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The Empty Tomb

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Have you ever wondered why God does things a certain way? For instance last week we saw Jesus Crucified this week Jesus is raised from the dead. So why didn’t God just show off the resurrection of Jesus and let all of Jerusalem see Jesus. Imagine what would have happened if Jesus had walked into the temple that morning and picked up the scroll of Isaiah and read the passage we know as the suffering servant all about his crucifixion, and then he says I am He. I imagine there would have been a great revival and yet thats not how God did it. Instead he chose to reveal himself to just a few. You see it is God’s plan that he intrusted the disciples to tell the story of what they had witnessed. God’s greatest gift to man the gift of redemption through Jesus was to be shared by those who witnessed it and then recorded so that all mankind might know the truth. 3 times in the last three chapters John writes of the true witness. First in John 19:35
John 19:35 ESV
He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.
then in John 20:30-31
John 20:30–31 ESV
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
and again in John 21:24
John 21:24 ESV
This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
Its as though John is trying to assure us of the validity of his testimony. These events really happened just like this.
Let us listen then as he testifies of the ressurection. John 20:1-18
John 20:1–18 ESV
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

The Missing Body

John 20:1–2 ESV
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

The Disciples investigate

John 20:3–8 ESV
So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;
They hurry
John stops to look but doesn’t enter
fear - He had seen the wounds of Christ
He sees the linen cloths lying there
Peter went in
Saw the cloths lying there and the face cloth folded up by itself
Joined by John who also sees

John believes

John 20:8–10 ESV
Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
What does John believe?
Resurrection God did this
No understanding of how or why
evidenced by his not understanding scripture and prophecy
They go home
I wonder if John recalled Lazarus
There is significant difference between them
Lazarus came out in the sheet and had to be unwrapped - mummified
Jesus leaves the sheet behind
Not what robbers do nor what had happened with Lazarus rather Jesus has walked out of the linen wrappings.

Mary Believes

John 20:11–18 ESV
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Believes Jesus body was stolen
Jesus appears she doesnt recognize him
maybe looks different maybe teary eyed who knows
until he speaks her name
Notice Jesus command John 20:17
John 20:17 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
And Her obedience
John 20:18 ESV
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Invitation

Have you seen the Lord today? Have you placed your faith your trust in the word of God and made Jesus your Lord and Savior? If not will you trust the testimony you heard today and accept him today?
FOr those of you that have seen the Lord will you be obedient to his command as was Mary will you share the glorious news that Jesus is Alive.
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