHES.
I call your attention to John 20:19, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Here, it appears Jesus literally just walked RIGHT ON THROUGH THE WALL.
The newly resurrected body of Jesus was so unique, the barriers of doors and walls did not concern the Lord; He went right through them. May I say to you it did not make any difference whether that stone was there or not; it was totally immaterial.
Perhaps you are saying to yourself if the removal of that stone was not necessary, then why did they lift that stone up a hill a great distance away from the tomb? May I say to you the message we must leave the house of God with is, "It was not to let the Son of God OUT, but rather it was to let the whole-wide-world IN." Peter went in, he saw and he believed. And after Peter, there were others who went in. And I would say to you in this service,
There have been thousands of people for 2000 years who have been streaming into that tomb and finding it empty. For those of us who may not enter into it physically, we can do so spiritually to assure ourselves this is not some fable.
That great stone was rolled away so we may understand there was one who did rise from the dead and is alive, so we may BELIEVE. The angels’ message in Matthew 28:6-7 was "He is not here for He is risen, COME AND SEE the place where the Lord lay. And GO quickly, and TELL His disciples that he is risen from the dead…" And those who have done that find themselves life victors.
This is not some theological, mystical, spiritual fantasy that we drag out of the closet once a year in order to wear nice new Easter outfits and bring ourselves into church to hear about this thing. That is not what Easter is all about. Rather, those who embrace this phenomenon are transformed by the power of God. The resurrected life of Christ enters into them, and they know the power of his resurrection.
Maybe you are in this service and you are sorrowing over the loss of some loved one who has died in Christ. Perhaps there is a void and emptiness down deep inside you. I want you to know there is an event coming that will be as equally powerful as the resurrection of Christ. It will be that day when Jesus comes again and the dead in Christ will rise from the grave. We who are alive will be caught up together to be with the Lord. Yet today the song tells we can have victory in this life.
God sent his Son, they called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An EMPTY GRAVE is there to prove my Saviour lives.
And then one day I'll cross the river;
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then as death gives way to VICTORY,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.
Because he lives, I can face tomorrow;
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
You see the stone was rolled away in order that today you may see for yourself and believe that "HE LIVES."
The impact of the resurrection gave us a new day in a new era. It took place upon the "First day of the week" and you and I are here this SUNDAY morning as we are every Sunday morning to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus.
The impact of the resurrection gave us a view of an empty tomb, because that stone was removed for us to see IN and BELEIVE.
Third: The impact of the resurrection is upon “WHO IT AFFECTED.” Would you notice again John 20:1, “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early…” The first person it touched was a woman, who was a great sinner, a demon possessed sinner. But there was a day when Mary Magdalene met the Saviour and her life was transformed. And here, this is the first woman who came to see the empty tomb.
Folks, we are not here just to enjoy the festivities on this day we call Easter Sunday. We are here to understand that our eternal redemption not only rests upon the finished work of Christ at Calvary, but it also rests upon His resurrection. In Romans 4:25 we read, "Who was delivered for our offenses (crucified at Calvary for our sins), and was raised again for our justification."
The Bible is saying Jesus Christ went to the cross of Calvary to keep you from going to hell and was raised from the grave to get you into heaven. It is as simple as that. The word of God says in Romans 10:9, "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."
If you believe that, you are saved. If you have never believed that, then you have to reach out with a heart of faith and say, "God I believe Jesus died and rose again that I might have forgiveness of sins and have eternal life."
Fourth: The impact of the resurrection rests upon THE PROMISES of GOD. Again would you notice John 20:9, “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” Repeatedly the scripture gives this promise, “… that he must rise again from the dead.
Jesus said in John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rise it up."
He also said to Martha at the grave of Lazarus in John 11:25-26, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die…."
Everything depends on the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.
It is the CORNERSTONE upon which Christianity rests; undermine it, and the whole business collapses.
It is the KEYSTONE of the arch; knock it out, and all of Christianity falls with a crash.
If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead,
How do I know He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
How do I know He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved?
How do I know the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin?
How do I know He has gone to prepare a place for me, and that He will come again and receive me unto Himself?
How do I know death has lost its sting and the grave has been swallowed up in victory?
How do I know when He shall appear I shall be like Him?
How do I know "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in me?
How do I know the promises of this Book are true?
I don't know. There is no way to know, if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. But thank God, He did rise! They SEALED His tomb, but it could not hold Him. He lay there COLD and DEAD in the grave. All earth had given up hope, but Heaven KNEW better. I think GABRIEL must have said to the celestial choir, "Hold your breath a minute now, for you'll need it." And upon that third day, the breath of God swept through the sleeping clay; and like a flash of light, His glorious Son was on His feet again, while Heaven's angelic choir rose, tier upon tier and row upon row and shouted, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Christ is risen! The Son of God is Alive!" Glory to Jesus, today we can sing:
Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ Arose.
The resurrection completes the GOSPEL which speaks of the DEATH, and the BURIAL, and the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.
Dr. A.H. Ackley penned what some have considered the NATIONAL ANTHEM of the RESURRECTION SONGS:
I serve a RISEN Saviour, He's in the world today,
I know that He is LIVING, whatever men may say;
I see His hands of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
Two thousand years ago God took every sin we have ever committed or ever will commit and placed them on Jesus Christ, as we read in Isaiah 53:6, "… the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." When Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" it simply meant that the full payment for sin had been made. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is now an assurance that God was fully satisfied with the payment Jesus made for our sins. Let me ask you "Is the living resurrected Christ alive in You?"
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “The Impact of the Resurrection” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior let me know. Please send an e-mail to, pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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