Faithlife Sermons

Unfinished Business

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Introduction:
Every year we get up early to celebrate Easter with a sunrise service. There is something special about gathering at first light to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We can almost feel the excitement of going to the tomb and finding it empty. However, that isn’t the feeling that the disciples and women felt that first Easter when they went to the tomb - at least not at first.
The reason that the women went to the tomb was for an altogether different reason. They had unfinished business to take care of. Let’s open our Bibles and look at what they had to do and see how their unfinished business changed their lives forever that day.
Read text. Pray.
Think about this for a minute. The women were in waiting to get to go back and finish preparing Jesus’ body for his burial. They were interrupted by the Sabbath that occured at sundown on Friday. After Jesus was crucified they had to quickly prepare Jesus as best they could and lay Him in the tomb before the sun went down. There were strict laws that prevented anyone from doing any work on the Sabbath, and this was not just any Sabbath - it was Passover. This was a high holy day.
So we see that the women had some unfinished business to take care of.

1. They had unfinished business (v.1)

Consider for a moment if the Sabbath laws had not prevented the women from completing their task. Essentially what happened was as if you took your loved one who had passed to the funeral home and they half-way embalmed the body. Then because of a rule that was in place, they had to wait to finish the embalming until sunlight two days later. You couldn’t have your memorial service until the embalming was finished. The women had been in waiting for the first chance they could get to finish preparing Jesus body for its permanent resting place.
If the Sabbath laws had not been in place and the women had of completed their task of preparing Jesus’ body, they would have never been at the tomb that first Easter morning. However, there was unfinished business that brought them to Jesus that day. I wonder this morning if their is anyone here who has been brought to Jesus that has some unfinished business to take care of. Perhaps to you Jesus was just a religious leader that lived an died. l hope that today you come to the tomb and see that it is empty, because God has raised Jesus from the dead. I hope you experience the second thing. I hope you have a life altering encounter with Jesus.

2. They had a life altering encounter (vv.2-9)

Can you imagine what it must have been like to go to the tomb and discover what they found! In Mark’s account of the resurrection, it says that the women were discussing with themselves who would roll away the huge stone that was in place. It seems that they were up so early, they didn’t even know if they would have any help. They knew the Roman soldiers would be there, but they also knew they wouldn’t be of any help to them. When they got there they discovered the problem had already been solved. The tomb was rolled away and they didn’t need to prepare the body, because God had already done that for them by raising Jesus up from the dead and giving Him a glorified body.
One day every one of us will die if Jesus doesn’t return for us first. Someone will prepare our body for its final place of rest. When they do, and when Jesus returns, God is going to do the same thing for us that He did for Jesus. He is going to raise our body up out of that tomb and glorify it. That’s why l want my body laid in the ground, just like Jesus! Because, I know that it’s going to come back up out of it.
The women not only found an empty tomb, but they found an angel there to herald the news and remind them of what Jesus had promised would happen. The angel reminded them that Jesus had said He must suffer and die and be raised again. And just like that, the women had a Eureka moment! They remembered the words of Jesus and they had their mourning turned into joy! They experienced that life giving power of the resurrection. What they did next is what we must do when we too experience Jesus.

3. They shared the “good news” so others could experience it (vv.9b-12)

The women were so excited, they ran back to tell the disciples! You don’t encounter Jesus and stay quiet about it. You don’t see someone risen from the dead and you just go about life as usual. You are excited! You are alive! You are more energized than you can ever get from a cup of coffee! You are filled with the Holy Spirit and it makes you want to shout for joy! Your world has been forever changed and your eternal future has a new address!
Because you have experienced the joy that comes from discovering that Jesus is alive, you want everyone you know to get to experience that joy too! You talk about it to everyone you meet! “Hey, have you heard? Jesus is alive!”
This Easter, we have the exciting opportunity to change someone’s life forever. All we have to do is let them know that God has some unfinished business to take care of with them as well. Take them to Jesus and let Him do the rest!
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