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Easter 2003 2005 - He is Risen!

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Reading John 20:1-18
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  John 20:15a (NIV)

I.   Final Respects

       A.    To the Grave

               1.    They went out to attend to a dead Jesus

                       a.    It was a final duty

                       b.    Final expression of love & devotion

               2.    They expected to find a dead Jesus

                       a.    They couldn’t believe Jesus’ words that on the 3rd day He would rise again — Jesus had said so many things in parables . . .

       B.    His body is Gone!

               1.    The Stone was rolled away.

                       a.    The Stone protected the body from scavengers — human or animal.

                       b.    The moved stone implied someone had tampered with Jesus’ body.

               2.    Mary Mag. runs to find Peter & John

                       a.    She’s horrified that someone may have tampered with Jesus’ body.

               3.    Peter & John run to the cemetery.

                       a.    John arrives first, looks but doesn’t enter

                       b.    Peter, impetuous as ever, doesn’t hesitate and John follows.

                       c.    They note the orderly way the burial cloths were arranged.

                              (1)  John believes what Jesus said.

II.    A cemetery Surprise!

       A.    Why do you Cry?

               1.    Mary Magdalene weeps — actually wails, the word used describes the weeping of despair and hopelessness.

                       a.    Mary looks in the tomb for the first time and sees two angels.

                       b.     They ask Why are you crying? (v.13)

                              (1)  Why do they ask–don’t they know?

                       c.    Mary: They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him.

               2.    First recorded words of Jesus after His resurrection: Why are you crying? (v.15)

                       a.    Jesus is concerned with Mary.

                       b.    Jesus knows that Mary’s crying is based in a false assumption.

                       c.    Mary’s tears blind her to what has happened–to Who it is that speaks to her.

       B.    Who are you looking for?

               1.    Jesus asks a second question: the most important question in the Bible.

                       a.    Who are you looking for?

                       b.    Does Mary even know Who she is looking for now–who, not what?

               2.    Who are you looking for?

                       a.    Who is asking the question?

                       b.    The comfort for despair is in this question: Who are you looking for?

               3.    Mary is looking for Jesus’ body is

                       a.    Her sights are set too low.

                       b.    She answers out of what she imagines possible — forgetting that all things are possible with God.

       C.    Jesus speaks her Name

               1.    Jesus doesn’t badger her with finger-shaking reminders of what he said,

                       a.    or tell her off for her lack of faith,

                       b.    or point out her sinful neglect in not paying attention to Jesus’ words.

               2.    He calls her by name.

                       a.    He is the Good Shepherd who knows all His sheep by name.

                       b.    His sheep recognize his voice.

               3.    She recognizes Him when he says her name.

                       a.    Mary sought to fulfill her duty to a dead man. Jesus came to her alive.

                       b.    Mary went as a victim to attend to another victim of death.

                       c.    Jesus came as the Victor over death

III.   What happens Now?

       A.    Don’t hang on to the Moment

               1.    Mary responds calling Him my teacher

               2.    Jesus tells her not to hang on to the moment — This moment has meaning far beyond Mary.

               3.    We are tempted to hang on to our first encounter with God,

                       a.    But our experience of God isn’t complete until we join His Ministry.

       B.    Spread the Good News!

               1.    Mary — I am entrusting you with the most important message in history:

                       a.    Jesus has conquered death.

                       b.    Jesus is about to ascend the throne.

               2.    Mary tells the disciples I have seen the Lord!

                       a.    She listens to Jesus instructions: it’s not up to her to make the message more believable — just to give the message!

                       b.    She is not to keep her experience of Jesus to herself.

               3.    It is no mistake that the experience of the resurrected Jesus is linked with instructions to spread the Good News in all four Gospels (+Acts).

                       a.    This is not a message intended for private religious devotion, nor does it have a merely private spiritual meaning.

                       b.    This fact of the resurrection changes everything — death is defeated, sin is defeated, our relationship with God can now be restored.

                       c.    What had been done in the Garden of Eden was undone in this Garden

                              (1)  We are not defeated by Sin and Death; Death defeated –>Satan's power defeated

                              (2)  We are not sent away but brought near

The Bottom Line:

When we look for Jesus, He finds Us. When Hope is gone, He calls our Name.

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